SHODAN as an actual in-game AI


This would be interesting, and very meta. Rather than just being a written character, which is something that bothered me a bit about SS1 and SS2 where you know that “SHODAN” is just scripted events you’re triggering. Not sure how such a thing would be implemented though. Probably would clash with a traditional linear plot. I remember playing a game called Galapagos 20 years ago which had an advanced AI “artificial life” character for its time. Anyone else remember it? It’s pretty obscure, published by EA in 1997. Haven’t really seen anything else like that since.


I posted a thread about this. It would be nice to see SHODAN have a reactive AI to the choices the player makes in the narrative.


There was a little bit of scripted SHODAN reactivity in both Shocks, if I recall. e.g SS2 entering the shuttlebay on command when she specifically tells you not to (optional). Just a little more of that would go a long way. It doesn’t need to be extremely non-linear.

As for an in-game AI…it will never not be unscripted/not based on triggers and events, and that’s a good thing I think. The immersive Sim is a fantastic blend of scripting and simulation…
Scripting is hand-crafted design and the optimization of entertainment. Blend it with simulation, but not too much, for more diverse, free-form and emergent results, while still striving to be optimal where possible.


I’m with you 100% on this over the short term.

But what about the somewhat longer term? I remain surprised that other developers haven’t grabbed Valve’s concept of the “Game Director” AI to dynamically generate content appropriate to the player’s interests within a larger theme.

And the idea of a built-in Game Director dynamically generating content combined with SHODAN who freakin’ HATES humans (presumably including game players)… well. :smiley: That’s sort of an interesting thought.


I don’t want the fine-tuned, hand-crafted, optimized…scripted element to go away or be significantly reduced. It’s just as important as the more dynamic elements, to me. Of course with a “game director AI” there’s still a lot of scripting involved, but also a high degree of variability and loosely defined rules. Slightly less design optimisation and control. But if it can be done in a very controlled manner, cool. But I fear the opposite end of the spectrum too, e.g Skyrim’s “Radiant Quests”. It can easily come across as very artificial, and there’s dangerous probability for it to be active outside of the intended context, to bad results.
I think the current degree of simulated and/or dynamic elements in Immersive Sims/Underworld-likes is very good. There can be more. But I just hope we don’t lose the current ratio of scripted to dynamic elements we have now, even as more of each is added (assuming these games get bigger and more ambitious…at some point in the future. Hasn’t happened since Deus Ex/Arx).