What is Game AI?
Game AI is mostly focused on which actions an entity should take, based on the current conditions. This is what the traditional AI literature refers to as controlling ‘intelligent agents’ where the agent is usually a character in the game – but could also be a vehicle, a robot, or occasionally something more abstract such as a whole group of entities, or even a country or civilization.
In each case, it is a thing that needs to observe its surroundings, make decisions based on that, and act upon them.
This is sometimes thought of as the Sense/Think/Act cycle:
- Sense: The agent detects – or is told about – things in their environment that may influence their behavior (e.g. threats nearby, items to collect, points of interest to investigate)
- Think: The agent makes a decision about what to do in response (e.g. considers whether it is safe enough to collect items, or whether it should focus on fighting or hiding first)
- Act: The agent performs actions to put the previous decision into motion (e.g. starts moving along a path towards the enemy or towards the item, etc)
- Lastly, the situation has now changed, due to the actions of the characters, so the cycle must repeat with the new data.