by Crazah
A roleplaying game set in an alternate Earth

trace/ALTER - April Updates

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Hey everyone! We're thrilled to share a detailed round-up of the latest updates and enhancements made to trace/ALTER in April. Buckle up as we take you on a whirlwind tour of the new features introduced in the latest alpha release; available to our lovely Patreon subscribers, thank you for your support!

Our most significant upgrade is the GPT3 integration that now powers our non-player characters (NPCs), both within and outside combat. This state-of-the-art AI has been designed to respond more dynamically to player interactions, from roleplays to 'says'. NPCs now have a keen sense of context, reflecting a deeper understanding of the events unfolding around them. Their actions during battle will be more immersive and role-play oriented, elevating your gaming experience. To top it off, our conversational AI now comes with a variety of moods, from grumpy to cheerful, nostalgic to creepy, ensuring NPCs display a wider range of emotions for more realistic and engaging interactions.

Conversation with an NPC

We've also upgraded our AI to be more location-aware. NPCs will now recognize their surroundings, such as when they're within the confines of the Aethergarde Academy. This enhancement will refine NPC responses, making them more contextually relevant. However, rest assured, any out-of-character text will be ignored to keep the gaming experience immersive.

To improve your interactions with NPCs, we've put in a few changes. NPCs will not respond to players who are more than four tiles away and will disregard text from NPCs bearing the same name. They'll also initiate interactions when you're nearby, ensuring more dynamic engagement. Moreover, we've expanded the list of conversational NPCs. You can now engage in discourse with ALTERs, Shadows, Oozes, Guards, Shopkeepers, Thugs, Bandits, and Rogue Tracers. For added realism, we've even given our generic NPCs like guards and thugs their own names.

Mission lovers, rejoice! Mission descriptions and titles are now dynamically generated using GPT3, adding an unexpected twist and a bit more flavor to every mission.

We've also addressed a host of bugs. For instance, the issue blocking players from creating new characters has been fixed. We've upgraded NPC prompts, bolstered memory management, and resolved location tracking issues.

Interactions between players and NPCs have been further enhanced. NPCs will now react when there's a killing in their vicinity, or when someone gets knocked out. They'll also react when grabbed, offering a more interactive experience. However, this feature will be regulated using the honor system and will be restrained if found to be misused.

We've introduced an AI moderation filter to keep conversations with NPCs clean and respectful. All messages will pass through this filter, which will flag and log any content violating the game's guidelines. Players will be informed when their content violates these rules. Please note, any attempt to bypass this filter could result in an immediate account ban. This precaution ensures that trace/ALTER continues to be a safe and enjoyable space for all players.

For our subscribers and Patreons, we've introduced personalized NPCs. These can be created using a new GUI interface and are fully customizable. Players can for example now create their own background characters, such as best friends, siblings, parents, or their own nemesis. This allows you to flesh out your character's story and create a more immersive experience for yourself and those you interact with.

Creating Personalized NPCs

Turning to game mechanics, we've made several changes to enhance gameplay. We've reduced the range at which roleplay/says can be heard to minimize noise. NPCs are now more aware of their surroundings, who's around them, and their relative distances, making their responses more contextually accurate. We've introduced a cooldown to NPC responses to avoid abuse. Plus, AI will automatically engage in battle when an ALTER spawns and react to an ALTER's appearance, making combat more dynamic and unpredictable.

A major update is the option for players to attack citizens, which will immediately place a bounty on their heads. Be warned though, guards are now aware of nearby players' bounties and may act on this information via newly integrated GPT3 enabled decision trees. This decision-making capability extends to all in-game NPCs, allowing them to execute a range of actions, from attacking others, picking up or dropping items, equipping or unequipping items, to even following or approaching players.

