This Seems All-Around Fishy
Developers are always working to make their games and NPCs as smart and clever as possible, but they always pale in comparison to the ingenuity of real people. Nevertheless, developers will keep trying, and they are making greater strides, but at what cost? “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Ever heard that line? Apparently, Activision has never seen Jurassic Park. Activision patents, both new and less recent suggest some concerning methods of creating NPCs.
Dumb AI can be entertaining, but smart AI are impressive and challenging. When we’re running around taking out bad guys, we like to imagine that they are real people. Wait, that came out wrong. We like to imagine that we are besting another human being. It’s why online multiplayer games are so popular. Activision has been trying to make their NPCs are as close to human as possible since 2014. The goal is to make online NPCs indistinguishable from PCs. One of the newer patents on this technology outlines how the information for these NPCs is generated. The patent can be found on Espacenet.
“In one implementation, a game profile may be generated for a gameplay session based on gameplay information. […] Player information may describe various characteristics of a player, which may be used to assess whether the player will enjoy a given gameplay session, a match, and/or a game. For example, player information may comprise a variety of player attributes including, without limitation, screen name (or gamer tag), style of gameplay (e.g., aggressive), a role preference (e.g., an explicit indication by the player of such preference), a role actually played, a duration of gameplay sessions, a number of gameplay sessions played by in a given login session, in-game items used or purchased by the player, membership in a clan or team, preference to play with clan mates or friends, demographic information of the player (e.g., geographic location, gender, income level, etc.), win/loss records, scores, and/or other information that may be used to determine whether a player will enjoy a given gameplay session, a match, and/or a game.”
Those sections are some of the more alarming or concerning aspects of the technology. In simpler terms, Activision will be able to use player information in cool ways like copying a preferred loadout, playstyle, and/or map preference, and in less cool ways like using a player’s profile name, in-game behaviours, and play session patterns.
Do these details concern you? Let us know in the comments below.