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7 examples of game AI that every developer should study

blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,226

Read the more detailed article here:

http://gamasutra.com/view/news/269634/7_examples_of_game_AI_that_every_developer_should_study.php


Nearly all games need some amount of artificial intelligence — most commonly to give the player non-human opponents. But conversations about good AI in games are still dominated by Façade, Black & White, The Sims, Versu, and F.E.A.R. — all of which came out years ago.

The following list of games are all notable for the interesting, clever, and/or novel ways in which they use AI, and all are well worth a closer look if you're eager to let a little algorithmic thinking improve your game design. The underlying ideas they explore point toward the exciting and diverse future artificial intelligence could have.



1) The Division's AI-driven path finding for changing cover

The Division's enemy AI has had a mixed reception — at one moment they'll stand out in the open, completely unprotected, then the next they'll sneak around the back and give you a surprise bonk on the head. Its attempts to step up from the highs set by F.E.A.R. a decade ago are well worth closer examination, but the real star of The Division's AI routines is its path finding for changing cover. 


2) Forza's Drivatar adaptive AI system


Since its inception in 2005, the Forza series has favored a learning neural network to traditional AI design for controlling non-human drivers. This Drivatar system watches you play and imitates your driving style — kind of like an amalgam of dozens of time trial ghosts.

In the most recent iterations the Drivatar system is hooked in to Microsoft's cloud services, where it can pull in AI racers based on other human players as well as crunch greater amounts of data from each player. Now your AI opponents mimic other players from around the globe — their silly mistakes, quirks, strengths, and weaknesses — which makes for a more unpredictable experience.

3) Alien: Isolation's hunting Xenomorph

First-person shooters normally showcase enemy AI that's just smart enough to challenge the player as they go around shooting everything that moves. The player is a predator, and the hordes of lookalike bad guys scurrying around the screen are the prey. But Alien: Isolation's Xenomorph reverses that convention. The free-roaming alien is the one in a position of strength, and the player — stripped of her power — gets to feel what it's like to be hunted. You carry a gun, but to use it is to draw the all-powerful, unkillable Xenomorph to you. (A flamethrower eventually complicates the situation and gives the player some power back, but even then the alien remains the hunter.)

4) The Ice-Bound Concordance's combinatorial narrative


The Ice-Bound Concordance may seem at first glance to be an elaborate choose-your-own-adventure game, but its story of KRIS, an AI simulacrum of an author, is not built of branching paths. Rather, the player and AI combine pre-written (barring some variables) fragments of story text to piece together a novel. This is done through interactions both in the game — dialogue trees, player interventions in KRIS's creative process, symbol and event choices for the plot — and outside of it, through the pages the player shows KRIS from an actual, physical companion book that the AI's not supposed to see. The developers call their AI-heavy take on CYOA a combinatorial narrative system.

5) City Conquest's playtesting via genetic algorithm


Tower defense (and offense) game City Conquest is unusual in that its biggest use of artificial intelligence came in the design process itself. Here AI became a tool not for expanding or refining the player's moment-to-moment experience but for evolving the actual design — to improve game balance and to (hopefully) engineer a more enjoyable overall experience by measuring how well the design at each iteration met its goals.

6) Testing for walkability in The Witness


Jonathan Blow wanted walking in The Witness to be as smooth and unobtrusive an experience as possible. If players got caught on edges or tapped in walls, or if they could traverse terrain in one direction but not the other, it would pull them out of the world. It'd break the immersion, and immersion was paramount to the game's vision. To ensure this didn't happen, he asked programmer Casey Muratori to improve the player movement code. Muratori responded by writing an algorithm that tests for collisions.

7) The AI Directors in Left 4 Dead, Rocksmith 2014, and others

Several years on, the AI Director used in the two Left 4 Dead games remains a fascinating system for controlling the flow of a cooperative multiplayer game. The Director handles typical AI tasks such as enemy movement and human player proxies in a satisfying, believable manner. But what really makes it interesting is the higher-level impact it has on every session.  The Director's main job is to manage the pacing. It builds up the intensity to a peak, then eases off, then builds up again, and repeats this throughout the session as players edge closer to the exit. It does this by modeling stress levels in players (affected by things like close versus long-range combat, ammo and health levels, zombies in proximity), then
adjusting how the zombies attack — where they come from, how many of them attack, which types attack, and who they focus their attack on.







