The Evolution Of AI In Video Games Over The Last 25 Years [1987-2011]

Posted By | On 31st, Jul. 2011 Under Feature | Follow This Author @GNReith


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Weve seen a growth in online gaming over the years but, whilst the evolution of multiplayer is important, it would be foolish of us to neglect the evolution of computer oponnents for those times when we don’t want to step into the online ring. Here’s a rundown of the evolution of artificial intelligence in gaming over the past 25 years in honour of this rich single player heritage.

1987 – Metal Gear

A basic start to enemy artificial intelligence, with rudimentary patrol patterns. Metal Gear brought in proper enemy reactions to the player’s presence, resulting in the tiered alert stages that have been a mainstay of the Metal Gear series ever since.

1988 – Speedball/Klashball

One of the earlier and more zany examples of team AI. Speedball (or klashball as it was known on NES) incorporated some pretty efficient AI, both for you team and your opponents.

1989 – Populous

With a variety of opponent and tribe AI, Populous was one of those rare games that truly felt like another world. An early win for Peter Molyneux.

1990 – Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

With advanced detection routines and the ability to hear suspicious noises, guards were a whole new level of realistic in Metal Gear 2. They also had a cone of vision rather than a single line for the first time, which always helps when looking for a pesky espionage agent.

1991 – Civilization

Civilization marked the first time where computer players could dynamically shift between passive and hostile. With combat and negotiations as equally important gameplay mechanics, the AI in Civ had to be suitably versatile.

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