Fix NPCs to be functional again

Ryukki shared this feedback 16 months ago
Submitted

I made a video showcasing how SE npcs function compared to ME.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEeFkNGnOl4

I noticed Keen been pushing SE and working on updates. However I feel like the current state of NPCs both drones and animals been ignored since they broke them in 2018. I had SE since 2013 and I was able to experience when Spiders use to work in 2015-2017 and be a actual threat in the game. However Medieval Engineers NPCs advanced like crazy even topping SE 2017 npcs. ME has really good path finding along with a stealth mechanic in the game and if lock in a grid they patrol the grid along with having passive and hostile npcs.


Having functional npcs created a fun PVE experience for me and my friends. It was fun having a enemy that wasn't a drone. Me and my friends Engineered defenses and choke points and it was fun having spiders trying to break into the base and pathfind towards us! Than 2018 happen and they been broken ever since...They can't pathfind,they been render nearly harmless and they are very easy to deal with even though its a Giant Space Spider...on a Alien planet.


Another thing that was brought up by the modding community was that NPCs are hardcoded and that means that modders can't create custom npcs even though we can see the amazing work they done with drones. I would love to see what our modding community can do with NPCs. If Keen doesn't want to fix npcs I beg for them to remove or loosen the hardcode on npcs so modders can create custom npcs.

Please Keen I would love to have a fun PVE experience in the game if I was alone or with friends.

also I took pictures of how npcs use to function in SE (A lot of spiders had zombie skins)

Best Answer
photo

As a heads up, the recent update with the block collisions did jank up the spiders but they know this so hopefully by next update they'll be working again.

Comments (32)

photo
6

Definitely agree on this!

photo
1

MMorekdfgkldhl

photo
1

Sorry, support site is broken. II can't see what I'm typing. :(

photo
2

Use the Change view option(</> icon).

photo
1

Use a non-Chrome browser.

photo
photo
5

I am glad you finally created this support post. Was about time. I like to see what the modding community can do too.

photo
1

Back when i got this game (in mid 2017) i visited the alien planet in hopes there were aliens, there were. When i saw them i was mortally horrified by the sheer look of them and what they did to me and the easy start base. I was so scared of them i never wanted to see them again, until i started getting bored with being alone in space in early 2018. And to my surprise they were digging in and out of the ground constantly, i came up to them to end up getting shot into the air with one on my face, and finally landing on the ground dying upon impact with more spiders killing each other all around me. The wolf's are broke too, but they are another story.

photo
3

yea they were pretty scary, if you check out those photos a swarm can be deadly (used a mod for swarms) . Me and my friends built a sick base to fend them off. Odd thing about them leaping in the air I wonder if it was suppose to been something. I had them landing on my ship while it was flying and they would ripped into it. Than 2018 happen and now they are stuck in a loop digging over and over with no pathfinding at all. They became boring to mess with now...Cyberhounds and Wolves never had good Ai.

photo
photo
6

100% agree on this SE needs better AI for NPC's to access for both Ships and the Wolfs and spiders.

photo
3

Yea, I would love to see what our modding community could do. Plus how thrilling it would be knowing modders could mod in all sorts of npcs. Like Lucas Corruption Drones...I would love to see Engineer scaled corruption npcs.

photo
2

Aliens.... muahahaha


What about Aliens with Jetpacks that shoot at you with lasers?

photo
2

It has always amazed me how KSH/Marek has been pushing AI (GoodAI) on one front yet have bad AI in SE.

photo
photo
1

keen will probably never read this : (

photo
4

Inflex is working with a modder about this subject and they will discuss with other modders and hopefully they can work something out! :)

Wish us luck!

photo
1

Who is Inflex?

photo
1

One of the Keen Devs

photo
1

can you update me if something happens regarding this?

photo
1

Oh, inflex? I think I know who your talking about.

photo
1

Oh neat, Aragath said he like to see npcs improve too and he is also a dev too. I hope they will focus on NPCs soon.

photo
photo
3

The possibilities would be endless with AI engineers...

