In December for the past couple years, AiGameDev.com has hosted The Game AI Awards to celebrate the games that came out over the previous twelve months — and particularly those with great artificial intelligence. This time it's a bit different, however...
This year, the awards have been extended to encompass innovative applications of artificial intelligence, and creative uses of Game AI in general. This means you have a much more important role to play by submitting in your nominations, to help reward current games that broke the mold and help shape future developments in the field!
The Golden Marvins
Welcome to the 3rd Annual AiGameDev.com Awards for Game AI, where the best games of the year are nominated and voted for by professionals, enthusiasts, and researchers in artificial intelligence for games.
Here's the plan for the new few weeks:
THIS WEEK — Post your nominations for the games you think are worthy of an award. Either write a comment below, on the forums, or email in your suggestions to alexjc at AiGameDev.com.
The winners will be announced on December 28th.
Screenshot 1: Marvin needs your nominations!
Change of Focus
Past editions of the AiGameDev.com awards have focused more on the "event" behind the nomination process and the voting. It brings the community together and it's a nice way to reflect over the games that came out this year. Last year I introduced an award for the Best Research in Game AI, which turned out to be both interesting and refreshingly different!
The new award helped emphasize which research the community finds the most useful. Based on this positive impact, I've expanded the scope of the awards even further this year, by picking categories to help drive the development of artificial intelligence in the games industry as a whole... In particular, a big space where there's huge room for improvement is Design & AI, as well as Better Characters.
These new award categories require more input from you over the next week, during the nominations, so be sure to add your comment below!
There are now seven categories in this year’s nominations.
- Best AI in a AAA Game
- What was the best artificial intelligence in game with a big budget and high production values, published via the traditional distribution channels?
- Best Non-Player Character
- AI technology doesn't exist in a vacuum; it requires character design, art, animation, writing and voice acting. Which game character combined these together best?
- Best AI in an Independent Game
- Which game written by a small team of developers, either web based or available on PC/Mac/Digital Distribution, had the best AI?
- Design Innovation in Game AI
- AI requires some solid ideas and a good game design to really shine. Which game showed off the best AI design?
- AI Technology in a Supporting Role
- Non-character AI (and non-actor AI) is becoming increasingly important as games become more complex. Which game used artificial intelligence best in unusual places?
- Technical Innovation in Game AI
- Who had the best ideas and technology for 2009, including middleware vendors or games listed above?
- Most Influential Published Research
- Which white paper, book or in-depth article about game AI has & will influence the field most?
All the items you nominate of course must have been released after the 1st January 2009 and before 31st December 2009.
Remember, you’re giving an award for the best artificial intelligence in a game. This means it must be a balance of two things:
Entertainment — The AI in a game isn’t supposed to behave perfectly; in fact it’s often supposed to make mistakes in a convincing way. So, are the non-player characters (NPC) or non-character AIs fun to play with or against?
Intelligence & Believability — Do the in-game actors fit in with the design and story? It’s not purely about smarts, but it helps!
Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary! The best games each year successfully use intelligent behaviors to create a fun experience for the players.