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September 02, 2008



I've always liked the idea of controlling the memory of agents in a realistic manner to greatly decrease their 'godlike' knowledge of the virtual world. When agents had to start searching for the player instead of just always knowing right where the player is really seemed to be the start of expanding upon this topic.

Then they moved towards creating node paths that followed the player's path until the last spot they 'saw' the player, but that would cause that tell tale 'stupidity' where you can easily bait agents. Which is remedied somewhat with a special state in the agent's state machine somewhat like a "cautious investigation" state. Many of the advancements seem iterative over entire games, where one popular game has an often exploited AI flaw, so the next popular game makes sure to improve on that specific point. It is a shame the nontechnical players never get an appreciation for all the iterations the AI developer goes through to get the AI "just dumb enough".


Seems to me that the great AI (fun, realistic and challenging) is still the holy grail of gaming, depending on the genre.

With the rise in available CPU budget in the last years one would think that AI would grow at the same pace accordingly. As a gamer, that's not been my experience. While graphics help first impressions and immersion factor, AI IS the gameplay and it's deserving of so much more.

Hopefully soon as a CPU cores can be consistently dedicated to AI thread(s), AI programmers will find ways to really build on the new possibilities. It still has to be fast chunks of code to work in concert with the rendering thread, which is likely a limitation.

Finally, it's my opinion that it's not often the great/smart AI that is truly appreciated but it's actually the flawed/weak points of AI that indelibly etches a poor experience to the end user. Being able to forget that it's AI, and not recognize it as such, is probably the best one can achieve. To me it's a huge part of a game and worthy of extra effort.

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