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#3939353 - 04/14/14 11:37 PM Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly.  
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I have been a gamer for a long time, But have not played that many games, in the last ten years maybe four titles
There was a comment in another post about Game AI in single player mode.
This started me thinking has Game AI progressed say as much as graphics or even hardware spec in the last ten Years. Some Gamers me being one of them, like to blame AI for a failed mission /level.
Its either to dam hard, or fxxing to Dumb a bit of a cop out I will admit.
One of the first Games where the AI impressed me is probably the oldest Sim I ever played
The original tank platoon on the Amiga over twenty years ago, So my question is has game AI progressed as much As all The other components That make up a Game ?

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#3939358 - 04/14/14 11:44 PM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Generally I don't see what would make game routines better with hardware advancements- adding more transistors and gates in a microchip won't make the software seem more intelligent, the bottleneck is still a human being telling the software how to behave, rather than more hardware drawing more detailed objects with increased textures and effects with increased efficiency.

So imagine under the best scenario the programmer, who must predict ahead of time how a human player will behave in real time, and tailoring a set of pre-defined instructions to anticipate that. Imagine the extra challenge of making this behavior somewhat unpredictable at the same time, or deliberately programming in human-like errors so as not to seem like it's cheating or behaving unnaturally.

In some type of games, this is irrelevant (Tetris), others relatively easy because of the limited number of positions or possible paths within a flat maze (Ms. Pac-Man) or basically is more like an interactive movie on rails (Medal of Honor).

For an open, three dimensional world with freedom of movement in any direction that simmers crave- good luck.


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#3939359 - 04/14/14 11:47 PM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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I've yet to see a shooter where the AI knows basic gun safety. Never fails that one will step right in front of a firing gun.
I'm sure graphics have far outdistanced AI in development. Graphics sell games, while you never hear a commercial touting advanced AI.
Odd, since good AI can make a "good" game "great", when you actually encounter it. Furthermore, a game is good, IMO, if the difficulty levels change the AI behavior/intelligence, not just some kind of BS hitpoints/damage ratio.
So I think it's important, but underrated by most and hasn't kept up with graphics development.


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#3939362 - 04/14/14 11:54 PM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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If there were an elegant solution, you'd see more developers able to do it and less complaints about it.

A program like Steel Beasts can show you the challenge you're facing, the mission design tools are scripts in a natural language with Boolean operations rather than back end machine language, and you're still designing computer behavior against a human opponent who can think and react in real time, whereas your AI plans are just anticipating all of this at best without the same benefit.

Imagine being the coach of a sports team and you can't give your team instructions as the game is playing, but your game plan has to be written and submitted ahead of time, then once the game starts, you are entirely hands off while the other team still has coaching in real time. The more complex the game environment, the more problems you'll have with intelligent pathfinding and other types of complex behavior as well.


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#3939372 - 04/15/14 12:28 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Originally Posted By: marko1231123
This started me thinking has Game AI progressed say as much as graphics or even hardware spec in the last ten Years. Some Gamers me being one of them, like to blame AI for a failed mission /level.


I'll cite racing sims for this one.... on some sims, they get the AI to a level wherein they react somewhat realistically to what the player is doing.... then on a later iteration of the same sim or on a different product but developed later in the year, the AI can be a step back and suddenly crash into the player for no reason. While AI progression could probably be coded better now with the advancements we have, nobody seems to bother with this. Heck, in Falcon, the wonky dynamic campaign is still its strong point over newer sims like DCS which is still "on the drawing board" as far as dynamic campaigns are concerned.


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#3939400 - 04/15/14 01:29 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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It maybe the case that developers have the software for advanced AI
But I think a game/sim would lose it entertainment value if it kicked its human opponents ass every time.

#3939414 - 04/15/14 01:56 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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There have been precious few games that the AI really stood out as acting believable.

SWAT 4 was the gold standard for me. Wish it had widescreen resolutions that worked. The other is GTR2, those drivers were better than me.


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#3939415 - 04/15/14 01:57 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Originally Posted By: marko1231123
It maybe the case that developers have the software for advanced AI
But I think a game/sim would lose it entertainment value if it kicked its human opponents ass every time.


That's not holding it back. You might as well be arguing that computers have reached human like intelligence or better.

The bottleneck is human programmers spending a lot of time and effort on something that doesn't pay off, like graphics, or in the same way as a gimmick like sex or violent content might. For corridor shooters and limited game environments, this is not as difficult as a game arena with open worlds and lots of complex characters.

And that's why MP games are so attractive from the point of view of developers, less time spend on something like coding computer behavior, leave it up to human players to provide the challenge, which is usually going to kick a computer's ass all day long (unless you're talking about certain games like chess), unless the computer is cheating or has unfair advantages.


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#3939424 - 04/15/14 02:24 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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I have no idea how to program AI.
But it must be incredible tedious even for the most simple of tasks with all the variation to cover
Watching something like FiFA 14 when you think about it incredible what AI can do.

#3939452 - 04/15/14 03:16 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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I think a lot has to do with marketing. You can show the new! shiny! in screenshots or trailer video, but that won't showcase AI.


