Me looking more moody then I felt, honest 🙂 (Dave Mark’s picture)
The final AI roundtable on Friday was AI for Beginners – we were in one room again, but it wasn’t as crowded. Some varied questions asked (not all of them for beginners, but a lot was explained for those that were). Dave Mark put up notes and audio from this roundtable too, if you want a better set of notes 😉
What do people think of Chris Heckler’s ideas?
- For graphics, we understand how to model worlds, with triangles and texture maps
- He suggests manipulating the AI in a photoshop like way
- Neil suggests we won’t get there yet – not quite feasable yet if it is the right way to go
On nav meshes, changing a nav mesh with destructable terrain – it’s costly, how do we do it?
- Something in the Wisdom 4 books
- Middleware is working on it
- Some other companies are working on it
- Changable navigation meshes have been around at least a few years
- Seeing a player jump through some points
- Company of Heroes – hierarchical pathfinding – Chris Journey
- Changing the nav mesh is dangerous – changing a key point means a lot of nodes on the mesh being made invalid
- Envelopes around destructible bits can help (Monster fighting through tokyo-like game).
- Making the nodes for points infinitely weighted for barriers
- Navmesh can have data added such as speeds of … (Not sure why I missed the end of this sentence…)
Will you be able to precompile some areas you know will be where the destructible terrain? Presetup.
- Yes. Method of efficiency
When saving the game, do you recompute or save the nav mesh?
- Should save the nav mesh saved – need to keep the state the same!
Anyone using middleware?
- Some using kygon for pathfinding
- No standard of AI like texture maps, and using middleware can lead to having to make a game to the middleware’s specs
- For most games, it’s hard to find a real middleware solution since you need to tweak the AI and so might as well build it from scratch
- Good to use middleware if you want to work on behaviours
- Resistance to neural nets in industry, but it will be used in some military simulator.
- Game industry thinks the NN is the easiest technology to misapply.
- Aversion to it since they think it’s awesome, fail at doing it, then don’t want to go back to it
What success stories there have been using NN?
- DoD, intelligence community – billions of dollars on applications of neural nets. A few isolated cases are productive, others failed.
- Neural Nets for wii motion detection
- After filtering, it is 95% – needs to be 100% – trying to get there before shipping
- It is improbable to get 100% – the accuracy curve is a logathithmic scale in pain, and in user happyness.
- This is for speech, but is likely the same for motion control
- PHD in neural nets – who shipped Colin McCrea 2.0 with neural nets, but he suggested nearest neighbour
- Instead of plain recognition, perhaps differentiation
- Applying neural nets need a lot of tweaking. Perhaps use it for what it is good at – representing interesting human action and reaction
- What are we trying to accomplish with neural nets? The right solution. B&W used reinforcement learning, not neural nets. More predictable and cheaper technology.
- Forza series – PHD in neural networks, learns how you drive your car.
- Tools needed, neural nets and algorithms are useful – not just one thing, but 75 for halo!
- Exhaustive training for it!
- Appropriate usage of it – a script helps in a rare situation for instance, but doesn’t scale
- Pre-ship or in game? Fine tune when testing/creation, but not after release.
- Will the tool save time? A tester might find the best track path faster going back to the racing car example.
Anyone doing speech recognition?
- Recognition mountain, then the natural language mountain is even bigger after it!
Smoothing AI outputs?
- Bioshock; animation system then locomotion system on top, so need to have a single action chosen not lots of them
- Subsumption will work with that
- Or don’t be a dumbass rules!
- An AI wisdom article has something on applying Brook’s original subsumption to games.
- Need to add momentum to an action – “is it important for me to change what I’m doing?”
Anyone working with a memory constrained device?
- Not really. (The original asker is working on the DS)
- The question asker is working on the lower limits of enemies, etc.
- But look at old PC gaming articles – is it similar to a P90? P60? etc.
- This keeps on recurring!
- Some articles in Wisdom books – such as not using A*
- Cell phone game used A* so it can work
- Constrained memory, CPU, so need to have the small 2-10% amount of CPU break up the work over frames (which is also thread friendly)
- Look for non-PHD implementations of mixing and matching the AI methods
- Or even fake it! – can you? or should you?
IntroGameDev.com (and AIWisdom.com) for article searches for older things.
Anyone used GPU for AI work?
- A single wisdom article on A* on it
- Tough since it’s all being utilized
- There is an instance that was explained – vector math is fast on it.
Academia and AI?
- EA in Alberta working on checking the way players played
- Failure: a goal, so go back, find what went wrong so the AI can be fixed to not fail the time
- NHL 08 shipped with it – possibly not the flow fields.
- University of Tokyo – worked with creation of characters.
How many companies are interested in an AI specializing programmer?
- Yes, lots!
And so ended the AI roundtable 🙂 Dave Mark got a recording, but it was a lot better structured (both my notes and the discussion) so it is easier to follow this time.