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A NPC Behaviour Definition System for Use By Programmers and Designers


 
Eike Falk Anderson
Abstract
In this paper we describe ZBL/0, a scripting system for defining NPC (Non Player Character) behaviour in FPS (First Person Shooter) games. ZBL/0 has been used to illustrate the use of scripting systems in computer games in general and the scripting of NPC behaviour in particular in the context of a book on game development. Many novice game designers have clear ideas about how the computer game they imagine should work but have little knowledge - if any - about how their ideas can be implemented. This is why books on game creation (design, programming etc.), as well as all-in-one game creation systems - especially designed for ease of use and intended for an amateur audience - enjoy great popularity. A large proportion of these books however merely present solutions in the form of descriptions and explanations of specific implementations with inadequate explanations of principles. While this may benefit rapid application development it often does not lead to a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts. The understanding of rule-based behaviour definition through simple scripting in computer games and the development of such scripts by programmers and designers is what we aim to address with the ZBL/0 system.

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© 2006-2009 by Eike Anderson & Leigh McLoughlin, NCCA, Bournemouth University