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MALVIN - Demonstrational AI-companion game

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    MALVIN - Demonstrational AI-companion game

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    Hello everybody c:

    First off, let me tell you a little bit about how this game came together. I'm currently finishing up my bachelor thesis regarding a fundamental analysis of the staging of an AI-companion using the well-known example of Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite. I basically gathered information from interviews and observations on Elizabeth's behaviour and tried to work out some basic routines or rules. To substantiate my observations I had to create sort of a proof-of-concept so I decided to put together a short, demonstrational project for me to use in a usability test, to measure how well certain requirements are met. In the scenario, you're a captive in a futuristic facility that tries to escape with the help of Malvin, the AI-controlled companion which is the central piece of the project. The aim was to create a supporting character that the player bonds to and has an autonomic feel to it.

    Also, I always wanted to do something in Unreal and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to do so and it really paid off!

    I'm almost done with the test-sessions, but apart from my bachelor-thesis I'd just like to share this little short with the community and I'm very open for discussions and feedback regarding it! I want to annotate, that there certainly are some rough edges to the project. Naturally, I didn't have the resources Irrational Games had to make Elizabeth, especially regarding animations and I had to finish the project within a month to be on schedule (which I managed to do, yayy). I only relied on Starter Content and content from some example projects, with a few exceptions.

    So, to cut a long story short: Please have a look at it and I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on it! You can also find me on Twitter.

    Download Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18714295/Malvin.zip
    (852 MB - sorry it's a little big, I know ;_; )


    Screenshots


    Thanks to A. for putting up an afternoon to create an additional animation I reaally needed and of course Epic Games for Unreal Engine 4 and to you, reading or (hopefully) playing this short
    Last edited by ManuYasha; 02-18-2015, 01:18 PM.
    Twitter (Dustb0)

    #2
    Update 1.1: I fixed a few bugs reported to me in the last week and updated the link to the new version
    Twitter (Dustb0)

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      #3
      This looks very interesting, it's on my list to try out once I free up some time (and HD space!) Good luck!

      Comment


        #4
        Hey, would you mind sharing your information on Elizabeths AI?
        I just finished the main game again and i really loved the way she worked.

        Want to have a similar AI companion in my game later on.

        EDIT: Just played your game and it is way too dark. Most of the time i'm moving blind >.<

        And i was able to walk around the part where he talks about the "camera" thing being able to
        analyze materia and i shouldn't get too close. I didn't know what to do and walked around it, falling
        down into the z Kill and broke the game xD
        Last edited by eXi; 02-10-2015, 06:29 AM.
        Open for contracted work | C++/BP (incl. Multiplayer) | Tutoring | VR

        My UE4 Blog/Page with Tutorials and more: Hit me for ALL the things!
        (Including 100+ Pages Multiplayer Network Compendium to get you started.)

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          #5
          Some people have told me that aswell, regarding the game being too dark :S Now it makes sense why most games implement a brightness-calibration-setup before starting. You weren't supposed to walk towards that camera, but I noticed that a lot of people got too lost in that section. I'll possibly have to revise that. Thank you for your feedback!

          I could share my thesis after filing it in next month. It's written in German, but since you're from Germany I guess that won't be a problem I'll have to write an abstract for it in English, but that's all I could share with you english-speaking fellow gamedevs out there. But you'll find that the basic principles are far away from being anything overly complex, most of it - as Luke Dicken (google him!) described it in Infinite's case is smoke and mirrors. You'll find yourself often optimizing the behaviour for certain special situations to make it behave in a way you want it to. There are also a lot of design-choices that greatly affect the way the player perceives the companion. One example being Elizabeth tries to stay in your view, which I tried to recreate by having Malvin find navigation points in front of the player to which he can walk to. But generally it was more of a game design effort than a technical one, with this approach.
          Twitter (Dustb0)

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            #6
            (: Looking forward for you thesis then.
            Open for contracted work | C++/BP (incl. Multiplayer) | Tutoring | VR

            My UE4 Blog/Page with Tutorials and more: Hit me for ALL the things!
            (Including 100+ Pages Multiplayer Network Compendium to get you started.)

            Comment


              #7
              Updated the project with a few bugfixes and changes (see the link in the initial post)

              For those who are interested: I've finished up a short abstract on the thesis itself in english. There is some basic information regarding the fundamental compounds of the AI-companion in it, which could help someone interested to get in the right direction. Feel free to read it over here.
              Last edited by ManuYasha; 02-18-2015, 01:14 PM.
              Twitter (Dustb0)

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