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Friday, October 5, 2007

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Exploring The A.I. Of Bots In Enemy Territory Quake Wars
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Planet Quake has posted an interesting interview with id Software's John Dean about Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The Q&A covers a variety of issues related to the artificial intelligence powering the bots in the fast paced first person shooter.

Pappy-R: You've mentioned in a past interview that AI has long been an interest for you, can you give us info on previous AI work?
John Dean: My first AI related program was a simple eco-system simulator that I called "The World" that modeled the lives of digital animals in a varied and changing world. While not very interactive, it allowed you to modify the conditions of the world at any time to see the reaction and progress of the digital life. Later works were based on trying to find practical applications for Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms, often by testing out concepts in my little "World" program. I honestly figured academic AI would be a field I'd move into after High School (that or medicine), but that train got derailed when Quake came out - I became hooked on modding games, especially their AI, and haven't looked back since.

Pappy-R: Bots can out aim a human, but do you think a game bot will ever be able to out think a human player?
John Dean: Much of how intelligent we as programmers can make the AI depends on the resources available. There are a lot of things that are possible even now with AI in games that we just can't do because your creating the AI on top of a cutting edge game/engine that already consumes a lot of resources. In nearly every game out there, the AI is budgeted for only so much CPU/memory, and you can't go over that limit, or it will affect the game's performance. This means theres a lot of really cool things you want to do that you just can't - because its too expensive. In time, with multi-core systems and ever increasing processor speeds, those limits will lessen, and you'll see more and more resources given to the AI. We've started down this track already in ETQW by running the AI in a separate thread, that can take advantage of multiple cores/processors if available.
To read the rest of the interview click over to the site below.

Planet Quake: Quake Wars Q&A
Aspyr Media
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (don't use)

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