An AI System for Large Open Virtual World
Keywords:open worlds, ambient ai, ai system, behavior trees
In recent years, computer games have reached unprecedented level of graphical fidelity to the real world. As the non-player characters (NPCs) in the game world look more and more realistic, players expect them to manifest believable behavior as well. This is accented especially in games that feature large open worlds, which players may explore freely and it is thus not possible to explicitly account for all possible player interactions. In this paper we focus mainly on ambient AI - the logic behind day to day behaviors of NPCs as they sleep, work and entertain themselves in the virtual world. In this context, it is of great importance to build a system that handles many NPCs (up to several hundreds) quickly. In this paper we report on an implementation of a particular AI system that was approved for deployment in an upcoming high-budget game. The system features a hierarchy of control similar to the subsumption architecture and a visual agent-based language inspired by behavior trees. We describe the challenges involved in building such a system and specific design decisions we have made that let us achieve a level of behavioral fidelity unmatched by existing games. Finally we evaluate the performance of the system in a realistic setting.