Authored vs. Systemic: Finding a Balance for Combat A.I. in Uncharted 4
Combat in the Uncharted series has historically been tightly authored by the design team. This approach was unsuited for the wide-linear combat of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, so we began developing a more systems-focused approach to artificial intelligence. After oversteering in that direction, we eventually found a balance between authored content and systemic behaviours. This talk explores the development process of Uncharted 4, and the lessons we learned about partitioning control of the A.I. between design & engineering.
How to enable communication between combat design & A.I. programming
Deciding which aspects of game A.I. should be authored by the design team and which parts should be handled systemically
How to assign roles when larger numbers of NPCs are involved in combat
Tools and tuning knobs that help designers make each combat encounter feel unique
How to help A.I. handle complex combat spaces
How A.I. can aid player navigation and discourage them from adopting boring tactics