We've also introduced Cybernetics and Prosthetics to the game! These augmentations can range in quality, and enable Neuromancers to cure permanent injuries by re-attaching lost limbs, or augmenting their patient with the latest in advanced technology. A number of new cybernetics have come with this first pass at the feature, including Ripper Arms, Shield Arms, and Apocalypse Arm Cannons. All the more reason to visit your favorite neighborhood Neuromancer soon!

Finally, we've also introduced the first iteration of a new player experience with the addition of a tutorial and AI assistant known as "SABLE." You can watch it for yourself in this short gameplay preview below. This preview covers the first steps of a new player as they wake up in bed in their own fully customizable apartment unit.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! To get the full list of enhancements, tweaks, and additions, check out the list below, or join us on our Discord channel at

We're dedicated to creating the most immersive and enjoyable gaming experience possible for trace/ALTER. Your feedback is invaluable, so don't hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences with these new updates. We're all ears and can't wait to hear from you.

Development Log:

* Integrated GPT3 to trace/ALTER to power NPCs both in and out of combat. NPCs will now respond to roleplays and says, have maintain a contextual awareness of events happening around them. During battle, NPCs will roleplay their actions, allowing players to become more immersed in the events of the game.
* Conversational AI now has moods, which can be:
"happy","grumpy","sad","depressed","upset","placated","creepy ","curious","cheerful","nostalgic","funny"
* Conversational AI now has an explicit filter to prevent improper usage. Circumvention of this filter will result in your account being banned without warning.
* Conversational AI are now location aware, if they are standing in a district such as Aethergarde Academy.
* Conversational AI now ignore OOC text.
* AI now ignore text from NPCs with the same name as them. i.e., a Guard referring to themselves will no longer trigger other Guards to respond.
* AI will no longer continue to listen to players who are more than 4 tiles away from them.
* NPCs will now periodically engage you when you get near them.
* ALTERs, Shadows, Oozes, Guards, Shopkeepers, Thugs, Bandits and Rogue Tracers are now conversational.
* Conversational AI now limits incoming messages to 350 characters before trimming, as to avoid wasted tokens.
* All messages are now sent through a AI moderation filter to determine if they are in violation of content filters. If they are in violation, this is flagged and logged to admins along with the offending message and the message is not passed through to the conversational AI.
* Players will receive a message when they violate any of the content filters with NPCs. These will only show to the active speaker (i.e., if you are actually speaking to the NPC, not just talking nearby it), despite being present for all messages nearby the NPC.
* Conversational NPCs can now be grabbed. This is provided right now on an honor system, but if found to be abused, it will be locked down far more.
* Conversational NPCs will now react when something is killed near them.
* Mission descriptions and mission titles are now dynamically generated using GPT3.
* Fixed an issue where players would not be eligible to create new characters if they did not already have one.
* Drastically improved the prompt used to seed NPCs.
* Modified NPCs memory to be more variable and not fixed to a # of messages.
* Conversational AI will now react to anyone (NPC, or player) knocking someone out.
* Reduced the absurd range at which roleplay/says can be heard.
* Generic NPCs now have names, i.e., guards, thugs, etc.
* Added a default fallback portrait for any NPC without a configured one.
* Further slimmed down the seed for NPCs.
* Generic NPCs (i.e., Shadow, Ooze, ALTER) will no longer respond to their name to prevent issues where multiple NPCs are named the same and therefore causing multiple responses.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs were not correctly tracking their own responses.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would overwrite their seed if they went past their maximum allowed token limit.
* Fixed various issues with conversational NPCs.
* Improved error logging with the above.
* NPCs will now respond even when you hit the content filter. This is achieved by substituting your message with something else.
* NPCs will now constantly receive updated info on who is around them and how far away they are.
* NPCs now keep track of their location.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would randomly break and refuse to respond any further.
* Improved NPC's location tracking.
* Fixed an issue where trimming messages from an NPC's memory was not working as intended. This was causing NPCs to break and become non responsive.
* Added a cmd for admins to modify any NPC's seed prompt.
* NPCs now know your general age.
* Fixed an issue where the distorted text ALTERs speak in say would break conversational AI.
* Added a way for admins to reset all the messages an NPC has heard.
* Fixed a bug where NPCs were seeing ALTERs true name.
