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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing many aspects of computing and the internet. Gaming is one of the industries that is been revolutionized by the integration of AI.
How is AI used in gaming? And what are the effects of the integration of AI? This blog will look at these questions and more.
How is AI used in gaming
Generally, the use of AI in gaming refers to the use of AI to create more dynamic and reactive non-player characters (NPCs). AI is used to improve the design and behavior of NPCs so that they respond and adapt to human players and the game environment in ways that better mimic humans.
Games with storylines focused on AI, robots, and androids aren’t the only ones to use AI.
Let’s look at the benefits AI can bring to games.
Enhanced play experience
Game designers seek to develop more life-like situations and have those situations develop more realistically. Using AI to increase the complexity of these realistic situations helps make the game more immersive and attractive to players. As the use of different devices to play games continues to grow, the need to adapt content across these devices is also improved through the use of AI.
By analyzing player behavior, their learning patterns, and game speed, algorithms can adapt in real-time. The AI can then dynamically adjust the game’s pacing and content. This helps get rid of monotony and maintains a game’s challenge.
Because NPCs are controlled by computer code, they tend to be limited in their responsiveness. Utilizing AI allows NPCs to have a wider range of responses and to react more intelligently to player interactions.
NPCs can have more advanced behavior through analysis of the environment, interactions with players, and changing objectives and context. A further aspect of this allows NPCs to display more dynamic interactions with players by responding more appropriately to a player’s actions and choices. This makes the NPCs in any game unique, that much more engaging, and increases the emotional attachment of players.
The complexity offered by AI to NPCs also allows the potential for NPCs to become more effective opponents or teammates, as required.
Procedural generation is the generation of in-game content, such as maps, tasks, and difficulty levels. Using AI in this way can create unique gameplay for gamers.
By providing new variations every time the game is played, the lifespan and replayability of games are enhanced. Procedural generation normally happens once for a discrete aspect of a game. Integrating AI here allows a game to re-run elements of the generation to adapt to player behavior.
Driving this generation with AI can build more complex environments in less time and decrease development costs.
Testing and game balance
Testing games for bugs has been a time-consuming process. Now, AI can run thousands of simulations to discover potential bugs much more efficiently than manual testing. Simulations run by AI can also be used to test the game’s mechanics and assist in optimizing them for the best player experience.
Multi-player games often have difficulty providing game balance between players. Game AI is proving a great asset in creating a better balance and delivering a more enjoyable and fair experience for players. Algorithms can also be created to provide better, more balanced matchups between players in multiplayer games.
Another use of AI is in figuring out a player’s ability and dynamically customizing the game difficulty in real-time. This would also allow for increasing difficulty in line with the player’s improved ability as they play the game.
As the use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) devices grows, so too does the innovative potential of AI. Effective AI will be able to improve immersion and interaction through complex adaption in all kinds of games, even those that are already immersive, such as the titles on offer at Treasure Mile.
Game companies can use AI to better analyze the large volumes of data related to their games and the people who play them. More effective analysis of why gamers stop playing a game, which parts of a game are most played, and other aspects will allow designers to improve their games. Analyzing vast volumes of game data will also allow game studios to anticipate what players want and expect. This will help them to remain competitive.
Security and detection of fraud
Making use of AI to analyze patterns and behavior allows for greater detection of fraudulent activity, primarily in online and multiplayer games. Used in this way, AI provides better security and greater peace of mind for players.
Kinds of AI used in games
There are numerous aspects of games that make use of AI, each with its own characteristics. To better understand the impact of AI let’s look at the most common ones used in games.
Mainly used with NPCs. Rule-based AI has pre-defined rules and conditions that determine the behavior and reactions of NPCs.
- Finite State
Finite state uses pre-defined patterns as the model for NPC behavior and reactions.
Here, AI is used to navigate NPCs through a game environment along the optimal path.
- Machine learning
More complex than most other AI, machine learning takes past experience, data exposure, and training into account to adapt its behavior and the decisions it makes.
- Reinforcement learning
Designed around a reward and penalty system, the AI analyzes the actions of players and adapts its behavior for maximum reward.
What does the future of AI offer gaming
With AI development progressing in leaps and bounds the future applications are sure to be amazing.
Game studios and designers are likely to make use of AI to generate new games. By getting an AI to learn many games, it will be able to produce unique and unlikely combinations and ideas that could provide unique games for players.
The farthest-reaching effect of using AI in games is most likely to be its use with in-game NPCs. Integrating AI will create human-like NPCs that will become increasingly difficult to distinguish from human players.