Bachelor Thesis: A Step Towards virtual life
I wrote the thesis at the Mediadesign Hochschule in Berlin. In my thesis I examine the behavior of non-player characters towards other non-player characters and the player role in open world games. I also offer a different system of non-player character behavior that may help to enhance the immersion of the game.
Non-player characters are an vital element of role playing games. In a game they can have many different roles that range from the small rat in the sewer over the mighty arch mage that is trying to conquer the world. They enrich the game experience by acting in a way that is anticipated for the role they play.
The behavior of non-player characters becomes a problem when they start to behave in a way that is unexpected for their role.
Such behavior is even worse in an open world role playing game where the non-player characters behavior is fundamental to maintain the illusion of life that is necessary for the game experience. Therefore it is necessary to create a system which can calculate the behavior of non-player character based on the information that are required to fully represent the role they play.
The term non-player character is defined as an element of the game that guides through the world, by taking on a role in that world, which signifies the importance of acting accordingly to that role.
In contrast, the non-player characters of current open world games behave accordingly to the rules of the game that were established for the player, not accordingly to the role they represent within the world.
In addition to the system that calculates the actions and reactions between a system that evaluates the situation based on the attributes that compose the role of the character could be used to determine behavior that does follow the role each non-player character represents, allowing for a more immersive game experience.