Overview on computer games
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Overview on computer games

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Overview on games and history of the development of different techniques used in video games.

Overview on games and history of the development of different techniques used in video games.

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Overview on computer games Overview on computer games Document Transcript

  • Overview on Computer-Games ........................................................................................................ 2Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 21. Artificial Intelligence in Computer-Games ........................................................................................... 2 History of Artificial Intelligence ............................................................................................................... 2 Background and AI Definition.................................................................................................................. 3 Hardware development effects on AI ....................................................................................................... 3 Market trend for Computer Games ........................................................................................................... 4 Usage of AI in Computer Games .............................................................................................................. 4 1. Rule-Based Techniques................................................................................................................. 4 2. Learning Techniques in AI ........................................................................................................... 52. Multimedia in Computer Games ........................................................................................................... 5 Sound effects............................................................................................................................................. 63. Future Development in Game industry ................................................................................................. 6Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................... 7 1
  • Overview on Computer-GamesIntroduction Humans are apt to have enjoyment and entertainment from time to time. Over time, they havedeveloped endless methods to have change in their routine life, and break the silence of boringtimes. Computer-games are one of these methods that have been developing over time. Manyyears of research and devoted times and methods were invented and one of these methods are theartificial intelligence that helped a lot to have realistic adventure in computer games. In thefollowing sections of this document an overview of games, their techniques used in AI, themultimedia background, its development and usage in computer-games, and the expecteddevelopment of computer-games in the future.1. Artificial Intelligence in Computer-Games Artificial Intelligence is key factor nowadays in the success or failure of any computer games.AI becomes an essential component in programming computer games and the techniques used bygame developers are proven to be useful. The hardware development with more raw-processing power helped a lot in the usage of AI incomputer games. It is now a key factor to declare the success or failure of computer games, [1]and [2] .What is the collaboration between AI and game developers and what difficulties facedusing AI in computer games? History of Artificial Intelligence The beginning of the artificial intelligence in computer games started in 1950 by ClaudeShannon who published paper on computer chess [11]. The chess game was the first applicationthat used the AI and brings an area of research to AI. The research based on chess computergames the brute-force approach in the seventies and eighties of the past century. The researchshowed that there is a strong relation between the search speed and the performance of the chessprogram [12]. Thus the research focused on building faster search engines instead of mainstreamresearch. Since late 1980s till today, there was a significant development in the search algorithm.Computer chess games has developed and in the early nineties the computer chess has defeatedthe human world Chess Champions Garry Kasparov and Takeshi Murakami and that was amilestone in AI development in the 1997 [12].Using the AI in the computer games has been akey factor to the success of these games with high performance programs. Series of developments has been made for decades to improve the chess games using the AI,and the researches continued to reach better machine games that could defeat the humancapabilities. Building the computer chess games was relatively easy as the program has full access to theentire system. On the other hand, where the information is hidden, the program has to look for all 2
  • probabilities which one only is correct. So the new computer games depended on new elementssuch as the probabilities and that changed the search space [12]. Some programs that are built on the AI changed the way of the programs course in playing thegame. The game itself should have learning capabilities especially if there are many differentplayers, i.e. poker game, where the information is hidden, there is a risk management, deception,exploit the sub-optimal opponent play, competing agents as more players are in place, and so on[12]. Background and AI Definition There are different views in defining the AI since they come into exist. Some define it as thetechniques that reflect human cognitive process. Others define it as it is the solving tool thatrequire intelligence if solved by humans irrespective of whether the technique reflect humancognition,[3] and [4]. It is also suggested that the system should adapt to or learn from itsenvironment in order that the AI becomes