* Improved NPC's memory slightly.
* Added a cooldown to NPC responses to prevent abuse.
* Tweaked ALTER seed prompts to ensure they act imposing.
* ALTERs now post a roleplay when they appear.
* All generic mobs (Trainee, Thug, Henchman, Guard, etc) will now have names rather than titles
* Fixed various issues with prompts across the board for NPCs.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would think ALTERs were just regular people.
* Players can now attack citizens
* Guards will now rush to aid any citizens attacked if they witness it.
* You will receive an automatic bounty for attacking any citizen
* AI will now automatically be drawn into a battle (including civilians) when an ALTER spawns
* AI will now react to an ALTER appearing
* Fixed an issue that would cause AI not to respond in rare instances.
* NPCs are now much better at attempting their actions rather than godmodding them.
* NPCs will no longer try to casually chat to people in battles they are not in.
* NPCs now have appropriate gendered names (no more women named Bill)
* AI will now post death RPs.
* Tweaked NPC's prompt to help curb times where they will metagame names.
* Removed all trace skills from normal civilians
* NPCs will no longer roleplay their attacks before they are revealed.
* NPCs will no longer roleplay normally while KO.
* NPCs have improved logic of when and when not to reply to other NPCs and players
* NPCs will now post an RP when a player helps them to their feet
* NPCs will now post an RP when they naturally regain consciousness as well.
* NPCs will no longer automatically RP when you engage them in a fight. This assumes a player is RPing their actions prior to attacking them
* Tweaked NPC prompts a bit more.
* Removed the experimental cooldown on NPC reactions
* Added a cooldown for player's Say cmd.
* AI now track the direction they are facing, and the direction those around them are facing.
* NPCs will turn to face who they are speaking to
* Adjusted prompt temperature of AI to reduce unexpected results
* Added a reminder to AI so they know who they are in battle with
* Fixed an issue where NPCs could exceed the token limit of 4096 and stop responding.
* Fixed a bug where some NPCs refused to die
* Text inputs will now lose focus correctly when clicking other UI elements.
* Added personalized NPCs, which are powered by GPT3.5 conversational AI. These NPCs are fully customizable in both appearance and seed prompt. They persist through play sessions, including all conversations they hear. You are able to create these if you're a subscriber.
* Fixed an issue where text was not escaping correctly in inputs
* Removed NPCs responding to other NPCs. This was a very costly feature that could end up eating up a lot of usage for very little gain.
* Fixed an issue where the roleplay UI was sticking around for a couple seconds after posting an RP.
* NPCs dying will now correctly delete that NPC from a player's personalized NPC list.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs following you would still react to you moving around automatically.
* Fixed an issue where followers would not respect layer or plane changes of the mob they were following
* Conversational NPCs now know of the top 5 most reputable players in the world, including their reputation title, and known "rank"
* Fixed an issue where NPCs were not saving their replies to the db.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs only knew what they were casting in battle and not anyone else.
* NPCs now know when they've been struck by an attack and how injured they are.
* Fixed various issues with NPC's tracking messages, and cleaned up their prompts
* NPCs now know when their weapon shatters, or phases through an enemy.
* NPCs know when someone is having their life force drained by an ALTER.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs were not RPing their death.
* NPCs are now aware of what kind of weapon you are holding.
* NPCs are now aware of character's injuries
* ALTERs can no longer use cameras
* ALTERs can no longer use shards
* ALTERs can no longer use healing items
* ALTERs can no longer use ammo.
* ALTERs can no longer use food
* Fixed an issue where skyboxes were not rendering correctly.
* Changed Attack of Opportunity:
-> No longer procs diagonally
-> No longer procs until a character moves out of the combat range of another close range attacker
-> No longer procs if the attacker used a dodge skill the last round
-> No longer procs if the attacker moved to that tile in the same round as the person now attempting to move
* Added priority moves. These moves expose your defences, offering high risk/high reward methods of hitting enemies prior to their dodge move resolving. If struck while attempting to use a priority move, you will take 50% extra damage from any attacks.
* Disarming Strike in the sword tree is now a priority move.
* Pounce from the Claws skill tree is now a priority move.
* Bang Bang from Gunslinger is now a priority move.
* TRACE Push/Pull are now both priority moves
* Retreating Shot from the Archery tree is now a priority move.
* All defensive/blocks are now priority moves.
* Fixed an issue where personalized NPCs were not roleplaying their deaths
* Fixed an issue where battles would instantly end against certain types of enemies.

