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Earl Uhtred

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Sorry, I don't have time to talk about our AI atm, but I was not aware of there being an AI in Empire Total War.

ROFL. True too. Every iteration of the TW idea promises 'revolutionary new AI' and every time it's bullshit. Empire is nice to look at, and fun on a tactical level, but the strategic AI is just as confused as ever, prone to mindless repetitive shuffling, and appears to benefit from huge 'blunt instrument' advantages over the player.

Still better than Medieval II where the whole map was full of stupidly vast AI armies, no peace ever seemed to hold more than a couple of turns - and yet it was too stupid to assemble a force that was well-balanced or to defend its most crucial strongpoints, so that even a n00b like me cut through each one like butter.
 

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Actually: No, Fallout 3 uses GOAP, too. :p

My point is that it's not an off-the-shelf, predefined thing that you can just take from Fallout 3 and drop into ETW. Though, judging from the comments about ETW, maybe that's what they did? :rofl:

The main difference is as such:
A state-machine AI goes through the motions every time, and needs entry and exit points for a task. Also, everything the AI is supposed to be capable of needs to be implemented before hand, and it has to be "taught" new skills, and the state-machine(s) have ot be updated if you include a new action (for example, if you have dark rooms, the AI reacts in a specific state. If it is supposed to switch on the light, the AI has to be updated to do that).

Five minutes' thought about this will convince you that there is no other way to code the AI. The difference is that a more advanced AI will be optimizing certain equations instead of just following a script. The difference is in how you define the states - it's still a state machine no matter how you turn it.

GOAP uses goals and task to accomplish the same. Explanation by way of example:

Goal: Kill enemy
Task: Aquire weapon
Task: Find enemy
Task: Fire weapon

Goal: Ensure own survival
Task: Find cover
Task: Use cover
Task: heal thyself

With GOAP, the AI can fullfil these two goals simultaneous, without having to exit and enter a given state.

In short: The AI will try to kill you, while it is seeking cover. In a state-machine, it does one or the other, or becomes a maintenance nightmare for developers.

This can lead to all sorts of interesting emerging behavior. FEAR's AI, for example, uses the above goals in such a way, that the AI seems to flank the player and/or employs pincer movements.

I honestly can't explain it as well as the papers linked in my original post, so I gotta refer you to them.

If all that this produces are enemies that can flank the player, then Valve is clearly ahead of these guys by 10 years, because in the original Half-Life, the HECU troops tried to flank you too. Same with Combine troops in Half-Life 2.

EDIT: As I suspected, the first paper I looked at confirmed that beneath it all is still a state machine, it's just that they define states (and transitions between them) in a very specific manner.
 
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If all that this produces are enemies that can flank the player, then Valve is clearly ahead of these guys by 10 years, because in the original Half-Life, the HECU troops tried to flank you too. Same with Combine troops in Half-Life 2.

Drop the HL enemies in a situation their scripts can't handle, and they are lost. The FEAR AI will make use of surroundings no matter what (as long as it has smart objects that the AI can use, of course, like tables to throw over for cover).

Also: the tasks of any goal can be satisfied in different ways. For example "pick up weapon" can mean that the enemy picks up an SMG, or a missle launcher, depending on what it can reach easiest while satisfying all other goals, too (like not dying).

The next time you are in this situation, the enemy might grab the other weapon. Or run away. Or attack you in melee from an ambush.

The key is, that the AI can make use of its surroundings, and is able to satisfy many goals *at once*, and in different ways, in many situations of the game world. Not just what the developers/scripters thought of.
 

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Drop the HL enemies in a situation their scripts can't handle, and they are lost. The FEAR AI will make use of surroundings no matter what (as long as it has smart objects that the AI can use, of course, like tables to throw over for cover).

While particular battles are "set up" in HL, the behavior of the troops in particular environments (such as hiding behind cover and simultaneously chucking a grenade at the rock behind which you're hiding) clearly falls into the same category as what FEAR AI does.

Also: the tasks of any goal can be satisfied in different ways. For example "pick up weapon" can mean that the enemy picks up an SMG, or a missle launcher, depending on what it can reach easiest while satisfying all other goals, too (like not dying).

How is that different from what individual AIs do, say, in Men of War? They pick up weapons while going about other tasks, too (though they could be smarter about it).