photo
6

Oh I should of added this in the main post. Here a video of a modder that actually made HOSTILE ENGINEER NPCS that can SHOOT. I think its amazing how far he got it to work even with Keens strict npc hardcode. If NPCs were less hard coded I would of love to see how this would improved and released. Sadly I heard he shelved this mod due to complications. I would love to experience PVE in SE that modders could enhance like crazy if they could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkOxn97MEO4

photo
4

Keen's work on NPCs thus far has been at best lack luster. (Admittedly though they worked well at first.) If they have no intention on revamping NPCs and keeping them "experimental" then they really should take the time to pull NPC coding out of hardcoding so that modders can work their magic. By doing this it increases the playability of SE without Keen having to dive down the rabbit hole of NPC reworking if they choose not to. The small workload of tossing data in to XMLs and placing reference and pointers to that data will be greatly offset by the depth it adds to the game. Modders will likely flood the workshop with new NPC mods within days and help revitalize the game for those of us that are quite bored with every single world being utterly devoid of NPCs. I love SE but its often a toss up to go with many similar games simply due to other games having NPC interaction.

photo
2

I really hope with all the DLC funding they been getting they will actually show something new and game changing. I tried the economy update and so far these stations are empty and lifeless and nothing new other than Fallout 76 levels of npc interaction that we seen modders made for years like EEM. Although I like the idea of contracts/missions but it seems Planet ones are very passive while space get the fun ones why not both? I think a neat idea for a bounty would be hunting down a npc bot in a base or ship that has guards. I just hope this economy will be improved and hopefully over time it will have more actual npc interaction than "imagination" and computers. Its a nice start though I just hope it won't be added and forgotten like the temperature mechanic thats pretty much just has the same effect as having no oxygen. Though none of those compared how actual npcs been broken for years and never improved once.

I just would like to see the DLC funding actually being used to add something totally new that modders didn't make years ago.

https://blog.marekrosa.org/2019/04/space-engineers-customizable-lcd.html

photo
3

Wow...someone has footage when npcs use to able to Pathfind!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xEBBoVGLCo

photo
1

All they're doing with the money they make is sticking it into their pockets and living large. If it requires a lot of time and effort anymore it just doesn't happen. This game used to be really good and it looked like it was going places but then it hit a brick wall and crashed and burned.

photo
2

Sadly, it seems like ME took our AI and improved it like crazy while SE remained the same until they broke it in 2018. If keen just at least lighten or remove the hard code on NPCs modders could go to town on them, making custom npcs and show what could be possible in SE. Like what they did with mindless drones and turned them into fun drones to fight along with them spawning on planets.

photo
photo
4

Just adding my voice to this. It feels like there's a whole layer to the game just looking weak. (I started playign with a couple of friends and because it was early days, MES encounters weren't attacking us yet, they thought the only threat in the game was these feeble badly scripted wolves, and almost quit. )


I'm fairly new to to game and started looking at modding, and I've run into brick walls where NPC behaviour is concerned. If NPC/character/bots were a fully rounded system I know I and others would be creating interesting mod content right now. With the Economy and Mission coming in there's tons of potential.

photo
6

Keen pls, what's the point of economy if it's just you in an empty world full of metal blocks?

photo
1

If money is the issue make it another DLC feature. Game seriously needs some AI better than even ME has.

photo
2

To be honest, the Economy Update seems like a prerequisite for this. They did the easy part first (stations + contracts), along with some cool blocks, and now they can do NPCs without the community worrying about when the next update will be.

Also, good NPCs will be difficult to code and almost certainly hard on the CPU. Anything they do also has to work on lower-end systems without imploding.

photo
2

I'd like to say that as far as better AI/NPCs would go, they wouldn't hit the processor too hard. It may be more difficult for a computer to handle another fluidly moving ship in a fight, but the same effect would be caused by a player in the ship. So they wouldn't be limited by processing power very much at all.

photo
photo
3

Lol Marek talked about how much GoodAI progressed in the last stream. He suggested that maybe it could work with SE broken npcs in 2020...

