Artificial Intelligence

KidTsunami
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Post: #1
Does anyone remember the game creatures?

If people don't, it was a game where you could raise lil creatures (hence the name) called Norns in a way that you did not directly control them, rather you taught them and showed them things, and they learned about the world. This was probably one of the most interesting things i've ever played around with and has hooked me on game design ever since.

I'm currently working on an adventure game right now, but I was thinking that my next project would be somewhat similar to this.

I was wondering how everyone felt about this, and whether or not they thought this was a good or bad idea.
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Post: #2
I suggest playing black and white
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KidTsunami
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Post: #3
I've played black and white, and that is not exactly what I'm talking about. While it does have amazing AI, you still have pretty close control over the creature. But I did neglect to say one big thing about Creatures.

In Creatures, you can "raise" multiple creatures. And most importantly, "raising" two creatures of the opposite sex correctly will cause them to mate. And the Norn that hatches from them will reflect their genes appropriately. But the part that really got me was watching the parent norns help teach their child how to survive and interact with the world.

I hope this clears it up a little bit.
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DoG
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Post: #4
It is surely an interesting programming topic, though I think less of it as a game.

It involves genetic algorithms as well as neuronal networks, so it is a formidable project to spend time on. And at that level as creatures, it would also involve some sort of physics to simulate the interaction of the creatures.
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Post: #5
I've always liked games like this. I'd love to see another one, just be aware that it will take a long time to program the genetic algorithms, neural-nets, etc. required.

The Sims 2 is supposed to have genetic code that represents the "people." When two adults have kids they'll pass their DNA on through the generations. Sounds very cool.
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Post: #6
Also remember that "real" theoretical AI and game-oriented "AI" have almost nothing to do with each other. The fields are applied to completely different problems, most of the time.

OTOH... I recall a game called Galapagos, which was based around following around an AI-driven creature and manipulating stuff around it to keep it alive. Interesting concept, but it was often quite frustrating as you couldn't even get the creature to go in a certain direction; all you could do was block its escape and wait, sometimes for minutes at a time, while it figured out it was hopeless.
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Post: #7
AI sure is intresting Smile

I remeber Galapagos, I played the demo quite a bit, but as you said it very very easily got frustrating.

"Gameplay Uber Alles. And if you can make it psychedelic too, great!" - Jeff Minter
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Zoldar256
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Post: #8
Whenever I played Galapagos I think I drove the damn thing insane.... At one point it would only huck itself off the nearest cliff. ;-)
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Feanor
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Post: #9
Quote:Originally posted by Mark Levin
[b]Also remember that "real" theoretical AI and game-oriented "AI" have almost nothing to do with each other. The fields are applied to completely different problems, most of the time.


Tree searches being the major exception, I guess?

I've heard that there has been increasing communication between A.I. researchers and game devs, so there must be something in common. With more complicated virtual worlds, NPCs and monsters will naturally benefit from borrowing bits from A.I.: autonomy, natural language understanding, and learning, for the most part. Expert systems might be useful for training players to use complicated games, or for better help systems.

I think some of the games mentioned show as much a-life use as general A.I., but Black & White used machine learning in a pretty involved form. If more toy-like games like the Sims continue to grow in popularity, the simulation aspect will afford many opportunities to try out A.I. concepts that haven't been used for much in real life.

What's cool about A.I. and a-life is when it creates surprising situations. Most games don't provide much in the way of surprises. Even Black & White wasn't surprising enough to me, but I am starting it over from the beginning and I'm going to be more experimental. The thing about A.I. is that, in general, it isn't supposed to be surprising. The contractors who pay the researchers want predictable results, which makes the whole enterprise a bit self-defeating. Or much of it.
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KidTsunami
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Post: #10
Yeah, I guess I would go nuts trying to do that. Just wanted to bring it up cause I saw an article about Creatures that got me really reminscent.

Are there any skilled AI programmers on the board by the way? I'm talking either a-life or gaming AI...
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Feanor
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Post: #11
Quote:Originally posted by KidTsunami
Are there any skilled AI programmers on the board by the way? I'm talking either a-life or gaming AI...
Not me, but I have pretentions, and would appreciate some discussions to stimulate me to research and come up with answers. I waste too much time reading tech news and 3D programming and playing Quake 3. I have a few A.I. books, but the internet is amazing for A.I. info -- almost everything in A.I. is published online now, plus I have access to online journals through my university. I drop by comp.ai sometimes, but that place is a looney bin.
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