applicable,[4]. AI has developed to a degree that is considered to be a full adaptive system that can solvehighly complex problems using techniques that reflect the nature of human intelligence, [1]. It is worth mentioning that artificial neural network controllers are used in computer games tocontrol the characters of the game. For example, if there are two teams playing against eachother. Evaluation is used on the two teams and the result is used to help adjusting the charactersto achieve team balance [14]. There are also in some computer-games the computational intelligence techniques to provide ahuman-like capabilities and improving reality of the game design. It is based on Fuzzycontrollers and is hybridized with emotional representation methodologies that enable thecompetitors of the game to use the emotional engine [14]. The main criterion in AI is that the entities that are not controlled by the user display life-likeattributes and presents reality in the game, [5]. AI used to include all techniques that make thegames appear more intelligent, more reality appearance, and more aware. The great advancement in technology has made many improvements in sound and graphicsthat seem to be almost real, thus there should be an appropriate intelligence for the characterscontrolled by the user. Hardware development effects on AI The fast and rapid advancement in processor technology led to fair use of that processingpower devoted for AI unlike the resources reserved for it in the past which was insufficient [6,7]. More advanced techniques of the AI are now possible in the shadow of high processor speeds inhome computers. We have to take into account that in the past the processor has to take care ofthe instructions and the graphics as well. Now with the introduction of the graphics controllers inthe home PC, the burden on processor for the work associated with the graphics became none.Therefore, this allowed for reserving more power for the implementation of AI techniques [7]. Inmy opinion, there are more techniques that the future will bring for the computer-game. Theadvent of new computer cards, with their own processors on board, to deliver the high 3
  • performance of the logic of the game leaving the processor cycles free from this burden andmakes the game faster and more intelligent. Market trend for Computer Games By the existence of home computers, the games has gained popularity and numerous productsof action, adventure games, strategy games, and sports games have overwhelmed the industry. These interactive games need computer character to react with the user in real fashion. Sothese games are the best platform for using the AI to simulate the human-level of intelligence.Players are fed up with the low level of profession compared with the human intelligence. So many online games now are based on humans playing with each other over the web andmade these games successful. On these websites, the human actions and different responses arestudied carefully from different entities to better develop the techniques that the computers adoptin the new generation of computer games. In the present, the high quality of graphics is expected. On the contrary, in the past the gamesgain success if they have excellent graphics that reflect the reality. The games will be receivewell if they use effective techniques of AI that meets the players desire, if not they would fail inthe market and will not gain the popularity [6]. The young generations who have professionalskills nowadays can easily defeat most difficult games and can reach the end of the games. At thebeginning they may be slow in controlling the game, but once they figure out the logic of thegame, they become more intelligent of the games themselves. It is quite clear that the humanintelligence is still more advanced than any computer games, though the human-like intelligenceis used by humans themselves. Usage of AI in Computer Games There are two techniques [1], namely those which are rule based, and the techniques that adoptor learn from the behavior of the players. In the following section there is a brief description ofthe two techniques and its usage in AI gaming programming. 1. Rule-Based Techniques Checking the environment is one of the tasks of the Finite State Machine (FSM) that takes thedecision to attack the player if he is in a room and did not use and fire shooting. Also in the FSMthe current state is changed due to a specific event or condition. For example, the character of agame runs away if it gets injured [15]. FSM is a simple and powerful tool that does not have aspecific interpreter, but only realized by scripts and simple if-then statements [15]. Another algorithm that is used in computer games is the A* which is basically based onDijkstras shortest-path algorithm. It starts from the starting node to build a map to thedestination by calculating the shortest path from the starting node to the destination. It containstwo lists. The first one is the open list which contains the paths that could be discovered. Thesecond is the closed list which contains all the nodes discovered so far. This technique is usedspecially in a game that has a difficult terrain so the character wants to calculate the shortest pathto the player character [15]. 4
