Case Studies & Talks

The AI and Games case studies are aimed at highlighting how Artificial Intelligence has been adopted both in commercial games and academic research projects.  Our case studies are typically comprised of both a YouTube video and a written component.  They are designed such that those with little to no experience in Computer Science can understand them - and if you want to just watch the YouTube video, you'll learn everything you need to know! However, our more scholarly visitors can explore the blog posts provided which also have links to resources and academic publications that will prove valuable should you wish to study these topics further.

Commercial Games

Alien: Isolation

Creative Assembly's 2014 horror title Alien: Isolation faced a difficult challenge in crafting an intelligent and terrifying non-player character that drives the core experience.  We explore the design philosophies and the methods adopted to pull it off.  

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham series succeeds where others fail in giving players the feeling of being the Dark Knight himself.  We explore how this is enabled in-part through the AI adopted in the combat as well as stealth sequences found in both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

  • CASE STUDY [10M VIDEO + REPORT]: A short overview and written article on the techniques employed in Batman: Arkham.
  • LECTURE [~90MINS]: A lecture based on this study held at the University of Derby.

First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.)

The 2005 first-person shooter F.E.A.R. by Monolith Games had a tremendous impact upon the perceived state of AI applications within commercial games.  We take a look at the introduction of classical planning techniques and the impact it had upon the industry.

Halo

The Halo franchise is synonymous with console first-person shooting and has largely defined the genre in recent years.  We highlight the innovations by Bungie in creating dynamic, responsive and versatile non-player character combatants.

  • Case Study [10m video + report] An overview on behaviour trees - an AI technique often adopted in the likes of Unreal Engine - focussing on their adoption by Bungie in Halo 2.

The Impact of AI-Based Game Design

A talk held at the 2015 Norwich Gaming Festival discussing video games that explore AI applications in interesting and novel ways to enhance player experience.

Left 4 Dead

Turtle Rock Studios and Valve brought something fresh and exciting to the scene with 2008's Left 4 Dead.  In these videos we explore the major AI innovation of the series: the AI director.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

With the AI of F.E.A.R. paving the way for classical planning technologies in games, it wasn't long until alternative planning methods followed.  We highlight the application of Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning in High Moon Studio's series based on the Transformers franchise.

  • Case Study [Report and Video]: In this follow-up to 'Facing Your F.E.A.R.', we focus on two Transformers video games by High Moon studios: highlighting the challenges and successes of their adoption of planning technology.

Academic Research

AI Research in Games: An Overview

We give an overview of why academic research is so fascinated with the idea of using games as a platform for experimentation.

Battlefield 3

 

We highlight the PsyOps project: a study in player performance and personality within the confines of DICE's Battlefield 3.

Galactic Arms Race

Part AI research project, part indie game.  Creating particle weapons with neural networks!

  • Case Study [10m video + report]An overview of how this AI research project disguised as an indie video game.  Complete with an emphasis on procedural content generation, mixed initiative design and player modelling.

General Video Game AI Competition

The GVGAI competition seeks to address a specific challenge: general intelligence for AI systems by learning to play any video game you give it.

  • PART 1: WE INTRODUCE THE GVG-AI COMPETITION AND DISCUSS THE RELEVANCE OF THIS WORK AND THE CHALLENGES IT PRESENTS.
  • PART 2: WE DISCUSS HOW THE COMPETITION OPERATES, THE SOFTWARE FRAMEWORK BEHIND IT AND WHAT CHALLENGES IT PRESENTS TO PARTICIPANTS.
  • PART 3: WE HIGHLIGHT THE BIG TALKING POINTS FROM THE 2014 COMPETITION AND FUTURE CHALLENGES.

The Quest for AI Game Designers

Based on a talk held at the 2015 GameCity festival in Nottingham UK, discussing the ideas of procedural generation, automated game design and player modelling.

Super Mario Bros.

One of the most popular games of all time is unsurprisingly, one of the most popular AI benchmarks in games research.  We highlight some of the work taking place in this field.

Teaching Robots to Play: Why Science Loves Gaming

Based on a talk held at the 2015 EGX festival in Birmingham UK, we give a short overview of the interesting applications AI research can find within the world of video games.