What Is AI in the Video Game Industry? A Brief Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Games.

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The video game industry has been providing entertainment to millions of players worldwide for years, and it wouldn’t be possible without the development of artificial intelligence (AI). From intelligent computer-controlled characters to realistic visual effects and game world generation, AI has an increasingly significant impact on the direction in which video games are evolving. Let’s take a closer look at where it all began and how the gaming industry utilizes artificial intelligence.

History of AI in Video Games

The origins of artificial intelligence can be traced back to the 1950s, but the first seeds of AI in video games were sown in the early 1970s with the creation of the game “Pong,” where a computer-controlled opponent could bounce the ball. Subsequently, “Space Invaders” was released, but it was the use of AI algorithms in the game “Pac-Man” that made a big impression on the industry. In this game, the computer-controlled opponents (the iconic ghosts) could make decisions about whether to chase the player or move to random locations on the screen. The ghosts could also flee from the player when the player had the power to destroy them.

The next breakthrough in AI usage in games came in 1989 when SEGA released “Golden Axe.” What was groundbreaking about it? From that point onward, enemies didn’t wait passively for the player to attack; they could approach the player and even attack from behind. In 1994, “Warcraft” introduced pathfinding algorithms, allowing units to navigate around obstacles, follow enemies, and move within specified terrain.

Other examples of AI usage in games include:

  • “Golden Eye 007,” where enemies would search for their fallen comrade’s killer and become more cautious upon witnessing a comrade’s death.
  • Games like “Half-Life,” “Thief: The Dark Project,” and “Metal Gear Solid,” where enemies could collaborate with each other.
  • “Unreal Tournament,” where bots learned from player behaviors and adapted their actions accordingly.
  • “The Sims,” which introduced a needs system that the game’s characters could communicate.

In the subsequent years, the development of AI in games continued, introducing new solutions that made gameplay more interesting, challenging, and, above all, realistic.

What Is AI in Games, and What Are Its Benefits?

Every moving element in a game is managed by AI, and the goal of artificial intelligence is to observe and then simulate human behavior. This is done to make the actions proposed by the computerized gameplay appear as natural and intelligent as possible. The more complex the algorithm applied in a particular game, the more possibilities non-player characters (NPCs) and environmental elements have.

Artificial intelligence in games is used for:

  • Personalizing game content, allowing games to adapt to individual players’ styles and preferences.
  • Controlling non-playable characters (NPCs) to make them more realistic and convincing.
  • Level design and content generation, enabling the creation of unique, randomly generated worlds for players to explore.
  • Gameplay analysis and balance, making games, especially multiplayer ones, fairer and more satisfying.

In summary, thanks to artificial intelligence, games become more enjoyable and provide players with more satisfying gaming experiences. Defeating an opponent that actively tries to outsmart you is more rewarding than winning against a predictable enemy that doesn’t react to your actions.

It’s undeniable that artificial intelligence makes games more diverse and realistic. However, AI in games also has its drawbacks. Since artificial intelligence lacks qualities like empathy and good taste, it can propose solutions that may not be valuable to players. Hence, there is a need for certain limitations or rather supervision of AI creativity.

Methods of Using AI in Games

Game developers use various AI algorithms to design games because the behavior of individual characters varies depending on the situation. Movement, combat, and dialogue, for example, all look different. The genre and style of gameplay also determine the use of specific algorithms.

Nonetheless, thanks to AI algorithms, it is possible to:

  • Create action plans.
  • Solve decision-making problems.
  • Engage in strategic planning.

These objectives are achieved using algorithms such as:

  • Herding algorithms.
  • Awareness state algorithms.
  • Decision trees.
  • The A* algorithm for pathfinding, which determines the best route for a character from point A to point B.

Generative AI in Video Games

The foundation of Generative AI in games lies in machine learning algorithms capable of generating new content based on what they have learned. Why is this important? Game developers have long faced the challenge of creating games that maintain player engagement. This requires vast resources to design large and attractive worlds, complex characters, non-linear narratives, and gameplay personalization. Generative AI relieves developers of these burdens by:

  • Generating dynamic, branching stories that the game can tell in various ways depending on the player’s decisions.
  • Real-time adaptation of the game to the player’s skill level, depending on whether the player is doing better or worse as the game progresses.
  • Swiftly implementing game improvements based on player feedback.

Examples of Generative AI include Chat GPT, Bard, DALL-E, MidJourney, and DeepMind.

Chat GPT – What Is It and How Is It Used in the Video Game Industry?

Chat GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an advanced language model capable of generating text, answering questions, and engaging in smooth, interactive conversations with users. But how does Chat GPT know what to write? Chat GPT analyzes and processes vast amounts of textual data, including articles, books, and website content.

So, how is Chat GPT used in the gaming world? In this environment, Chat GPT is responsible for generating naturally sounding conversations with players. This makes the game more interactive and engaging, enhancing the sense of immersion.

In Conclusion

The video game industry has relied on artificial intelligence from the very beginning. With technological advancements and increased computational power, the capabilities of AI continue to expand. Game developers can enrich gameplay with new elements and generate dynamic and interactive virtual worlds.

Artificial intelligence in video games enhances player experiences, making games more immersive and engaging. However, AI in games also has its limitations, as it lacks empathy and creativity. Thus, there is a need for oversight to ensure AI-generated content aligns with player preferences.

Different AI algorithms are used in various aspects of game development, and the choice depends on the gameplay style and genre. These algorithms help create action plans, solve decision-making problems, and engage in strategic planning.

Generative AI, powered by machine learning algorithms, plays a significant role in game development by generating dynamic content, adapting to player skill levels, and quickly implementing player feedback. Chat GPT, as an example of Generative AI, enhances game interactivity by engaging players in natural conversations.

In summary, the video game industry continues to evolve with the help of artificial intelligence, offering players increasingly sophisticated and immersive gaming experiences.