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Jumpgate Evolution: Developer Journal - AI

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

In this Developer Journal, Herman Peterscheck, the Lead Producer of the upcoming MMORPG, Jumpgate Evolution, takes the time to talk to us about AI for the space-based game.


I can distinctly remember this scene from 2010; and it is a most amazing moment in a Science Fiction movie, I find. Amazing not only because it shows some kind of sentience in a machine (we got plenty of that in 2001), but because of the response. Nobody knows why. When you consider how things in games work, that mantra comes up over and over again. Most things in games are the result of nobody knowing why. Why is that wonderful thing that happens when all the pieces come together and things just seem to work. It’s a moment we all work for. It’s a moment we all hope for. It’s what games are all about.

Let me back up a few paces and go over why we thought AI was necessary in Jumpgate Evolution. The obvious reason is that you need to have stuff for players to do. One of those things is to blow things up. In order for blowing those things up to be interesting they must behave in some kind of predictable or unpredictable way. They need to fly, shoot, miss, hit and vary in difficulty. All of this is pretty much expected at this point. But we wanted a bit more than that.

Read the whole thing here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • SupermaxSupermax NeunkirchenPosts: 27Member

    This sounds pretty cool... especially if it also worked the other way around e.g. a player who wants to trade or mine should be able to hire NPC escorts to protect him against pirates or alien attacks.

  • hactarhactar ViennaPosts: 14Member

    The AI in mmorpgs so far has been horrid, the basic algorithm was spawn, fly to the player, shoot him. Even the original jumpgate used this algorithm.

    If the new jumpgate creates proper AI this will be a real fun game, personally I cant wait to see it :)

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    This does indeed sound impressive and interesting...

    I think they read my Blog on my Trade Routes system.... jk

    A MMO where the AI creates its own goals and objectives, then allows the player to have a fundamental impact on those goals/objectives is already well on its way to being the most dynamic and interactive MMO ever created... I hope they aren't just 'tooting their own horn' and the example given in the interview is a serious probability

     

  • SupermaxSupermax NeunkirchenPosts: 27Member

    I just hope the NPCs won't be using any non-standard ship configurations (e.g. oversized engines or shields) to cover a poor implementation.

    I'd also like to know if there will be NPC-only ships (apart from aliens), and if the AI can be tweaked enough to be useful for RP events, removing the need to "man" those vessels with GM staff.

  • LeemebeLeemebe Sacramento, CAPosts: 17Member

    What about AI and a players faction with it? I would think that faction would have some play in how the AI would react with a player. Would an AI cargo ship call for help from a player that had bad faction with it's company, or fire at the player once he/she arrived on the scene? Would an AI cargo ship give a bigger reward to a player that helped?

    I really have high hopes for this game. I was in the orginal Jump Gate beta, and the DEV team was always around asking players how they like this or that. They even took suggestions from players and acted on it.

    The problem with MMORPG's is that most of their own staff, don't even play their game. I know that this wasn't the case with the orginal Jump Gate.

  • brezelbrezel You must enter the city you live in!Posts: 202Member

    "The final step in this experience is to communicate the state to the players. For example, when a hauler is docking, having a nice sound play that it’s requesting permission to dock. If a hauler is under attack have it radio you for help and ask for it".

     

    in EVE online we have a similar NPC system but most in time the NPC´s are just a useless "phenomenon" - you see NPC haulers and traders docking out from a station but you dont know where they are flying to. at the stargates you see only a few times one of em, most in time there are only police ships who patrolling arround there.

    it´s a cool feature to let the players interact more with the NPC´s

  • boognish75boognish75 lancaster, NYPosts: 1,540Member

    Is this going to be a new jumpgate, or a revamp on the old jumpgate, if it will be brand apnking new, i will look forward to playing it.

    playing eq2 and two worlds

  • raykorraykor Seattle, WAPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by boognish75


    Is this going to be a new jumpgate, or a revamp on the old jumpgate, if it will be brand apnking new, i will look forward to playing it.



    The following is from an interview with their new Community Manager, Nicole Hamlett: "There is a bit of a misconception that it's an expansion to the original Jumpgate. The JGE team is actually creating a new game entirely."

  • deugemietdeugemiet cityPosts: 82Member

    When you play a new game you always compare it with similar games.

    In my case it was 'mankind' (arround 2000) and 'eve-online'. But honestly the only feeling i got  with the old  Jumpgate was 'this looks like space invaders'...

    So i hope that they are able now to create a better feeling. The graphics are exellent...if they're not artistic images only...

