Soulbound Studios Talks Animal AI In Chronicles Of Elyria And Kingdoms Of Elyria
Soulbound Studios is back with more theoretical information on how stuff will work in Chronicles of Elyria and its city management strategy spin-off Kingdoms of Elyria. Today, we’re diving into the importance of indigenous fauna, the role they’ll play in both games, and how they will be different from mindless mobs in other MMOs.
“Many games have simple AI routines for animals; and most traditional MMOs fall into this trap,” said Soulbound CEO and Director Jeromy Walsh. “Their animal population tends to roam in a small area, with no actual habits or wider intention. They come into existence based on pre-placed spawn points, are largely ambivalent of the world and, as a result, players often give little thought to how their actions may affect the AI of animals around them.”
“In CoE and KoE, we approach animal behavior in a unique way, giving them a set of both primal personality traits and needs like their more advanced counterparts - the non-player citizen,” he added.
Animals in both games are a source of food and other key resources. They can also pose a threat to players, as in the case of predators and wild animals, and are important to player progression and conflict, as explained in the blog. They will also have varying personalities, behaviors, and needs just like in the real world.
Domesticated animals and livestock, for example, will be neutral to humans, will be mostly active during the day, and will tend to stay together near settlements. Predators like wolves, on the other hand, will be nocturnal, will tend to stay away from settlements, and will roam forests as a pack. They will also be more aggressive as a pack and will tend to shy away from contact when they’re alone.
“The purpose of applying AI in this way is so that we can differentiate what each animal consistently does, ensuring that, in most instances, players will be able to look at an animal and have a basic understanding of its habits, as well as anticipate and identify changes in behavior,” explained Walsh.
According to Walsh, a basic version of the said AI is now in place with dynamic behavior planned to be added sometime in the future. Basic needs, including the need to obtain food, will also be implemented by the end of the month. More actions and survival goals will be introduced as development continues on both games.
More information can be found on the Chronicles of Elyria official site.