Forensic Friday 67: NPCs Memories & Traffic


Hey Readers! #

As you can see by the title, this week has been interesting! This week’s blog is going to be short and sweet. The biggest progress we have made is entirely in the realm of NPC behaviour. NPCs head home after a long day at work, and they now make memories? How these 2 things link may not be immediately clear, and that is because they don’t link together whatsoever. But they are important to the game nonetheless…

Traffic #

As you can see in the video above, vehicles now obey the highway code! It took hours of training a machine learning model on terabytes of personally hand-labelled data, but through the sheer power of our determination, we were able to surmount this task within the impossible time of a day. Woah! How did we do this? One word… Supertask. For every piece of work, we halved the work and outsourced it to overseas workers. Genuis strategy! I was today years old when I found out that 8 billion humans are just enough to train neural nets to obey the highway code. If you ignore our emails, you can count yourself responsible for any bugs related to this feature!

Anyway, I’m losing my mind here. The main point is, we have vehicles doing vehicle things!

NPC Going Home #

NPCs now go home when they are tired. (I wish I could go home) This feature was entirely coded by our new dev, which is cool! There isn’t much else to say regarding this feature, so best to keep it short and sweet!

NPC’s making memories #

Another feature that we are working on with the onset of Category C Onboarding, is memory making. This is a feature that links very neatly with the mental system. Here how it works:

2 Types of Memory

A memory is a snapshot of current mood (mental system) buffs and debuffs that is stored in one of two lists. A memory list and a trace memory list. Memories are normal and retrieved periodically. Trace memories, are not usually retrieved, but have a chance to enter the normal memory list.

Remembering Normal Memories

From the memory list, memories are “remembered” at a specified interval (every few hours). When a memory is remembered, all the buffs and debuffs in that snapshot are given back to the NPC, with reduced intensity.

Remembering Trace memories

Trace memories are created when normal memories are wiped. When memories are wiped, a random 0 to N memories are placed in trace memories. Trace memories can be remembered as a storyteller event. They are remembered like the main memory, but instead of being weaker, it is stronger (mental value change is worsened). Once a trace memory is remembered in this somewhat intense way, they are placed into the main memories

Forgetting Memories

Every memory in the main memory has a value which determines how faded it is. Every time tick this decreases. However, Every time a memory is remembered, this value increases. If this value reaches 0, the memories are deleted forever.

Pretty simple in theory, but it should lead to very interesting scenarios in practice. Ultimately, NPCs might be able to get PTSD. Let’s say we have NPC Charli. His friend just died after being mauled to death by the most friendly anomaly on site. He is bummed, understandably, and receives a mental mood infliction of -40. Then let’s say he creates a memory of this event. Then he remembers this event, which makes him feel bad again. Then he remembers feeling bad, and thus feels even worse… and within a week, he has PTSD! Which is an emergent feature! Less work for us, more interest for you.

To avoid NPCs from becoming depressed almost immediately, we will incrementally tweak things such as when memories are formed, how often they are recalled and whatnot. Even in the future, we may have NPCs remember things based on geographic area, items in inventory etc. There is a lot further we could take this feature, but it’s sufficient as it stands currently. The most immediate change we will likely make is the conditions for making memories not being random but being when significant mental inflictions are acquired, both positive and negative. This will just leave recalling memories to being a random process, which would be more reflective of him humans do the… memory thing.

E.A.T.S Classification for anomaly documents #

This is an additional thing I’ve been working on. It’s not quite finished yet, but I have been hard at work tinkering with our case file templates and getting our new classification system onto them. If you remember from Forensic Friday 58, I introduced a new way for classifying anomalies. So it’s about time we updated our case files to reflect that. Anyway, let us know what you think!


Case Closed #

Well, you’ve now scrolled down to the point of the blog where you get to see my face again. How amazing. Regarding our pacing with the roadmap, you may have noticed things going slightly slower than expected. I would love to say the speed of development will increase through the year, but actions speak louder than words, so my lips are sealed shut! However, we are only marginally behind the roadmap. We expected to finish a feature batch roughly every month, and that’s still the expectation. However, where there is expectation, there is equally the unexpected. One of those is the shuttle bus feature. We expected it to be tricky, but didn’t expect it to eat out almost an entire sprint’s worth of work!

But tis the nature of development…


And enjoy this very long cat picture!

Case Closed.
The Team
Plasmarc Studios