  • DevilHawkDevilHawk Athens, OHPosts: 179Member

    Originally posted by deugemiet


    When you play a new game you always compare it with similar games.
    In my case it was 'mankind' (arround 2000) and 'eve-online'. But honestly the only feeling i got  with the old  Jumpgate was 'this looks like space invaders'...
    So i hope that they are able now to create a better feeling. The graphics are exellent...if they're not artistic images only...

     

    The classic  Jump Gate was far from anything like Space Invaders. The game was centered, almost exclusively arround players. If a station needed certain materials to make something, it was up to the players to figure it out, it was up to the players to set up convoy transports (thank you MACK), and it was up to the players to keep these convoys safe from other players.

    Unfortunately, this sounds great on paper, but when actually implemented.. it creates alot of downtime for other things, such as pvp. You lose your ship, you get another. but unfortunately your docked at say... Quantar Core, in a Solrain ship that cant use any of the engines that are there. (example only) So you are stuck at that station until you get help with a delivery, because... that station is understocked at the moment.

    Now, ND did fix this situation through some patches, however... this type of scene did play out at one point for almost everyone who played the game.

    By adding AI as they are stating, they will be creating a fascinating tool for not only the devs, but for the player base as well. Not to mention, that by doing this, they have given some of the shadier members of the community, more targets =),

    And for gods sake, enough with the Eve comparisons! Jump Gate existed well before Eve, and is a fly by wire (twitch skill) space simulation. NOT A POINT AND CLICK. Its like comparing Halo3 with Command & Conquer  FFS. Jump Gate is not just a point and click rts.. it is a full, ACTUAL SKILL REQUIRED pilot simulation, with economics, stations, player interaction and more... added in.

    I am sooooo looking forward to Jump Gate Evolution.

    image

  • SupermaxSupermax NeunkirchenPosts: 27Member

    Originally posted by deugemiet


    But honestly the only feeling i got  with the old  Jumpgate was 'this looks like space invaders'...
    Admittedly, Jumpgate never excelled with its graphics, not even back in 2001.

    But nor did the original "Elite", and yet this classic provided tens if not hundreds hours of fun for me.

    Despite the ever growing MMOG market, Jumpgate is still pretty much unique. I believe that is part of why it has survived against all odds.

    I just hope they keep the first-person cockpit view.

  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stradden


    In this Developer Journal, Herman Peterscheck, the Lead Producer of the upcoming MMORPG, Jumpgate Evolution, takes the time to talk to us about AI for the space-based game.

    SAL-9000: “Will I dream?”
    Dr. Chandra: “Of course you will. All intelligent beings dream. Nobody knows why.”
    I can distinctly remember this scene from 2010; and it is a most amazing moment in a Science Fiction movie, I find. ...

    It's Hal-9000.


     

     

  • maddbomber83maddbomber83 Andrews, TXPosts: 422Member

    Originally posted by DevilHawk

    And for gods sake, enough with the Eve comparisons! Jump Gate existed well before Eve, and is a fly by wire (twitch skill) space simulation. NOT A POINT AND CLICK. Its like comparing Halo3 with Command & Conquer  FFS. Jump Gate is not just a point and click rts.. it is a full, ACTUAL SKILL REQUIRED pilot simulation, with economics, stations, player interaction and more... added in.

    I am sooooo looking forward to Jump Gate Evolution.

    Some quick comments.

    /flame on

    Why does a game have to exist prior to another game to compare?  It doesn't matter who came first.  If their are similar aspects then compare away.  It is very hard not to compare one MMO Space Game to another MMO Space Game.

    Additionally, the NPC interactions are the only thing I'm looking forward to in this game as Eve is very player interaction based.  If I could have both, I would be VERY happy (I'm a Mission Runner / PVP Combat Pilot)

    Second, your comment about Actual Skill Required is very odd.  If I recall, Command and Conquer required a good deal of strategy and understanding of the game to be good at.  Just as Halo requires fast reflexes (twitch) and understanding of the game to be good at.  Both games require skills from the other game as well.  (C&C would need fast reactions to changing environments, and Halo would need some degree of strategy).

    To imply that because a game is not "Twitch" based it requires no actual skill, is the same as saying that a game that is "Twitch" based requires no actual strategy.  Both statements are clearly false.

    /flame off

    To throw another comparison.  I am hoping for combat akin to Allegiance.  If I could have EVE economy and PVP, Jumpgate Evolutions NPC interactions and AI (as advertised), and Allegiance's combat system. . .  How can I buy a lifetime subscription?

