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SneaksieDave

Very Cool Ai Demos

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Oh, man. If only AI acceleration of that nature was widespread and we could use it in TDM. :wub:

 

Maybe in 30 years time...


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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It's usable enough. You're not going to find significantly better pathfinding in any game; all the current pathfinding solutions that we can use for games are sub-optimal, for performance reasons.

 

It works OK for our purposes. :)

 

Those demos, on the other hand... perfect pathfinding for hundreds of AI simultaneously with no performance penalty? Sign me up please!


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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those videos are kind of lamo, but the possibilities they are trying to illustrate are indeed very cool. The future of gaming is bright!


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An AI professor of mine at UT was working on just the sort of AI involved in the tank battle scenes.

 

It's not surprising this sort of technology is developed for these sorts of war games, since the Department of Defense one of the most generous benefactors for it (I'm guessing); it was funding most of his work iirc.

 

A similar thing may have happened here, where some CS graduate students were working on such a project, and one of the first obvious public applications for it is in these sorts of games.

 

It's cool to watch, anyway.

 

It reminds me a little of the Assassin's Creed trailer, as an example of an actual game that looks like it's taking advantage of this sort of thing.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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It definitely will be nice when this sort of processor makes it into the mainstream. If you can expect a Creative PathingBlaster in your target machines, with real dynamic obstacle avoidance, a truly generic AI sdk would be possible, speeding up game development.

 

Maybe the next generation Nintendo Wii will feature one of these processors to calculate and warn you if you are going to hit somebody in the head with the controller.

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It definitely will be nice when this sort of processor makes it into the mainstream. If you can expect a Creative PathingBlaster in your target machines, with real dynamic obstacle avoidance, a truly generic AI sdk would be possible, speeding up game development.

 

Maybe the next generation Nintendo Wii will feature one of these processors to calculate and warn you if you are going to hit somebody in the head with the controller.

 

 

Bear with a techno-ignoramus please, so even if these processors were to come out to the general public, its something that a game would have to be coded for in order to use, yes?

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Yeah, like anything in your PC. Tetris doesn't get all bumpmapped and shinnyed up when you run it on a 8800.

 

 

Im still not clear on this. I could pop more RAM chips in my puter and D3 would run better and with no new coding. So are these accelerators like adding new RAM or will it require games that are specifically made to use it?

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Well, you're talking about a game running with a better framerate than before.

 

To get this big jump in AI behavior it's a matter of BOTH 1- major increase in computing power and 2 - new AI coding to take advantage of the increased computing power.


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Im still not clear on this. I could pop more RAM chips in my puter and D3 would run better and with no new coding. So are these accelerators like adding new RAM or will it require games that are specifically made to use it?

Adding more RAM is different, because all games are already "programmed to use RAM" (in fact, you can't make an application that doesn't use RAM, it's just not possible). By giving it more RAM, you're reducing the amount of hard drive space (virtual memory) that it has to use; and since RAM is faster than hard drives, this can speed things up.

 

Adding a physics card is different, because most games are not programmed to use physics cards already. So you'd need to add code to deal with that.

 

Graphics cards used to be the same (they wouldn't get used unless you added code to specifically support them), but then everyone wised up and standardised on graphics APIs (API = application programming interface) like OpenGL and Direct3D. These days, a programmer just tells OpenGL (or D3D) what they want rendered; and if there is specialised graphics hardware available, OpenGL (or D3D) will use it. If not, you get software rendering. Either way, it just works (though it may work slowly) so the programmer doesn't need to worry about it.


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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I looked at these videos then glanced through the website, then thought about it ... that's as far as I got up to now ... I remember that there was once an idea to create special pci slot cards to calculate not only special effects but also special cards for AI calculation, however both never did take flight. and that is where my thoughts stopped on the AI and got distracted :D

 

greetzzz


"Curiouser and Curiouser" cried Alice!"

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great post SneaksieDave

 

I especially love the 'Tank Battle''s troop behavior of formation and taking cover.

 

Oblivion offers something barely liek 'Simulated City demo' but it's much more scripted.

 

Crispy, or someone else- I don't understand why the latst hardware could not be used for such complex ai.

I mean, almost none even support dual-core processing.

 

I think the problem is not lack of hardware power but lack of human programming time to take advantage of processing power.

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Using the second core of dual-core CPUs is definitely a more practical solution, if only because dual-core CPUs are available now while these AI boards are only a pipe dream (outside of research labs). There are a few problems with that though.

 

1. It's a pain in the ass because you have to deal with threads, and that can give you all sorts of annoying non-reproduceable bugs (race conditions and deadlocks) if you're not careful. It's not too bad if you know what you're doing, but it's the kind of thing you don't want to be worrying about unless you have to.

 

2. Not all systems are dual core, so there's no second core to take advantage of. This doesn't stop you using threads for AI, it just removes the benefit.

 

3. This is probably the biggest problem: The non-specialised CPU core probably won't give you the same processing power as the specialised hardware. When you know exactly what kind of operations will be performed on the chip, you can heavily optimise it for performing those kinds of operations. CPUs are optimised to run the "average" program efficiently, whether it's a game or a web browser or a spreadsheet. The specialised AI hardware, on the other hand, will only ever run one kind of program with well-defined characteristics, so it can be optimised to run those really well.

 

As multicore systems become more commonplace (mitigating problem #2), and tools and techniques for managing multithreaded games improve*, I expect we'll start to see games take advantage of them. For now, the benefits for game developers don't seem to outweigh the costs.

 

* Functional programming anyone? I've yet to hear of pure FP being used in a commercial game, perhaps partly since games tend to have a lot of "state", which FP specifically avoids. Functional programs are automatically thread-safe though, so problem #1 mostly goes away.


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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