Time to die snake

Ok. Enough now. This is a public notice to all game developers currently in the "hype" stage of development. Please stop dropping the "We've got some great AI" bomb during interviews UNLESS. You do have some great AI. FPS are by far the biggest culprits of just throwing that line in there after they've talked about the graphics and the story. A recent playthrough of the Turok demo shows that those cheeky guys at Propaganda games are living up to their name. Check this whole article about it over at IGN.

Fair dos you might thinking. Now, this would all be believable if after about two minutes of play you couldn't sense that all of that talk about AI was absolute bullshit.

Chuff_72, the man allegedly made of pure candles, waxes lyrical:

"WHY can't people who make these things try something a bit different, like, the raptors that attack you, they look cool and move nicely, and look dangerous, but behave like any normal retarded FPS enemy, i.e. there are 5-6 onscreen at once, they run around and you shoot them till they fall over... very exciting. COME ON, these are not SUICIDE TERRORIST RAPTORS, they are animals looking for food, why not have a pack of 5 raptors, that individually look really cool, that stalk you for the whole level, nipping in and out to fuck with you, showing some glimmer of self preservation! Wouldn't it be so much cooler to really feel like the hunted? No, no it's much more exciting to have them glitiching through each other knocking you over ALL THE TIME and then fall over dead from all the bullets you supposedly hit them with while firing randomly. "

Richard "Richie" Richeese, co-author of TGAM and wife to the stars, has this to say:

"Nope. Predictable. Um"

That guy's a maniac are still waiting for some decent AI in FPSs (and hack n' slash games like Dynasty Warriors). What exactly does an A.I engineer do? When I think of good AI, I don't think of a squad of bad guys patiently waiting their turn to have a go at you. I also don't think that one guy in ten tokenly taking cover mid fire fight every now and then counts either. I certainly don't believe the much used lie that "enemies adapt to how you play". Utter bullshit I say. I also don't think that cheap tricks like "move the horse slower to avoid attention" really ticks the AI box and the classic "grunts dramatically clambering over walls it would take them less time to walk around" is really what next-gen AI should be about.
FPSs could take a leaf out of WoW's recent AI developments. The AI is modelled on movements and behaviours observed in PvP play. The main problem with doing this for FPS is that armies of AI grunts would resort to sniping you from halfway across the level or employing the terribly efficient tactic, used by real life marines in 90% of combat situations, of circle- strafing. With the end result that the protagonist has to wade through legions of enemy units circle strafing you whilst you circle strafe them in some kind of elaborate co-ordinated dance more at home at a Bah-mitzvah. Circle strafing i's a natural reflex for many FPS players, so much so, that friend of TGAM, Robisgay, has real trouble with FPSs because his brain is apparently wired up wrongly so instead of naturally strafing left or right he can only strafe backwards and forwards. Suffice to say this tactic doesn't work so well. Of course, the fundamental flaw with AI is that the game has to be playable. In a real life situation it is unlikely that a squad of 12 men can storm a small town defended by 100 grunts a la Call of Duty 4, but a game where you are mercilessly sniped before you have a chance to fire a bullet isn't that much fun. The trick is to make the AI stupid enough so they don't take you out straight away but clever enough to have an air of believability. Alternatively, AI engineers could program enemies to incessantly call you a fag whilst tea-bagging your lifeless corpse. At least that way you could be forgiven for thinking you were playing against another "human being". But whatever you do developers just don't lie about what your game can and can't do just to sound good in an interview because gamers can see straight through it and it just makes you look like a tit from marketing.

C1 1 out.
P.S On the topic of lies, Kotaku just won't even pretend that they've got no news this month. Slow news month guys?


  1. Anonymous13:37

    LIES. The dinosaurs in the Turok demo are the most realistic dinosaurs ever seen in a videogame.

    Anyone that thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves. Honestly, it's just like being in Jurassic Park - but for real.

    Cunzy just doesn't know how to play videogames.


  2. Actually, the most realistic dinosaurs ever seen in a videogame were the dinosaurs in Timesplitters.


    GIANT EMO BISCUIT HALO just doesn't know his baubellum from his baculum.

  3. Anonymous09:36

    Its not that i can't, i just like to look where im going, (see quwake 3).

    I thought you were going to mention the wireing of slayer9's brain, where the constant straffing gives him a headache, and he has to stop after 15mins for a cup of tea,

  4. That was only when he was in his prime! Now he's married and shit I doubt he could do 5 minutes without having to go for a lay down.

  5. Anonymous10:14

    Although he does have a Wii, but thats just thats cos there's no scrolling in Wii sports, and its for light weights,


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