Monday, August 08, 2005

When Animals Don't Attack

Modulating Behavior in Accordance with Player-Instituted State Changes

Following up yesterday's post regarding the simulation of animals.

Found a site that provides a clear breakdown of some of the major animal behaviors.

Was thinking of territoriality.

Saw in my mind's eye a game in thick jungle and tall grass. The player moved slowly forward, cautious of a shuffling sound from the underbrush ahead.

Suddenly, a large ape bursts through the grass. The player freezes. Surely he'll be killed? Isn't that what happens in videogames?

But no, in this game the ape had territory markers. Three zones were marked out based upon the positions of the members of his group - green, yellow and red. Green was a safe zone, any creatures within that were noticed would be monitored by the alpha male.

Entering the yellow zone would spark the type of behavior I had seen in my daydream - not an attack, but an attempt to drive off the offending party. How would a player react? If given a weapon, I have no doubt in my mind how that scenario would play out. But what if they were weaponless? What if fleeing would institute a chase pattern? What if the best way out was a slow, backward retreat out of the yellow zone (wherever it might end)?

And the red zone? Well, you'd never make it out of there. You'd probably never make it in.


Thought this story concerning unstructured data analysis deserved a link. The part I found particularly interesting read:

"In hopes of broadening the potential of this kind of software, several companies planned to announce an agreement Monday on a technological standard that will let multiple computing engines for sorting unstructured data work together.

The programming codes that govern the framework, spearheaded by International Business Machines Corp. in conjunction with academic researchers and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will be open source and freely available."

Very cool
. Good to see that DARPA still knows a little bit about advancing the spread of technology. Even while they apply that technology to kill people.

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