The rise of AI in computer games, computer intelligence is the latest clarion call by Musk on what the world must be wary of…Killer Robots. Yep…Pretty soon you wont be able to unplug them I guess?
This has what to do with wargaming?
Everything…well and maybe nothing!
The rise of better AI has led to many advancements in solving world problems, aiding manufacturing, building better trading platforms and of course better PC games for kiddies. Nothing inherently wrong with that.
AI has also evolved in our world of wargaming. What?
Yeah, so this is a random thought and not deeply explored or researched, but amongst the early solo games such as Ambush, B-17, RAF etc we had basic AI systems to create an ‘opposed’ game for the lonely gamer.
Great idea, that has fanatical support even today.
Many were enjoyable but not amazing or necessarily repeatable games after a few plays. Detractors often felt they were being played by the AI, and doing its work for them!
But those that loved them, adored the AI. Any criticism is met with a look that says you just insulted a fellow gamer rather than inanimate bit paper. This was AI 1.0 for wargaming.
Newer titles come along – Phantom Fury, The Hunters, DDay at Omaha etc. These titles have given some more decision making back to the soloist and managed to develop a Version 1.5 of AI for gaming. Where, while still limited in replay value you have a more robust experience and the 4 pillars of my gaming are often scratched: Fun, History, Narrative and Mechanics (consumable and ideally innovative and ready to learn).
However in the last few years the arrival of ‘Bots’ for 2 player and larger multiplayer games has really taken off.
Now I am likely wrong. But I think this had its first big push with Labyrinth.
Then the COIN series really kicked it up a notch such that multi player games could be solo’d, 4 player games could be conducted with 1,2 or 3 players with a ‘bot’ filling in for the absent players.
A great advance right?
This is AI 2.0 for soloing. Herman is taking this a step further and creating a Solo version with AI/Bots for Empire of the Suns. LNL Publishing was working on AI for LNL. Conflict of Heroes has a system coming.
Some titles, especially multiplayer titles really benefit from this as a game that was formerly NEVER going to be on the mainly solo playing guys list to buy is suddenly a contender as he has 1,2,3 or more really smart but personality-less opponents…hmm some Grognards have less personality than some AI from what I have seen! (LOL..sigh bad joke).
So this is good marketing. A designer can create a multi player game with bots and sell more titles! The Publisher sells more stuff everyone wins.
Now you don’t have to think about anything other than the side you playing and your hand of cards or chits or meeples. Are you missing something?
Possibly. I have some ideas on this but lets see how far off base I am first!
What do you think?