THE IL­LU­SION OF IN­TEL­LI­GENCE

Not all ai Is cre­ated equally ac­cord­ing to avalanche

Games TM - - RAGE 2 -

Some­thing that im­pressed us im­mensely as we played Rage 2 was the way in which the AI would shout out in­struc­tions to each other and at­tempt flank­ing po­si­tions to try to draw us out of po­si­tion. It forced us to be on the move and adapt our tac­tics through­out the course of an en­counter, switch­ing up weapons and abil­i­ties on the fly. We asked the team to tell us more about how that all came to­gether. “I think you wanna cre­ate the il­lu­sion of in­tel­li­gence,” says se­nior game de­signer Loke Wallmo, laugh­ing. “That’s re­ally im­por­tant. id Soft­ware is re­ally good at that; if you played Doom [2016] you re­ally feel like some en­e­mies are smarter than oth­ers, and I think there’s real so­phis­ti­ca­tion there.” Cer­tainly, the legacy of id is one of AI, and the ap­peal of en­emy en­coun­ters is at the heart of its most popular games. If you can’t make an en­counter with the en­emy as en­gag­ing and in­volv­ing as pos­si­ble then it just doesn’t stand up to that rich her­itage. But it’s not all about smarts, as Wallmo ex­plains, it’s also about AI aware­ness of other AI and the de­gree to which they take that into ac­count in bat­tle. “They’re some­what aware of how many other en­e­mies are ac­tive in the com­bat around them. It’s part of the sound­box thing, as well. You can ap­proach from any di­rec­tion, like we talked about, and they have to re­act nat­u­rally to that. But then, when you’re fac­ing the Goon squad, they should feel dif­fer­ent to the Au­thor­ity, or maybe some of more reg­i­mented or trained gangs. Be­cause they are sup­posed to be crazy ma­ni­acs. So they have a dif­fer­ent ap­proach in com­bat. They might not al­ways act ra­tio­nally.”

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