Hi, I’m a new member here and trying to suss out how to use Planner in an IF I’m starting to work on. If anyone has had any success with this, I might need to bounce a few ideas off of them.
Will Planner work appropriately for having a large number (say 8) goal seeking characters moving around or would that bog it down too much?
Do I need to create a separate table of plans for each of the NPCs or do they share the same one?
In Planner, if the primary goal is met early for one NPC, but then through other NPC actions becomes unmet, is there anything special I need to do to get the original NPC moving again or will it happen automagically?
Did any of you that used it have any special “a-ha” moments that made the whole thing suddenly click into place. Right now I’m a little stymied and am looking for shared a-has.
That should be fine. It’s the number of planning rules that will determine speed. (Any rule, multiply the time it takes by the number of people you have.) So if your model world doesn’t use, say, locked doors as obstacles, then don’t add the rules for locking / unlocking doors.
Also, you can list what order you want your planning rules in. Put the commonest early in the rulebook and the rarely-used last. There might be some constraints on ordering to prevent problems that I get into below.
IIRC, I believe they share the same one. IIRC.
Automagic, but with a caveat. Planner NPCs have no memory, so yes, if an NPC undoes another’s task, the first one will ensure it is done again. The problem is, NPCs do their task list in order, rather than seeing which one of a group of tasks would be efficiently accomplished if it is done next. So if an NPC undoes another’s task, the affected NPC will likely drop what he’s doing to go re-do the earlier task. That will likely look unnatural. Example: if the middle task is to Open the Iron Gate, the NPC will do so, passing through it and doing whatever needs be done on the other side. But if a later NPC closes the Gate after walking through – even if it was simply because he’s tidy – the first NPC will immediately go back and open the gate, then return to what he was doing, even though whether the gate is open or closed is moot once you’re on the correct side of it!
Obviously, the AI programmer should state the first NPC’s goal as “be in place X” rather than “open and go through door Y” to prevent those kinds of snafus; your planning rules will instruct him to do whatever needs be done for conquering obstacles. You’ll also need to write some rules for the purpose of debugging what all NPCs are doing, and look carefully for inefficiencies of that sort. It’s not enough to know what an NPC is doing, which will be frequently correct, but you must also keep in mind why he is doing it, because that’s where many AI errors occur.
Thanks for all your answers. I’ve made some headway, but may put this on a back burner for later right now. After reading your in depth review of the two and observing the Alchemy game Nate included, this may or may not be a tool I can use. Nevertheless, it’s going to take quite a while to implement it fully and for the idea I was working on, I need some of the NPCs to start doing things right away. I think I’ll shelve this particular idea until I’m more adept with I7.