Adaptive AI Engine for RTS Games

Discussing the theory and practice

Common AI Development Concerns

Posted by Ogail on August 11, 2009

Common AI Development Concerns

  • Designing Issues:
  • Data-Driven AI System:
    • Data-Driven primitive Levels: animations, behaviors and strategies
    • Designers could build animations themselves
    • Data-Driven system doesn’t improve AI engine but supplies its degree of organization
    • Be sure that you are not driving data for areas that are better with code solutions
    • Rule of Thumb Here:
      • Create reusable, simple primitives that allow users to build more complex objects
  • The One-Track-Mind Syndrome:
    • The problem is that AI programmer apply one AI technique on all AI problems in the game
    • Most error here: “State Machines are all you need!”
    • Every AI technique is suitable for particular input and under particular game conditions
    • You can use FSM for basic layout of the game, FuSM for main short decision layer, a simpler planner to run your pathfinding and long term decision making layer , and a scripting system to drive your animations
  • Load of Details (LOD):
    • LOD might entail (handle AI details between various levels):
      • Off-screen and faraway: characters are completely non-exist for human player
      • Off-screen and close: characters can’t be seen but the human player might still hear them
      • Very far-off: character is visible a pixel or two
      • Far-off: characters are visible as solid colors but no real details yet (you can differentiate between truck and car)
      • Medium: this distance would be your true area of sight
      • Close: anything closer than medium
      • Interaction: the character is interacting directly with the player someway
    • If characters are in off-screen faraway then we can forgot about real obstacle avoidance
    • There could be LOD systems for your engine that determines the current level of detail
    • Areas under human sight could be updated thirsty times per second and far-away area could be 3/2 times
    • Scientist example (page 647)
    • LOD in RTS Game (page 648)
      • Buildings and mining will be statistically determined (without moving peons)
  • Helper AI:
    • Some areas still benefit from AI techniques as:
      • User Interface
      • AI Advisors
      • Automated Testing Systems
        • Testing Areas:
          • Limits Testing: testing values around of system’s capabilities
          • Random Testing: uses completely random input to the system
          • Smart Testing: real-game play techniques are applied
  • General AI Thinking:
    • Determine the goals of your AI controller
    • Brainstorm about how to solve these problems
    • Talk with AI staff about each proposed solution you have got
    • Coining the solutions in a small prototype (like AIsteroids)
      • Here you have 80% of the solution the rest 20% will be discovered in the code
    • Think in fuzzy with your colleagues
  • Always differentiate between good programming and programming for sake of goodness
  • Consider novelty in your AI Engines (like MOHAA when you throw grenade on them they pick up it and throw it back)

Stupid AI could do: Rules Enemy, Bad Pathfinding, Non-Contextual Enemy, Oblivious Enemy

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