[Article] Advanced Racing AI

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This article offers an alternative rubber band method to balance the AI behavior in racing games. It presents the concept in a chronological manner, demonstrating its evolution throughout the development of Pure, our recently released trick-based racing game.

Initially we will cover the three main systems behind the concept: skills, dynamic competition balancing and the "race script". We then move onto explaining its implementation in Pure and how we used the previously mentioned toolset to try and give the player the desired experience. Finally we will offer conclusions and suggest possible alternative uses for the system.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/39...anced_.php
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Interesting stuff. Racing AI is some of the hardest to get right since it's so hard to be both fair and competitive. It's why I stopped playing Mario Kart since you'd win 99% of the time except for that 1% when the computer just decides you're not winning no matter what.
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Bachus Wrote:Interesting stuff. Racing AI is some of the hardest to get right since it's so hard to be both fair and competitive. It's why I stopped playing Mario Kart since you'd win 99% of the time except for that 1% when the computer just decides you're not winning no matter what.
I can say the same about Cro-Mag Rally. I don't really know why I win or lose. On easy levels, I win without effort, and on hard levels, I don't have a chance. Maye the problem is that the speed makes smart, fine-tuned play meaningless, you just run as fast as you can and try to pick the right power-ups.

In CMR, some failures do have a reason, that the AI players use their powerups well. I can't take advantage of the power-ups the way they do. Maybe that is one of the AI problems, the opponents are almost cheating by using information that I just don't have time to gather myself.

Another racing game with obvious problems is 4x4 EVO. It is all too obvious that the computer players run slower when you are fallling behind, and faster when you are in the lead. Thus, there is no point in driving well, you win by driving slow and careful until the last dash, where you will win, easily. It is nice when a game doesn't leave you helpless after one mistake, but when it makes every effort meningless, it goes too far.

This is what this Gamasutra article is about. Providing company for the player is a good thing, but it must not eliminate the challenge.

I think a really important thing in the article is to have computer players of highly varying performance. The "stalking" group is the least realistic one, but as long as they are not all like that it can work.
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