Artificial intelligence is simplifying our lives and changing the way we perform everyday tasks. An AI revolution has already taken place in many industries, like healthcare and marketing. But is it going to affect the future of video games as well? The simple answer is yes.
“Although AI has been an important part of video games since their birth in the ’50s, it’s only lately developed to a point where it can be used to control complex characters.”
The technology can now process information from players and make the environment more suitable for their needs. And what can we expect for video games in the future? Can we soon see self-thinking characters with complex countertactics in first-person shooter games? Or all the human staff replaced by robots in online websites with games like Eye of Horus? Let’s take a closer look at how exactly artificial intelligence will revolutionize the gaming industry. Ready?
Will Video Games Get Smarter?
To be honest, there hasn’t been a radical change in how AI governs the behaviour of various virtual entities or powers the procedural generation. AI’s most important components are still pathfinding and finite state machines.
Pathfinding is basically getting from one point to another in the simplest way, and it’s used in all games. And a finite state machine is built for non-playable characters (NPCs), and it allows them to change between different states.
However, some new video games are now also using behaviour and decision trees that have become more sophisticated recently. And although most developers are operating with the same basic concepts (pathfinding and finite-state), they can utilize them on bigger scales thanks to higher processing powers in 2020.
Games Will Become More Adaptable to Smartphones
A gaming console is not the only equipment to play games on. A smartphone offers the unique possibility to play on the go, so it has become an increasingly popular option for gaming. And since the processing power of mobile phones grows every year, the games for these devices keep getting better and more immersive.
However, video game fans still need a PC or a console to play the latest games since the weaker filling is not enough to enable mobile platforms to run them. But here’s where AI comes to play.
Every mobile game developer who creates new video games for smartphones is constantly coming up with new AI algorithms and the games keep getting smarter. Looking at mobile games only 3 years ago, we can see immense improvements. Let’s take a look at some key improvements in games made possible by advanced AI.
Environments Are Getting More Authentic
Everyone’s probably noticed that video games are getting more realistic every year. The environments get more responsive and richer in detail. And that’s all thanks to AI. Using machine learning, AI can respond to any actions a player takes in the game more accurately. AI itself can generate environments that predict your expectations.
For example, the scripted plots that follow only one possible sequence of events are hardly present in any modern game. Instead, it’s up to the player’s decision on which direction the game takes. The plot has many possible directions. This means that you can play the game many times, and the scenario will always be fresh.
However, surprisingly enough, a powerful AI might not provide the most fun gaming experience. Because here’s the thing: if AI gets too unpredictable, the non-player characters it leads can start to direct the players to unnecessary routes. To places that lead to nowhere. It may be a fun experiment, but ultimately players are loving gaming because of the thrill of advancing to the next level. So most probably
AI in games will keep getting more intelligent to interact with players more convincingly. But it will still be completely controlled to keep everything on track.
The video graphics in modern games are so good that sometimes you can even mix your sense of what’s virtual and what’s reality. This has obviously not been achieved overnight. It’s made possible by hundreds of developers constantly working on new solutions. But we can hope AI to considerably accelerate the process by automating it.
Maybe in the future, we can have software that generates a game environment by scanning real cities. Just imagine having battles with zombies on the streets of your own hometown.
In the future, we can expect more advanced AI in games making the non-player characters react to your actions with more variety. In first-person shooter games, NPCs can soon make more decisions and coordinate tactical attacks against the player. We can also expect more automized gaming sites.
And AI is not only powering the characters and scenarios in games. It’s also put to work to develop games faster and cheaper than ever before. And that’s all revolutionary in the gaming business. Are you ready for it?
How do you think video games will look like in the future? Completely powered by AI? Leave comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
— Thomas Glare endeavoured to explore the world of tech and is currently in his master’s program of Cyber Security who loves to create slot machine games for android.