Artificial Intelligence In Games – Week 22
We’re talking Skyrim this week… but it doesn’t involve dragons.
Welcome to the weekly roundup, where we draw your attention to everything newsworthy in artificial intelligence in games! If you’ve found or shared something that you think belongs here, contact us on Twitter! Last issue, we spoke about AI that can imagine and the first AI soccer world cup! You can find that here.
Skyrim Autonomous NPC Mod
Yep I don’t believe it either (and I wrote this article) but Google, DeepMind, StarCraft, GO, OpenAI, Facebook or Microsoft haven’t made it a main story spot this week. Spot number 1 goes to a seriously impressive development made in Skyrim. Researchers from North Carolina State and Universidade de Lisboa have released a mod that focuses on making NPC’s more reactive. In most games, AI is restricted by behaviour trees meaning there is little opportunity for unique interactions. By building upon a model called CIF developed at the University California-Santa Cruz, developers now have more control over NPC emotion and most importantly their actions. Whilst words may not justify how much of an achievement this really is, the fact that we’re seeing these advances in a modification of a AAA game is brilliant!
It’s great that each week an awesome indie game gets a mention for AI!
Age Of Rivals AI In Depth
From AAA RPG to Indie strategy card game – which although may not be stirring major news, it’s developer has recently been talking about its AI system. The game in question ‘Age Of Rivals’, is a card game about building the best civilisation whilst also raging wars with their opponents. Interestingly it’s AI was initially used as a method for introducing players to the game but it was quickly identified that people like playing offline and so the AI continued to be developed. The developer breaks down the AI’s advantages and disadvantages including being able to remember all previously drawn cards but not actually knowing what cards are deemed as ‘the best cards’ by humans. There’s also information on the different strategies / traits of particular AI and win rates of the normal and hard AI too. It’s a great read for those looking for inspiration!
AI In Graphics
I will now try to convince you that I know anything about graphics cards and GPU’s (that’s Adam’s area). NVIDIA have recently shown off a lot of very cool graphics developments powered by AI. The announcement came at the SIGGRAPH computer graphics event and there was certainly lots to talk about. Firstly, there are improvements to rendering photo-realistic objects in virtual worlds with real-world physics which act realistically. This tech can be used to train robots on the cheap! Next up is realistic facial animations, once again access to technology made cheaper which can be produced faster too! There are also advances in solving anti-aliasing problems, creating more immersive VR and live 360 degree stereo stitching! Needless to say, it’s all quite impressive.
Sometimes it feels as though 2017 will be known as the year AI conquered poker because so far, it’s done a great job! From beating real pros earlier in the year, developers have spent 6 years creating a poker AI that is here to help! Unlike most helpful poker AI that is only useful in a 1 on 1 situation, this AI is capable of playing a six-handed table using the latest techniques. One of Serbias best players recently put the AI to the test and eventually lost more hands than he won in around 5,000 hands. What makes this story so remarkable is that this AI program called PokerAlfie is available to download right now! So, whether your pro or amateur, why not take advantage of a helping hand!
We nearly went a whole week without talking about one of the big players…
Just For Fun
- A mobile game with a good freemium model and super challenging AI?
- Project Cars 2 has some really neat AI!
- Former Hitman devs have created fun adaptive AI in new game Echo
- The AI in Kickmen aren’t so secretive.
- …and of course, there’s some cool stuff happening with StarCraft!
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