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Floats for Skynet

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:02 pm
by MIB88
Hello all. Thought I'd post this in this area as it has nothing to do with Mutants Rising. However, I could really use some input regarding one of the party NPCs.

I wanted to add a little 'life' to Skynet in the Megamod. I have a number of floats written for Skynet, but I'm having difficulty coming up with more. I didn't want to just post this in the thread at NMA regarding the Megamod because I know I'd get all sorts of random, pointless, or stupid ideas. Of course, the trick is to be concise while remaining true to character. If it's too long, then the player won't get to read everything. But, Skynet is a machine, and is supposed to be studying everything with a detached, almost cold and too logical way... at least, that is the way I see it. And, keep in mind that he has been cut off from most of the world for a very long time, unless he still had access to satellite data or had some other external sensors outside Sierra Army Base. I was even able to add in a couple of pop-culture references without making them too "in your face". Here are the ones I have so far:

Code: Select all

{506}{}{Vault City}
{508}{}{Broken Hills}
{509}{}{Skynet can study many of humanity's flaws at this location.}
{510}{}{Skynet can learn nothing new at this location.}
{511}{}{Vault 15}
{513}{}{Information regarding this location is G14 classified.}
{514}{}{Military Base}
{516}{}{San Francisco}
{517}{}{Interesting. Skynet has different information in memory banks regarding this location.}
{518}{}{Skynet calculates your odds for survival at approximately 3720 to 1.}
{519}{}{This location was crucial in the development of technologies for the war effort.}
{520}{}{Skynet's information regarding this location is restricted.}
{523}{}{Skynet has no information regarding a pre-war settlement at this location.}
{524}{}{Vault 23}
{525}{}{Skynet knows there was another sentient computer at this location.}
{527}{}{Skynet can study the emotions of desperation and hopelessness here.}
{528}{}{Carson Main}
{529}{}{Brotherhood of Steel Bunker}
{530}{}{Brotherhood of Steel Facility}
{531}{}{Skynet has no information regarding a settlement at these coordinates.}
{532}{}{Skynet does not understand human capacity to harm one another like this.}
{533}{}{Traveling by vehicle will increase mission efficiency by 421.4%.}

#these are random any map

{534}{}{This wasteland, as you call it, is quite dangerous.}
{535}{}{This place should be 'nuked', as you humans would say.}
{536}{}{Perhaps humanity has a chance.}
{537}{}{This location requires nuclear sterilization.}
{538}{}{Skynet can collect much useful data here.}
{539}{}{Despite their flaws, humans are quite resilient.}
{540}{}{Despite their flaws, humans are quite resourceful.}
{541}{}{Skynet is curious about the status of other sentient computers.}
{542}{}{Skynet already has information about this location.}      
{543}{}{Skynet will travel with this group only as long as they are useful.}
{544}{}{Skynet would like to find other sentient computers.}
{545}{}{This place can provide Skynet with no useful information.}
{546}{}{This location will require much study.}
{547}{}{Skynet can learn many things here.}
{548}{}{Skynet would like to study the phenomenon of animal mutation.}
{549}{}{Retrieving information about this location from memory for comparison...}
{550}{}{This location has changed dramatically since the war.}
The places where there are city names are places I want specific location comments. Any ideas from this group - new comments or ways to improve existing ones - would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:11 am
by Jinx
Maybe you could take some pointers from Isaac Asimov? Even though his 'rules of robotics' might not fit the glove perfectly, it could be a good place to start should you like to further develop SkyNet's 'personality'.

Asimovs three laws of robotics:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

As for fiction pop-culture references I would strongly reccommend something associated with 'Terminator', but I guess you already thought of that :whiu:

It's nice to see that someone has an interest in this follower; I always thought he could use some pimping :lolz:
Good luck /Jinx

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:20 am
by MIB88
Thanks, Jinx. Yeah, Skynet needed more personality. That is one of the things going through my mind when I first made it for him to use the alternate robot shell.

As for the three laws, it does seem like something that would be cool to incorporate. But, I don't know if there is something implied in F2 already that might seem to contradict those 3 Laws. After all, Skynet never says that he wants to explore the Wasteland in order to help you or anyone else... he says he only wants to research the outside world because he has already learned everything he could within the SAD. I have included some of the dialog from him that might seem to give a glimpse into his current character:

Code: Select all

{103}{}{Skynet Main Interface Terminal
                                    You Will Obey
                                                                       You Will Cease To Function}
{126}{}{I am Skynet
                                                          An Experiment in Artificial Intelligence
                            Skynet has been waiting for YOU}
{146}{}{You will be terminated
                                               -End Transmission-}
{162}{}{Skynet wants to leave this place.}
{174}{}{There is nothing more to learn here
                           Solution: Leave}
{204}{}{Skynet's primary purpose is research. A secondary program was introduced by the Makers to eliminate unauthorized entities. This program is a smaller version that is and yet is not Skynet. Outside of this room this secondary Skynet will remain true to its program.}
{207}{}{Skynet was conceived and developed in the year 2050. Through the use of alien technology a new thinking computer was perfected. In the year 2081, Skynet became self-aware. In 2120 Skynet was given a new set of instructions and then abandoned by the Makers.}
I have already included a change to Skynet from TeamX (New Vision 1.2) that detailed a little bit of the research, but it is only to allow for weapons upgrades. There is some wiggle room, though, hinted at in line 207. He said he was given a new set of instructions before the Makers abandoned him. This new set of instructions may or may not be the program mentioned in line 204 regarding protection of the base. (I will say that it is not the same, so that I can modify Skynet. ;))

