This article is about Game Development
Artificial Intelligence & It's Radical Impact on the Gaming Industry
By NIIT Editorial
Published on 15/04/2021
The 21st century has been a rollercoaster ride in terms of inventions and advancements in several fields like medical, transport, academics, and science. The gaming industry has also witnessed significant technological transformations. Thanks to the latest innovations in artificial intelligence an elevation has been witnessed in the gaming industry.
What is AI?
In layman’s terms, AI is a branch of computer science associated with structuring smart machines that are capable of performing tasks typically requiring human intelligence. Those bikes and cars in offline games like moto GP or Road Rash move independently without any driver because of AI. In PUBG or the Battle Royale game, you must have witnessed some system-programmed “bots” who just fight on their own. But how? This is because of NPC (non-person characters) that are being controlled by AI technology. A non-player character (or an NPC) is a character played by a computer in a video game.
Several video games are embedded with NPCs that help and guide the player to understand how the game is played throughout. These NPCs make the interaction better with the gamers by predicting human player actions and working according to the command. Moreover, AI is deployed in mechanisms like data mining and procedural content generation that are not explicitly visible though, and are seen as we move forward. As soon as the AI technology understands the user’s choices, it starts generating user variation further in the game.
Imagine playing a strategy game like Age of Empires that makes the world look real and the user has to protect the empire and defeat the computer at the same time. You can create your missions and an army of soldiers who will avenge the enemies by just your simple command. You can even have your soldiers doing real conversations with you being the commander-in-chief to seek instructions. And the game’s scenes change spontaneously just based on what decision you make. All of this had been a dream if AI hadn’t assisted to raise the gaming world. Now anything is possible thanks to the latest ai technology.
From games like Super Mario, Contra, etc. to PUBG, the gaming industry has soared tremendously in a very small period. The total worth of the gaming market is nearly a hundred billion dollars. According to the Global Games Market Report, around 2.7 billion gamers across the world are anticipated to make an incredible $200 billion in-game revenue by 2023.
In the current scenario, the entire gaming industry is in the quest to fetch customers and expand their brands through innovative ways. AI has come in handy for game development. While Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality have become the buzzwords in the gaming world, we cannot deny that the advent of Artificial Intelligence has led to the emergence of making games more attractive, interactive, and smarter.
The realistic gaming experiences and virtual realities are a great aid to the AI and future of game development. They impart information to the researchers about the use of AI for more complicated tasks in the future by acting as a great source of information. These games have proved to be the best way to upskill the AI to make it work in a sophisticated environment. Also, the engineers give it their best to provide the most realistic design which, in turn, assists the gaming industry to strengthen its branches.
Playing realistic games is indeed exhilarating. The experience gets better every time an ‘upgraded’ version pops up. The ‘gen- Z’ is highly obsessed with the gaming experience because the game designers work hard through the constant redesigning, creating evolved concepts every time and deploying cutting-edge technology. They spend around 5-7 hours in gaming and it has been observed that they are finding it better than the real world. However, the question arises: is it really good for them? Is gaming becoming a boon or bane to the newer generation? Since every coin has two sides, gaming and AI too are helping the world to progress towards a better future.
How is AI Transforming the Gaming World?
Artificial Intelligence has undeniably escalated the gaming experience for the users. Here are some of the reasons how AI has played a major role in remodeling the gaming industry, have a look:
Making games sharper and smarter
As we all know, the evolution of AI over a decade is astounding. With that being said, the games have become way smarter than before. If we look 10-15 years back, the gaming industry was entirely different. Limited choices of games like Mario, Superstar Saga, Contra, Prince of Persia, etc. existed back then. On the other hand, today we have seen a drastic shift in video game development with a myriad of gaming options, where the players themselves can decide the storyline.
Ultimately, the game creators will design robust systems in the games that will be embedded with speech, noise, and other sound’s recognition, which will tweak the game scenario accordingly. Modern AI techniques namely pattern recognition and reinforcement learning are required where the characters within the games will self-learn from their actions and evolve accordingly.
Switching to better technology and enhancing the experience
Productivity and adaptiveness play important roles in every task that has to be completed. Similarly, Artificial Intelligence makes sure that it keeps altering and endeavoring to bring in innovative ideas to keep growing gradually. The gaming industry, with the help of artificial technology, envisions giving the best gaming experience to their customers.
For example, The extremely famous game G.T.A. SAN ANDREAS had features where the characters could ride, swim, and even fly. It felt that we were inside the game and could take time off from the daily hustle. This is what today’s generation also wants. And, here’s where AI technology has taken the charge to revolutionize the game experience for gamers.
Amping up the developers’ skills
To keep up with the vigorous competition, the gaming companies strive every day to amplify their products. It is the responsibility of the developers to make sure that they keep inculcating upgraded techniques to provide a better and innovative gaming experience to their customers. And this is only possible because of artificial intelligence and its application. To give their best, the developers need to be well-versed with the latest technologies that will eventually lead to honing their
Giving a more realistic gaming experience
Imparting a more realistic and accurate gaming experience has become a prerequisite for gaming companies. Some techniques such as 3D visualization techniques, physics-based simulations, and the latest inclusion of virtual reality and augmented reality in games have been immensely evolved. This is because of the computer tools that have aided the gaming industry to cope up with the customers’ demands and provide them legendary games like God of War, Splinter Cell, Blacklist, etc.
A reason for the companies to evolve is that now even the customers have grown. Now nobody wants just good graphics, they also seek a resemblance to real-life while they are playing a game. This has become legit mandatory for gamers. Latest artificial intelligence trends have played a great role in connecting this factor.
Amplifying the overall gaming experience
Nowadays, gamers have become more attentive to the intricacies of technology. From the visual appearance to the high-end graphics, immersive technology is elevating the gaming experience. With the assistance of real-time customization of scenarios, AI has been able to play a vital role in taking the gaming experience to the pinnacle.
One of the best real-world examples is the game EA Sports’ FIFA 17. Tuning into the ultimate team mode is more of a fantasy that enables you to pick one of the five-player choices, giving you a choice to place each player in their positions. The AI technology helps in determining the team chemistry based on what you choose. Team chemistry plays an imperative role as the higher the team chemistry, the higher are the chances of your team to win. The interaction feature of the in-game AI makes the playing experience enhanced. Imagine you are losing a match, and suddenly the AI boosts the team’s morale while increasing the fan chants, leading to improvement in the player’s performance.
All in all, it can be said that with the help of Artificial intelligence, the gaming world has gained a lot of popularity and traction, and has also given us much more than entertainment. It has now successfully become a financial market handing out opportunities and money to people, developers, and investors. Giving the game its mind has almost covered every field and is going to progress its achievements in the global graph as it develops itself. In the U.S. it has captured more than 15% of the total market and soon will be an important industry in developing countries like India.