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About sophisticatedZombie

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  1. I've got some free time again and could help out with some coding tasks.
  2. No problem Crispy, and thanks for clarifying. I was being oversensitive I guess. I guess I'm just used to internet projects where everybody tries to prove how smart they are by rejecting all previous work. I jumped the gun when I inferred thats what you were getting at, and it was unfair of me. Its been good to have you on the team.
  3. Ok. I took a chill pill. Everything is cooled out. BTW I'm debugging today. I've added some visual tools controlled by cvars that we can use to try to balance the observed lighting levels and the AI perception distances. I checked in the code, but not a PK4.
  4. I just want to add that I don't think our AI is "substandard." I probably shouldn't, but I take a bit of offense at the implication. The problem is that one of our original goals has been to build a more realistic AI that doesn't "cheat" as much. The hard truth is that in every stealth game you have ever played, the AI knows where you are, and simulates not knowing to build up the suspense. In ours, we are trying a completely different approach of having the AI not know exactly where you are, and actually try to figure it out. Making multiple AI figure out where the player is by searching in the game world is computationally intensive. Unfortunately, in the real world, brains do such tasks using massively parallel neural networks. Trying to balance all the ideas we have, while keeping the game frame rate up on a one or two procesor machine is a challenge. Overall, I think Crispy's point is that right now the AI is buggy, because we are adding systems frequently rather than working on game balancing. For example, we haven't "normalized" the AI visual acuity values vs the map lighting levels yet. So for example, on a typical map, an AI can appear very ineffective because the AI's visual accuity makes them unable to see in dim light into places where in real life the lighting level is high enough to see. There are also some pathing bugs due to the nature of the Doom3 pathing system that we want to address before a public release. I think I'm going to make resolving some of those my next priority.
  5. Personally I don't care what platform the games come out on as long as I get more glow feedback. More and more glow feedback. Please, don't ever stop increasing the amount of glow feedback in games. Eventually, I want a game where every screen pixel is at full illumination all the time. That will fill me with excitement. I think I'll make a little demo game called "Sandwhich Eater II". In it, you pick up sandwhiches and eat them. With every bite, your character is surrounded by flashes of lightning and particle effects.
  6. Have we gotten any more information from the applicants? We have talked in the past about having the AI try to consider possible movement of the thief, modelling its possible paths from the source of the stimulus. It sounds like some of the applicants have worked in that area, so it would be possible for them to jump into that part of the system.
  7. I'd add that there is a climate effect to innovation. Rapid technological development tends to occur in situations where the future is unpredictable. When people have to work like crazy today to save up resources because there is a null period in their availability coming in the future, they worry incessently and build technologies to help them hoard during the good times. Most technological development early in civilizations is driven by that and tends to occur in: flood plain regions, temperate climates, along animal migration routes. People who live somewhere where the food supplies are similar all year long are at a disadvantage because they don't have to develop complicated technologies to maximize productivity during the food availability season. It doesn't have anything to do with the people themselves, however.
  8. How is a mini-masturbation game going to add anything? The whole point is to simulate things you don't do on an hourly basis already? But seriously, we need to think about these features before "hand".
  9. The idea that human beings have different mental capabilities isn't borne out by the evidence. Even if you think the small percentage difference in "IQ" normal score in some studies is not at least partially due to poverty/nutrition/etc..., the range of overlap is so vast that there wouldn't be a discernable effect on a culture. Environmental and almost purely random circumstances would play a greater role in cultural evolution. Furthermore, if you look at human genetics, the only traits that vary from region to region are those that are adaptive form region to region. Specifically, skin coloration as a balance between protection from ultra-violet light damage and the need for ultra-violet light to produce vitamin D in the skin is one such trait. Others that have to do with respiration or shielding the eyes are all adaptations to specific environments. Intelligence, on the other hand, is useful in any environment, and wouldn't be selected for or against based on location on the globe. Also, evolution doesn't preserve things in the same state if there is no change in environment. Rates of mutation stay the same. Crocodiles have not "stayed the same." They have mutated and evolved as much as anything else. Its just that the original form still works so you still see those. The ones that mutated don't look like crocodiles anymore.
  10. I think it looks good. If we want to experiment with something else we can, but that implementation would be good enough for a release as far as I'm concerned.
