How to avoid the ‘disruptive’ AI bots that have been cropping up in games
A new trend has seen games including Battlefield 4, The Last of Us, and The Witcher 3 get their own “bots” that are designed to be extremely fast and aggressive in battle.
Now, a number of game developers are taking aim at these bots by using them as the main antagonists in their games, rather than the antagonists of the story.
The bots are called “bots”, and the term refers to an AI-like system that is built to perform tasks, such as “finding” the next path, “finding the next objective” or “creating” the future.
In Battlefield 4’s case, it’s an AI system called “Battlefield AI”, which can be found in the game’s multiplayer mode.
“This AI is basically designed to get in the way of the player’s movement and make the game feel chaotic,” explains a developer at the publisher.
The AI “will be in the vicinity of the target location for a short period of time”, according to the developer, who goes on to describe the “dramatic” effect that the bots have on the gameplay.
This includes:The bots in Battlefield 4 can also create obstacles in order to prevent the player from reaching their objective.
In The Witcher 4, the AI “is a lot more complicated and it is very much a bit more aggressive”, the developer adds.
“In order to move, the player has to press and hold the ‘attack’ button.”
“There’s not really any gameplay in this, but the AI will create obstacles around the area where you are moving and you will have to deal with them.”
The AI in The Witcher games is also able to create a “shroud” around the player, which can hinder their movement and even prevent them from picking up their weapons, but they are not used to combat and “are quite dangerous”.
The bots can also have “special powers”, such as giving the player “a temporary invisibility”, “teleporting”, or “recovering” lost items from a dead enemy.
These are all “very dangerous abilities” and can be used in order “to achieve goals in the story” according to developer Jules Wrobel.
In order for a bot to be able to do these abilities, it has to be “trained” in a certain way.
For example, Wroblen explains how a bot can be “designed to have special abilities to make it feel dangerous and aggressive”.
“It can’t just be a ‘smart’ AI, it can have a special power,” he explains.
“We need to have this level of trust in the developers.”
“It has to have the right training, that it is trained by a real human being.”
In Battlefield’s case and The Last Of Us, the developers have used the AI system “as the main antagonist” in order for the player to feel “threatened”.
“The AI is also a very powerful system and the way that it does its work is quite scary,” explains developer Jelena Stojkovic.
“It is able to predict your movements, and it will create enemies and obstacles that can be difficult for the human player to defeat.”
It is the nature of “bots that they’re not designed to play by the rules of the game,” she adds.
Wrobel’s comments echo what many have been saying about the rise of “disruptively” AI-driven games in recent years, particularly for shooters, and this trend is particularly noticeable in Battlefield.
The game developer has previously discussed the development of “bad AI” in the franchise.
“The game is designed to have a good AI, so there are things that the AI can do that the player can’t,” Wroblewski says.
“The AI has to learn how to play the game and then it has the chance to do some cool things.”
“You don’t get the same level of danger as the AI in games where there is a strong AI.”