The next time you are in this situation, the enemy might grab the other weapon. Or run away. Or attack you in melee from an ambush.

Well, strictly speaking, if you were in the exact same situation, it would still do the same thing, unless it's randomized (little incentive to do that). Of course, the players never quite does the same thing, so the reaction may be different.

The key is, that the AI can make use of its surroundings, and is able to satisfy many goals *at once*, and in different ways, in many situations of the game world. Not just what the developers/scripters thought of.

The ability of the AI to do these things would have been revolutionary...about 15 years ago, if not 20. The question is how well it does these things, not whether it should follow a hard script. However, all they describe is an AI that solves a bunch of optimization problems of some sort or another, or runs a "pathfinding" algorithm of sorts through the action space. The end result is still fundamentally a "script," just a more sophisticated one. There's nothing revolutionary here.

EDIT: While we're at it, don't you find it highly ironic that both Demigod and ETW, the only strategy games on that list, have been lambasted for poor AI? I'm not saying that the paradigm is to blame, just pointing out that throwing buzzwords around doesn't save anyone from coding the damn thing intelligently. It particularly odd since Demigod seems to be a fairly straightforward RTS (in fact, much more primitive in its environments and features than a lot of other stuff out there, such as Company of Heroes, or Men of War).

EDIT2: In fact, I recommend typing in something like "empire total war terrible ai" in Google, some hilarious results here (amusingly enough some of them relate stories of terrible AI in FEAR 2, as well). I can comment that Fallout 3 AI was acceptable, but it wasn't anything to write home about.
 
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Sorry, I don't have time to talk about our AI atm, but I was not aware of there being an AI in Empire Total War.

Harsh truth there. As Much as I love the TW series, they get away with some of the worst AI I've seen in strategy games, simply because they have no competition. Empire promised big changes but it's pretty similar to previous titles, in truth.
 

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While particular battles are "set up" in HL, the behavior of the troops in particular environments (such as hiding behind cover and simultaneously chucking a grenade at the rock behind which you're hiding) clearly falls into the same category as what FEAR AI does.
All battles in Half-Life are set up. They are all scripted.

How is that different from what individual AIs do, say, in Men of War? They pick up weapons while going about other tasks, too (though they could be smarter about it).
Implementation. Instead having to tell every possible actor that Weapon X can be picked up, you make Weapon X possible to pick up.

Well, strictly speaking, if you were in the exact same situation, it would still do the same thing, unless it's randomized (little incentive to do that). Of course, the players never quite does the same thing, so the reaction may be different.
Sure, if you play pixel-perfect every single time.

The ability of the AI to do these things would have been revolutionary...about 15 years ago, if not 20. The question is how well it does these things, not whether it should follow a hard script. However, all they describe is an AI that solves a bunch of optimization problems of some sort or another, or runs a "pathfinding" algorithm of sorts through the action space. The end result is still fundamentally a "script," just a more sophisticated one. There's nothing revolutionary here.
Didn't say it is, per se, revolutionary (except it is, since it allows behavior without scripts, and is a major break-through in AI research). However, it allows for more believable behavior with less effort by the developers. A scripted AI needs to be told what the map looks like, what objects can be used and how, and you have in general a harder time to get the behavior you want. Not to mention that a goal-oriented approach is much more flexible. Instead of the AI having to run throug ha state-machine, as well as the developers setting entry and exit points (for example: "build 20 more INF divisions, put attack on Finland on hold"), the AI evalutes what it has, looks for what tools are needed to reach a given goal, and sets about building what it needs.

For example, in HoI2 the AI cancels Operation Seeloewe, if it loses a given number of transports (I think 2/3, but it doesn't really matter). Doesn't matter if it has the IC or the time to rebuild it, Operation Seeloewe is canceled. The state-machine is finished, and the AI is being told to go do something else.

Similarly, Operation Barbarossa gets canceled, if the AI doesn't reach a given threshold.

And look what happens if you break the expected flow of the game. The AI is completely lost. It isn't able to exploit weaknesses of the player (the STRAT bombers just keep coming, despite them being shot down like flies. Patrol a port area with plans on Naval Strike, and the AI still uses the port, instead of switching to another one).

Of course, with enough scripting you can solve all of that. If you give the AI goals, and actions that can be used to satisfy these goals, you don't have to anticipate the SU declaring war on AI-China, since the AI will still be able to cope. In an alliance, the AI could actually research useful stuff, depening on what the players / other alliance members do, instead of stupidly following the list of preferred research. No nuclear research, if the Germans are knocking at the Kremlin's door.

