E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is a yearly source of both drama and excitement in the games industry. On the AI front, Sims 4 promises better character AI, Drivatar is going open-world with Forza Horizon 2, and FIFA will feature more believable behaviors — among other announcements.
Today was somewhat of an unusual day with over 35 degrees in the shade at @GameAiConf, and this is not your regular newsletter about Game AI. (Normal service will resume in a few weeks.)
As the industry innovates and games improve, the challenges that AI programmers face also evolve significantly. Issues like scaling up content creation, modernising gameplay for casual audiences, dealing with procedural levels, managing large scale emergent AI, leveraging and improving existing codebases, etc.
You may have noticed a flurry of AI competitions recently, one about controlling a slot-car and racing other teams just finished, and many more have recently opened up. This includes the return of the BotPrize for building FPS AI, the Starcraft Competition focusing on RTS AI, and even general game playing (GGP) for old classics like Boulder Dash. (See below for details and deadlines.)
As more studios adopt design best practices, increasingly many games are using ideas from AI Directors. It's not as easy as scripting a game, but there are many examples to study and learn from. Given our recent interview about SAINTS ROW with Aaron Canary, one of Volition's AI Programmers, it seems like an ideal addition to our collection of case studies.