The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence in Video Games
With a new generation of consoles at the door, the video game industry shows that it continues to work with the objective of offering its users better graphics and advanced technologies related to image and sound, but above all, to a factor that has had a constant evolution and that is key in the development of games from the beginning: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
We can understand artificial intelligence as the technology that, through so-called machine learning, allows a machine, system or software, to learn to analyze certain information from the environment in order to obtain a more human behavior. And although a few years ago this might seem like an aphorism taken from one of Asimov’s works, it is a reality that has ended up reaching us as humans and that no longer belongs to the field of science fiction and speculation.
Within the world of video games, we could summarize and define artificial intelligence as the techniques used by developers to design the behavior of famous NPCs (Non Playable Characters). However, this is a definition that has become increasingly concise in the face of a technology that has been growing along with the video game industry itself, and that now not only focuses on determining the behavior of adversaries, but which is capable of designing increasingly demanding maps, levels and challenges for players. In some online casino list, they offer some games equipped with AI technology.
The first steps
The origin of Artificial Intelligence in video games occurs before the industry itself became an essential part of popular culture worldwide. One of the best known precedents for the use of this technology in a game dates back to the 1950s, with computer chess titles that were developed based on the MiniMax algorithm. This software had the ability to analyze the position of the pieces on the board to choose the best possible move. Starting in the seventies, with video games revolutionizing the market and the entertainment experiences of users, Artificial Intelligence began to play a key role in the conception and development of the titles of major brands.
In 1972 Pong, your opponent was already able to move based on the movement of the ball you hit to return the impact, while Space Invaders gave clear signs of how the enemies evolved and were increasingly intelligent, challenging the players who they spent hours in the arcade trying to pass each of the levels.
For its part, in the eighties Pac-Man took another step, since it was the first video game that featured a route search system for enemies, who were able to more easily decipher the path that the player took under certain circumstances. In the same years, Donkey Kong boasted how much Artificial Intelligence had advanced, with a level of difficulty that pushed gamers of the time to the limit of their abilities. However, Artificial Intelligence was still precarious enough to realize that the machine was not capable of learning from its mistakes, nor of adapting to the behavior of the player, so the latter had to decipher certain patterns in order to get ahead of the most demanding challenges.
A big jump
A big jump Artificial Intelligence in video games continued to evolve alongside products that increasingly had a more avid consumer base, and therefore, more demanding. It was thus that new possibilities began to be explored and in 1987 the Golden Ax video game innovated by allowing enemies to run after the player with the intention of attacking him from behind, something surprising if we take into account that at the time the adversaries did not stand out for their mobility.
Little by little, the big developers began to explore more complex terrain, and by 2011, the algorithms of Artificial Intelligence generated simple but unique missions by randomly configuring places, enemies and objectives in the ARPG, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, thus taking a huge workload off the title designers.
Designing video games, the future of AI The role of Artificial Intelligence in the world of video games is increasingly decisive, and has gone from providing a higher level of realism to them, to designing them completely from scratch.
What is the most challenging Artificial Intelligence you have faced in all these years of evolution in video games?