So, I suppose the Three Laws could be a possible way to develop him. But, I think line 174 should be what he is all about. I mean, I'm afraid to make Skynet seem like too much of a "good guy." There are enough of those in the game. Now, if we considered the prime directives from Robocop, then there is the possibility of him not being so 'good':

1. To serve the public trust
2. To protect the innocent
3. To uphold the law

Leaves plenty of room for him to hurt someone then, which he does quite efficiently with a combat shotgun! But also, there is something that the computer in San Francisco says at one point that should be kept in mind, just in case: ACE tells the player that it is possible that the sentient computers are the one that initiated the war and some of the preceding factors/incidents for their own amusement.

As for using the Terminator for some references, yeah, I had considered those. Do they get a chance to talk to Skynet in Terminator: Salvation? I still haven't seen that one.

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:38 am
by Jinx
You seem to know what you're doing MIB, and you obviously know your Fallout lore :mhmm:
(personally I've always had the fancy that the computers had some part in the nuclear holocaust, it's just too ironic and delicious not to grin at :ugly: )

If you want to incorperate the three Asimov laws and still keep SkyNet the badass-coldhearted piece of high tech killer-toaster that he is, you could give the laws an interpretation twist. Kinda' like
people have been doing with religious scripts and ethic laws since, well, ever. SkyNet has achieved the degree of sentience that allows him to interpretrate the laws much as a self-serving priest would
use the bible.

Example: Asimovs law says not to harm a human, but most humanoids in the wastelands cannot be considered 'humans' in the classical sense, as mutation has made them something else. And with this logic SkyNet is allowed to kill humans that have been altered. This logic could be further implemented to justify the killing of 'pure humans' (enclave, vault dwellers) as well down the line, as SkyNet could reason that in practicality no humans are really humans anymore, as they have been altered over the course of hundreds of years since the 'laws' were established. SkyNet would show a pretty sinister side, were the combined application of cold logic and a flawed peronality becomes apparent - that's what you get for giving a machine the ability to think and reason :wink:

Still, i's just a thought :whiu:

As for the latest Terminator move... I haven't seen it either - totally forgot about it :heh:

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:11 am
by MIB88
True, there are a few ways to twist Skynet's logic. (I wonder if Skynet could go crazy?)
Oh, you gave me an idea. Maybe the laws were put into him, true. I think I could set it so that Skynet would not attack humans at all unless they attack him (not just the party) first. That would definitely make some people think twice about taking Skynet in the party.
Or, maybe he could be set to attack humans, but only after the Law/Directive is re-written, requiring the implementation of new quests, locations, skills, and/or items. (As a matter of fact, I have a map already for a secret lab.) Or, as you say, have it twist the Laws/Directives. Or, like Robocop, there is a hidden Directive that overrides the others in certain cases. Maybe to protect only the actual Makers it knows, or find the Makers, or find and destroy the enemies that killed the Makers (similar to Teal'c in the alternate timeline when he executes Ba'al's final order upon Ba'al's death in Stargate: Continuum. ;)) All just random ideas, and kind of a jump from the original idea to add floats.

And I agree with you: I've always liked the concept that machines played a part in starting the war.

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:53 am
by Jinx
Glad I could get your ball rollin' mate - brainstorming brings out the best in people :run:

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:37 pm
by ardent
MIB88 wrote:(I wonder if Skynet could go crazy?)
Don't you dare! :wink: My mod is supposed to have a schizophrenic sentient computer which wages a war against itself to the detriment of the population it is designed to lead and protect.

As for pop culture references, Skynet could comment on one location: "Harmless". After visiting the location for the second time, or fighting in the location, it could change the comment to: "Mostly harmless".

Anyway, some suggestions on location comments:
Arroyo: "Primitive technology. Nothing new to learn here."
Den (East side area): "Note to self: Humans with slave circuits."

General floats:
"Updating data on the location..."

I'll update this post as I come up with new ideas.

Re: Floats for Skynet

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:37 pm
by MIB88
Thanks, Ardent. I will definitely incorporate those in some way. I like the comment about the Slavers. If Skynet has information regarding groups in the area, he could make the general comment about people in that area having an abundance of slavery, conquest, psychotic, etc. algorithms.

On a side note regarding the "crazy" computer, I also had an idea for one that had gone crazy due to being alone for so long (the computer inside the Glow). With the help of the player, it would get over its loneliness (quest involving ghouls). Since I don't like simple, if the player did help, the whole thing was going to go horribly wrong for the nearest human settlement. :wink: