I love NPC battles, but do you know what I’d love more about them? If while not engaged in combat, they did more than just stay put.
Now, yes, I’m aware that Hunters, zombies and Combine soldiers among others do pace randomly, but it’s all so slow and they end up only covering the same 50 feet of space. What if I wanted to set up a large number of npcs on different ends of a map and have them spread out to eventually meet each other? What if I were hoping that while sitting safe and unseen in my little bunker, they might just wander in and stumble upon me? Or I might be exploring and go inside a building to find it’s already occupied?
NPC’s in Source are a very non-inquisitive bunch. Most are content to stand where they are forever until fired upon. Antlions guardians are awesome, but the minute everything that’s not an anltion dies, they stay where they are in an eternal idle loop. Combine soldiers are great at stalking and ambushing someone they know is there, but they suck at patrolling.
My question is, how hard would it be to have a script or setting that can be enabled/disabled and set to different values, which sets the npc’s to randomly seek out a randomly chosen AI node on the map and make their way over there, and seek a new one once they arrive?
This I think, would maximize the potential for more dynamic interaction between NPC’s, making the maps feel less like robotic sandboxes, and potentially more like populated territories.
Hell, what would be better is if the function could be applied to squads, so a squad would collectively seek a specific AI node, furthering the feeling that the npcs are working together instead of as a mob.
Personally, I think this would give NPC’s in GMod a whole new scope of potential.