In the previous essay, I discussed the need to increase the number of actors from four to five, because this would be the only way to detect lies. But I left out the most important way: social intelligence. What if a lie can never be proven, but can be sensed? What if the only source of information about the truth content of statements is one’s own intuition?
This creates a problem for the human player: the algorithms that permit the computer actors to sense lies do not apply to the player. Will the human be better or worse than the algorithms?
This also means that we must be especially careful about the cues that we give the player about the moods of the actors. I wanted to supply two cues: a color or hue around the actor that suggests mood, and a musical motif that does the same. But these could easily be overdone, or they could be antithetical to the goal of the game. After all, if people learn to read artificial cues, that undermines the game. This suggests that I should NOT use those cues to reveal crucial information.
So, could we instead rely entirely on facial expressions, in particular facial animation through multiple excursions?
A Few Hours Later…
Eureka! I have the solution: provide lots of excursion expressions of many kinds and sizes; use them to communicate underlying mood. The big trick here is to make excursions feature-specific. That is, an excursion can be marked so that only the eyes move, while the rest of the features remain as is. Or, even better, mark each feature with a value between 0 and 1 (instead of FALSE and TRUE) for its motion. We could even give excursions an overall magnitude: a short, quick glance to the side as opposed to a longer glance to the side.
I have work to do!