Roundup
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Game AI Roundup Week #5-6 2009: 7 Stories, 1 Event, 1 Video, 2 Jobs

Andrew Armstrong on February 9, 2009

Weekends at AiGameDev.com are dedicated to rounding up the interesting and relevant game AI articles from around the web. This week’s roundup has finally caught up with 2009 and we’ll be posting them weekly from now onwards! Be sure to swing by The Game AI Forums for some stimulating discussion, and also don’t forget Alex’s Twitter account his random thoughts…

This roundup was written by Andrew Armstrong (site). If you have any news or tips for next week, be sure to email them in to <editors at AiGameDev.com>. Remember there’s a mini-blog over at news.AiGameDev.com (RSS) with game AI news from the web as it happens.

Alternative To Rubber Band AI As Used In Pure

Pure

Most racing videogames only provide simple rubber band mechanisms to increase or decrease difficulty for AI drivers. The Pure developers seeked another method out, as explained in this Gamasutra article.

Paris Game AI Conference 09 on LinkedIn Events

The upcoming Paris Game AI Conference (co-organized by AiGameDev.com) was announced recently, and we’re looking for proposals, in particular tutorials about cutting edge research topics and industry talks. If you’re interested in participating email <alexjc at AiGameDev.com> with your ideas.

Make sure to mark it in your diary for June 10th and 11th later this year!

Open Game World AI for Destroy All Humans 2

Destroy All Humans

Pandemic’s Destroy All Humans 2 has an open world which required suitable AI - this Gamasutra article details the data-driven AI framework used for the game, which is applicable to other open game worlds.

xaitment Opens LA Office

xaiment

xaitment, AI middleware developers, opened a new office in LA at the start of February. From the press release:

“xaitment GmbH, one of the leading AI developers for games and simulations, today announced that they have opened a new office in Los Angeles, CA in order to position themselves closer to their US customer base. In addition, they have named Markus Schneider as head of their U.S. operations.”

AI Jobs

2 Game AI jobs spotted for the past 2 weeks, details are:

We are looking for a GAMEPLAY & AI PROGRAMMER for our ambitious next-gen project Earth No More.

The AI Programmer will work closely with the Lead Software Engineer and the rest of the development team to design and program AI systems for a next-generation first-person shooter game. This entails multiple levels of AI, and touches on several topics including navigation, behaviors, group coordination, environment awareness, tactics, goal-based planning, and terrain analysis.

Jeff Hawkins on Artificial Intelligence Videos

Jeff Hawkins, of Palm Computing, has done a lecture on Artitifical Intelligence that might be of interest. The description is rather optimistic, but there we go.

The founder of Palm, Jeff Hawkins, solves the mystery of Artificial Intelligence and presents his theory at the RSA Conference 2008. He gives a brief tutorial on the neocortex and then explains how the brain stores memory and then describes how to use that knowledge to create artificial intelligence. This lecture is insightful and his theory will revolutionize computer science.

The role of AI in Virtual Worlds

Ben Goertzel has a look at the use of AI in virutal worlds, the challenges and why AI agents are not implemented in many virtual worlds, as well as what he thinks will solve the problems.

There seems little doubt that in the next years, AI will make huge inroads into virtual worlds, making them more compelling and increasing mainstream acceptance. But making this vision a reality is going to require plenty of interesting work on both the AI and virtual worlds sides.

AI Coming to EVE Online

EVE Online

Slowly but surely better AI is coming to EVE Online, which might well change the game drastically for some people:

Last but not least, we are further improving NPCs by assigning advanced AI capabilities to them. Of course we are not going to assign such improvements all of a sudden to all NPCs, but rather proceed on a careful step-by-step approach which starts with the Apocrypha release. At first, only Sleepers and existing Officer spawns will receive such improved behavior and no other changes will be made to existing PvE interactions. However, with time, we might want to progressively revamp the whole face the EVE Online PVE experience by giving most NPCs clean and fresh roots to rest on.

How will they react with such a behavior? Let us just say at the moment they are going to make logical target choices depending on the most threatening targets available; but again such details are left to be explained in another Dev Blog.

Fink About It » Artificial Intelligence Acting Stupid

Fink Afraid of AI

Alex Fink writes about artificial intelligence, a good basic introduction, but more interestingly how AI is being pushed forwards by game development.

This is an informative essay about artificial intelligence. Firstly this essay will argue that artificial intelligence is nothing to be afraid about, and secondly that its development is driven by computer games. In the following I am going to explain how artificial intelligence works and how intelligence is created.

Responses to the FEAR 2 Demo

FEAR 2

The original F.E.A.R. is an outstanding example of FPS squad based AI, so the sequel has a lot to live up to. Before the reviews come rolling in, the demo released recently has had some appraisal. Here are some quotes from various blogs:

FEAR AI, it’s hard to comment on. It’s been so hyped and such a crucial aspect of the first game, I don’t know really what to say. I mean first thing I noticed was the immediate cover as soon as they see you, although that’s not uncommon in the genre by any means. Next thing I noticed was that they are pro at throwing their grenades. It’s been so long since FEAR 1 I don’t recall that game’s details too much, but it’s been a while since I recall a game with such deadly AI grenade throwing. Playing through the fire fights was definitely fun though, I guess in the end that’s all that matters.

Monolith has greatly improved the AI in F.E.A.R 2 to act and feel more realistically. The general rule of thumb here is if you can do it, so can they.The AI will take cover and work as a team while they attempt to flank you. To be more specific, they will throw over vending machines, desk, tables and anything else that can be used as cover. If you find yourself burning to death, a quick jump in a puddle will put the flames out. Keep in mind the AI will do the same thing if you lite them on fire. If you expect to walk into a room and be able to see every enemy out in the open, you better think again. There were often times where the enemies will be hiding in places you would least expect, and then out of no where they come out guns a blazing.”

“I think FEAR, fortunately enough for Monolith, was subjected to one of games journalism’s biggest sins; The Hivemind. Like Grand Theft Auto IV’s “Living Breathing City”, enough critics praised FEAR’s A.I. that it’s become gospel, a set-in-stone-fact that FEAR has incredible A.I. Don’t get me wrong, in FEAR 2 the enemy soldiers will flank, flush-out and use cover, but they aren’t the be-all-and-end-all of enemy intelligence in games. You’ll see soldiers flip over tables for cover, only to vault straight over them instantly.”

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