No need to block subs for the AI, since it can't make proper use of them.

Once the AI is somewhat aware of the game-world, it could set about convoy raiding in an efficient manner, instead of using uber-stacks.

No reinforcing of beachheads it can't exploit, instead it'd change the thrust of an offensive, or retreat from a stale-mate. Oh, it can't since it isn't able to find out how many transports it needs, since the script hadn't foreseen this happening.

In short: You generalize your scripts as much as possible, and make them re-usable. GOAP is to state-machines what OOP languages are to procedural languages. Both do the job, one's just easier to handle and produces better results.

EDIT: While we're at it, don't you find it highly ironic that both Demigod and ETW, the only strategy games on that list, have been lambasted for poor AI? I'm not saying that the paradigm is to blame, just pointing out that throwing buzzwords around doesn't save anyone from coding the damn thing intelligently. It particularly odd since Demigod seems to be a fairly straightforward RTS (in fact, much more primitive in its environments and features than a lot of other stuff out there, such as Company of Heroes, or Men of War).
Demigod's geared towards multi-player. The AI there is a tool to learn the game itself.

Besides, in highly structured environments a state-machine can behave better than anything else (after all it's been used for ages now). Once dynamism comes into play, things get interesting. In the Chinese meaning of the word.

Ever played Sims? That's a GOAP-ish AI at work, too. And Sims work rather well if let to their own devices (that they aren't able to do it perfectly is the point of the game).

EDIT2: In fact, I recommend typing in something like "empire total war terrible ai" in Google, some hilarious results here (amusingly enough some of them relate stories of terrible AI in FEAR 2, as well). I can comment that Fallout 3 AI was acceptable, but it wasn't anything to write home about.
Half-Life 2: Grab a barrel. Keep it in front of you, and make sure it covers your enemies. Enjoy your poor man's god mode. The AI won't act, at all, if the player can't see the actors. Valve claims it is out of fairness to the player. The result is that a) you can't use an interesting tactic and tool properly (the grav gun to provide cover for you while you advance), and it is hilarious that you can basically walk up to a guard that's staring in your face (well, the barrel infront of it, anyway), and it won't do a thing.

Dark Reign: The AI was called revolutionary because it'd learn the player's strategy and adapt to it. Didn't work out that well, you could still tank-rush it, even after hours of play.

C&C1: The AI wasn't able to cope with a player blocking the entrance of the AI base with a concrete wall (sandbags didn't work that well, since tanks could run it over). The devs didn't anticipate that, and didn't include this eventually in the scripts or the triggers.

Of course it depends on implemntation, and design how well something works. There is no silver bullet. But games as complex as Paradox's games are push the limits of scripted events to the breaking point. Quite often beyong it, too.
 

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All battles in Half-Life are set up. They are all scripted.

Reading an article about FEAR, it utilizes a navmesh that also conveniently "hints" where things like cover area. Yeah, that's totally not "set-up." Depending on your definition of "scripted," every AI would be covered.

Implementation. Instead having to tell every possible actor that Weapon X can be picked up, you make Weapon X possible to pick up.

That's exactly how it works, sans buzzwords.

Sure, if you play pixel-perfect every single time.

So? The point is that if you do A and Y, the AI still responds with Z, no matter how many times you do-over A and Y in the same exact order.

Didn't say it is, per se, revolutionary (except it is, since it allows behavior without scripts, and is a major break-through in AI research).

So revolutionary that one of the papers cited on that website is an undergraduate thesis?

More generally, it is still a script, just a more sophisticated one. I.e., instead of telling AI "if Y, do X," it tells it "if Y, optimize a function and see if X or Z are argmax."

However, it allows for more believable behavior with less effort by the developers. A scripted AI needs to be told what the map looks like...

...sort of like the AI in FEAR?

Instead of the AI having to run throug ha state-machine, as well as the developers setting entry and exit points (for example: "build 20 more INF divisions, put attack on Finland on hold"), the AI evalutes what it has, looks for what tools are needed to reach a given goal, and sets about building what it needs.

Clearly, HoI3 operational AI does that to some extent at least, given that it makes production requests to the player (or the strategic AI).