Hopefully something will be done with npcs this year. With all that DLC funding and upcoming x box release (lol) and how their other game Medieval Engineers have decent npcs.

photo
2

I still don't get why they never sorted out the NPC's before full release considering the sister company of keen is GoodAI

https://youtu.be/RIMoIPKuAx4?t=462

[Quote=Marek]Spiders and wolves don't do it for me and should not be in the game[/Quote]

So they just broke them so we can't use them.

so why not roll back the AI for spiders and wolves to where they were in a usable state and posed a threat and release the restrictions on the code for the modders to extend the functionality of the NPC's both drone and character AI.

and leave it as an experimental function for those of us wanting to use the functionality.

If there was a variety of NPC's in space and on the different worlds another reason to explore or just stay safe on earth with the dumbed down wolves.

photo
1

I totally agree with you Ryukki.

photo
4

I'm okay with the occasional automated drone or even cargo ship passing by, but when every station and passing ship you encounter is barren and devoid of life, it feels unfinished/unpolished. I want a pirate ship to pass by and drop some NPC's off to jettison into my base and engage me, or manning stations in a pirate base and deploying to defend it. It doesn't have to be fancy AI but it would add that finishing touch that is so lacking right now.

photo
1

If you guys don't mind using mods:https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1785389603 - They work in Space now too, as long as they are spawned from one of the Spawner Pads. They still work on Planets like they normally would, with or without the spawner.

photo
1

This mod just adds more broken NPCs it doesn't fix the AI problems.

photo
1

Sorry - what? Wasn't aware they were broken. Please, explain

photo
2

Gopher, the point is that the NPC element is the game is currently neutered to the point that anything modded must copy hard-coded entries like wolves. This merely offers varying forms of cannon fodder and does not at all address the need for more dynamic NPC content. I’m okay shooting spiders and wolves but we need NPCs on ships and stations responding to disaster and strategically shooting back. This is the only real way space engineers can grow beyond its current, empty sandbox feel.

photo
1

He just advertising his mod.

photo
1

Not at all, @Ryukki..........

@Farty Party - That's Keen's own doing. Not mine. I just try to add more variety to the bots by doing the mods I do.

photo
photo
2

+1 i agree this game needs more things like NPCs to make the game more interesting

photo
1

UPVoted this post.

This game has such great potential, but somehow it feels like the developers don't want or (that would be weird) can't improve certain aspects of the game like AI.

I mean, yeah pathfinding can be expensive, but there are tricks to make it more efficient, also it's not needed for very long-range paths, not to mention, apparently, planets aren't procedurally generated, so there's an advantage here in terms of performance improvement.

About AI, most of the games use state machines, and afaik it's not an impossible feat to improve and fine-tune them.

Sometimes it feels like there's some unknown reason for Keen to not want to make the game "perfect".

photo
3

This game, in it's current state is somewhat of a paradox. After 1500 hours in-game, all of them within the last 9 months, I fell I'm qualified to make a few constructive criticisms on general game play.

- For first-time players, the game starts out fun and exciting, this is in fact what got me hooked initially. The initial base building is slow but rewarding as you get your first equipment scaled up. Traction, however, is gained exponentially and you can quickly scaled to an "unlimited" supply of resources if not engaged by anyone. Mods with "threat score" are then required to allow for balancing, and we are suddenly getting out of core game play.

- Single player is fun, however quickly feels like a big automated universe taken over by machines. Engaging NPC's quickly loses it's thrill after fighting the repeated onslaught of automated turrets and grinding down ship remote controls. You'll quickly fell like you are fighting a big, empty universe devoid of any life. Perhaps this was Keen's goal to feel "isolated" but it loses fun quickly due to it's repeated elements.

- Multiplayer is fun as well, however suffers from some paradoxical elements:

- New players tend to begin with planet (labeled "easy") start, however planets are too small in scale and it's way too easy to find and pick on new players. Such game play dynamics drive the need for planets to be 5 or even 10 times the size they are now, however the game engine won't support this.

