Virtual Pet - Item Memory
A downloadable game for macOS and Linux
This demo is a playable prototype of an object-based memory system for a virtual pet, using the Catbox character as an example.
Objects are defined by both an 'archetype' - a generic group class, such as 'fish' - and a 'type' - a specific object class, such as 'salmon.' Each object causes an emotional response in the virtual pet when interacted with - the results of these interactions are remembered, and these memories are used by the pet to make decisions about what to interact with in the future.
Objects that illicit a positive emotional response will become favourites, for example, and Catbox will choose to play with these and ignore other items. Items with a negative response will be avoided, and Catbox will resist a player's attempt to make him interact with them.
These responses also affect how Catbox will interact with new, unknown items that are similar to ones he remembers. If he's had several positive interactions with fish, for example, he is more likely to approach a new type of fish if it is introduced into the scene.
More details on how the project works can be found in this blog post. The demo provided here is still a rough prototype, and likely prone to all sorts of errors, but serves as an interactive proof-of-concept for a system that could usefully be deployed in a future virtual character design project.
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