Shaken, Not Stirred

I’m too swamped with PAX prep to do a real detailed post, but I figured I’d tease with this:

I’m adding drinks to the party, which while always welcome at real parties, are a real pain in the butt at virtual ones.

For starters, holding a drink “cross-cuts” just about every other behavior and animation, so I have to override the animations on the arm so the drink doesn’t get tossed in the face of the person standing next to the drink-holder when he or she gesticulates while talking, I have to layer AI on top of all the currently running AI code that manages when to take a sip, and more.

I’m going to write more about the AI system I came up with to deal with all this once it’s got a bit more mileage on it and I’m sure it’s actually going to work, but it allows a character to be in multiple simultaneous situations, like “holding a drink”, “having a conversation”, and “bugging the Ambassador”.

Of course, now I have to pick which drinks to put in the game, and I’m not really a big cocktail drinker myself, so I found an article entitled What Does James Bond Drink?, which has been quite useful.  So far, I’ve got models for the canonical Martini1, and a Scotch & Soda.  I’m going to need to add some features to my renderer to get these to look right;  translucent objects like glass, ice, and colored liquids are quite difficult to render well.  And, of course, my current character skeletons don’t actually have hand bones so the glass kind of floats near the palm.  My todo list is infinitely long…

Still, it’s neat to see them taking sips of their drinks in the party, even clumsily.  It really adds a lot of humanity to the scene.

If you’ve got ideas for cocktails I should include in the game, post in the comments below. Preferably, the drinks would be distinct and easy to recognize on sight, even at a distance, and have interesting and classy names.  Besides being good ambient party behavior, cocktails are going to be part of the new Poison Drink mission, which I’m trying to get stood up for PAX2, so being able to identify drinks will actually be part of the gameplay to a certain extent!  I guess we’ll see how that goes over.

While I’m on the subject of vices, some day I’ll add cigarettes and cigars as well.  I think the smoke will add interesting gameplay elements for both the Sniper and the Spy, like maybe the Sniper’s laser sight is only visible to the Spy when it hits a cloud of smoke, so the Spy is incented to keep smokers between him or herself and the Sniper…

I wonder if having alcohol and tobacco in the game will affect its ESRB rating.  I’m guessing you can kill as many space aliens and orcs as you want in your game, but if somebody takes a drink of gin and lights somebody’s cigarette you’re in trouble.  Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

  1. A Vodka Martini, I suppose, if you’re being true to Bond, although I put olives in the model instead of lemon peel []
  2. Yes, I know, I haven’t finished writing about the Bookshelf Mission yet.  I’ve got a draft of the post! []


  1. Tom90deg says:

    I think it’s more important to have the glasses be different. Off the top of my head, Martini glass, Highball, Brandy snifter, Wine Glass, Champagne flute…

    • checker says:

      Yeah, I was thinking glasses, and color are important.

    • Tom90deg says:

      Yep, I think it’s most important to have a glass and a color, Brown Highball is easier to understand and spot than “Tom Collins” :) Not that you can’t name em, but maybe something like “Appletini (Green Martini Glass)”

  2. mike says:

    Old fashioned and Tom Collins are a couple good ones.

  3. Joe Martin says:

    Personal Favourites:
    An Old Fashioned –
    A Scarlet o’ Hara –
    A Rhett Butler –

    Though, if you want to keep it simple and timeless then you could just go for The Six Classic Cocktails from David Embury’s Fine Art of Mixing Drinks: An Old Fashioned, a Martini, a Manhattan, a Daquiri, a Sidecar and a Jack Rose.

  4. the Jack says:

    The Aqua Velva: a blue drink with an umbrella in it, made famous in Fincher’s “Zodiac”.

  5. wildweasel says:

    You’d be pleasing a lot of Big Lebowski fans if you included a White Russian (incidentally has more of a light-brown tint to it). The Dude abides.

  6. Nikki says:

    Just a few easily recognizable drinks that come to mind:

    Mojito -a sprig of mint would be a dead give-away
    Bloody Mary – perhaps garnished with celery
    Margarita – the salted rim is hard to miss

    Martini glass variations:
    Cosmopolitan – light pink
    Lemon drop – bright yellow
    Apple Martini – a sour apple green

    I think adding the smoke element sounds great and hope that you don’t have too much trouble with the ESRB due to these additions.

  7. Another vote for the Old Fashioned.

  8. H says:

    You gotta have a Harvey Wallbanger, just because :)

  9. Cocktails
    Gin and Tonic
    Long Island Iced Tea
    Strawberry Daiquiri
    Kalooha Mudslide
    Whiskey Sour
    Pina Colada
    Angel’s Treat
    Passionfruit Caipirinha
    Mai Tai
    Mint Julip
    Tequila Sunset
    Tequila Twilight
    Red wine
    White wine
    Beer stein (possibly out of place for a high society party but why not?) for Guinness and other stouts.
    Beer bottle (again, why not?)

  10. Ian says:

    I personally prefere my drinks a litte more… out of this world?

  11. Dan says:

    Sex on the beach

  12. Nico says:

    A tequila sunrise could be a good choice as it is so easy to regonise by the gradient.

  13. Paul says:

    If I wanted to be really evil I could ask you to add some kind of mechanic that if you accidentally bump into someone you could spill thier drink (possibly leaving the appropriate colour stain on the character). It would be interesting to see how the sniper would pick up on that, especially if the NPCs did it themselves occaisonally! I’m sure it would involve loads and loads of programming though..

    I’ve enjoyed seeing your work so far, cant wait to play the game!

    • checker says:

      Yeah, totally, spilling a drink on somebody is going to be a local distraction for the partygoers, and you’ll be able to tell the Double Agent to do it as well!

  14. Matt says:

    Gin and Tonic, or for something a little more recognizable, a Gin Rickey (with limes in it).

  15. Ron says:

    I would do all your standard alcohol drinks, but toss in 1 or 2 nerdgasm easter eggs.

    EG: The Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Finagle’s Folly from Star Trek, or go really pop culture with Butterbeer from Harry Potter.

    Of course you HAVE to have the standard martini, (but you already said that you did), but you could include some subtlety by having the bartender, (if you have someone prepare the drinks based on orders), shake it for preparation instead of stirring.

  16. Matt says:

    Are you using a masked animation system for this, so they can hold the drink and do other things?

  17. StrangeQuark says:

    An Ubuntini would be nice:

  18. Kim says:

    Black tuxedo… brown shoes? Really!?

    (Insert designer jeans joke here)

  19. Squishy says:

    I was late reading this post so I am a little late but these were my thoughts. As the people above have already given plenty of examples for cocktails these are my thoughts on which glasses you would need to add for all of them.

    Most instantly recognisable would be a glass of champagne. The shape of the glass is very distinctive. (A regular wine glass could be used for red, white and rose wine)

    A martini glass like you have in your video is my next choice. By filling it with different coloured liquids it can stand in for many things.

    Third would be a tumbler. Again, with different coloured liquids this could work for any straight liquor or mixed drink.

    My last choice would be a tall glass. This would work for any cocktail that has a lot of fruit juice in it.

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