Lucas at SIGGRAPH: AI stinks!Posted on August 5th, 2005 1 comment
At SIGGRAPH, George Lucas expressed his desire that video games have much better AI. I’ve seen his comments posted in a few places, and the so far, the most lucid response has been, “OMGZ!! JARJAR IS SO GHEY!!!111 LOL!!! JARJAR NEEDS AI!!!”
Are we done hating on Lucas yet? No? Well, too bad.
He is right.
The AI in current video games is CRAP. Right now, AI consists of very elaborate scripting. Scripted sequences != AI. Video games need real AI, where an NPC watches the PC and learns behavior from you. If you are bunny-hopping and getting more kills that way, then the AI should pick up on that and do the same thing. Using the same route every map? Then the AI should learn from that and send more guys that way. Or perhaps the AI will decide to use a feint and really be planning an assault on the other route and come from behind.
AI in games has been pretty much the same or worse since Descent. That was the last time the AI did something that made me go, “Holy crap, I’ve never seen a computer-controlled enemy do anything like that!” I was floating down some tunnel, I turn to go into a room and I start getting plinked in the back by some drone. I turn around to lay into him, and as soon as the drone notices this, it backs out of the room and hides behind a corner. It didn’t even wait for me to fire. That moment scared me.
I realize that it was scripted, blah blah blah, but it was really well done. That was over 10 years ago. It’s time to move on. Let’s see some truly innovative AI.
Oh, that’s right. EAUbisoftVivendi controls the video game market… nevermind.
The slight problem with this is that AI such as you describe is way beyond what AI can do in _any_ field, not just games. It’s sorta like saying that electricity prices are too high so power companies should just use fusion power.
The difference between AI in todays games generally centers around how skillfully the developers can hide the deficiencies of the AI.
OTOH one could prolly put alot more work into scripting for AI, I reckon that the amount of work that goes into good scripting is much less than the graphics get.