     

  • Eraser55Eraser55 OsloPosts: 142Member

    EvE pvp, whats that?  I played the game.. but didnt see this exciting element, yes I was blasted away by another players but I didnt even got the chanse to look up my counter attack in the menu.

     

     

    My cool sig: Turrets suck.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,062Member Uncommon

    THIS IS EXACTLY THE THING MISSING FROM EVE!!!!

     

    Good work guys, and i really hope you manage to pull this one out

    image

  • eRAZOR2007eRAZOR2007 aPosts: 70Member

    Sounds interesting. I really hope they can pull it off. Must be an overwhelming task take on the might Eve.

  • SupermaxSupermax NeunkirchenPosts: 27Member

    Netdevil has clearly stated somewhere that JG doesn't want to compete with EvE. And it doesn't need to, either. It is still quite unique in its niche, and thats what they are probably building upon rather than trying to become an "EvE Killer" (which would require much much more resources).

  • NDHermannNDHermann Superior, COPosts: 6Member

    I'm ordinarily not a nit-picker, but I actually looked at this a lot because I thought it was HAL as well.. turns out I remembered wrong as is noted here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_9000#SAL_9000

    In the movie it sounds like this: http://www.palantir.net/2001/tma1/wav/dream.wav which confused the hell out of me. I found a reference here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086837/quotes which shows it both ways in what I'm assuming is from the script. The "I don't know" reply is in the movie (I think), but it didn't suit my puposes so I used to other one instead. I'm glad to see you read so closely, but that is my defense such as it is .

    Just to let you know that I did try and be accurate :)

    Hermann

  • NDHermannNDHermann Superior, COPosts: 6Member

    Originally posted by DevilHawk


     
     
    The classic  Jump Gate was far from anything like Space Invaders. The game was centered, almost exclusively arround players. If a station needed certain materials to make something, it was up to the players to figure it out, it was up to the players to set up convoy transports (thank you MACK), and it was up to the players to keep these convoys safe from other players.
    Unfortunately, this sounds great on paper, but when actually implemented.. it creates alot of downtime for other things, such as pvp. You lose your ship, you get another. but unfortunately your docked at say... Quantar Core, in a Solrain ship that cant use any of the engines that are there. (example only) So you are stuck at that station until you get help with a delivery, because... that station is understocked at the moment.
    This is one of the things we decided to change, actually. Losing stuff is not very fun especially when you spend a ton of time getting it... and even though it may be a good way to take items out of the economy, and it seems realistic, it's not a very user friendly way of doing it. The trick is to make the players feel they have influence and meaning - that is give a reason to haul stuff back and forth - without causing most of them to become frustrated and quit when they lose items and get stuck. When deciding between "Wow. That seemed real but it sucked. I'm quitting" and "Wow, that's not very real, but pretty fun, I'm staying" it's easy to pick which leads to success .

    Hermann

  • LeemebeLeemebe Sacramento, CAPosts: 17Member

    /emote Waves to NDHerman

    You may not remember me from the JG beta, but I'm the one that sent in the suggestion to make the new station construction a "player event." It was a real success too, I hope there will be something simular in JG Evolution.

    Pilot Leemebe

     

  • noblernobler AalborgPosts: 7Member

    I am so VERY much looking forward to this game,  Jumpgate was the very first mmo i played so it means alot that they have come back out with this =D

     

    Cant wait!

  • DevilHawkDevilHawk Athens, OHPosts: 179Member

    Originally posted by NDHermann



    This is one of the things we decided to change, actually. Losing stuff is not very fun especially when you spend a ton of time getting it... and even though it may be a good way to take items out of the economy, and it seems realistic, it's not a very user friendly way of doing it. The trick is to make the players feel they have influence and meaning - that is give a reason to haul stuff back and forth - without causing most of them to become frustrated and quit when they lose items and get stuck. When deciding between "Wow. That seemed real but it sucked. I'm quitting" and "Wow, that's not very real, but pretty fun, I'm staying" it's easy to pick which leads to success .
     
    Hermann
    Exactly.

     

    Losing equipment imho is a good thing, not being able to equip your ship due to a galaxy wide shortage is a real downer. (Or as some may remember, certain individuals or squads that were able to actually strip a station of equipment.)

    The money sink isnt the only important factor here, there still needs to be a decent time sink to get your ship relaunched (or it would make fleet battles kinda pointless). That time sink however, shouldnt be over 3-5 minutes however... and 30m-1hr was just a headache.

     

    image

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