* Fixed an issue where players could pick endless # of backstories if they were over the age of 30.
* Fixed a bug where tabs were closable in the personalized NPCs interface
* AI will now re-equip weapons if they are disarmed.
* Equiping weapons in combat now displays a message to the battle
* AI will now use healing items on themselves in battle
* AI are now randomly given healing items
* AI will now intelligently decide to skip an offensive phase to re-arm or use a healing item.
* Skills will now be interrupted if the player is disarmed in the same phase as they intend to use a weapon skill
* Skills will now be interrupted if the player is stunned in the same phase as they intend to use a weapon skill.
* Added many new VFX lines
* Added augmentations that Neuromancers can install on others. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

These are rudimentary replacements for lost limbs or eyes. They will cure permanent injuries if installed on the same location as the injury, and allow players to reduce the 20% debuff in the respective stats to 10%.

These are advanced augmentations that allow users to exceed human limitations. They are rare and expensive pieces of advanced machinery, often reserved for the best of the best. They offer a +25% buff in all respective stats that the augmentation affects.

These are the penultimate augmentation that represents the most legendary technology on the face of the planet. It is on the bleeding edge of modern science, and blends TRACE magick into it's design. These offer a +50% boost to all respective stats, and nearly all of them offer unique effects to the user.
* Added "CYBERSHOCK", a unique disorder affecting transhumanists. This disorder has two distinct stages, a preliminary stage that starts to take hold when the user has installed too many cybernetic implants. This causes them to become cold, distant, and have sociopathic tendencies.
Stage two is far more drastic, if the user continues to install more augmentations to their body, they run the risk of losing their sense of self. Every turn in battle after exceeding their limit, they run a 5 - 10% chance of ego death. This causes the character to 'die' to the user, and they are replaced with an aggressive copy of their character who will go on a murderous rampage.
* Added 'Lazarus Device', a Magiteck augmentation by the Ascension Group which automatically resuscitates it's host if downed in combat.
* Added XenoGen Bionic Eyes, allowing users to see in all lighting conditions and when used in conjunction with 'XenoGen Neural Implant' it is able to identify individuals names/ages/residences through facial recognition
* Added 'XenoGen Neural Implant' which allows users to communicate with others that also have neural implants 'telepathically'.
* Added Bushido Tech Legs, a Magiteck augmentation that enables the user to move up to 4 tiles as an additional bonus dodge action with zero TRACE cost.
* Added Kaijuware Subdermal Armor.
"While not immediately noticeable, Kaijuware has invented a hidden form of body armor implanted beneath a host's skin. It is as durable as hardened steel, and offers an immense defensive boon for the wielder."
* Added Hanzo Adrenal Boosters
"An artificial organ implanted in the user's neck injects synthetic adrenaline directly into their bloodstream, dramatically increasing their reflexes for a short time."
* XenoGen Bionic Eyes now increase your in-game night vision.
* Added a new backstory, Built Different. This increases your bionic limit from 5 -> 8.
* Added Built Different to Generations Menu
* Added Bushido Ripperarm and Bushido Shieldarm.

