On the blog neuRAI, a relatively new blog similar to this one and my sister blog Post-Play’em, there is an article discussing the differences in the AIs of the games Portal, Assassin’s Creed and BioShock.
The author makes some great points. One is about the wall that developers seem to run up against: We can make for some great “live” behavior that looks new and fresh – until we run out of assets (via space on the CD or dollars in the budget) and we start to repeat those fresh behaviors. At that point, the facade is exposed and things start to get stale. It goes to show that, at least with today’s technological limitations, the Turing Test will always fail as long as there is no time limit on the test. Until we can break away from entirely designer-constructed content, our AIs will eventually expose themselves
The second point is something that is actually born from the past when we couldn’t stuff a lot of fresh content into our agents – we faked it. He points to a technique that has been used over and over: let the player’s mind be the best brush for coloring in the AI. There is a lot of power in that. However, one caveat is that we can’t necessarily tell what the player is going to be thinking. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it can make for disappointment. Still, it makes for a lot of fleshing out of the perception of our AI without a lot of effort.
The solution seems to be a constant balancing act between two extremes. What really needs to be modeled in great detail and what can I fake entirely? Aahh, such is the quandary.
Anyway, I enjoyed the reading and personally plan to keep checking on neuRAI. Good work so far!