In this article, we review recent Deep Learning advances in the context of how they have been applied to play different types of video games such as first-person shooters, arcade games, and real-time strategy games. We analyze the unique requirements that different game genres pose to a deep learning system and highlight important open challenges in the context of applying these machine learning methods to video games, such as general game playing, dealing with extremely large decision spaces and sparse rewards.
This paper reviews the field of Game AI, which not only deals with creating agents that can play a certain game, but also with areas as diverse as creating game content automatically, game analytics, or player modelling. While Game AI was for a long time not very well recognized by the larger scientific community, it has established itself as a research area for developing and testing the most advanced forms of AI algorithms and articles covering advances in mastering video games such as StarCraft 2 and Quake III appear in the most prestigious journals. Because of the growth of the field, a single review cannot cover it completely. Therefore, we put a focus on important recent developments, including that advances in Game AI are starting to be extended to areas outside of games, such as robotics or the synthesis of chemicals. In this article, we review the algorithms and methods that have paved the way for these breakthroughs, report on the other important areas of Game AI research, and also point out exciting directions for the future of Game AI.
General Video Game Playing (GVGP) aims at designing an agent that is capable of playing multiple video games with no human intervention. In 2014, The General Video Game AI (GVGAI) competition framework was created and released with the purpose of providing researchers a common open-source and easy to use platform for testing their AI methods with potentially infinity of games created using Video Game Description Language (VGDL). The framework has been expanded into several tracks during the last few years to meet the demand of different research directions. The agents are required to either play multiples unknown games with or without access to game simulations, or to design new game levels or rules. This survey paper presents the VGDL, the GVGAI framework, existing tracks, and reviews the wide use of GVGAI framework in research, education and competitions five years after its birth. A future plan of framework improvements is also described.
Deep reinforcement learning (DRL) has made great achievements since proposed. Generally, DRL agents receive high-dimensional inputs at each step, and make actions according to deep-neural-network-based policies. This learning mechanism updates the policy to maximize the return with an end-to-end method. In this paper, we survey the progress of DRL methods, including value-based, policy gradient, and model-based algorithms, and compare their main techniques and properties. Besides, DRL plays an important role in game artificial intelligence (AI). We also take a review of the achievements of DRL in various video games, including classical Arcade games, first-person perspective games and multi-agent real-time strategy games, from 2D to 3D, and from single-agent to multi-agent. A large number of video game AIs with DRL have achieved super-human performance, while there are still some challenges in this domain. Therefore, we also discuss some key points when applying DRL methods to this field, including exploration-exploitation, sample efficiency, generalization and transfer, multi-agent learning, imperfect information, and delayed spare rewards, as well as some research directions.
In recent years, reinforcement learning has been successful in solving video games from Atari to Star Craft II. However, the end-to-end model-free reinforcement learning (RL) is not sample efficient and requires a significant amount of computational resources to achieve superhuman level performance. Model-free RL is also unlikely to produce human-like agents for playtesting and gameplaying AI in the development cycle of complex video games. In this paper, we present a hierarchical approach to training agents with the goal of achieving human-like style and high skill level in team sports games. While this is still work in progress, our preliminary results show that the presented approach holds promise for solving the posed multi-agent learning problem.