거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












TorvalAmatheScotkitaradUngoodTheocritusAbscissa15
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Comments

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    wow, when you wrote study, I thought it was going in an academic direction.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,226
    waynejr2 said:
    wow, when you wrote study, I thought it was going in an academic direction.
    Well the entire article goes into a bit more detail about each AI system but it reads as more of a case study in how developers can move their games forward from the work of their peers. 
    Torval

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 7,335
    good read ..ill add any Soldak game ... Zombasite being the latest and amazing game
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 7,146
    @blueturtle13  should write for this website. Another great post with lots of interesting details. 
    AlBQuirkykitarad

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    edited April 2016
    While Firefall might not have pulled out where it needed to, there are several elements of it's AI that would be worth checking out.

    One aspect would be Gaia, the server-side AI that seeds mobs into the environment and is used to trigger certain events based on player population density and location.

    The other would be the free-form pathing it worked on so that the mobs wouldn't have to rely on strict/baked paths to follow and could respond to the 3D nature of the environment more easily.

    It's kind of trivial to point out, but the game engine was built with the ability to sculpt terrain meshes that can overhang and fold over itself rather than relying on doodads to create all of it (as compared to more traditional terrain engines that use a height map for a mesh and then all overhangs are created through the use of placed models and doodads). This presented a few issues when it came to the traditional use of pathing where they treated the underside of an overhang as a walkable surface just as much as the actual ground, so there was a secondary mechanic given for the pathing to define reachable terrain, and the auto-pathing of the mobs actually figures out the rest in real-time rather than using a baked navmesh layer.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,826
    Interesting read, turtle!
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,098
    I wonder if computers will get AI chips or cards one day in the future just to compute AI.
  • JeffSpicoliJeffSpicoli Member EpicPosts: 2,849
    edited July 2019
    What if google ,amazon or Cyberdyne Systems - Skynet is actually powering a MMORPG forum poster to pose as a human when in fact he or she or binary non gender poster is A.I ? Would anyone even know ? 

     


    EDIT: Not talking about the cheesey spam bots selling Escorts,coupons and online poker that have flooded the website
    ScotTorvalAlBQuirkyTheocritus
    • Aloha Mr Hand ! 

  • LimnicLimnic Member RarePosts: 1,116
    edited July 2019
    I wonder if computers will get AI chips or cards one day in the future just to compute AI.
    Shouldn't in general be necessary, that's something that can and should be handled by the CPU in many cases, and is something we could be leveraging better already in most cases.

    Ignoring that this thread is apparently a 3 years old necro post, most of what's mentioned about AI is something that's been explored for a while now. Like the cover system in Division being something that was already explored previously by the likes of Company of Heroes. Guessing the original author was just commenting within their scope of experience.

    Hardware for AI computing has leaned on the power of, well, your compute processes. It's been a while since most games and engines have leveraged or supported CPU in the same measure as GPU hardware, with very few games even taking proper advantage of the various multicore setups that would be able to crunch such things pretty well.

    Just putting focus into better engine optimization should help that out as far as client-based runtime AI is concerned.
  • MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,093
    Something I noticed is many MMO players especially Pvp RvR fans don't want better AI. What's up with that? 

    image

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,093
    Here the thing. In terms of PvE, if a boss, let's say one of the bosses in endgame WoW Raid, was as smart AI wise to be directly comparable/ indistinguishable from a Player, most of these Bosses would be 97% unbeatable.

    Would that be fun, is the question. 
    Gdemamiiixviiiix

    image

  • LimnicLimnic Member RarePosts: 1,116
    Here the thing. In terms of PvE, if a boss, let's say one of the bosses in endgame WoW Raid, was as smart AI wise to be directly comparable/ indistinguishable from a Player, most of these Bosses would be 97% unbeatable.

    Would that be fun, is the question. 
    Not necessarily the best way to think of how one can improve the AI. You don't just want to make them "smarter" so they outperform players, you can use AI to add a second layer to the general experience instead of add some extra depth to the combat mechanics as well as simply a level of unpredictability and novelty without entirely breaking the basics you'd expect from any given fight.

    Example being, you can break all common mob/AI behaviors into different lists, in order to have a fully functioning mob, they pull one attribute from each list. 

    A standard mob type could have a predefined set of those behaviors, and most mobs of that type will tend to have the same ones. But they may also express variance where a mob may randomly spawn with a different behavior from one or multiple of the lists. Where a certain mob type may normally be known for charging head-first, perhaps this one likes try and flank them.

