Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 3
Human and Virtual Beings as
Equal Collaborative Partners
in Computer Games
Daniel I. Thomas
Griffith University, Australia
Ljubo B. Vlacic
Griffith University, Australia
For humans, collaboration is a natural and beneficial problem-solving attitude. In computer games,
human players have worked together to achieve their objectives and many computer games today foster
that collaboration with many social mechanisms.
Non-human entities however, are used predominantly as props, plot devices and adversaries. Our vision
is to see virtual beings engaging as equal partners with humans, providing richer emergent game play.
In computer games, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) has been a very poor cousin to the
investment in graphics and physics. AI in the most part is confined to path finding algorithms and simple
state machines. Taking human and virtual beings beyond current applications of AI in computer games
means that intelligent entities within the computer game cease to be “props” in a human-centric story
line, but become equal participants themselves within the computer game world, engaging with humans
towards achieving goals in more dynamic and realistic ways.
Computer games provide a compelling environment to study and enable virtual beings to engage with
humans as equals. In this chapter, we investigate the requirements, design and implementation of virtual
beings that participate in computer games as humans would; playing the game and creating rich new
collaborative game play experiences in areas of education, training and entertainment.
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