In short: You generalize your scripts as much as possible, and make them re-usable. GOAP is to state-machines what OOP languages are to procedural languages. Both do the job, one's just easier to handle and produces better results.

Which brings me back to the point that it's still a script and hence non-revolutionary, just incremental and relatively trivial.

Demigod's geared towards multi-player. The AI there is a tool to learn the game itself.

Then why bother throwing around buzzwords to glorify its inadequacy? I believe the developers/publishers actually did mention GOAP in some instances (although I may be wrong).

Ever played Sims? That's a GOAP-ish AI at work, too. And Sims work rather well if let to their own devices (that they aren't able to do it perfectly is the point of the game).

That is completely unrelated to my point that GOAP is a pointless buzzword because every sensible AI works like that anyway, and various versions of that have been around ever since Wolfenstein 3D became old news. Dungeon Keeper had the critters make their way to the hatching areas no matter where it was located in the dungeon, too, and the first game was released 13 years ago.

Half-Life 2: Grab a barrel. Keep it in front of you, and make sure it covers your enemies. Enjoy your poor man's god mode. The AI won't act, at all, if the player can't see the actors. Valve claims it is out of fairness to the player. The result is that a) you can't use an interesting tactic and tool properly (the grav gun to provide cover for you while you advance), and it is hilarious that you can basically walk up to a guard that's staring in your face (well, the barrel infront of it, anyway), and it won't do a thing.

I don't know, but I can test it relatively easily.

Dark Reign: The AI was called revolutionary because it'd learn the player's strategy and adapt to it. Didn't work out that well, you could still tank-rush it, even after hours of play.

I fail to see the relevance of this example.

C&C1: The AI wasn't able to cope with a player blocking the entrance of the AI base with a concrete wall (sandbags didn't work that well, since tanks could run it over). The devs didn't anticipate that, and didn't include this eventually in the scripts or the triggers.

Same here.

Of course it depends on implemntation, and design how well something works. There is no silver bullet. But games as complex as Paradox's games are push the limits of scripted events to the breaking point. Quite often beyong it, too.

Indeed, and pretty much every game on the list provided delivered a mediocre AI, proving that buzzwords are not a substitute for quality product.
 

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ROFL. True too. Every iteration of the TW idea promises 'revolutionary new AI' and every time it's bullshit. Empire is nice to look at, and fun on a tactical level, but the strategic AI is just as confused as ever, prone to mindless repetitive shuffling, and appears to benefit from huge 'blunt instrument' advantages over the player.

Still better than Medieval II where the whole map was full of stupidly vast AI armies, no peace ever seemed to hold more than a couple of turns - and yet it was too stupid to assemble a force that was well-balanced or to defend its most crucial strongpoints, so that even a n00b like me cut through each one like butter.

Total war games are great IF you play mods.. you are totally correct that the AI in the vanilla game is almost always total crap
 

unmerged(63310)

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Total war games are great IF you play mods.. you are totally correct that the AI in the vanilla game is almost always total crap

What exactly do the mods change other than allowing increased formations and AI only traits?

I've played many total war mods and while I agree they are usually more fun than vanilla I'm not sure I noticed fundamental changes in the AI actions on an initiative level. I'd love to try a mod that does offer something like that though...
 

me987654

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What exactly do the mods change other than allowing increased formations and AI only traits?

I've played many total war mods and while I agree they are usually more fun than vanilla I'm not sure I noticed fundamental changes in the AI actions on an initiative level. I'd love to try a mod that does offer something like that though...


I don't remember all the details.. but one thing that makes a big difference is changing unit costs to manipulate the AI into building a well balanced army


The AI is certainly not as good at a paradox game.. but mods like Rome Total realism are quite fun and at least somewhat challenging
 

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Reading an article about FEAR, it utilizes a navmesh that also conveniently "hints" where things like cover area. Yeah, that's totally not "set-up." Depending on your definition of "scripted," every AI would be covered.
Never said otherwise. An AI has to be somewhat aware of its surroundings.

So? The point is that if you do A and Y, the AI still responds with Z, no matter how many times you do-over A and Y in the same exact order.
Which is not what happens. Your understanding of what a state-machine is, is lacking. Your understanding of what goal-oriented actually *means* is lacking.

In a state-machine, the AI *has* to go through the same motions, all the time, every time. If it is goal-oriented, it does not have to do this. It can decide on its own what actions are necessary to achieve a goal. Is that simple enough? Or too many buzzwords for you?