  • The Fuzzy logic is also used in programming computer-based games. It is worth mentioningthe definition of “Fuzzy Logic: which is a mathematical tool dealing with the concept of partialtruth and beyond the true or false notation. It is a system that is able to deal with vague conceptssuch as almost or fairly [1]. Fuzzy Logic is used to recognize non-binary conditions in computer games. For example,making enemies appear intelligent like hiding when getting injured, lead player into ambushes,and run away when defeated. Fuzzy logic widely used in action games to determine tacticalresponses of enemies based not only on the situation but also on the personality of the enemy [1]. AI selects the best appropriate action depending on the characters pre-determined traits, e.g.aggression, intelligence, courage, and cooperation [8]. In real time strategy games the playerfaces different cultural groups, so the developers made a cascading fuzzy logic built on core AIengine an changed the decision threshold depending on the personality trait of the faced group[6]. This reduces the code used instead of lengthy one for different group. Some researches divide the computer-games into two types, one is the single player and theother is the multi-player computer games. Here there are two randomization techniques used inMCTS, Monte Carlo Tree Search, which is an algorithm used in game production. One is in-treephase of simulation, the second is during the play-out phase and both increase diversity whilekeeping the sanity of the simulation games [14]. 2. Learning Techniques in AI Let us give a definition of the learning in AI. Systems are considered to be intelligent if theyare able to learn and change according to the interaction between the system and the outsideworld [10]. Players have in general the option to have up to 6 buttons or a combination of them in fightinggames. It is also possible to have a database of these combinations and all possible responses tothese combinations. AI is using this database to take the appropriate responses to such buttoncombinations. In that way, the character in the game is responsible to adapt to the player. In other strategic real time games, the raw input commands gives little information about thebehavior of the player and the strategies is using. It also uses a database which lists all possibleraw input commands to take the appropriate response. In these strategy games, the AI shouldlearn the preferred way of attack or the behavior of the player and this can only be learned by aneffective AI that uses a store of these behaviors to take the best way of response [9]. Moreover, the genetic FML, Fuzzy Markup Language, is used to analyze current situation of agame and take the next more to an inferred good-move position. Also this learning way evolvesthe adoption of GFML, Genetic FML, to enable the increase of winning rate of the game [14].There is also the user verification approach which consists of a sequence of coordinated inputs.The user of verifications aims to separate the original account owner from intruders.2. Multimedia in Computer GamesMultimedia has an essential influence on the computer-games. They bring reality to them and makes theplayer live with the natural effects that surround it. The multimedia includes many elements, e.g. thegraphics, the sound effects, and the different coloring schemes used. On our overview on games we 5
  • focused on the sound effects and the brief history of the development of sound effects that helped theevolvement of computer-games and added reality to the games. Sound effects It is of great importance when designing sound-based interactive media to pay attention onwhere and when these sounds will be played. There are static and dynamic events that will causethe generation of sound. It is easier to visualize the dynamic with sound than in static overviews.In other environments, there is an ambient sound that associates all the objects as the differentsounds effects in a jungle [17]. In the early days of computer-games, a chip that produces noise bursts or waveforms wereused to generate sound effects for the games. At that time sound cards were not yet available andthe output was through the computer loudspeakers onboard or encoded into video signal to beused with TV [18]. The development of the computer made the sound chips to be replaced by the digital audiohandled by the central processor. The technology evolved and the new era of digital soundtechnology emerged, starting with single poor channel of sound then developed to have up to 32channels of sound. The burden upon the CPU created difficulties. In the early 1980s andbeginning of 1990s, the processor has to handle sound and graphics at the same time. Then themusic of computer games became as a file contains sample data and sequencing information andcontrolled by the game logic [18]. In the late 1990s the audio engines started to appear, that is having the CD-Rom driverconnected directly to the sound cards and music is played from the CD. This technology basedon buffering and memory management systems. Now the computers are able to load several minutes of music using the Direct MemoryAccess, DMA, and can play hundreds of channels simultaneously due to the new format of audiolike FLACK, MP3 and many others using hardware compression. Although having theseadvancement, the game sound system still behind the state of the art in DSP for years [18].3. Future Development in Game industry Some of the ideas say that the characters of the game have a finite number of goals and canconstruct goals themselves. The attitude is to develop games that are not only proactive,reactive, but also to create the ability to anticipate the reactions of the players themselves. Planahead, and consider the consequences of the others actions are also anticipated in futurecomputer-games. If this happens, the character in games would be more intelligent and bringsmore reality for the game itself [1]. In other words, it will bring more entertainment andchallenges to the game that players love to have. Alexander [15] believes that the future for games will be focused on the player’s fun andexperience rather than the behavior of the game built-in characters. Also, the advancement in theCPU and its high performance and capabilities will enable the characters to be moresophisticated. It was believed that the artificial intelligence has log algorithms that need powerfulprocessors to compile the instructions, so the rapid advancement in processors will contribute toadopt more complicated and faster algorithms that will bring more reality to games. 6
