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AI Games

AI Systems Designing Games 47

Trepidity writes "AI systems can (sort of) paint and compose classical music, but can they design games? Slashdot looked at the question a few years ago, and several research groups now have experimental systems that design board games and platformers with varying levels of success. I've put together a survey of the AI game designers I know of, to round up what they can do so far (and what they can't). Are there any others out there? 'Pell's METAGAME is, to my knowledge, the first published game generator. He defines a generative space of games more general than chess, which he calls "symmetric, chess-like games." They're encoded in a representation specific to this genre, which is also symmetric by construction. By symmetric I mean that mechanics are specified only from the perspective of one player, with the starting positions and rules that apply to the other player always being the mirror of the first player's. The rules themselves are represented in a game grammar, and generation is done by stochastically sampling from that grammar, along with some checks for basic game playability, and generative-parameter knobs to tweak some aspects of what's likely to be generated.'"
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AI Systems Designing Games

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  • by Dr. Gamera ( 1548195 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @07:52PM (#42456139)

    "Pell's motivation was actually not game generation, but general game playing: by the early 1990s, there was a worry that chess-playing AI had delved too deeply into special-case code that was very specific to chess."

    Whereas nowadays, there's a worry that brute force solves all AI game-playing problems. If the search space is small enough, you run alpha-beta with iterative deepening and a few other tweaks. If the search space is too large for that, you run Monte-Carlo Tree Search.

    I last chatted with Barney Pell at a AAAI conference in the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, by that point, he had given up the METAGAME research, primarily because he couldn't get people interested in it.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @08:00PM (#42456215)

    > primarily because he couldn't get people interested in it.

    Probably because the topic doesn't sound all that interesting with current multi-cores except to the hard-hard-core computer geeks. :-/ While most geeks love Chess & Go I don't see too many interested in how to "solve" it.

    I image once we have Intel's Knight's Corner ( [] ) common place interest might pick up again.

    The other possibility would be to move it onto the GPU like the password crackers do now-a-days. (i.e. HashCat [] )

  • The best advice for making games is, "Make the game you want to play." When machine intelligences can make games that they want to play, they'll make good games. Whether humans will think these games are fun will depend on how close to human intelligence the MI is. The current state of AI is less complex than the human mind, the games created by them reflect this. There will be a brief sweet spot where the MI are roughly equivalent with humans, and the games will be as good as any humans can create. Eventually the games created by MI with minds more complex than any human will be unplayable to humans, or they'll seem patronizing and joyless. Although the superior minds could produce games that lesser minds enjoy, it will be quite some time before they master this -- Much in the way that mice don't really "enjoy" maze games involving cheese, but they do what they have to do. Imagine a skinner box for your mind... Imagine The Matrix is reality, and that the "real world" is the game -- How else could Neo see "orange" matrix code while blind and explode sentinels with his mind? He beat the 1st boss and is on the next level. Those movies are about playing and winning at the best game of all.

    We should fear the day that the machines create the ultimate game, for we may not ever want to stop playing it... On an unrelated note: How much monotony and joyless grind exists in your day to day life, and how do you feel about just not being alive anymore? Interesting...

  • by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:00PM (#42456677)

    There's this MMO that an AI is basically go to war against another army, and see how many you can wipe out! It looks REALLY realistic too...I can't wait! I think they're going to call it "Skynet for Idiots." The graphics and realism are incredible.

  • by x3CDA84B ( 2592699 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @11:29PM (#42457489)

    Not sure if this is the same type of game generation that the article is discussing or if it would be considered a different "class", but Electronic Arts' Adventure Construction Set (1984/1985) could automatically build an entire game-world, including thematic elements, character names, and so on. The user could also start to design a game manually, then have the software finish it for them if they didn't feel like doing so themselves.

    I imagine it was more procedural than AI - the equivalent of Minecraft or River Raid - but I still thought it was pretty neat at the time.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.