IA on AI


Posts Tagged ‘Lionhead’

Peter Molyneux’s Significant Scientific Acheivement!

Sunday, May 18th, 2008


Damn. Listen to Peter go! Peter Molyneux, of Lionhead, was interviewed by Wired. In true Molyneux fashion, it was not only a challenge for him to keep his mouth restrained on the actual subject of the interview, the upcoming Fable 2, but he was already launching into his brand of lofty advance marketing for what he states will be his next title. The nuggets on Fable were interesting, but the headline-grabber of the interview was this:

“I think it’s such a significant scientific achievement that it will be on the cover of Wired,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.

What the heck does that mean? Significant scientific achievement sounds awfully strong. The thing is, with Peter, you don’t know if he’s just puffing up or if there is something behind that. Black & White, for example, did make a few people in the game world, especially the AI programmers, think a little bit. Was that a significant scientific achievement, however? Not really. In fact, I have a hard time thinking of what advances in game AI or simulation could be considered as such. So really, that leaves us with no yardstick with which to compare Peter’s comment to.

“My next game will not be Fable 3. It’s not a game I can talk to you about right now, but: AI, simulation, the way characters interact — we’ve had smart people working on that stuff for over a decade with the Fable games and Black and White.” His next game consolidates all of what they have learned, he says.

I guess at that point his ubiquitous “PR handler” jumped in and muzzled him.

The question, as always, with Peter is… how seriously do you take him? I wrote a brief post about Peter’s new game back in early March. In the interview I referenced there, he said that you would be able to “replay your life.” Of course, I’m not entirely sure what that means. I don’t believe the interviewer was either.

Now I know some of the dudes from Lionhead. And I know a few who used to work at Lionhead. I haven’t talked to them about this specific project… and I won’t push buttons – I’m not a journalist. However, in considering what I have heard from them in the past about how things work over there, this project of Peter’s could either be a very focused, miracle-maker, or it could still be wandering in the conceptual wilderness without a true direction. It sounds like Peter knows where he’s headed however.

On a side note, this reminds me that I never did type up my notes and perceptions of Fable 2 as presented by Peter at GDC 2008. I wonder if that is still relevant? Oh well. Hopefully I will have some time to play catch-up here soon.

Peter Molyneux’s Next Game?

Monday, March 10th, 2008

OK… anyone who has ever followed Peter Molyneux and Lionhead studios knows that he is the master of hype. He can drag a significant portion of the gaming community along behind him on his words alone. This is especially relevant to AI programmers since it always seems like Peter is on some sort of cutting edge. Well, here’s an interview(-let) where Peter talks about some mysterious project (based off of the Dimitri Project) that will apparently blow the doors off of what we have seen from him so far. The only info that he gave on it in a prior interview was that you would be able to “replay your life”.

Considering that he is still incubating the egg that is Fable 2, I’m not entirely sure what to think of this. (To be fair, the previews of Fable 2 that I saw at GDC were kinda cool. More on that when I can get around to typing up my notes.)

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Since Black & White, we’ve been thinking a lot about AI, Lionhead was founded with that thought of AI in mind. In terms of the core or the theory of the AI, we’ve moved from Black&White onto a project called Dimitri, which I’ve been tantalizing you about for a long time. And that team kept on researching. Dimitri was always an experimental thing, which is why I never showed it.

And then it moved from that experiment to a moment in time that happened six months ago when a discovery was made, and this discovery has been so exciting that it has lead to Lionhead focusing on it and sculpting a game around that. I think that discovery is so significant… This discovery has lead us to start a game and that game will be on the front cover of Nature magazines and Science magazines.

What the heck does that mean? The blog author/interviewer pointing out that we are likely talking some sort of artificial life simulation. That makes for interesting conjecture since Spore is (allegedly) right around the corner.

From another interview:

If you think back to the one thing about Black & White that was most fascinating, you’d have to say it was that creature that learned behavior and seemed, for a certain glimpse, to be alive. Imagine if you could take that and multiply it by a billion…

Oh well. I know that I will be following whatever it is that they do there. I’m sure many others will be warily but curiously watching what comes out of the king lion’s mouth (so to speak).