Bushido Ripperarm:
"Eject razor sharp concealed blades from your cybernetic arm and rip apart any enemies that have come too close"

Bushido Shieldarm:
"Utilize an integrated shield that deploys from your cybernetic arm to deflect all incoming projectiles."
* Installed cybernetic enhancements are now only visible by individuals with Bionic Eyes, unless revealed by the player themselves.
* All cybernetic enhancements now come with an additional price for humans. Each one will debuff your TRACE pool by 10% each.
* NPCs now have profiles that can be viewed.
* Rejigged the way profile pictures are imported. It will now try to automatically size them to the correct dimensions.

* Introduced a new class of augment, 'Damaged Cybernetic.' These are the result of a failed installation from a Neuromancer. If they fail the success check, a damaged part will be installed instead, causing a 20% debuff in all affected stats.

These can only be removed by a Neuromancer.

* Added 'Neurosickness (Major)' and 'Severe Neurosickness (Critical)'. These two conditions are applied after having cybernetics installed. The former is always applied even with successful installations, and the latter is only applied if the installation fails.
* Added two new passives to Neuromancy.

"A delicate mastery of the intricacies of installing cybernetics has led you to mitigate most of the effects of minor neurosickness. Your patients no longer suffer from this side-effect after a successful installation."

"A little cut there and a saw blade here. Now using the proper tools, you've dramatically improved the success rate of your cybernetic installations (65%)."
The Flesh is Weak:
"From the moment you realized the weakness of human flesh, it disgusted you. It is time to cut, rip and tear it away and transcend the human form. Your biotic limit for cybernetics is increased dramatically."
"With stark advancements in your technological mastery, you're able to employ nanotechnology to meld man and machine together as one. This further increases the success of your operations. (80%)."

* Added Biotic Reversal
This skill is used to remove cybernetic enhancements from unconscious patients; willing or not.
It will remove prosthetics, bionics, and magiteck augmentations. If these augmentations are critical (such as a bionic heart), removing it will instantly kill the patient.
Otherwise, it will add a permanent injury to represent the body part that player is now missing (i.e., missing left eye)

