CSE Game Design Lab

Innovation in game design

CSE Game Design Lab random header image

Reasoning About Space

Posted by on March 21st, 2010 · Uncategorized

“This game cheats!” A cry I’ve heard and said many times before. In many games it appears that the NPCs (non-playing characters) know far too much; in fact, for many artificial intelligent agents this is true. For many games it is enough just to portray an apperance of intelligence, rather than the NPCs being somewhat intelligent themselves. This is not nessicarliy to be confused with “Rubberband AI”, in which the the AI is given some kind of “bonus” or advantage in order to still be competitive, but instead, lack of reasoning and intelligence in favour of a more scripted approach.

To quote; “As long as the player has the illusion that a computer-controlled character is doing something intelligent, it doesn’t matter what AI (if any) was actually implemented to achieve that illusion”(Liden, AI Game Programming Wisdom, 2003). I feel this is much of the time a cop out, I beleive if the agent was more intelligent opposed to all-knowing and stupid, it would make for a more interesting and dynamic test of skill.

An example of this might be playing a first person shooter; you take your first shot with a sniper rifle, and suddenly, every opponent knows exactly where you are on the map. Or in a stealth/evasion game when you are exposed and subsequently chased, but no matter where or how you hide, the chase is unbroken. In many cases, the game AI has too much access to the information which should, for a realistic experience, be hidden.

For my thesis I will programming game AI for Jimmy Kurniawan’s stealth game; Art Of Stealth. In Art Of Stealth, you play a thief, trying to survive for some amount of time while trying to evade a number of guards. My aim is to implement a particle filter for each of the guards in order to provide more realistic opponents. Instead of the having access to information about the players location, they will instead track the player using their own aquired knowledge as the game progresses. I will also be examining how the guards should coppoperate with each other and pursue the thief in order to provide challenging, realistic and also fun game play.

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