The way you chose to model your game agents has a huge impact on their AI. In fact, if you get a solid model in place, the solution to the main problem will become almost obvious! A perfect example is Black Rock Studio's acclaimed dirt-bike racer, PURE. The designers on the game wanted to avoid rubber band AI, but how do you do that in practice?
In the following video highlight from the Paris Game AI Conference 2009, you'll hear from Eduardo Jiménez, Gameplay Programmer on PURE. He explains how the racers are modeled and how their skills are designed to allow an AI Director to control the game according to race-specific designs.
Notes & Highlights
Analysis (and spoilers) from the video:
Skills offer a way to control the AI racers' performance indirectly, which doesn't feel like cheating for the player.
Driving, boosting, tricks, selecting routes are skills, they settled with 16 skills in the end.
Skills that have a floating point value between [0..1], with zero being the worst and one being the best.
The worst case skill isn't the worst possible, but the worst you want to allow the AI to perform.
This sets the scene for the concept of Race Scripts that provide the designers with a way to control the outcome of races.
The slides from the Paris presentation are also available here:
If you have a Premium account, you can of course see the recording of the following presentations:
Race Script: An Alternative to Rubber Banding by Eduardo Jiménez (Premium)
If you have any questions or comments on the topic, don't hesitate to post them below!