Paper: Evolution of Artificial Intelligence In Video Games

Evolution of Artificial Intelligence In Video Games: A Survey
Ken Mott [2009]

In this paper, Mott explains how AI has been implemented in different types of games and the future challenges it faces in modern games.

One of the first rough implementation of game AI ever made was in the game Pong. The opponent's paddle had to move up and down to be able to return the ball to the player. This is known as Tracking AI. In Pong, this can hardly be considered intelligent, but this is how it began.

Another implementation of AI was done in board games that had been made into video games, like Backgammon. The AI used in these games was called Path Finding or Searching and was used to determine the next move of the computer.

In games like Space Invaders, a different form of AI was introduced: Pattern AI, which is used to make the enemies appear more human like. In Space Invaders, this was used when an enemy ship drops down to hit the player. Instead of following a straight line, it would track the player and curved it's path.

In modern games, AI has gained a lot of interest. In First Person Shooters, game AI is used to make enemies seek cover or to create a sense of teamwork between them using Waypoint AI. Mott states that further improvement is needed in this genre because bots still charge into enemy filled areas and fail to find new ways to traverse the level different from the intended one.

In Real Time Strategy games, AI is controlled by scripting. The problem with this is that players will learn the patterns of the enemy and adapt to them. To counter this problem, Dynamic Scripting can be used or even Genetic Algorithms to change the AI patterns.

Finally in games like The Sims, different algorithms are used not to make them seem intelligent, but to create what is called Artificial Life, which is when programmers try to make characters seem more human-like, not just in their decisions, but also in their behavior.

As time goes by and computers let developers create more complex AI without sacrificing graphics, we'll see much better AI agents that enhance the gameplay experience of players around the world.

Mott, Ken. (2009) Evolution of Artificial Intelligence In Video Games: A Survey

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