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The many behaviors of McBunBun family

As first when we started Balloon Loons actively 5 months back, we started off with only one McBunBun family member – The Evil Twin bunnies.

Soon as we progress further, we started to add more family members.

Each came with their own shapes/sizes plus with added hidden abilities.

 

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The Problem

Though the variety was really awesome and added more in depth to game. However, we were stuck with one form of AI.

At the very beginning, bunnies only had a one track mind – pursuit and attack.

We soon started to add more tracks/rules to the bunnies, like if the player is INVINCIBLE, then RUN AWAY.

Other rules started to flow in, and the more I added, the more it felt like the bunnies were hard wired to behave in a certain way.

My Solution

This brought me to think deep into how to vary two similar bunnies. In short, I need Personality.

I am no expert in AI, but it felt that, as much as i wanted to outsmart the player, some form of psychology was needed.

My core goal in adding personality was to; at least,in some way, not allow the player to predict a bunny personality at that given moment in time.

At the simplest/smallest part of the personality selection is a spinning wheel like a ‘Wheel of fortune’. Instead of dollars, we have traits of each bunny.

At any time a condition is met, the wheel is given a random rotation to select the next course of action.

Each section of the wheel are not proportionately divided. Hoping that this irregularity would bring out unpredictable behavior.

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So lets take a case where Im riding a bike over a cliff, underneath is a boiling flow of lava.

Question:Should I jump over the ledge or should i stop?

The answer lies on my personality test. Say my personality is 60% bravery, 30% fear, 10% nervous breakdown.

Theres a 60% chance that i would jump over the ledge and a 10% chance for me to not be able to react at anything and fall off(assuming all external factors such as the distance to jump and the speed of the bike is take out of the equation).

Thats the basic rule to the personality feature.

So what are the traits that the bunnies have:

Taunt Trait - Bunnies pretend to come in for a balloon pop, but pulls back at the last moment.

Defender Trait - Bunny selects a strategic point to defend an area. They never pursuit further from this range.

Stalker Trait- Bunny never attacks the player, they just stalk from a distance. Hopefully blocking escape routes for the player.

Coward Trait- Bunny will never go in for the kill unless accompanied by another bunny. The more the bunnies flock together, the hard they stick together.

Kamikaze Trait - Bunny that never feels threaten and do not regard for their own safety.

Tracker Trait - Bunny that has clairvoyance vision of where the player is.

Now these traits should not be confused with personality. These traits are our weights to form a good range of personality.

Example,

Solo fighter personality would have a high kamikaze trait and a low coward trait.

A ‘All for One,One for all’ personality bunny would have both high thresholds on kamikaze and coward. This would result in the bunnies to attack relentlessly when they are flocking.