There are many tools designed to assist game designers. Many of these tools have features that provide help with several different aspects of a game development process, such as physics and graphics. In the recent years, game engines like Unity and Unreal have contributed to popularizing the creation of complex AAA titles, once exclusively developed by major companies.
We never saw so demanding an era about videogame consumption, and the indications are that the demand will continue to increase year after year. From mobile phones to powerful console systems, from kids to elders, there seems to be a market for everyoneÕs gaming needs.
In the gaming industry, content is king. To keep players satisfied, game developers need to invest in compelling characters, stories and eye-candy graphics. Creativity and novelty are musts, since the player should not feel that they are playing the "same" game repetitively in each advancing level.
The need for such creativity and content has led to the emergence of advanced AI-assisted game development tools. Unlike generic game creation tools, such tools specifically focus on AI techniques. For example, they can automatically and flawlessly create levels and environments using minimal inputs. AI can also play games and collect data about gameplay sessions, allowing developers and makers a clear and concise window into the development and debugging process. AI can understand and predict how potential players will be interacting with the game, leading to better insights into future installments and personalized gameplay. Although AI-assisted game design tools are still in their infancy, the results are extremely exciting and present an exemplary mixed-initiative future with human-augmented AI.
- Tiago Machado
As ever in the run up to E3 the rumour mill is hard at work and one of the most exciting reports it's produced is that Bethesda could be working on a remastered Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The rumours are coming from German website Gamepro who took industry insider Shinobi602's hint on a recent H.A.M Radio Podcast that we should expect a remastered release from Bethesda and jumped to the fairly logical conclusion that this remaster would be Skyrim. Gamepro's assumption has, however, been corroborated by NeoGAF user and insider Enter the Dragon Punch who states the game will have improved visuals, all of the post-release DLC included, and will even feature mod support. Skyrim was one of the most highly praised games on the last generation of consoles and considering the current trend for remastering popular last generation titles, it's not surprising that Bethesda would want to bring such a beloved game over to Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Even more significantly, now that mods have been proven to work on current generation consoles with Fallout 4 on Xbox One, the possibilities for customisation in Skyrim are extremely exciting for console gamers who haven't had the chance to experience them on PC where they have hugely extended player interest.
In this paper we present a procedural content generator using Non-negative Matrix Factorisation (NMF). We use representative levels from five dissimilar content generators to train NMF models that learn patterns about the various components of the game. The constructed models are then used to automatically generate content that resembles the training data as well as to generate novel content through exploring new combinations of patterns. We describe the methodology followed and we show that the generator proposed has a more powerful capability than each of generator taken individually. The generator's output is compared to the other generators using a number of expressivity metrics. The results show that the proposed generator is able to resemble each individual generator as well as demonstrating ability to cover a wider and more novel content space.
A computer program that uses AI planning techniques is now the world champion computer program in the game of Contract Bridge. As reported in The New York Times and The Washington Post, this program -- a new version of Great Game Products' BRIDGE BARON program -- won the Baron Barclay World Bridge Computer Challenge, an international competition hosted in July 1997 by the American Contract Bridge League. It is well known that the game tree search techniques used in computer programs for games such as Chess and Checkers work differently from how humans think about such games. This article gives an overview of the planning techniques that we have incorporated into the BRIDGE BARON and discusses what the program's victory signifies for research on AI planning and game playing.