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January, 2001 Game AI Poll

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Hello Everybody: There''s a new poll up at the Game AI site. This month I thought I''d ask a more basic question--should we allow players to fiddle with a game''s AI? It''s all well and good to talk about how to do it, whether or not it''s worth the effort, etc....but is it really even a good idea? As I post this there have been about 50 responses: Should players be allowed to modify a game''s AI? Absolutely not! A game is like a book; if you let the player mess with it they''re interfering with the producer''s vision. (2) 3% Mostly not. Any interaction with the game''s AI should be limited to difficulty settings and pre-defined options. (4) 7% Limited yes. It''s okay for players to create maps, build ''bots and maybe tweak some data files, but that''s all they need to keep a game fresh. (11) 21% Qualified yes. Players should be allowed to "roll their own" AIs through tightly controlled scripting interfaces and bounds-checked data files, but nocode changes. (14) 26% Absolutely yes! Any game that can reasonably support it should make all AI functions available via DLL or other programming interfaces. (21) 40% Total Votes: 52 What do you think? Ferretman
ferretman@gameai.com http://www.gameai.com From the High Mountains of Colorado

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quote:
Original post by Ferretman

Hello Everybody:

There''s a new poll up at the Game AI site. This month I thought I''d ask a more basic question--should we allow players to fiddle with a game''s AI? It''s all well and good to talk about how to do it, whether or not it''s worth the effort, etc....but is it really even a good idea ?

As I post this there have been about 50 responses:

Should players be allowed to modify a game''s AI?


Absolutely not! A game is like a book; if
you let the player mess with it they''re
interfering with the producer''s vision. (2) 3%

Mostly not. Any interaction with the
game''s AI should be limited to difficulty
settings and pre-defined options. (4) 7%

Limited yes. It''s okay for players to
create maps, build ''bots and maybe
tweak some data files, but that''s all
they need to keep a game fresh. (11) 21%

Qualified yes. Players should be allowed
to "roll their own" AIs through tightly
controlled scripting interfaces and
bounds-checked data files, but nocode changes. (14) 26%

Absolutely yes! Any game that can
reasonably support it should make all AI
functions available via DLL or other
programming interfaces. (21) 40%

Total Votes: 52

What do you think?




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado




Steve,

With a resounding 87% in favor of some modification of the AI of a computer game, I think these results certainly suggest that extensibility is desired by these respondees.

This however begs the question, that since www.gameai.com is frequented by more game developers (and want-to-be game developers) than by pure (do not develop games) game players, then is this response indicative of the nature of the respondees or an assessment of the game playing population as a whole?

Perhaps, asking the same question, and screening out developers (and those who want to develop) may yield a different result?

Just a thought ...

Eric

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Yes - I think asking developers will definitely skew the distribution towards ''extensibility'',''reusability'',''flexibility'' - anything which in anyway draws parallels with elegant programming and code reuse.
r.
(btw I think I saw a similar poll in some game magazine somewhere and this was just one written for plebs, and the results were mostly in the limited yes to qualified yes class boundaries).

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quote:
Original post by Geta

With a resounding 87% in favor of some modification of the AI of a computer game, I think these results certainly suggest that extensibility is desired by these respondees.

This however begs the question, that since www.gameai.com is frequented by more game developers (and want-to-be game developers) than by pure (do not develop games) game players, then is this response indicative of the nature of the respondees or an assessment of the game playing population as a whole?

Perhaps, asking the same question, and screening out developers (and those who want to develop) may yield a different result?

Just a thought ...

Eric



Oh I agree completely...I expected a much bigger vote in favor of AI mods than not. Most of my polls usually lean in that direction, but given the skew of folks who visit my site (over half are from academic sites and the like) that doesn''t surprise me much.

You''re right that I probably should add a question along the lines of "Are You a Developer?".....that would help with weighing the results in context. I''ll check into doing that.





Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado

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I was just wondering what your definition of modifiable AI means, because I own nhl 2001, and it has a full menu of how you can alter the AI, but its mostly like saying how fast they recover from body checks, or their passing, or the goaltending, its still cool, and it allows me to make really realistic matches that are close between me and the cpu, but I dont know about how like writing your own AI would be, i think levels of difficulty are fine.... And yes, I am a game programmer, but not a legal developer......

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Yep.
I want to allow players full control. For the sake of giving more lifetime to the game. ANd because mainly my Masters is about all that
And yep, because indeed I doubt that the lambda player actually understand what it would mean for them... actually I''d be extremely interested about the answer by non developper... maybe if you post that in the lounge and ask non developpers ?

youpla :-P

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quote:
Original post by Brackus

I was just wondering what your definition of modifiable AI means, because I own nhl 2001, and it has a full menu of how you can alter the AI, but its mostly like saying how fast they recover from body checks, or their passing, or the goaltending, its still cool, and it allows me to make really realistic matches that are close between me and the cpu, but I dont know about how like writing your own AI would be, i think levels of difficulty are fine.... And yes, I am a game programmer, but not a legal developer......


A good question, Brackus....everybody's definition of AI is remarkable different, it seems. Plus, I think our definitions as game developers tend to be different than those of most of our game players.

I would include your example of the adjustments you can make in NHL 2001 under the "Mostly Not" category on the poll. That game IMO does let you modify the AI, certainly, but restricts it entirely to options one selects from a screen. Really nothing can happen that the developer didn't plan and test for.

No question that it's "cool"--I think we'd make giant steps if more games let us do that much.



Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado



Edited by - Ferretman on January 14, 2001 3:16:47 PM

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