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Dave Pottinger, President/CEO @dcpottinger www.bonusxp.com
½ AI Programming bits ½ Designer-y stuff ½ Hard/Fun/Sh*tty Lessons Learned Q&A
Increasingly little;) Making games since 1993 Programmer, Designer, Reluctant Biz Guy
“…more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.”
Sexy – Genetic Algorithms – Neural Nets, Learning Code – Expert Systems – A* Useful – Data driven code – Understandable, reusable code – Good team dev skills – A*
Unit/Character vs. Player Player AI Questions – Does it have to play a symmetric game? – Can it Cheat? Should it Cheat? – Difficulty levels? – Replayable? – Learning?
Action system – Idle, Attack, Gather – Animation management Player Commands Entity Logic – Searching, Attack Response Pathfinding & Movement Player AI interface
Basics – Resource Gathering – Base Construction – Attacking Advanced – Situational Response – Planning & Unit Coordination – Variety, Replay Strategic Layers
Play the Game Blank files are scary, therefore… “Baby Steps”
Attack components – Troops (which require buildings & resources) – Target – Path – Timing/Coordination – Difficulty level – Etc This is a HUGE task!
TLDR: Fake everything;) Phase 1: – Pre-placed troops – Specific target – TASK: Get the troops to attack the target
Phase 2: – Pre-placed troops – Multiple targets – TASK: Data-drive the target priorities
Phase 3: – Pre-placed buildings – Cheat the resources – TASK: Train the troops
Get an End Result ASAP Designers must use it Ingame debug display Love the Iteration
Like hashtags Blends base types and logical types Lists are precomputed Use everywhere – Searching – Research Prereqs
Combine individual items Done at load time Makes AI play more “like a human” Faster to search
Make areas @ load More “human”, etc. Add data Feed into Strategy
Context Hook – Give Players a way to believe – They will fill in the gaps Some randomness is important No one likes to lose to an AI – Make them sweat – Create excuse options
AI should be fun for players, not you Build & Iterate, don’t Plan Get it running quickly! Build a good test harness
Ideally, wait until the game is fun Stick to what you know 90% of effective AI is simple code Everyone should do AI… Yay?
Structure and Representation are the keys Write defensive logic Don’t be afraid to refactor If you can’t recite A*, you’re doing it wrong
Learn how to program;) Pick the team’s battles Players will fill in the gaps One exploit ruins everything Exaggerate the AI
You’ll find – Misplaced game logic – New & exciting ways to break the game – Performance problems – Hard to understand game systems – Multiplayer exploits Automated Testing potential
Dave Pottinger, President/CEO @dcpottinger www.bonusxp.com
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