Future of FPS: AI

Doom 3 is a shining example of how far the FPS genre hasn't come. After a decade of technology development since Doom, the best the industry could do was stick players in even smaller, more limited, more repetitive corridor environments than those of the original... fighting monsters almost dumber then they were in Doom 1, and then turn the lights out to show off "real-time lighting".

The buzz focus in games lately has been on NPC friendly AI, like that of Bioshock or Swat 4, which can do things besides just fight you, but the truth is that enemy AI could still go much, much further than it has gone so far. Of course, discussing AI in games always sounds like you're asking for some really complex, unreasonably difficult programming, but the truth is, a lot of the weaknesses in enemy AI these days comes down more to attention to detail than to technical implementation.

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Sashy4054d ago

That was a great article, really intressting.

Armyless4054d ago

It's not AI, the future of FPS is multiplayer and control.

ion6664054d ago


ShiftyLookingCow4054d ago

Klingon mating style is funny

okcomputer4054d ago

Great article. n4g needs more stories like this and less flame bait for the fanboys. AI really is the thing that separates the good fps from great.

I was hugely disappointed by doom 3 too, it looked amazing graphically, but the gameplay was exactly the same as doom 1, no evolution at all. Resistance and fear both had solid ai though, so there are some steps in the right direction being made. Hopefully the next wave of fps will take it to the next level. Haze, halo3 and killzone should make some pretty big leaps forward in the ai department with all the time and money put into development

The BS Police4054d ago

Frankie over at Bungie has discussed Brute AI interacting with equipment in Halo 3's campaign mode, and it sounds very promising.

AI never use to impress me before, but lately it's been something that I look forward to.

tplarkin74054d ago

Doom 3 was never an example of AI. In fact, it is the worst example. Halo or Half-Life 2 should have been the main focus for the article, since they have impressive AI.

GnaM4054d ago (Edited 4054d ago )

On the contrary, that was the whole point of the article, that AI in games is not much better than in Doom 3, in which it was poor. Halo, HL2, and FEAR have slightly better AI, but only marginally so; they should be a lot better. Things like taking cover, climbing over obstacles, or basic flanking are very simple things which should not be considered state of the art, and yet they are.

Having personally edited Halo's AI via modding, I can tell you that Halo's AI is full of stupid bad habits that are easy to fix. For example most of the time enemies just blindly rush into point blank range rather than use any sort of tactics. This is because the enemies are programmed to only shoot at you at a distance of 5-10 meters max... by doubling that distance to 20 meters or more, the enemies suddenly start acting a lot more intelligent. All by themselves, they actually start hanging back and shooting from a distance till you're pinned down, then trying to flank you.

Another example is how grunts fire their needlers in single shots, even though it's an automatic weapon that's only very powerful when 7-8 needlers hit you at once. They also fire plasma pistols extremely slowly, and even elites and marines use extremely short bursts in situations where they should just be hosing down their opponents. By simply extending the maximum burst length for the enemies, they suddenly become a lot more threatening.

Like I said, these are simple aspects of the AI which don't require any extra technical know-how to implement. It's obvious that Bungie made the AI in Halo as dumb as it is on purpose, because they felt they had to hold the players' hands through the game and not be to hard on them. This is made even more obvious by the fact that by and large the enemies got dumber in Halo 2. While certainly this may have been appropriate on the lower difficulty levels, without a doubt Heroic and Legendary modes would have been more fun if Bungie had actually concentrated on making the enemies smarter, rather than just giving them ridiculously high amounts of shields and health and keep them just as stupid.

This simply should not happen. Halo's AI actually does have a lot of potential, but unless you modded it, you would never know, because Bungie dumbed it down. That's why my whole point in the article was to point out that developers need to place a higher value on intelligent AI and stop treating gamers like n00bs.

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