No real progress, but just thinking about how to make the ai more dynamic and work for progression. I am still stuck doing moment to moment things but actually connecting story points is really hard. And I haven't really seen anything else do it to create the kind of experience I see in my head. I'm probably going to end up putting a lot of BS in there myself. I think I'm just full of BS in general.
Anyway, I'm leaning away from top-down to an even more bottom-up approach. Current thinking is that a "module" is made up of a set of states. Each state has a set of preconditions and postconditions. Preconditions are things like "this character is alive" or "this character is in range of X". Postconditions would then set some of those flags. When a character has a blank space and no direction, he will sort through these modules, ignoring the ones that have no current relevance, and then choose based on a priority system which one to follow. This will then assign a directive or goal for the lower level modules to attempt to carry out.
The modules will have to be reactive to failure - if he can't complete the directive, he will have to change his mind and choose a different module. Implementation leads me to use behavior trees for this, as I already have them working well. Hand coding trees for all of the story elements though sounds like a nightmare. I don't know if I will prebuild some generic trees that than get filled in with specifics through variables; or have some sort of preprocessing step that takes those module definitions and dynamically builds trees for them.
Where these trees are processed or how they hook into the normal ai trees I have no idea. What happens with modules that involve multiple characters I have no idea. (Separate module for each ai involved in the event? Single module with directives to each agent? No clue)
Is this even a viable approach? No clue.
I'm going back and forth trying to find a style that I want to use for a Monkey Island/Indiana Jones style point and click adventure. It will take place in a fantasy world where three individuals (a fighter, a thief, and a mage) try to break into a sealed temple to reverse an ancient evil or something. The player will be the thief who will have to solve puzzles and all that jazz.
I've gone through a bunch of different styles, so I figured I'd try the LucasArts style while I'm at it...