    Another thing is use of AI to enhance the world itself. Such as global AI similar to the AI Director from L4D mentioned above, but given a greater role of tracking and shaping game events and encounters from a similar set of lists as you may have built for the mobs. Procedurally generating activities for the players that relates to their present quest activites, professions, skills, achievements, etc. 
    Gdemami
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member EpicPosts: 7,015
    You have different types of AI. You have strategic AI designed to beat an opponent and than you have social AI where it tries to perform survival type instinctive reactions to the environment. Such as if a band of orcs gets killed, it will move and setup shop somewhere else or several orc bands will group together to form a warband to ward off those nasty players.

  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,098
    Limnic said:
    I wonder if computers will get AI chips or cards one day in the future just to compute AI.
    Shouldn't in general be necessary, that's something that can and should be handled by the CPU in many cases, and is something we could be leveraging better already in most cases.

    Ignoring that this thread is apparently a 3 years old necro post, most of what's mentioned about AI is something that's been explored for a while now. Like the cover system in Division being something that was already explored previously by the likes of Company of Heroes. Guessing the original author was just commenting within their scope of experience.

    Hardware for AI computing has leaned on the power of, well, your compute processes. It's been a while since most games and engines have leveraged or supported CPU in the same measure as GPU hardware, with very few games even taking proper advantage of the various multicore setups that would be able to crunch such things pretty well.

    Just putting focus into better engine optimization should help that out as far as client-based runtime AI is concerned.
    They already have AI chips for ray tracing.  I don't know if one for servers would be necessary but maybe.
  • LimnicLimnic Member RarePosts: 1,116
    edited August 2019
    That's for AI deep learning, the AI-ready element on the Turing cards is not related to the ray-tracing or other elements, and does benefit the development part of certain elements of a game, but is not the type of AI hardware support that extends real-time application.

    What that "chip" is doingm is it's a set of "tensor cores" on the Turing GPU that can take interpreted inputs like an image that's been reduced to numeric data, and hold a series of those to compare against. Basically a set of matrices for deep-learning AI to take advantage of.

    That benefits things in gaming like using an AI during development to create blends and environmental interactions out of IK rigs and scripted inputs, or teach an AI "director" how to better understand narrative structure for procedurally generating mission activities/quests. Doesn't really help you build an AI that needs to "see" and react in real-time.

    As far as real-time AI goes, best bet is having a strong CPU that can run many compute processes at once.
  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,117
    edited August 2019
    Do we need to add AI to the mobs that we going to beat up for reward ?
    AlBQuirky
  • Quazal.AQuazal.A Member UncommonPosts: 859
    edited August 2019
    curious was there a reason why they didn't include EvE online for their AI. or is it just a case of they didn't know. :disappointed:
    Personally think its just because eve is seen as the little random relative that only appears at wedding and births :hushed:

    https://kotaku.com/devious-eve-online-ai-finally-defeated-by-hundreds-of-p-1795555590

    just one example. 

    They have been running different / older types of AI to my knowledge fro 10 years or so that started with the WH / Drones that used to be able to change ammo / defences depending on damage type or ships attacking it.

    But being able to create its own defence force depending on its attackers takes it to another level for me.

    They have recently had athe Drifters attack players in a non scripted environment throughout the universe to the point that alliances had to stop fighting each other to kill the pve rats that were ganging up against the players 

    I know im a bit of a fanboy, but EvE still head an shoulders above any mmo for its player driven content ,  and now AI driven content, this to me is how a sandbox should be, the devs start the work then the game itself decides with no direction :D  (thats the longer term of course)
    Ancient_Exile

    This post is all my opinion, but I welcome debate on anything i have put, however, personal slander / name calling belongs in game where of course you're welcome to call me names im often found lounging about in EvE online.
    Use this code for 21days trial in eve online https://secure.eveonline.com/trial/?invc=d385aff2-794a-44a4-96f1-3967ccf6d720&action=buddy

  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,220
    Nice article. I have been preaching this for years. I truly believe the next step into the evolution of PVE gameplay is to have a more robust AI, that can predict and pattern detect player rotation. To have a more comprehensive battle instead of the wow pve formula, which is, "just move out of the way for whatever UI alert is on the floor", sort of thing. 
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,147
    I'm hopefully not looking for superior AI, just something where NPCs don't trip over traps, pull mobs, or get stuck in elevations that are not equal, aka: improved pathing. I don't think it's a lot to ask, but we still get games where "escort jobs" gives us NPCs who are more than stupid and cause more trouble than the NPC is worth or "finding that spot" where monsters can't reach you.

