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Posts Tagged ‘sandbox games’

2 AIGameDev Columns

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Because of the web site issues, I didn’t announce my last two weekly Developer Discussion column at AIGameDev.com. After having to take a week off (where Alex filled in for me), I wrote Automated AI Testing:Unraveling the Combinatorial Explosion wherein I asked how we can legitimately go about performing tests on our AI code.

Is this something that needs to be explored better, however? And what are some potential solutions to find things that are not there, make sure that behaviors fall within parameters, or look reasonable? And most importantly, how do we make sure that we have explored all the dark nooks and crannies of the potential state space at the far reaches of that combinatorial explosion to make sure that our delicate cosmic balance doesn’t get sucked into an algorithmic black hole?

In my article from this last week, I touched on the furor surrounding the $100-million behemoth that is GTA 4… and how, even with that massive budget, one of the bigger gripes about the game is the AI.

Sandbox games – or at least free-roaming RPGs – are becoming more and more prevalent of late. With the likes of the GTA series, Assassin’s Creed, the Fables, or Saint’s Row, the latest cool thing to do is develop a massive open world where the plot is almost reduced to a mild suggestion. But, there are recurrent themes of developmental difficulty in those projects.

Is it possible for us to do a reasonable job on the AI of “sandbox”-style games? If so, how do we go about it?

Please read the full articles and comment over there… there are already some discussions surrounding my typically controversial topics.

Top 5 Trends and Predictions for Game AI in 2008

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Another gem from over at what is rapidly becoming our sister-site, AIGameDev.com – this is the result of a discussion that started a few weeks amongst the site regulars.

Top 5 Trends and Predictions for Game AI in 2008

Of the top 5, I’m the most excited about an increase in sandbox games and emergent behaviors. Really, I see these two as almost interlinked. Sandbox games not only allow emergent behavior to proliferate – they almost require it to do so in order to keep immersion.

Likewise, interagent cooperation was another of the top 5 on the list. Again, this is something that I see as related to emergent behavior. If you leave your cooperation loosely defined rather than pre-scripted, you will see a lot of emergent behavior as a result.

I hope to get more a feel about this very topic at the GDC roundtables and lectures next month. That is always a great way to take the pulse of the industry. Anyway, good stuff on the list.

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