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July 25th, 2010, 13:29
In his latest blogupdate about the developement of Frayed Knigts, Jason Barnson discusses artificial intelligence and how it can be difficult to keep the frustration low while keeping the challenge high.
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July 25th, 2010, 13:29
I love to read his blog posts….. very useful things to think about for any game developer and players too……… I think a thing to add is, at least for me, is that I don't like to notice when the AI is obviously being stupid…. but if it is sneakingly stupid…. and I don't notice it I don't mind so much…..

Example of things that make me a bit said is like when the enemy can attack two characters…… either the strong warrior with the mega-counter attack who have 10000/10000 hp or the weak little mage who is almost dying…….. and the AI go right ahead and attack the super-warrior and get killed by the counter-attack, instead of attacking the spellcaster killing him and winning the fight…………….
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July 25th, 2010, 14:38
Well, I'm biased, I know, but I love it when even bosses have some weak points.

Not the usual "weak points" like Achill had, though.

I'm rather thinking now of what I've learned during and through the TDE browser games I recently played.

Enemies - no matter how badass they were - had a tiny chance of doing something that my dictionary translates as a "blooper", "muff" or a "bumbler". They can fall down (with following checks whether the try to get up is successful or not), lose their weapons, even hurt themselves !

But - the protagonist can experience that, too !

During a few fights I experienced (and finall lost them), my "hero" once fell down, but was still able to parry all attacks. Meanwhile his getting-up-checks always failed.

But a few times the opponents could hit him and cause him woulds - whih made the getting-up-checks even far worse - so I lost it.

But I have also seen opponents losing their weapons (and trying a few rounds to get them back into their hands again), and even to fall down !

This was all represented by simple text messages. And rolling dice. Nothing else.

Which means that even non-graphical displays of fightings can be interesting.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 25th, 2010, 18:04
Yeah, it's a little bit of a tightrope walk. There's a level of stupidity built into a dungeon delve - a "cinematic reality" like those kung fu movies where the bad guys wait their turn to attack the hero in ones or twos. (I've already got those constraints somewhat in place with the abstract positioning of bad guys in ranks of two.)

On the one hand, you think, "Gosh, these guys are stupid!" But if the action is exciting and interesting enough, you mentally let it slide. So that's kind of the mental picture I'm shooting for.
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July 25th, 2010, 18:22
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This was all represented by simple text messages. And rolling dice. Nothing else.

Which means that even non-graphical displays of fightings can be interesting.
We have all played Fallout right. I loved the descriptions used in that game. The color in the descriptions added so much to fights. Granted descriptions of stuff exploding like blood sausages got old after a while but was still more gratifying than the visuals provided.

Regarding the AI, I prefer my AI to be top notch and devious as hell at max difficulty if possible. Its all play balancing but its no fun when I'm walking over all enemies without them putting up a proper fight. Its fine to have it pull punches at lower difficulty levels to keep the game fun for most but I would prefer a difficulty slider to allow me to remove that code from use.

I still enjoy playing Magic The Gathering from 1998 because its AI was fairly good and can still pull out combos that frustrate the hell out of me that I would expect from a human player. When given opportunity it knows to go after the Royal Assassin which has only 1 HP but can kill any creature on the board if given opportunity because its dangerous but it also knows not to expose itself to its attack unnecessarily.
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July 25th, 2010, 19:02
Sadly I haven't played the original Fallout game yet.
But it's rather because "post nuclear" isn't my favourite setting at all.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 26th, 2010, 00:44
Originally Posted by RampantCoyote View Post
Yeah, it's a little bit of a tightrope walk. There's a level of stupidity built into a dungeon delve - a "cinematic reality" like those kung fu movies where the bad guys wait their turn to attack the hero in ones or twos. (I've already got those constraints somewhat in place with the abstract positioning of bad guys in ranks of two.)

On the one hand, you think, "Gosh, these guys are stupid!" But if the action is exciting and interesting enough, you mentally let it slide. So that's kind of the mental picture I'm shooting for.
I think Gothic 3 did this best; you remember 10 guys stood around and watched as you decimated their friends one by one!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 26th, 2010, 08:26
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I think Gothic 3 did this best; you remember 10 guys stood around and watched as you decimated their friends one by one!!
Even in unpatched Gothic 3 all enemies would end up attacking me at the same time.

Melee's would keep me busy while ranged kept on bombarding me with spells. So you must be one of those who had a really shitty G3 experience.

Also, do note that the moment your health gets lower the enemies sort of ended up trying to circle you and attack from all sides (sure it felt one by one, but I ended up trying to dodge 2-3 strikes from all directions + ranged attacks). Also I loved how the injured enemies ran away, usually to a bigger group nearby.

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July 26th, 2010, 14:56
To me, AI… not story, not graphics, not voice acting… AI is probably the most important thing in RPGs. That and character customizability (stats/skill-wise, not appearance).
I think difficulty levels should be about how smart/stupid the AI is, not about how many hit points enemies have and how much damage they do.
I don't think AI should be 'held back' too much. After all, human brain should hopefully still be better than the AI (unless the AI cheats that is). So what if there is a TPK? big deal, reload and try again. This is not PnP when a TPK means game over.
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