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fractal_butterfly

Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life in modern games

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Hi, I am new to Gamedev.net, so this is my first post. I am studying Digital Media with a focus on Animation & Games. At the moment, I am beginning with my Bachelorthesis. I want to write an essay about what AI- an AL-technologies are used in today's games, and what could be done to further improve the gaming experience with aritficial life. My Problem is, that I have no idea where to start my research about the current state of the art. What technologies are used nowadays in the industry? Are they using just state machines or rather complex mechanics like first order logic or neural neutworks? I could use some "directions" ;-) Thanks in Advance

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IADaveMark    3741
FSM <-------------------- [massive gulf] --------------------> Neural Networks

Methinks you simply need to study general AI algorithms to fill in the aforementioned "massive gulf". Dropping acronyms into a thread reply won't help you. On the other hand, if you read some very simple literature or web sites (including this forum and AIGameDev.com), you would learn the technologies that are used in games well beyond what they are called. At that point, you will be able to understand not only what they are but how they are used and in what prevalence.

Put another way, research is more than asking a question of essentially a random bunch of people.

However, to get you started with your Google searches (in no particular order):

Behavior Trees
STRIPS-based planners
Goal-oriented action planners (GOAP)
Hierarchical FSMs
Subsumption architectures
Utility-based systems
Min-Max Tree Searches
Steering Behaviors
Cellular Automata (often used in the a-life you speak of)

Books to read:
Programming Game AI by Example
Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI
AI Game Engine Programming
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd Edition)

Off you go...

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Alrecenk    400
There's an interesting overview of the AI used in Left 4 Dead that might give you some idea of real world game AI :
http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2009/ai_systems_of_l4d_mike_booth.pdf

And on top of InnocuousFox's list I would recommend looking into simple graph searching(breadth first, depth first, and A*). I semi-regularly encounter someone trying to use complex AI algorithms where a simple breadth first search will suffice.

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Stani R    1070
Quote:
Original post by fractal_butterfly
I could use some "directions" ;-)

I don't know the specific requirements at your university of course, but in my experience a bachelor's thesis is usually somewhere between 50-100 pages. With your current topic ("what AI is used today in games") you could easily cover 200 pages without scratching the surface, so I think your thesis might be a tad too broad. After you do some initial research it will be beneficial to narrow down your topic. You will most likely come up with more specific and interesting questions in the course of your research, so that should help.

Some areas you could look into:
Movement - steering, pathfinding algorithms
Decision Making - FSM, GOAP, blackboards and rule-based systems
Board Games - minimax and various tree search algorithms, plus supporting algorithms like transposition tables and opening books

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Thank you very much for your help so far. Now I have a starting point for my research ;-)
I had a course about AI-Programming, but it was only about path searching (A* eg) and first order logic.
What I want to achieve in my Bachelorthesis is to create a simple game, in which a hero fights enemies. The goal is to make the enemies behave more authentic on an emotional level, so that they don't fight to the death (like in most games), fear for their lives or even try to negotiate with the hero.
My Problem is, that I don't know if such behaviour has yet be implemented in any computer game. I know that there is a moral System in the Dawn of War games, but I think that it is only copying the Table-Top game mechanics.
Maybe my best reference could be The Sims, but I don't know which mechanics could have been used to model their behaviour.

Maybe is isn't even necessary to use complex AI-Techniques to achieve the goals I want to achieve with my program, but to research this is also part of my work ;-)

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IADaveMark    3741
Quote:
Original post by fractal_butterfly
What I want to achieve in my Bachelorthesis is to create a simple game, in which a hero fights enemies. The goal is to make the enemies behave more authentic on an emotional level, so that they don't fight to the death (like in most games), fear for their lives or even try to negotiate with the hero.
My Problem is, that I don't know if such behaviour has yet be implemented in any computer game. I know that there is a moral System in the Dawn of War games, but I think that it is only copying the Table-Top game mechanics.
Maybe my best reference could be The Sims, but I don't know which mechanics could have been used to model their behaviour.

So let me get this straight... you haven't really programmed AI, you don't know the majority of the techniques, and yet you are setting your sights on create a game/simulation/program that most entire teams don't bother to do because it is difficult?

Yeah... definitely scale things back a bit, sir.

Incidentally, the Sims uses "smart terrain" and utility-based architectures. There are tons of papers out there on it. Go hit Google for it.

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