Wednesday, 20 January 2016

NPC Motivation

villain In this series we are reflecting on ways to make game characters more human and believable. Sometimes autonomous NPCs are assigned a set of scripted actions to perform, which can certainly make them seem more real and involved in the world – but scripts are not very adaptable to unexpected events. NPCs could also wander around doing random actions, but characters with no real motivation are ultimately unconvincing.

In real life, everything people do is for a reason, even if they are not consciously aware of it: motivation is the source of behaviour. If we can give NPCs a reasonable set of motivations, they can act in consistent ways that are more flexible than scripts and more believable than random activity.

So ... why does anybody do anything, ever? To answer this we will turn to a deeper question: what does it mean to be human?