Sunday, 19 April 2009

Clever AI?

AI is developing everyday, to a point now that it controls many human actions. But im going to talk about its implementation in games. In computer games it has always been like this: Give the computer cheats in order to increase the difficulty or, allow the computer to make every calculation possible in the game to give massive advantage over a player who can only keep an eye on 1 or 2 things at a time...

Either way, making the computer cheat is just a shortcut to increase what gameplay you have left after a player has finished it 100 times.

The new AI technology I believe are is this: Matchmaking - putting players up against players similar to themselves. This being said it can refer to two things: The computer assigning you against players who are similar to you or making itself more of a challenge to stop you itself.

Personally, I prefer NEITHER. This type of matchmaking is good theory, and gets you kudos but anyone should know that you cannot control things which are RANDOM.

So let me break down the first one. A computer decides what players I fight: This is fair, only one problem is there should be no players like me, only players better or worse. And how is a better player judged? more points I guess... don't consider if those points were gotten fairly by the way..
And surely, it can't match me against players which don't want to fight me... because you see, no one wants to fight someone who is better or someone who is worse. The whole point of playing anonymously is you don't know whether you're gonna get your arse kicked or not.

Example: "oh my gosh this guy has 1000000 points, and i only have 10, im gonna get whooped(!)"

Now you can judge that how you like, but would it make you feel better if that guy bought his 1000000 points?!

Conclusion: Allow players to see who they want to play, cause it shows something about themselves if they gravitate to players less than themselves or more than themselves. Or they just select RANDOM.

The second part where the computer gets harder as you progress or improve. Well I like this theory but I hate computers which just purposely do things wrong just to give you a chance since that's how you play. Well yes fair enough but consider this in an RPG:

You level higher to beat someone lower.

To me, you would do this when you're having problems, but now with this new AI, you'll have problems indefinately if you can't beat a particular part. And no, this doesn't mean you're not good enough... well yet, because you don't know the variables which are affecting the player currently...

However if this was the case, I would not progress if the game will just get harder unless I would want the game to get harder. Because what is the point of having a beginning and an end, when its all gonna be the same. So it goes like this:

"He beat me with his sword+1 when i only had a sword. So when I have my sword +5 i want to beat his sword+1. but wait my sword +5 no longer beats his new sword+8."

In this situation there is nothing you can do but keep retrying your fight knowing that he will always be one step above. <------ who knows what happens if you max out both values... lol.

Conclusion: Matchmaking isn't practical to implement in games... yet?

side not: streetfighter 4 / left 4 dead / last remnant all have some kind of matchmaking in it.

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