So revolutionary that one of the papers cited on that website is an undergraduate thesis?
Relevancy?

More generally, it is still a script, just a more sophisticated one. I.e., instead of telling AI "if Y, do X," it tells it "if Y, optimize a function and see if X or Z are argmax."
You obviously didn't read any of the papers (or, less charitably, didn't understand them). It goes beyond a mere script, or optimization. It enables the AI to *make dicisions*. Decisions not based on what the developer anticipated, but *on the state of the world*. No script (as in "movie script", not as in "Perl script") can do that.

...sort of like the AI in FEAR?
No. The AI in FEAR works, bascially, on two levels: The navmesh, and the smart objects. The navmesh enables the AI to navigate to any position, not just nodes. It tells the AI what is where. The smart objects tell the AI what it can do with the objects. A scripted AI can't do that. It has to be told exactly what to do, every step of the way. It can't react to dynamic changes of its surroundings.
In a more flexible, goal-oriented system, the AI is able to work with changes in the map.
FEAR example: Create cover yourself, as a player, and the AI can make use of it. No script necessary.

Clearly, HoI3 operational AI does that to some extent at least, given that it makes production requests to the player (or the strategic AI).
Much the same way that a monkey on a typewriter does teh same as Shakespeare: It's writing, too.


Then why bother throwing around buzzwords to glorify its inadequacy? I believe the developers/publishers actually did mention GOAP in some instances (although I may be wrong).
Terminology != implementation.

That is completely unrelated to my point that GOAP is a pointless buzzword because every sensible AI works like that anyway, and various versions of that have been around ever since Wolfenstein 3D became old news. Dungeon Keeper had the critters make their way to the hatching areas no matter where it was located in the dungeon, too, and the first game was released 13 years ago.
Still a state-machine. Not every AI works goal-oriented. It may look like it does, but for that I refer you to the above monkey-with-a-typewriter example. Jsut becuase something is a bird, doesn't mean it can fly.


Same here.
A script fails at what the developer didn't expect. A goal-oriented AI would've "known" that a building can be destroyed, if you need to reach coordinates. Without any further input. The AI knows that building can be destroyed, the AI knows that it has to get from A to B, the AI knows that it has the adequate weaponry to destroy buildings. If it notices that its path is blocked, it either looks for another way (pathfinding could achieve that with a scripted AI), or it can decide to blow the blockage into bits. *Without the developer having to think about that*. That's what is called "emergent behavior".

Indeed, and pretty much every game on the list provided delivered a mediocre AI, proving that buzzwords are not a substitute for quality product.
Question: Do you understand the difference between implementation and terminology? I have my doubts on that point.
 

DocMorningstar

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Never said otherwise. An AI has to be somewhat aware of its surroundings.


Which is not what happens. Your understanding of what a state-machine is, is lacking. Your understanding of what goal-oriented actually *means* is lacking.

In a state-machine, the AI *has* to go through the same motions, all the time, every time. If it is goal-oriented, it does not have to do this. It can decide on its own what actions are necessary to achieve a goal. Is that simple enough? Or too many buzzwords for you?


Relevancy?

Mother-eff - just lost a huge post due to tab+backspace - godamnit.


So, anyways. What you are calling a ‘state machine’ is just one flavor of state machine – what you describe is a sequential or series state machine. This means that you have to exit one state to move into the next state, and what this means in terms of behavior/coding is that the programmer has to pre-define the ‘correct’ behavior for a given set of conditions – this method of AI coding can be easily sabotaged if you know the entry/exit conditions for the state machine (the aforementioned kill 2/3 transports and the HoI2 AI leaves the ‘seelowe’ state).

GOAT is just another flavor of state machine, albeit a more sophisticated one. GOAT is a state machine that appears complex because it allows the machine to exist in multiple states at a single time. So it can have 2 goals – ‘kill enemy’ and ‘don’t die’ – essentially letting the programmer describe MUCH simpler ‘conditions’ that lead into/lead out of each sub-state. This looks like intelligent behavior, simply because the parameter space that the AI NPC in a shooter exists in is so friggin simple (given a rocket, a wrench, and a machine gun, how many different ways are there to attack that guy over in the corner). So, now instead of having to describe everything about the entire encounter process (IE, inside of a single programming module, from staying under cover, to picking targets, to healing) it can have multiple layers or modules of decision making running simultaneously. The programmer still decides how to weight each part of that decision process – and ultimately the AI behavior can be understood and manipulated.