- The game is essentially devoid of any "life" however the "default" Keen servers only host 16 concurrent players in the game. This means that you'll either be subject to base rape early on (see previous point) or you'll do a "deep space" start and never see anyone. This game really needs to implement a scalable networking middleware such as SpatialOS or Scalify (or write your own?) to allow for a much larger concurrent play base. This would mitigate the issue of lack of interactible NPC's. Some private servers do scale up to 50 concurrent users, however this requires 3rd party tools to constantly disable or limit block types and run clean ups to keep the sim speed within remotely playable levels.

- Similarly to the previous point, there is limited concurrent player base however there is no AI to speak of to fill in the gaps of either lack of concurrent players in multiplayer, or to fill in the universe in single player. I personally would prefer a hybrid model with both NPC and Humans, and would enjoy a game play where it's difficult to initially discern between the two.

- 5 years development and only one face per model? C'mon guys, this is pure laziness and is unacceptable. Purchase a cheap face model plugin if you are too lazy to implement this yourself. I would prefer this "quality over quantity" type of update over the onslaught of silly DLC toilets and textures, which don't really expand game play. Unless keen is planning to implement "the runs challenge" in game, I won't waste my limited grid count on a space crapper.

photo
3

I have been playing SE since 2013 hoping that some day we might get AI engineers and much better AI NPC in single player but i have lost hope a long time ago, single player mode is just pointless with a non existent enemy/challenge.

I recommended SE to a few friends of mine a few years ago hoping we could all play and between us all we would enjoy it but as soon as they knew the AI was scripted to go from point A to point B despawn and respawn somewhere else... repeat with no challenge from anything but terrible AI they quit and never returned to SE.

Single player AI/NPC is seriously broke and its a shame because i love playing SE but once i have all the resources to build what i need and built them then that is where the game ends for me.

I know nothing about game coding and what is possible or not and maybe the SE game engine can not produce the above

but i can only dream of chasing AI space engineers around bases/ships.

I have not played SE since DEC 2019 and currently have 822 hours in game, i would love to make that 10,000 :)

KEEN please amaze us and bring us a better AI !!

photo
2

I made an account here just to upvote this, I don't have medieval engineers so I had no idea there was such a difference in the AI. SE feels so empty without mods, even the economy stations. I would love to see any or all of Ryukki's feedback implemented!

photo
3

Here are the results of a poll run on Reddit of how the community would like Keen to improve the current Character NPC's as you can see most players would like the modding community to have access to the NPC code to further develop the Character NPC's and add some life to Space Engineers.

I believe that if Keen added access to NPC code to be run in experimental mode this would be beneficial to both your company and the community as you have seen over the last year there are great mods being written by the community for the community as this is a core component of the game which has been left in a poor state for so very long

considering Keen had working NPC's in Medieval Engineers that were a challenge to players.


Could you please give a response to this post on your plans for updating Character NPC's.

  • 4.1% Restore NPC's to 1.184.
  • 14.5% Use Medieval Engineers NPC code.
  • 71.4% Build a NPC framework and allow the modders access to develop further.

photo
2

Good new everyone! They did updated npcs and pathfinding on grids is back with the Sparks of the Future update. I was really happy to have spiders chase me through the parking lot I made ages ago. Wolves never really had decent pathfinding but least spiders are working again. Although them attacking a smallgrid your hiding in isn't back sadly. Hopefully they'll keep working on npcs and loosening restrictions on them for modders to tinker with.


Good Job Keen, please keep up the good work on npcs.

photo
1

Interestingly enough, all it seems to be is a few modifications of the AIBehavior.sbc file.

photo
1

As a heads up, the recent update with the block collisions did jank up the spiders but they know this so hopefully by next update they'll be working again.

photo
4

Yes the NPC animals feels like something butin alfa build in the late 90s. It is a black spot on the game.

Love to have some real animal and monster on the planets but also pirates and armed security forces onboard ships.