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#3939456 - 04/15/14 03:31 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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There's nothing that's revolutionary to be invented, because computers can't think on their own. The bottom line, the lowest common denominator is not hardware. It's the programmers, and they haven't discovered ways to make a computer 'smarter,' it can hold more storage, it can draw landscapes and animate characters better, but faster and more efficient processors do not think any more than a slow, obsolete one does. They can process more instructions at the same time, but in the end, they have no intelligence. Only the programmer does, and they are still the bottleneck with the same limitations they had decades ago. The AI is not really AI, all the intelligence comes from the person programming the game.

They have game development kits, but these still don't make a computer smarter. They are pre-optimized to render games more easily or efficiently, but in the end, your opponent is a non thinking entity. You are a thinking entity. They can do better at some games that require storing and recalling vast libraries or pulling data from memory, or performing math operations, but the way your brain thinks is far and away more complicated, like you have things that can't be measured such as intuition, or 'peripheral vision', the ability to learn, the ability to think.


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#3939463 - 04/15/14 03:44 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: PFunk]  
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Originally Posted By: PFunk
SWAT 4 was the gold standard for me. Wish it had widescreen resolutions that worked.


Did you try the method on widescreengaming, or is there something specific not right with that one, like multiple screens?
IIRC you have to set the config file to read only or something like that.
Agreed on the AI, it's pretty well done in that game, other than getting your team to step around you to set up on a door. At least they say something.
"You're in my way sir". LOL

http://www.widescreengaming.net/wiki/SWAT_4


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#3939505 - 04/15/14 07:16 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Not a sim, but Galactic Civilizations II has some absolutely amazing AI, and the AI is actually the featured part of the game. Multiplayer was totally eschewed for the single player experience, though it certainly felt like a human opponent, and people could always upload their scores and metadata to Stardock's server. The coolest thing about it is that when players were able to beat the AI on the hardest level (which by the way still didn't cheat), their tactics were analyzed with the uploaded metadata and then incorporated into the AI in a free update.

Granted, this was set piece strategy and not fluid tactics, but this does beg the question: why don't more games allow people to script an AI in games or missions? I'm talking about creating a series of LUA files from green replacement pilots to aces with different levels of aggression that could be assigned to individual units/aircraft. Your really smart hobbyists would have a field day with minimal implementation time to the developer.


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#3939510 - 04/15/14 07:50 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Originally Posted By: marko1231123
It maybe the case that developers have the software for advanced AI
But I think a game/sim would lose it entertainment value if it kicked its human opponents ass every time.

Advancing AI isn't about making the computer a better opponent, it's about making it more realistic. More stupid, if you prefer.

#3939514 - 04/15/14 07:59 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Yep, I concur. Humans are weird in their behavior.
It's hard to emulate quirks, fear, double thinking, OVER thinking, change of mind, recklessness...

Having a great AI would mean being ale to discern such behavior, not just "terminators inside".

EDIT: More specifically I think i't important to make AI coherent. If I'm leading a crack-elite team of Rainbow 6 operatives I expect the generic thug to have a worse aim,(higher bullet spread), lower reloading speed, longer reaction time and possibly being prone to fear...

Rogue spear for me will always be dear to the heart but I really hated how my teammates always felt a bit worse than the tangos we were hunting...

Whereas other scenarios may involve former military guys, with better performance.


Last edited by komemiute; 04/15/14 08:03 AM.

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#3939515 - 04/15/14 08:08 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Crysis is pretty good in that regard. The AI acts "scared", they generally know where to look for you, they react to swaying branches (even if you are cloaked) but down blind/cover fire and throw grenades well.

Perfect AI is easy, "dumb" AI is hard. Arma2 (haven't played 3 yet) was a step in the right direction as far as AI being able to "read an environment".

#3939517 - 04/15/14 08:17 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Agree on Crysis 2. I don't think a simple SP FPS gave me more excitement than that one. Well a shooter one. Portal 1 & 2 are still the best "Experience" for me... But that's another level outright.


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#3939522 - 04/15/14 08:49 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Grand Prix Legends has some of the best driver AI I can think of.


In all my years I've never seen the like. It has to be more than a hundred sea miles and he brings us up on his tail. That's seamanship, Mr. Pullings. My God, that's seamanship!
#3939536 - 04/15/14 10:11 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: marko1231123]  
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Pfunk nailed 2 titles Swat 4 and indeed GTR2,and who can forget like Semmern says Grand prix legends..man thats one tough cookie the new Wings over flanders fields (WOFF) by OBD has got the finest AI ive ever seen in ANY game ive played,it really makes you work.


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#3939538 - 04/15/14 10:14 AM Re: Game AI The Good The Bad And The Ugly. [Re: semmern]  
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Originally Posted By: semmern
Grand Prix Legends has some of the best driver AI I can think of.


Except for John Surtees in the Honda... biggrin Get outta his way! Obligatory shout out for the AI in BoB2. The AI in WoFF is very close to as good, if not better, as well.


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