Since my time at The University of Edinburgh, one of my interests has been A.I in games. One great resource I came across that is both informative, and accessible is a YouTube Channel called AI and Games.
The channel is hosted by Tommy Thompson, an Artificial Intelligence researcher, computer science lecturer, and game developer. The channels videos/lectures, and accompanying articles on their site make useful materials for anyone interested in the field of AI and Games.
At University my final year project involved building a plan recognition agent for the board game R.I.S.K. Since then, reading about plans in games is a past time of mine, and AiGameDev is a great place to do that.
For those of you with an interest in A.I. in games, AiGameDev is one of the best resources I’ve come across. Whilst browsing through their impressive collection of articles I came across a gem on planning in games written by Alex J. Champandard.
Reading this article and watching this video was a joy. It reminded me of nights spent learning about STRIPS and HTN’s from Game Developer magazine. So if your interested in planning in games, this is definitely a great place to start.
Black and White is where my interest in A.I. in games started. (A little context) Black and White is a god game designed and created by Lionhead Studios under the directive of Peter Molyneaux. In Black and White you are a god born of the prayers of people, free to do whatever you please through the islands of the game.
In your journeys you are eventually given a creature. A tiny little thing, it behaves just like a child – curious yet inexperienced and frightened of the big bad world. Similar to a child you can teach it, it will then think and act based on what was taught by you. Invest enough time and your creature can become your ultimate agent. It was a fascinating example of A.I. in games.
Black and White’s Artificial Intelligence was designed and implement by Richard Evans, and in my opinion it was the creature feature in particular that elevated the experience of certain aspects of the game. Employing sophisticated A.I techniques, it gave deeper meaning to your relationship with the creature, you felt responsible for it (well at least I did) having to train and look after it while it grew up.
Notable features related to the creature included:
Leashes – Which gave the player some behavioral control of the creature.
Creature Combat – Where creatures would fight autonomously when not commanded by the player.
A battle from Black and White: Creatures Isle. The Crocodile is controlled entirely by the game.