* Added /surrender chat cmd to allow players to knock themselves out at will.
* Installing any cybernetic now costs 40% of a player's energy.
* Added all cybernetics to drop tables. These will change in the future as more features come online.
* Fixed an issue where friendly AI did not have battle AI
* Added toggleable flags to have NPCs have AI generated profile descriptions
* NPCs now have an age, a date of birth, a role, appropriate height and weight, and an occupation
* Fixed a bug where everyone was born on the last day of the month.
* Fixed several bugs with biotic reversal
* Fixed an issue with damaged cybernetics not calculating their weight correctly
* Fixed an issue where personalized NPCs did not have 'Attack' or 'View Profile' context menu actions
* Fixed an issue where players could spam attack NPCs from outside of their range to rack up huge bounties
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would not respond if you stood on the same tile as them
* Further optimized NPC costs
* Improved how NPCs detect and respond to players. They'll prioritize hearing their name over proximity.
* Optimized query handling for API calls
* Trains can no longer hit dead bodies and kill them again.
* Lowered the amount of time before an API request times out
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would not hear and record all messages around them.
* Bounties will only be levied if a witness is nearbty.
* Fixed several issues with NPC message tracking
* NPCs now have randomized alignments.
* NPCs will no longer post responses if players are not nearby
* Fixed an issue where bumping into a locked door could sometimes cause a crash loop for the client
* Fixed an issue where players could lay furniture down after leaving a house if they were quick
* Fixed players being able to move/shunpo during a warper transition
* NPCs are now shoved out of the way when hit by a train.
* Fixed an issue where birthdate padding was not working correctly for any months with two digits.
* AI can now attack you using dynamic conversational logic.
* NPCs will now intelligently decide to follow you or stop following you.
* NPCs will now try to pick up any items nearby them if they want to.
* NPCs will now drop items if they don't want them
* NPCs will now choose to equip or unequip items.
* NPCs now receive some starting items and starting money.
* Fixed various issues with AI language processing
* Fixed an issue where guards had a desync issue between NPC names and model names
* Fixed an issue with NPC message tracking
* You can now middle mouse click NPCs to override all detection logic that attempts to detect who you are speaking to. This will allow you to manually direct messages at specific NPCs
* The game will now automatically eat any messages from AI that don't fit the game's theme (i.e. "as a language model", etc)
* NPCs are now aware of any bounties on people's heads
* Guards are now police officers and have been adjusted accordingly.
* All TRACE moves have been removed from any enemies that should not have TRACE lore wise.
* NPCs now have variety in what they spawn wearing.
* NPC types support 'uniforms' allowing them to all share a common design pattern
* NPCs can now have colored clothing
* Police officers, tracers and rogue tracers now have different uniforms/variations
* Police officers now have chat portraits reflecting their uniform
* Improved NPC logic around picking up items
* Added v1 of NPC node based pathfinding and wandering
* NPCs now pathfind within buildings to predetermined nodes such as couches, bookshelves, etc.
* NPCs can now board and disembark trains.
* Fixed many issues with NPC pathfinding and scheduling
* Fixed an issue where responses would be fetched from GPT3.5 regardless of if a player was around in certain instances
* Fixed an issue where roleplay and say could be seen through obstacles
* Adds caching to NPC pathfinding
* Fixed an issue where NPCs sometimes walked in battle as if they were in the overworld wandering around
* Fixed an issue where bounties were not being fetched in rare instances for NPC reactions
* Fixed an issue where NPCs could board and disembark the same train
* Sped up battles against AI dramatically
* Removed "movement phase", "offensive phase", etc.. sound effects from battles
* Battle phases such as bonus phase will no longer happen if no players can use any bonus moves
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would try to wander around even if they were following you, resulting in wacky behavior.
* NPCs now have different colored hair
* Fixed an issue where it would inform you you could only kill characters in your offensive phase, when it was actually checking for bonus phase.
* Fixed an issue where battles could become broken due to speed issues
* Fixed an issue where shadows did not have a portrait
* NPCs are now informed when other NPCs warp into shadows
* Non-personalized NPCs can no longer be grabbed. You can use the grab action on them to stop them from following you manually
* Fixed an issue where NPCs were being informed of an entity's true name when KO'd by one.
* Improved NPC prompts by reordering when it re-seeds them. This may help prevent hallucinations, or them turning into someone else, etc.
* NPCs will now flee from shadows, ALTERs and dead bodies.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would roleplay regardless of if a player was nearby when catching a train.
* Fixed an issue where NPCs would roleplay their reply to internal decision tree questions
* Further improved NPC prompts
* Added students to Aethergarde
* Added more NPCs to interiors
* Added a ton more NPC portraits
* Improved the look of chat portraits in the chat window
* Added a chat shortcut to change your chat avatar on the fly. Typing /portraitName will auto switch for that messages and all subsequent ones.
* Added more chat avatars
* NPCs will no longer roleplay their ability if that ability is invalidated by another attack during the same phase
* Fixed an issue where all NPCs regardless of type thought they were civilians
* Improved NPC's dialogue so it is not so stiff/robotic.
* Added voice lines to the intro cutscene
* Improved the timing of the intro cutscene
* Added voice lines that explain how to interact with your apartment
* Fixed many issues with character creation
* Lowered music volume by 50%
* Added an ambushing bonus, providing +25% damage if an attacker is located directly behind their target.
* Fixed an issue where new players were not having their hot bar assigned to default state
* Added v1 of a new player tutorial which explains how to decorate your apt, stats, and combat
* Added holopad to all houses upon creation
* Added Sable as an NPC summonable by clicking the holopad
Lookin' crisp my friend!

Byond's Gangsta