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#1 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:00 PM

AI has a tricky roll in games as well as it can be hard to a trick to roll your own AI in a game. At what point does the AI become cheap? How about when it is "too inept" to move a squad of soldiers across the ground? Etc.

Then I turned to thinking about what was the minimal set of AI 'actions' required to make what I am seeing semi believable that it could "be happening". You know.. comapred to say combo games where there are typical rings of enemies as they wait their turn to fight the player, or where a RPG party engages a substantially less powered enemy group but all the enemy stick around to get slaughtered though they "should know" there is no chance for escape and flee. Of course that branched off into thoughts about AI reasoning for which PC to attack first in an RPG (just closest, long range, tank, etc?)...

Do you find there is a minimal set of activities required for an AI to be 'believable'? If I were to give you a few a short list of AI what would you list as required action/response or behaviors?

Say: a bear in the woods, two security guards at a warehouse, or a squad of soldiers in an RTS.

Of course all of this balances against the 'fun' aspect of a game. IF you are in an RTS and move a group of soldiers in front of a large tank, but the troops refused to move that wouldn't really appeal the the player's "fun".

Was there a game or a moment where the AI in a game made you smile with a clever action? How about a game's AI that really made you cringe?

http://www.reddit.co...eaturesanimals/
http://www.gamasutra...nemy_ai_in_.php
http://www.gamasutra...ing.php?print=1
http://www.gamasutra...i_to_bring_.php

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Replies To: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

#2 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

In my book Quake III has some of the most remarkable AI I have seen in a game. The actors/agents where able to find good positions to take their shots, time when to attack, and back away to cover when they were in a gun fight they were losing.

Can't say I've seen AI since that has been able to represent such natural actions so accurately.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:00 PM

It's funny you mention that - did you rea'Quake III Arena' Bots Reportedly Stop Fighting After 4-Year Match?

Allegedly:

Quote

A gamer sets up a bot-vs-bot match on his Quake III Arena server and lets the match run to see how the bots will adapt over a long period of time. The bot AI (artificial intelligence) in Quake III Arena is designed to adapt to new scenarios and situations but these are usually resolved in short matches.

So he starts up the match and then promptly forgets all about it—until four years later when he decides to login and see what’s happening.

What he discovers is puzzling: the bots on both teams are simply standing still, not doing anything. The server is running and the game isn’t frozen. The bots are simply standing there, not killing one another.

So this anonymous gamer downloads the game and logs into the server to see what happens when he enters the match.

Here things just keep getting stranger. When he enters, the bots don’t fire on him—instead, they rotate to turn and look at him, and continue to look at him as he walks around the map.

Then he shoots one, and the bots attack him and before we can find out whether they then turn their weapons on one another, the server crashes.


There are some instances where I am just humored by what goes on in a game.. Skyrim has some amusing interactions between spawned animals I run across when loping through the mountains..
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#4 traxix  Icon User is offline

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:33 PM

I think its worth to spend a little more time on your code just to give your AI a little bit of that personality. :)
If it's just a static move to play, shoot at player. It's too simple and brainless from the AI. It will work, but if your goal is to make your AI make you smile and laugh, I definitely think its worth it. And it will give the reviewers something to write about too.

So basically you need to give your bear, guards and squad some personality. You can even just make them in the simple way of what they need to do in the game like you said, but adding that extra bit of code that will make them crack lines or occasionally even make mistakes, like a member of the squad of soldiers just wandering off, and other members having some funny lines to say to him to return to formation. Or one of those mindless AI running into you realizing he's going to be slaughtered, and saying something funny.

The AI is there for the player to progress through it, so the AI's goal really is to try to hinder your progression, but not to stop it completely, as it would be annoying.

I really haven't seen many games do this, but just think of how much fun even the most normal AI would be with this element. :)

Cheers!
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#5 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:44 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 August 2013 - 10:00 PM, said:

It's funny you mention that - did you rea'Quake III Arena' Bots Reportedly Stop Fighting After 4-Year Match?

Allegedly:

Quote

A gamer sets up a bot-vs-bot match on his Quake III Arena server and lets the match run to see how the bots will adapt over a long period of time. The bot AI (artificial intelligence) in Quake III Arena is designed to adapt to new scenarios and situations but these are usually resolved in short matches.

So he starts up the match and then promptly forgets all about it—until four years later when he decides to login and see what’s happening.

What he discovers is puzzling: the bots on both teams are simply standing still, not doing anything. The server is running and the game isn’t frozen. The bots are simply standing there, not killing one another.

So this anonymous gamer downloads the game and logs into the server to see what happens when he enters the match.

Here things just keep getting stranger. When he enters, the bots don’t fire on him—instead, they rotate to turn and look at him, and continue to look at him as he walks around the map.

Then he shoots one, and the bots attack him and before we can find out whether they then turn their weapons on one another, the server crashes.


There are some instances where I am just humored by what goes on in a game.. Skyrim has some amusing interactions between spawned animals I run across when loping through the mountains..

Interesting article. I can understand the AI eventually showing bugs in implementation rather than the bots becoming self aware as the article suggests.

No algorithm is perfect.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:30 PM

@butchdean - yeah, again it is all alleged and the "crash" at the end sounds too.. succinct.

@traxix - so you are saying just a bit of random animation or audio would do? Even factions seem to add some depth. I've been playing a grip of Borderlands 2 and I find joy in watching two (or three) factions being led to each other and see who sides with who and who is wiped out.


Has anyone been adding interesting or odd AI quirks to their games/
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#7 traxix  Icon User is offline

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:22 PM

Yeah, I definitely think that when it comes to the AI, it's all about them interacting somehow that makes the player interested or gives the player fun. As the AI programming is pretty established, so all you need to do is use the AI kind of like actors in a scene. Make them do interesting stuff.
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#8 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 13 August 2013 - 01:25 AM

I think it's strange sometimes when a game does actually have good AI in terms of flanking players and getting into good positions when they are alerted to the players presence, but sometimes the actual awareness of the AI is lacking. Such as not realising that their teammate has just been killed or that something is amiss.

I actually developed some sense management AI for a demo at university, including sight and sound. The system could easily have been expanded to include smell but not so sure about taste or what kind of game would have taste sense in the AI :)
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Straw for brains - balancing AI...

Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:16 AM

Interesting.. I guess I expect more nuanced behavior.. Say skyrim.. I would watch/tail a bear or deer for sometime to see where they go, what they do, etc. I also had a fun time in NOLF2 watching the enemy interact with the environment and keep a semi correct order of operations.

Beeboop'n around I was watching this youtube vid on EQ:Next regarding a bunch of chatter about polling statistics in game and letting monsters loose to find in game conditions that they favor and move when those conditions are no long met. The example is a band of orcs. Orcs have conditions they favor (gold, removed from guards, not being killed, etc). Instead of having a spawn area in a "lonely back road" the game will determine if that road is indeed lonely, if there is enough gold for the orcs to be okay getting over time, and if they are being harassed by guards or players. If the road is too thin on traffic, or they are getting their butts kicked too much, the band will move on to find another optimum area.

There's another example of clearing out a woods from goblins and some goblins may run back to their king to rally *their* troops to push back at you.. or just leave the woods empty.

http://www.youtube.c...q2a3zy_6M&t=692

If that sort of level can be expressed and recognized by players I think it'll be silly-awesome...
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