I’m not putting down GOAT as an AI method – it is far more powerful than sequential state machines due to the combination of sub-states – and I would suspect that is the way that the new HOI3 AI will be operating.

So, lets talk about truly intelligent AI behavior – to be intelligent, the AI needs to have access to all aspects that govern its operation essentially to be aware of it’s own operation, to be able to look at what it ‘did’ before and figure out what it should have done instead – *this* is where AI gets really heavy. To do this, and AI needs to be able to identify, retain, and ‘understand’ the interaction between a *host* of independent variables.

Lets look at a single, simplified example of everything that the AI would have to keep track of to be effectively ‘human quality’

The AI would have to look at what it ‘knows’ about every country in the game
It would have to decide it if knows ‘enough’ (IE – does it have enough information to make a quality decision based on that information)
It would have to decide if getting more information was worth the effort (a zen AI: If a german AI knows nothing about Ecuador, does it care?)
It would have to decide how much effort to invest in getting more information

Once it knows ‘enough’ about a country
It has to decide how it wants to interact with that country (IE – do I want to conquer Belgium, or do I want them to join me?)
It has to decide how that country will want to interact with them (will the Belgians actually want to join me?)
It has to decide how much effort its worth bringing the other country around to its point of view

Now it needs to factor in the relative risk of fighting with that country compared to the strength of fighting that country . . . including evaluating all the terrain, potential for allies, the weather . . . everything. And to do a good job, the ai would have to keep doing this for every country, over and over and over.

Not practical (yet)

So we simplify, we build simple states for our machines, we generalize. The better we get at these features, the closer we get to emulating human behavior.

I mean, this is pretty much what a human does. When you start a game as germany, how long do you spend thinking about Ecuador? You KNOW where your conflict is going to be – you spend all of your processor (brain) cycles on france, uk, and Russia.

Meh. Be nice.

-Doc
 

Alexander Seil

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Never said otherwise. An AI has to be somewhat aware of its surroundings.

I never said anything other than that, either.

Which is not what happens. Your understanding of what a state-machine is, is lacking. Your understanding of what goal-oriented actually *means* is lacking.

In a state-machine, the AI *has* to go through the same motions, all the time, every time. If it is goal-oriented, it does not have to do this. It can decide on its own what actions are necessary to achieve a goal. Is that simple enough? Or too many buzzwords for you?

Any AI has to go through the same motions given the same exact input, unless there is a pseudo-random number generator sitting somewhere inside "randomizing it." I bet $2 that AI in any of the games listed doesn't do randomization (I don't see a compelling reason to randomize decisions), but even then, if you gave it the same seed and the same in-game situation it would do the same exact thing. A basic fact about how computers work.

A goal-oriented AI is not different in this regard, and depending on how it's set up (for example if it's making its decisions based on a continuous function of some kind), it may even result in the same behavior for "small enough" deviations. A basic fact about mathematics.

Relevancy?

AI is too lucrative of a field for there to be a major breakthrough mainly backed up by a couple of developers' white papers and an undergraduate thesis. Too many brains with PhDs working on it for something like that to escape notice.

You obviously didn't read any of the papers (or, less charitably, didn't understand them). It goes beyond a mere script, or optimization. It enables the AI to *make dicisions*. Decisions not based on what the developer anticipated, but *on the state of the world*. No script (as in "movie script", not as in "Perl script") can do that.

You might want to refer back to a white paper that, I think, quite plainly puts it that, naturally enough, a GOAP is still, on the bottom, a state-machine (just of a slightly different kind).

No. The AI in FEAR works, bascially, on two levels: The navmesh, and the smart objects. The navmesh enables the AI to navigate to any position, not just nodes. It tells the AI what is where. The smart objects tell the AI what it can do with the objects. A scripted AI can't do that. It has to be told exactly what to do, every step of the way. It can't react to dynamic changes of its surroundings.
In a more flexible, goal-oriented system, the AI is able to work with changes in the map.
FEAR example: Create cover yourself, as a player, and the AI can make use of it. No script necessary.

Two points - first of all, having the AI orient in a continuous space versus nodes is hardly much of a revolution - they had flight simulators with computer-controlled opponents back in the dark 1990's, too.

