Bringing life to NPCs, scholars creates a huge mod for Skyrim

By Dale Bashir on Aug 8, 2017

Two computer science researchers from the North Carolina State University and the Universidade de Lisboa have created a mod that allows for the non-playable characters of Skyrim to break free of their pre-programmed routine and live normal, non-NPC lives and actually develop and go about with their lives.

An example of the new dialogue options with the mod
An example of the new dialogue options with the mod

The computer program is called CIF-CK and is an artificial intelligence tool that makes individual characters more expressive and can react to the player's actions, the NPCs actions are based on social behavior models. An example of the adjustments that the mod does to the NPCs that was given in the original post was that "if Agent A was nice to Agent B, and Agent X hated Agent B, then Agent X would be less likely to “like” Agent A." It might make sense to us in a more "real-life" social stance, but in the realm of data and coding, it is a marvel, to say the least.

An assortment of NPCs in The Bannered Mare
An assortment of NPCs in The Bannered Mare

"Manipulate them, destroy their relationships or help them build one, or just wait and see what the end result will be without interfering." The mod page on Steam workshop states this clearly. The quest to make believable NPCs soldiers on, especially after yesterday's dueling mod. As for now, the only places where the mod works is in The Honningbrew Meadery
and "Comme il Faut House", a new house implemented into Whiterun. The new choices and dialogues of the NPCs are now only through text prompts, with no audio for any of them.

Those who are interested in this mod can download it on the Steam Workshop and for those who are more academically inclined, can read the entire paper on in here.

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Dale Bashir
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I just wanna play video games
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