Scuttlebutt, which is still in very early stages, started as my senior project and will end up being a “gossip simulator”. The basic idea is to create a digital world full of inhabitants, allow them to slowly interact with each other, meet “people”, make “friends” and earn “trust”. That’s when the fun begins, because once people have friends they trust they will share dark secrets with friends. These secrets are the seeds to creating juicy gossip.
Perhaps that person needs to tell one other person, and then that person tells another, and so on, until everyone knows!
Although the program is still in its early stages, much of the AI groundwork has been laid, such as getting the assortment of ditigal citizens to congregate and communicate with one another
One of the most important decisions was what sort of people should populate this simulated world. Office people — to standard. College students — to crude. I wanted the sort of gossip that was generated to be able to be fun to hear but still have some meat to it.
4th Graders. Their loquacious nature coupled with their general innocence makes them perfect.
As a person meets and gains new friends, they build up “Trust”. If friends trust each other enough then they will share secrets with each other, but if that secret gets out then Trust will take a hit.
Some people seem easier to walk up to and chat with, and those people have high “Charisma”. They also make friends faster and are considered very trust-worthy.
“Loyality” keeps a person from spreading gossip about friends they care and trust and, if high enough, will cause them to tattle back to friends when they hear mean rumors about them.
“Blab” determines exactly how loquacious a person is, what gossip they share with others and what type of personal secrets they will tell to their friends.
“Confidence” affects how outgoing a person is and determines how they react when they hear others gossiping about them, from ignoring it completely to confronting the chatty offender.
Perhaps the most obvious statistic, “Memory” controls how well people recall information and bad they are when they spread gossip and rumors.