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Elemental: War of Magic - Dev Journal - AI Tricks

by Skavenhorde, 2010-11-23 14:46:59

In this journal entry Brad Wardell talks a little bit about the changes in Elemental and his 5 step process to making a good AI. He is also looking for feedback from V1.1 Beta users. He asks them to post 3 (no fewer, no more) stupid AI tricks they have encountered and how they would fix it:

A 5 step process

The process I use to make good AI works roughly as follows:


Step #1: Make the AI multithreaded.


This is the most important thing because it allows the developers to focus on making the AI effective without worrying about time so much. Games with single-threaded AI have painful late games where you can wait a long time between turns.

This part was accomplished in the v1.1 beta. It still has to be debugged (90% of crashes are due to this) since you have to make sure the AI isn’t monkeying around with main game data.


Step #2: Play the game at a basic level


This is pretty obvious. Can the computer players do everything that the human can do? This is something that I’m working on this week. This can be effectively described as playing the game without worrying about opposing forces.


Step #3: Play the game at a competitive level


This is where it plays the game knowing that there are others trying to thwart it or destroy it.


Step #4: Play the game at the meta-game level


This is where it gets good at handling diplomacy, its dynasty, trade, and maximizing resources.


Step #5: Eliminate stupid AI tricks


Stupid AI tricks are simply little holes or little exploits that really need to be explicitly looked for and eliminated.


So for those of you who have v1.1, can you list THREE (no more, no fewer) things that you see the AI do that are either stupid or result in its destruction and what you would do if you were them?

Information about

Elemental: War of Magic

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Non-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released