Artificial intelligence (AI) in gaming is becoming increasingly popular as it allows for more responsive, adaptive, and challenging games. AI can create NPCs, generate game content, and adjust the game difficulty.
AI can also help interpret the players' intent during gameplay and provide a more immersive experience. Looking to the future, AI is expected to continue to empower the creation of online games, offering more interactivity and infinite possibilities.
In 2023, the gaming industry is expected to continue its growth, tapping into trends in streaming, AI, AR, and VR built on cloud technology.
Let’s look at how AI in gaming can influence the gaming experience, its advantages and the challenges in its implementation.
Advantages of AI in Gaming
AI has revolutionised the gaming industry by providing more realistic and immersive experiences. AI-enabled game development has led to various advancements, including improved graphics, more intricate gameplay dynamics, and better characterisation.
AI can make games more dynamic, allowing for improved character interactions, more complex levels and puzzles, and even the ability to create an entire virtual world.
In addition, AI allows for more personalised experiences by allowing developers to create games that tailor themselves to a player's tastes and preferences. This means that players can have unique, individualised gaming experiences with games that learn and adapt to their players.
Ultimately, AI has allowed game developers to create more expansive gaming worlds with more interactive elements and realistic visuals.
Let’s look at them in more detail.
Improved Non-Player Character (NPC) Behavior
AI improves the behaviour of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) in video games. By using machine learning and natural language processing techniques, AI can help NPCs make better decisions and interact with players in more realistic ways.
AI can also simulate conversations with NPCs, allowing them to respond to players’ questions and provide clues to progress in the game.
Moreover, it can also generate more realistic facial expressions and body language in NPCs, creating a more immersive experience for players.
Enhanced Interactivity and Immersion
AI technology offers developers the ability to create games with more realistic and immersive experiences. AI-driven gameplay can provide players with a truly interactive experience. It allows the computer to make decisions and provide reactions based on what the player does.
AI-driven gaming also allows for more dynamic and detailed environments, with in-game scenarios that can adapt and change based on the player's actions. Plus, they also allow for more realistic character interactions and NPCs that can respond to the actions of the player in a logical and consistent way.
By using AI in gaming, developers can create truly immersive and engaging experiences that keep gamers coming back for more.
AI allows game developers to craft stories that can react to different inputs from players. AI can be used to create intelligent NPCs that can interact with players, provide meaningful dialogue, and show emotion. This can lead to more believable characters and storylines that can become more immersive and engaging for players.
AI can also be used to generate dynamic storylines that can adapt to the player's actions and progress, creating stories that feel more alive and interactive. With AI in gaming, developers can create stories that can be tailored to each player's playstyle and progress, resulting in an experience that is truly unique to them.
Examples of AI in Gaming
Here are some examples of how AI is used in gaming:
In Fallout 4, AI creates unique and realistic behaviours for NPCs. It is possible to customise the AI of NPCs using mods, such as the Fallout 4 AI Overhaul mod. This mod allows for custom AI packages to be used for specific behaviours, such as weather reactions and spectator or combat overrides.
It also includes a quest system for directing NPC behaviour, a custom AI system for unique behaviours, and a sandbox procedure for testing new AI behaviours.
The Witcher 3
AI is used in The Witcher game to create more realistic Non-Playable Characters (NPCs). The mod, A Night to Remember, created by a player and fan, uses an AI algorithm to enhance the look and feel of some of the game's NPCs. This has raised concerns among players regarding the implications on actors' careers and rights.
Furthermore, AI was used to make the NPCs look more realistic in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and the results were quite impressive.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
AI is an integral part of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, with a goal-oriented action-planning algorithm being used to simulate the behaviour of multiple characters. This algorithm was first used in Assassin's Creed Syndicate, where monolithic state machines had been used to control the AI, which became increasingly complex and bloated over time.
This was then modified and used in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which took AI to the next level. Additionally, the AI for Immortals Fenyx Rising was built on top of the AI from Odyssey, taking it even further.
Challenges of AI in Gaming
Currently, there are several key challenges that AI systems must overcome when it comes to gaming. AI must effectively process large amounts of data and make decisions quickly.
They must also learn and adapt to new strategies and situations, learn from their mistakes, and refine strategies over time. It’s also a must for AI to cooperate with human players and interact with them to create a fun and engaging experience.
Here are some challenges that may hinder the implementation of AI in gaming.
Finite resources is one of the significant challenges that AI in gaming faces. This challenge arises from the fact that most games, especially those involving computer opponents, only have a finite amount of resources available to be used by AI. As a result, a developer must use a combination of creativity and skill to create an AI opponent with limited resources.
One potential solution to the challenge of finite resources is to use procedural generation. In this approach, the AI can generate new content within the game environment, such as levels, characters, items, and enemies, on the fly. This allows the AI to create content with limited resources and ensures that it can still be challenging.
Additionally, by using procedural generation, the AI can create many possible scenarios, giving players an ever-changing experience.
Another solution is to make use of machine learning capabilities. This can allow the AI to learn from its mistakes and evolve over time, creating a more intelligent AI. This can be used to create AI that is more adaptive to the player's strategy and more capable of overcoming the challenge of finite resources.
Overall, finite resources pose a major challenge for AI in gaming. However, by making use of procedural generation and machine learning capabilities, developers can create AI opponents that are still capable of providing a challenge to players.
Cost of Development
The cost of development is a key factor when considering the use of artificial intelligence in gaming. Developing AI-based gaming applications require significant resources, such as software engineering and data science teams, which can be expensive.
The cost of hardware and computing power needed to run AI algorithms can also be a factor when considering the implementation of AI in gaming.
Furthermore, artificial intelligence for gaming applications requires a significant amount of data to be collected and processed in order to fuel the algorithms used. This data must be constantly updated and maintained to provide the best possible gaming experience, which can be a costly investment.
Therefore, when considering the use of artificial intelligence in gaming, it is important to weigh the cost of development against the potential value it can bring.
Complexity of Design
Design complexity is a major challenge for AI in gaming. AI algorithms face difficulty in adapting to dynamically changing environments, which makes it hard to create AI-driven gaming experiences that can effectively respond to the player's actions.
AI also struggles to accurately model complex game systems, as they are often too complicated for the algorithms to accurately interpret.
AI-driven gaming experiences must be tested extensively, as any minor changes to the game's AI can drastically affect the gaming experience. Game developers must dedicate significant resources to designing and testing AI-driven gaming experiences, making the task of creating AI-driven gaming experiences a costly and time-consuming process.
The Future of AI in Gaming
The future of AI in gaming is very exciting! As AI algorithms and technology become increasingly sophisticated, we will see games with more immersive and interactive experiences. AI-driven NPCs will become more human-like, providing an even more realistic gaming experience.
It opens doors to adaptive gaming experiences that dynamically adjust the difficulty level, objectives, and rewards based on the player's skill level.
AI can create more efficient game development processes, such as automatically generating game assets and levels.
With AI, more engaging gaming experiences are possible by using natural language processing, facial recognition, and other technologies. With it, developers can create a virtual companion that interacts with the player in real-time. All of these possibilities are just the tip of the iceberg, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for AI in gaming.