Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Incidentally, why isn't "spacecraft" another word for "interior design"?

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Randomly Generated Bad Dudes

Diversity in slaying is key
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(+7, -1)
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I hate computer games in which you have to kill thousands of bad dudes who all look like one type or another. There's such a limited variety of textured models that it saps you of all your murderous joy and staples your soul to the numbing reality that is your pathetic computer game-playing life. Samuel Beckett would have loved it.

Escapism, that's what I'm after. I want to kill these people on my screen because, in actuality, I'm quite a nice guy; calm-tempered, slow to react to violence, with no inclinations towards homicide. Gruesome massacre is not a viable option in my career – I work on a business magazine correcting people's speeling. A world in which I can lop off someone's head with a spade is an alien one to me. A vast multitude of gruesome experiences that I'll never have the (mis)fortune to experience in reality. No, escapism is the ticket.

Would it not be possible to randomly generate models of bad dudes, perhaps using a hue change on their clothing, skin colour, hair and eyes? The game could adjust the face and body shapes, using similar technology to the player modifications in Tiger Woods or Pro Evo. A range of clothing models could also be chosen from.

Particular colour ranges could be used for each specific set of bad dudes, to ensure their authenticity. Otherwise, the whole illusion would be dashed if a bunch of harlequin-coloured mafiosos came charging at you. Or one pink-wearing Nazi homophobe in a pack of otherwise neat skin-heads.

The hardest thing to randomise would be voices (which in days gone by have been changed only in pitch, which just sounds obviously contrived) and body movement.

However, for this latter problem, I have the concept of a solution. My friend is an actor, he trained at Llamda in London, and he was telling me how everyone walks from a particular part of their body. A bit like the Donnie Darko tubes of fate that emanate from people's chests, if you imagine that coming out of other parts of your body that pull you forward, that's how you can replicate somebody else's walk. Some walk from their knees, others, their foreheads, elbows, whatever. (Apparently I walk from the crotch, who knew?)

Each walk is an impressive indictment of character as the focal point relates to the rest of the body and affects your stature immeasurably. Walking from the forehead makes you look glum or reserved, from the chest makes you look proud or arrogant, knees - relaxed, elbows - cockney, you get the picture.

Using the (albeit simple) rag-doll technology [linky] could pre-recorded motion capture be modified by pulling the nodes from a focal point? For example, leading with the shoulders would give a stockier feel to a character, and would only require the nodes of the body be accentuated at the top quarter of the body.

I've no ideas towards the voice problem I'm afraid.

theleopard, Oct 15 2009

Bad Dudes vs Dragon Ninja http://www.klov.com...il.php?game_id=6991
Two street fighters must battle their way past hordes of attacking enemies in their pursuit to defeat the evil Dragon Ninja and rescue president Ronald Reagan. Players must defeat end-of-level bosses, one of which is Karnov himself! [zen_tom, Oct 15 2009]

Rag-doll physics http://www.ragdolls...com/ragdollmasters/
[theleopard, Oct 15 2009]

(?) Unique Enemies http://www.youtube....watch?v=9zGw7gnUtHY
Prior Art... sort of. [Jinbish, Oct 15 2009]


       Why should the system not generate Nazi homophobes wearing pink? Is that the single group of people you wouldn't murder?
loonquawl, Oct 15 2009

       No, I didn't think Nazi homophobes would wear pink.
theleopard, Oct 15 2009

       They might if they were ironic, post-modern Nazi homophobes, but to be fair, there aren't that many about.
zen_tom, Oct 15 2009

       Says You, Schöne!!
gnomethang, Oct 15 2009

       The only effeminate Nazis I can think of were from Allo Allo.
theleopard, Oct 15 2009

       Er... What about: "Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden"?
Jinbish, Oct 15 2009

       From The Producers?   

       Schlagen, heir [Jinbish].
theleopard, Oct 15 2009

       If I'm not mistaken, in games like Oblivion and Fallout 3, the random encounters are all randomly generated baddies -- also in games like Dynasty warriors - I believe the faces of the enemies are all randomly generated.   

       Not to the extent you're talking about.   

       As for the voices, you could get, say, 50 people to say the entire phonetic alphabet, then have all the words be constructions of phonemes, and draw from one set randomly. That way, you could give each voice different accents as well -- for instance, out of phonemes, you could instruct the same voice to say, "Whale, hah theyer y'all!" or "Well, hello everyone." Each word would be a phoneme map for the computer to fill from a specific voice set.   

       pitch adjustments could be used to simulate articulation -- final words having downward tones, question words trailing upwards, etc.   

       It's complicated, sure, but it's totally doable.
CaptainClapper, Oct 15 2009

       You mean you were there?
egbert, Oct 15 2009

       The voices could be done by phoneme recordings, but it'd be easier to just have fifty people (or however many) record the various stock phrases.   

       You could also just record things once (either phonemes or clips) and generate new voices by changing the locations of the formants (perhaps by a process similar to additive synthesis) - but then, if you had this technology in place, why not extend it to the player character? Have the player speak some, analyze his cadence and harmonic content, and then re-filter catch phrases and dialogue...
autophage, Oct 15 2009

       I was thinking that the phoneme method would save on space. I like the option for the player as well -- just have him read the phonetic alphabet, or a series of words that contain all the sounds.
CaptainClapper, Oct 16 2009

       What do you think of the randomised animation adjustments. Slightly to one side might produce a limp/swagger?
theleopard, Oct 16 2009

       //What do you think of the randomised animation adjustments//   

       I'm sad I can only bun once :-)
CaptainClapper, Oct 16 2009


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