Second point - there's a crapload of games where the AI can react to destructible terrain, that do not feel the need to boast that they subscribe to a GOAP concept (even though, in substance, that's what they are doing). The whole thing here is that GOAP is a buzzword that's irrelevant because almost every AI out there already works, at least in some ways, like that. There are plenty of games where AIs can navigate continuous space, execute non-predetermined tasks based on complex terrain and deal with terrain deformation. I never heard of the people developing Airborne Assault advertise that they are using GOAP because "it's the thing to do." They just do it, and do it intelligently. That's what good AI comes down to.

Much the same way that a monkey on a typewriter does teh same as Shakespeare: It's writing, too.

There's is a nonzero probability of the monkey producing Romeo and Juliet. It's an indisputable fact of nature. Granted, the monkey may have to be replaced periodically, and it could take a few thousand years, but the point still stands.

Terminology != implementation.

Yet you brought up ETW, with its horrifically bad strategic AI, advertised as GOAP, as an example of where it was successfully applied?

Still a state-machine. Not every AI works goal-oriented. It may look like it does, but for that I refer you to the above monkey-with-a-typewriter example. Jsut becuase something is a bird, doesn't mean it can fly.

Unless you were involved in developing DK or reverse-engineered the executable, how would you know?

A script fails at what the developer didn't expect. A goal-oriented AI would've "known" that a building can be destroyed, if you need to reach coordinates. Without any further input. The AI knows that building can be destroyed, the AI knows that it has to get from A to B, the AI knows that it has the adequate weaponry to destroy buildings. If it notices that its path is blocked, it either looks for another way (pathfinding could achieve that with a scripted AI), or it can decide to blow the blockage into bits. *Without the developer having to think about that*. That's what is called "emergent behavior".

Are you seriously claiming that GOAP AI doesn't run pathfinding algorithms or use predefined navigation aids (which may take into account destruction or displacement of certain elements of terrain)? If so, I'm surprised we're not yet cybernetically-enhanced slaves to SkyNet yet. Any day now.

Question: Do you understand the difference between implementation and terminology? I have my doubts on that point.

I understand the difference between good AI and marketing buzzwords.
 

dsteve3

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Arguments for the sake of arguments.

Can someone here right a review of the gibberish these people are writing about? Does it have anything to do with Hearts of Iron?

Man, I can't wait for the new dev diary.
 

Alexander Seil

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Arguments for the sake of arguments.

Can someone here right a review of the gibberish these people are writing about? Does it have anything to do with Hearts of Iron?

Man, I can't wait for the new dev diary.

Claim - GOAP is a revolutionary new approach to AI development

My counterclaim - GOAP is a meaningless buzzword

Relevance to HoI2 - whether or not HoI3 should use GOAP or already uses GOAP.

Although, I think that there is a good argument to be made for this to be moved to OT so we can continue the discussion without distracting this forum.
 

podcat

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AFAIK, Empire: Total War uses this concept (not just F.E.A.R. :p) to great success (haven't played it, so I wouldn't know how well it works in strategy games, but the AI blows me away in FEAR2, sometimes quite literally).

if I remember correctly from what one of the devs working on FEAR said, one of the reasons the AI turned out so well was due to bugs making the soldiers do irrational things in certain situations making them appear more like human opponents :D

also, it was cheating like hell: http://www.gamespy.com/pc/fear/698080p1.html
although, in clever ways. Their AI makes for lots of fun gameplay.
 

Alexander Seil

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Thanks podcat, the very second paragraph in that article clearly specifies that the AI simply solves an optimization problem, which some people in this thread find hard to believe for some reason. Pretty hilarious revelations about the AI "flanking" the player, too, given the way the discussion so far developed.
 
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Empire - AI

@Johan:

Hi there Johan. This is Kieran from the Creative Assembly, the chaps behind Empire.

Forgive me if I cut to the chase, It's not particularly sporting (Or accurate) to suggest Empire 'has no AI'.

I appreciate I may have misread your remark, but I note several other readers have taken it the same way and in two subsequent posts you havn't bothered to correct them, so I can only assume it was your intention to take a swipe at Empire.

If I'm wrong, please do let me know. Otherwise meet me on Hang Man's Hill at midday, the weapon is swords.

Yours,
Kieran
 
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