BioWare explains Mass Effect 3’s overhauled AI
BioWare has come out an explained Mass Effect 3’s overhauled AI in great detail in an interview with Xbox World 360, via CVG.
Christina Norman, Mass Effect 3 gameplay designer, said, “We do an AI overhaul pretty much every day! If there’s one thing the programmers always want to do better it’s definitely the AI, so we’ve done a lot of work on that. We still have some more work to go, but we want you to feel that the enemies you’re fighting are more complex, that they have multiple behaviours, and that they’re reacting to what’s going on.
” With Mass Effect 2 we had this ‘let’s come up with cool enemies’ approach, and we made each enemy as an individual. Now we look at enemies as a force, with units within the force, and each of them has a role.
“You end up with this really cool chessboard thing, where you have a knight and a bishop, they’ll work together in one way but if you have a knight and a rook, they’ll work together in a different way. It’s giving our level designers and combat designers a lot more opportunities, not with heavy scripting, but just by combining these pieces that work together in new and interesting ways.”
She also described how AI works for different difficulty levels. “In Mass Effect 3 it’s not just that the game is harder on Insanity, it’s that this creature actually behaves differently on higher difficulty levels. On those harder difficulty levels we can make the enemies exhibit specific behaviours more often, or even give them new behaviours that we think will work for a harder difficulty level, but which won’t work for an easier one.”
When asked how BioWare will be handling boss fights against huge, 2 kilometer long enemies, which will appear quite frequently, they said they’ve got a lot of things in mind. “Without going into the specifics of any of the enemies you’ll face, I can say it needs to be more about smart ways of taking them down. If a large enemy is nothing but a bullet sponge where you shoot him until his hit points go to zero then that really doesn’t work.
“If you can interact with the enemy in specific ways by shooting at weak points? Use the environment against them? Those are the factors that make larger enemies more interesting to fight,’ she concluded.
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