One possible improvement might be a cut down AI for use in crowds, so you could have a large crowd scene without a huge AI overhead, even perhaps treating the entire crowd as a single AI - mobs tend to react as a single creature, they also have swarming & following behaviours like flocks of birds
Essentially they'd be blind and deaf to most things and follow each other round performing simple actions, unless they become alerted by some trigger event, at which point they'd head for their nearest flee point or just away from the event that triggered them, maybe even jamming up exits in the process just like real crowds, they would get in the way but they would also provide cover, a few could even revert to full AI when they alert and attack the protagonist, or even the other AI - bar fight scenario
Fleeing AI would need some behaviour once they reach their flee point, maybe enter a building not accessible to the player & despawn or gradually calm down and return to what they were doing, or even just mill about where they are
One large crowd could be comprised of several individual mobs so the whole appears to exhibit complex behaviour while it's actually several simple behaviours from each mob interfering in an emergent way, for example a market with a shopping script where the AI visit a list of stalls randomly providing they aren't already in use - one customer at a time, and different mobs have different lists of stalls so as they navigate & get in each others way it appears complex, or pubs where mobs visit the bar and tables, again with slightly different lists of locations to visit and actions to perform, formal dances, have two AI link together & pirouette around, they'd need to split when alerted though which might be tricky
If the protagonist is moving through this crowd maybe switch the AI within a certain radius of them to being full AI so they can react better then as they drop out of range they rejoin the mob, if they become alerted while full AI they alert the mob they belong to & flee, so if you pick someone's pocket and the AI behind you sees you, their mob reacts to the cries of "stop thief" & this cascades through the rest of the crowd triggering fight or flight
Key AI such as guards, watchmen or any designated target would always be full AI & never part of mob
Just a thought, I know it'd be a huge amount of work for possibly little benefit as I realise most thievery takes place at night when there are few people about, but I do like the idea of being able to hide in a crowd and going about in daylight
Edited by esme, 12 October 2018 - 08:52 AM.