    Is it too much to hope for?

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,098
    AlBQuirky said:
    I'm hopefully not looking for superior AI, just something where NPCs don't trip over traps, pull mobs, or get stuck in elevations that are not equal, aka: improved pathing. I don't think it's a lot to ask, but we still get games where "escort jobs" gives us NPCs who are more than stupid and cause more trouble than the NPC is worth or "finding that spot" where monsters can't reach you.

    Is it too much to hope for?
    The way things are going you may have fake MMORPG with AI party members with their own personalities.
    AlBQuirky
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,631
    Ai is as good as the systems/combat and depth of the scripts.

    The mobs are told how to act and vary depending on met conditions,there is no secret on how to make AI,making it good is the trick.

    I actually like Atlas creature AI,i know what it is doing but still i like it.
    I can explain how it works and never really seen any AI like this before.

    First the creature "checks"your stats/ability.If you appear too tough it will hesitate or even run and considering ti might be a predator,that is a neat offering.Normally an AGGRO moba predator,you know those creatures often with a red hue/highlight to let you know they are aggressive are almost always simple aggro scripts,no thinking,just attack.

    A perfect example is in the water in Atlas.A Shark will definitely come out of nowhere and attack you if you are weak,no real threat to the shark but if you are strong,have a strong weapon,you might hardly see a single shark .

    Other neat ideas involve mobs that change their habits,like going from all melee to all magic.Another is to have changing resistances,that is of course IF a game actually utilizes resistances.

    So there are 3 layers,your factor,armor,resistances,weapons,types of etc etc,the mobs factor,it's layered scripts,active and reactive,and deep systems that do checks offensively and defensively.Just writing a simple script is not nearly good enough if the rest of the code is too simple or sub par.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,631
    A common script for a boss is using a %,example at 75% it does one thing,maybe heals itself or does a special powerful attack.
    The type of script i detest is locked in handcuffed type scripts,those are to me very lazy work.Example are Bosses that have set resistance damage,so you MUST do exactly 10k dmg every 10 secs or it regens back to full health,yuck crappy script.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 1,826
    AI does not need to be overly good, just engaging. Just challenging enough to overcome at the players skill level and predictable enough to learn it.
    AlBQuirky
    "Wake up, It's RNG, there is no such thing as 'rare'"
    - Ungood
  • jonrd463jonrd463 Member UncommonPosts: 607
    I don't know if the Storybricks thing EQNext was going to use would be the solution for this, but in the case of MMORPGs, my ultimate dream behavior for NPCs would be a complete simulation of the denizens of the world you're playing in.

    For example, let NPC crafters use the same system players use and then buy and sell at shops, creating a fluid economy. I'd hesitate to have the crafters going out in the world to collect resources, since that would compete with players, but the resource acquisition could be handled behind the scenes. Perhaps even supplied by players themselves in some cases. Shop owners could have lives separate from their shop during off times, and so as to allow night owl players to continue to play, shops could have shifts. When the day shift guy finishes, the night shift guy takes over and the day shifter can do whatever he wants. Go to a tavern for a bit, do some shopping of his own, and return home for example. 

    The long-standing problem with NPCs in MMOs is that they're either set dressing, quest dispensers, or vending machines. If each could be made with schedules, likes, dislikes, needs, and a little bit of chaos, it could make for truly emergent play.
    AlBQuirkyAncient_Exile

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,350
    jonrd463 said:
    I don't know if the Storybricks thing EQNext was going to use would be the solution for this, but in the case of MMORPGs, my ultimate dream behavior for NPCs would be a complete simulation of the denizens of the world you're playing in.

    For example, let NPC crafters use the same system players use and then buy and sell at shops, creating a fluid economy. I'd hesitate to have the crafters going out in the world to collect resources, since that would compete with players, but the resource acquisition could be handled behind the scenes. Perhaps even supplied by players themselves in some cases. Shop owners could have lives separate from their shop during off times, and so as to allow night owl players to continue to play, shops could have shifts. When the day shift guy finishes, the night shift guy takes over and the day shifter can do whatever he wants. Go to a tavern for a bit, do some shopping of his own, and return home for example. 

    The long-standing problem with NPCs in MMOs is that they're either set dressing, quest dispensers, or vending machines. If each could be made with schedules, likes, dislikes, needs, and a little bit of chaos, it could make for truly emergent play.
    I like the idea of npc's crafting buying and selling. 
    AlBQuirkyAncient_Exile
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