  11. As a group, we all tend to have a sense of style that allows us to enhance the stealth gameplay experience without losing the spirit of the originals. Here are some examples: When discussing combat, we all quickly agreed on the idea to include swordplay finishing moves. By having 6 different finishing moves, each with its own glow feedback produce by swirling spheres of particle effects, we have upped the ante on other stealth games by filling the player with a sense of power. Similarly, when we were considering whether or not loot should blink or glow, we decided that it would be best to eliminate frustration by putting a radar that shows the location of all the loot and guards as dots in a mini-map in the upper left corner of the screen. The lack of such a radar made the previous games tedious, as you didn't know where all the guards were and could sometimes make incorrect decisions. If we weren't so concentrated on improving the game concept, rather than catering to the mass market, we never would have decided to not include readables in the game. By instead having all stories related by lip-synched heads voice acted by fashion models, we have quickened the pace of the game considerably, removing the story tedium that bogs down other stealth games. Plus, our map design concepts, which move the player from "shooting hallway" to "arena" back and forth provide a balance of movement and pacing without letting the player get lost. A good level design should be like a ride at the amusement park, guiding the player through a series of experiences. If there is enough visual detail in the high poly count models, the player will want to experience it again and again. Ofcourse, the tense atmosphere of the night plays a big role in a gothic steam-punk thief game, so we decided to include billboard ads only for products that met our strict criteria of moodiness. Given just that list of decisions alone, its clear that we know what we are doing and have an innate sense of what made the Thief series so immersive. Note: Just in caseyou didn't pick up on the fact that NONE of the above decisions were real, please stop shouting at your monitor. Thank you.
  12. A couple of points. On the hypothesis of evolution amongst migrating early humans, there are several things that have to kept in mind. First of all, primates are unique in that they have far more "overlay" capability in their genetic structure than any other creature discovered so far. Most mammals for example, seem to be able to use one segment of DNA to encode for about 2 or 3 protein synthesis sequences when the sequences are split and rejoined in various ways. One of the distinct features of primate genetics is that we have more (I think 5 if I remember correctly.) There is some speculation that this extended overlay capability was instrumental in allowing primates to adapt to rapidly changing environments in Africa. In other words, the primary feature of primates may not be the things we talk about, but rather, a high propensity to mutation. However, the notion that people who stayed in Africa did not have to evolve is flawed on several fronts. Firstly, the climate of Africa is highly variable, particularly in rainfall rates. Africa has gone through many cycles of wet and dry over the course of hominid evolution. It may in fact be the factor that favored our ancestors with adaptive skills. Secondly, even with human migration patterns, the amount of interbreeding among human populations has always been fairly high. Most hunter-gather societies practice "cousin tribe" marriage policies. Given that human beings are highly mobile, and that spouse trading between neighbors was commonplace, consider the migration rates of genes. At 20 years per generation, moving an average of 10 miles per generation (a low estimate), that's 10000 miles in 20000 years. Such time scales are miniscule in evolutionary terms. Given the human propensity to wandering, overpopulating and spreading out, it is unlikely that an "inferior" population in Africa would have lasted beyond the far far paleolithic age. They would have been displaced by more adaptive humans looking to form sub-tribes with their own territories due to population pressure. The notion that some "multi-branch" evolutionists have proposed that the Sahara was prohibitive to the movement of people is flawed because: 1) The Sahara turnes into a savanah during periods before and after every ice age, 2) people have always moved up and down the rift valleys near the red sea to the horn of africa and southward, 3) and ancient trails through the Sahara from desertified times are discovered often by explorers of the region. Furthermore, studies of relics, for example, of roman iron found in inuit communities, demonstrate that trade occurred across vast networks that would have also spread genes. The notion that there could be some sort of genetic difference in human populations is not a question that should not be asked, but it is one that, luckily for us, most of the evidence does not seem to support. Ofcourse, if you want to carry it to extremes, up until recently in China it was standard teaching in many universities that the Chineese were descended from a seperate line of hominids than the rest of "humanity", thereby affording them their obviously superior intelligence and moral character. On one other note, I hate to see the word "evolution" bandied about like it means progress. That somehow, evolution does us a "favor" by "weeding out the weak." Evolution does no such thing. Evolution mearly weeds out anything that doesn't reproduce effectively. What is "weak" and what is "strong" are human concepts that don't exist outside of the human mind. The definitions are completely relative (oooh, moral relativism, I'm a horrible person!) and arbitrary. To pretend that the products of evolution are better just because they reproduce more effectively is rather self limiting. I personally don't think we will reach our true potential until we begin to live in fully engineered bodies and let our minds escape the parasitic gene-factories that they are currently strapped to.
  13. Hey spar, the color blindness thing is something everybody always forgets about. I've been on a couple of committees that discuss human factors aspects of avionics displays. I'm not a human factors expert, or an expert on sensory perception, but I have learned a few things over the years. Brightness doesn't work too well as an indicator because it is can't be judged without comparison to neighboring shades of intensity. As the view moves around and things on the screen change, the indicator will be hard to judge. A simple guage would work best. A moving bar or guage helps people in judging the time left available to them in order to complete tasks. Circular dials are tougher to interpret in this context, but do have the benefit of looking rather steam-punk. Just a possibility, maybe we could use pixel shaders to fade the view and make it hazier and hazier around the edges to simulate the tunnel vision that ensues with oxygen depletion. It would be a nice adjunct to a guage of some kind.
  14. Hey, I was the one who had trouble with the search animation. The problem I ran into, is that it played the animation, but then the AIs arms became stiff at their sides for 30 seconds or so afterword. I don't understand it enough to guess at the cause other than there is some other animation that must be re-established in the arms.
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