Two More AI topics on Serious Games

Animal-like AI behavior

I found this topic quite interesting because it can be applied to lots of different stuff. The most obvious one being programming the AI of in-game animals. Depending on the type of game, this can greatly enhance the player's experience. This is a must in games designed to teach about animals or simulations that involve animals. For example, the game WolfQuest could be enhanced with this type of AI, as the different animals in the gameworld would feel less scripted.

Another possible application can be in enemy behavior. The enemy can use animal - like behavior to hunt, ambush, escape, regroup, etc. depending on the player's actions. This could also make the game feel less scripted and more dynamic while preventing the player to "learn" the AI and exploit a weakness the programmer didn't consider.

Opponent Modeling

This is very similar to player modeling, where you need to classify the players in order to modify the game and create enjoyable experiences for everyone whether they are newbies or experts. The difference is that in opponent modeling, the objective is to modify the enemy's strategy to the player or even other AI controlled opponents. When an opponent is successfuly modeled, a rough estimation can be mado of what will happen next, so the AI could be prepared beforehand.

The gameplay value of this topic consists on forcing the player to change strategies instead of grinding the game with the same one over and over. This of course, makes the game more dinamic and entertaining.

  • David Carmel and Shaul Markovitch. Opponent Modeling in Multi-agent Systems. In Gerhard Weiss and Sandip Sen, editors, Adaption And Learning In Multi-Agent Systems, volume 1042 of Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, 1996.
  • Schneider, Nicolas (2011). Animal and Genetic AI: A Combination To Improve AI in Video Games. Obtained in April 13, 2011 from Gameinformer:
  • Kharkar, Sandeep V.; (2002). Simulating Real Animal Behavior. In Steve Rabin (Ed.) AI Game Programming Wisdom (pp 479 - 485) United States, Charles River Media Inc.

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