  • Using the AI is the critical part in developing new games and AI will be a key role for anydesign of computer game [12].The advancement of computer games has given good effect on thetechnology of programming. Many of the ideas have been adapted from game-tree search toother applications that used these algorithms. Games have been used as a test bed for AI thatmade to build high-performing computer systems [1]. In todays development, there are many techniques and methods used in sound processing. Wemention here some of them, i.e. sequence and randomization, blending, Grouping and buses,attenuation and damping, ambience, Real-time controllers, localization and so many others. The graphics controllers are an added value to games. Now the graphics’ processors are morecapable of handling complicated instructions of the graphics and the future will bring moreadvanced processors that include more processing capabilities and more memory on these cards.Thus the 3D computer-games world will be more attractive and arresting the minds of theplayers. Famous companies like ATI and Nvidia are working hard on the graphics cards and theyhave developed cards that range from bunch of dollars to thousands of dollars. These cards areadopted in Supercomputers for weather modeling, medical imaging, and drug discovery as it ismentioned in Nvidia website [19]. The ongoing research will evolve the industry of newgenerations of computer-games that will thrill the minds and feelings. The future will bring new ideas and new horizons for the computer-games which are a real testbed for the multimedia and Artificial Intelligence. The wheels of technology never stop, andmany improvements are made for the existing technologies and emerging once are developing togive us more feelings and effects of the games we play. All the senses will be occupied by thehigh resolutions of graphics cards, the sound effects that make reality surroundings for us, andthe faster response of the games for any actions happens by the players. Conclusion A lot of academic research has been done on AI that lead to success and great improvements inGame’s logic in the recent years, but there are still a lot to be done. Computer games are bestdescribed to be a test bed for the academic research of AI, they are easy to simulate, realistic,readymade environments, and powerful to be adopted by researchers to satisfy their needs. Theusers of Computer games are looking for smarter, more intelligent games and better AI used.This is a time consuming task for the developers to spend more time to develop more complexand risky methods of AI. Many improvements in hardware such as the graphics cards, soundtechniques in addition to the new techniques that has been done to improve AI used in computergames. The development and the continuous research will evolve and there maybe surprises arisewith new methods and new techniques. To conclude this overview of computer-games I will use the words of Arthur Samuel’s (1960)in his paper in which he predicted the following [13]: “Programming computers to play games is but one stage in the development of anunderstanding of the methods which must be employed for the machine simulation of intellectualbehavior. As we progress in this understanding it seems reasonable to assume that these newertechniques will be applied to real-life situations with increasing frequency, and the effort devotedto games ...will decrease. Perhaps we have not yet reached this turning point, and we may stillhave much to learn from the study of games.” 7
  • Reference [1] Johnson, D., & Wiles, J. (2001). Computer games with intelligence. In Fuzzy Systems, 2001. The10th IEEE International Conference on (Vol. 3, pp. 1355-1358). IEEE. [1]Gustavson, S. “Multi -player 3 -D graphics computer games: history, state of the art anddevelopment trends. ”[Online]. Available: http://www.itn.liu.se/~bjogu/TNM008-2001/games.pdf [2]Howland, G . “Basics of Game AI.”[Online]. Available: http://www.lupinegames.com/ar ticles/basicai.htm. [3] Finlay, J.and Dix, A. “An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.”London: UCL Press, 1996. [4] Rich, E.and Knight, K. “Artificial Intelligence.”New York: McGraw -Hill, 1991. [5] Howland, G . “Basics of Game AI.”[Online]. Available: http://www.lupinegames.com/ar ticles/basicai.htm [6] Woodcock, S . “Game AI: The State of the Industry.” [Online]. Available: http://www.gamas utra.com/features/19990820/game_ ai_01.htm August, 1999. [7] Woodcock, S . “Game AI: The State of the Industry.” [Online]. Available: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20001101/woodcock_pfv.htm November, 2000. [8] Woodcock, S. “Games Making Interesting use of Artificial Intelligence Techniques.”[Online]. Available: http://www.gameai.com/games.html [9] Howland, G . “Introduction to Learning in Games. ”[Online]. Available: http://www.lupinegames.com/articles/introlearn.htm [10] Rich, E.and Knight, K. “Artificial Intelligence.”New York: McGraw -Hill, 1991. [11] C. Shannon, Programming a computer for playing chess, Philosophical Magazine 41 (1950) 256–275. [12] Schaeffer, J., & Van den Herik, H. J. (2002). Games, computers, and artificial intelligence.Artificial Intelligence, 134(1-2), 1-8. [13] A. Samuel, Programming computers to play games, in: F. Alt (Ed.), Advances in Computers, Vol.1, Academic Press, New York, 1960, pp. 165–192 [14] Fujita, H., & Wu, I. (2012). A special issue on artificial intelligence in computer games: AICG.Knowledge-Based Systems. [15] Nareyek, A. (2004). AI in computer games. Queue, 1(10), 58. [16] Hoogeveen, M. (1995). Towards a new multimedia paradigm: is multimedia assisted instructionreally effective. ED-MEDIA 95 Proceedings. [17] Gärdenfors, D. (2003). Designing sound-based computer games. Digital Creativity, 14(2), 111-114. [18] Farnell, A. (2007, September). An introduction to procedural audio and its application in computergames. In Audio Mostly Conference (pp. 1-31).[19] NVIDIA Corporation. (n.d.). NVIDIA Corporation. Retrieved December 8, 2012, from NVIDIACorporation Web site: http://www.nvidia.com/page/corporate_timeline.html 8