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>Making the AI imperfect.

>Once I got the basic “capture flag” AI working, I started trying to play against it. It was clearly way too perfect to even have a chance to beat. For example:

  1. It’s aim was perfect, it rarely missed a shot
  2. It knew exactly when to stop shooting bullets due to overheating, so it was achieving the theoretical maximum fire power

The second point was the first one I tried to fine tune. I added a parameter on the Actor that is “ChanceOfCheckingForOverheat”. Every time the AI fires a bullet, this gives us the possibility that it won’t check for overheat (and thus may actually overheat and not be able to shoot for a while).

The second one was a little harder. I wanted to introduce a random offset to the angle to which the AI turned. However, my aiming behavior was constantly aiming towards the target on every update cycle. So I introduced a timer that made the AI re-aim only every once in a while (once a second). I think this more accurately models how a human aims.

So now it re-aims every second, and the Actor has a property that indicates how bad its aim is. So for more difficult AI opponents, I can give them better aim (I can also make them check for overheating more reliably).

Here is a video that demonstrates this a little bit. The gameplay is still not fun at all (which increases my worry that playing against the computer just won’t be very fun). But at least the AI is less-than-perfect in an intentional way (there are still some path-finding issues that are problematic, so it’s less-than-perfect in an unintentional way too).

Next I will start adding AI for the skills. This will require the notion of parallel behaviors, which I haven’t yet implemented in the tree.

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