DIGC335 – Artefact

AI are often thought of as tools used by industry to bring robotic butlers and self-driving cars from fiction into reality. However, they already see prominent use within video games as Non Playable Characters and directors running the game in the background, determining what goes where, when and how. Within this Podcast, several case studies are examined, including examples of good use of AI, like Left 4 Dead and Alien: Isolation. There are also examples of AI being used or made poorly, like in the original Dead Rising.

The project has veered a bit from the previous DIGC335 blog post. The project was previously about Mechs or Mecha, giant fighting robots. The rationale for this change is from an early presentation, where one of the questions posed was “Why use a Mech (which is piloted by a human inside) when you could use a remote controlled drone or an AI robot?” This question began a chain which lead to the concept of AI being used, and especially how they are used in video games.

The Podcasts discusses some of the various uses of AI within gaming and uses case studies of games as examples.
The games included are:
– Halo: Combat Evolved, for the use of AI which seem to want to ‘live’.
– The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for the use of AI NPC’s who respond realistically to the characters actions, as well as the ID system used to determine where an NPC should be and why.
– Grand Theft Auto V, for the use of dynamic interactions with NPC’s and a realistic and immersive world due to this.
– Left 4 Dead, for the AI known as the Director, creating dynamic games and an experience that felt fresh every time.
– Alien: Isolation, for possibly the best use of a singular AI in a horror game, or any game.
– Dead Rising, for some of the worst AI NPC’s and a frustrating permadeath mechanic for them.
– EA Sports titles, for their “rubber banding” and ‘unfair’ game deciding AI.
– Guess Who? in Garry’s Mod, for its use of intentionally bad AI NPC’s which mimic/emulate human players.

The Podcast furthermore discusses how these AI can make or break immersion, a quality that many games seek to attain. Immersion is a feeling a player experiences when a fictional world is able to bring them into it and make them feel as though it is real/realistic.

The Podcasts concludes that AI, which many believe to be an element of the future, are present right now, and are done well in video games. Games contain characters who respond to stimuli and react in a realistic manner, and often in ways which the players may not even realise are realistic. This realisation is discussed in the Podcast, and is just one of the ways that AI in gaming create a realistic and immersive world.

References:

Kotaku 2014, The Unpredictable Alien, Blog post, viewed 3/06/2017, https://www.kotaku.com.au/2014/07/alien-isolations-worst-aspect-the-unpredictable-alien/

Hanson Robotics 2016, Sophia Awakens, online video, viewed 29/5/2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LguXfHKsa0c

AI and Games 2014, In the Directors Chair: The AI Director of Left 4 Dead, online video, viewed 2/6/2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbHMxo11HcU

Left 4 Deak Wikia, The Director, wiki page, viewed 2/6/2017, http://left4dead.wikia.com/wiki/The_Director

Elder Scrolls Wikia, Console Commands/Characters, wiki page, viewed 2/6/2017, http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Console_Commands_(Skyrim)/Characters

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