Lam, Selina; Kinayoglu, Gokce; and Kim, Seung Wook
Agents for Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE)
Abstract: Virtual user simulation has been used to simulate and predict the “average” user’s response to built environments. However, autonomous agents are seldom used in gaming environments. This is probably to ensure control over the game narrative. Also, the complexity in defining behavioural patterns tailored for the storyboard and the computing resources required make it difficult to incorporate autonomous agents in game environments. In this paper, we address the implementation of autonomous agents in a multi-user virtual environment designed as a game. Instead of the traditionally-used goals and behavioural rules to govern the behaviours of the agents, we used another mechanism, the switch-nodes. Switch-nodes are location-based triggers to control the behaviours of the agents. The nodes could trigger an action, a series of actions, an animation or a mixture of actions and animations. However, as the node system does not prevent conflicts or unreasonable behaviour in the environment, we experienced some challenges even for a narrow range of behavioural needs. Though so, with proper adjustments, careful planning and some creativity, we are able to achieve a “naturally appealing” behavioural pattern without negatively affecting the performance of the overall gaming environment.
Keywords: agents, virtual user, multi-user virtual environment, autonomous
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