How Artificial intelligence is Transforming the Gaming Industry | Hacker Noon

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@rafiqulislamRafiqul Islam

Rafiqul, a techie/engineer by profession, blogger and an author at Trendy Tattle.

First of all, the main question is: What is Artificial Intelligence in the gaming world? Artificial intelligence has been in the gaming industry since the beginning of video games. But the technology was so different now from then.

Artificial intelligence works with the NPC’s (non-playable characters), and is used to determine the behavior of the non-playable characters by generating the response or actions from the NPC’s. Artificial intelligence mainly works on interaction, so it does not include the firing, slashing, or killing an enemy.

What are NPC AIs?

A Non-Playable Character is like the protagonist’s friend or family member, or it can be anybody in the game. In most games today, the NPC AIs don’t really use machine learning technology, because they don’t have to. If there are 4 dialogue options to choose from and 1 NPC response to each option, this can be achieved with traditional computer programming. There is no need for machine learning here.

In terms of traditional NPCs, we use the term AI because these characters are supposed to be made in a way that they appear real and alive.

The main work of an NPC is to help the player to advance in the storyline or to say something about the tasks of the game or different places the player has to go or how to defeat a certain enemy. They are controlled by artificial intelligence, as with the help of artificial intelligence an NPC adapts the behavior of the player and generates human-like responses which help in the progression of the mission or storyline. 

For example, RDR2 (Red Dead Redemption 2) is one of the great games which has shown us the true power of artificial intelligence. The whole storyline has beautifully shown us the importance of NPCs in a game and how they adapt from the player’s different decisions and the storyline changes from those decisions. In short words, artificial intelligence determines the player’s behaviors and emulates the behavior of the NPC’s to make the storyline meaningful. 

Now on to the main question.

4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Transform the Gaming Industry

1. Smarter games

Artificial intelligence has done wonders over the past 10 years. AI has made the games so much smarter than they used to before. The choices you made in the game determine how the story turns out, which was less common 10-15 years ago. Think back to games like Prince of Persia, Devil May Cry, and many more RPG games.

Remember, as a player, you did not have many choices. There is a rigid storyline that one has to follow, and nowadays games like Horizon Zero Dawn, RDR2 have a lot of choices, and you can define your own storyline. 

Though scripting is still used for NPC responses, the changes in responses like which response will be perfect for the situation are determined by Artificial intelligence, and the same is the case with the behavior of the NPC’s. The goal is to make the game more real lifelike. Nowadays, you can even choose anything in a game from buying a house to dating a girl. New algorithms and techniques are tested every day to make games even smarter. 

2. Improving Developer Skills 

As artificial intelligence technology increases, the game developers are getting more and more chances to show their creativity to the world. As the technology keeps improving the options and the opportunities are infinite, it is also an opportunity for the developers to hone their skills and give the best game possible. 

People are adapting to AI games more than anything because they give them more options and more sense of control in the game. As developers have a lot of good options to build the game, it is also important for the developers to have a sound knowledge of the latest AI algorithms and technologies. New technologies like pathfinding, function-based movements, and a lot more. 

3. Realistic games 

Things like augmented reality and virtual reality has really shown that AI has incredible ability to improve our gaming experiences. It has been just amazing how much AI has inclined its technology in the past 10 years.

Physics-based simulations and 3D visualization techniques are also a big revolution in the gaming universe; all of these advanced technologies have made gaming for the people very realistic. With the help of Virtual Reality(VR), the player can feel like he/she is in the game and living the game in spite of playing it. 

The more options AI creates, the more realistic games can be made.

4. Changing Technology & Changing Experience 

All of us want new things to experience, as the old saying goes new is always better. AI technology is always changing and keeps on finding how to go one step forward. As we told you above, about the new AI technology we also want to tell you about the changing experience as we have seen in many games like NBA2k and NFL and many more. When it’s the end of the game and scores are tied in the NBA2k the whole crowd gets on a different vibe the chanting is different the intensity is different it almost feels like you have the ball in the final seconds of the game are about to shoot the basketball, you can really feel the intensity of the game while playing on your couch. 

Nowadays, everyone is looking to drift slightly away from real life and just go into the game and feel the reality there. Artificial intelligence makes sure to give you every detail through high-end graphics and visual appearance but also with its interactive gameplay. 

Now the question arises: 

Can Artificial Intelligence somehow become bad for gaming?  

If you are a game developer, then sometimes doing too much can also make your game bad, and nobody would want to play it. 

  1. Like if you are using AI for your game make sure you are putting every attention to detail because your game might not be enjoyable if the AI you use is terrible, like the Daikatana it has one of the worst AI in the history of games. 
  2. AI is machine learning technology, and it is sometimes its not such a great idea to put AI in some games because usually the AI is used to beat the player and its not fun like the game Nioh it’s too difficult, and after a while, It just doesn’t feel good to play it the goal of AI is to challenge the player but not so much that it stopped being fun. 
  3. Sometimes it’s frustrating when the game has too many choices as a gamer, I myself like to play every bit of a game, and it’s just frustrating sometimes when there are a lot of options, and a player can pick only one.

The gaming industry is one of the most improved, advanced, and grown industries in the past 2 decades, the industry worth over a hundred billion dollars. I remember how games used to look like in the early ’90s; they were all glitchy, they lagged, and they used to have limited choices and a rigid storyline. 

But the years have past and now look at the games we are all playing, it’s all player-friendly, and the graphics are just unbelievable and so realistic, and it is all because of the improving technology of Artificial intelligence.

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