“Social Skyrim” is a Skyrim mod that makes NPC interactions more realistic

by: Patrick -
More On: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A new mod called "Social Skyrim," developed by researchers at Portugal’s Universidade de Lisboa and North Carolina State University, makes NPC behavior and interactions in Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, far more advanced and realistic. 

Skyrim’s NPCs typically run on scripts and decision trees that are limiting, and always behave within that specific scope of actions. 

“Social Skyrim,” also part of student Manuel Guimaraes’ master’s thesis, works by getting NPCs to keep track of their interactions with the player as well as with NPCs, and allowing their changing opinions to govern further interactions. You can also flirt, intimidate, insult, or make friends with anyone you choose. It'

CIF-CK, a tool built off the Comme il-Faut AI model developed in 2012, is what allows the NPCs to act on their changing feelings toward other agents within the system, allowing for a completely unique experience for every player.

Guimaraes and two other researchers have authored a paper that will be presented at the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games i New York come August 22. The hope is that other companies and developers will want to incorporate this complex mod in their development process, or at least start designing games with this kind of complexity in mind, according to Arnav Jhala,  an associate professor at N.C. State.

Here's hoping this makes a game of considerable depth like Skyrim, even more dynamic and immersive