Former Fox Engine Lead Praises Xbox One’s Drivatars; Thinks the Tech Could Apply to Several Games

on December 29, 2015 1:53 PM

During a masterclass lecture held at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris, attended by DualShockers, former Konami Worldwide Technology Director Julien Merceron (who recently joined Bandai Namco Studios with the same role) gave some interesting insight about what he sees for the future of artificial intelligence in games.

Merceron mentioned that one of the most important elements of AI technology is to communicate with the player on top of being able to play with him, but there’s a desire among the development community to achieve more complex results, but that’s a very difficult task. According to Merceron, there aren’t enough brilliant brains employed in the field of AI, and that’s something that needs to be corrected, as it has the potential to breathe new life into gameplay systems, implementing more varied reactions to the player’s behavior.

There are many AI technologies that could be very interesting, Merceron continued. A few years ago, he tried to implement fuzzy logic (an approach to computing based on “degrees of truth” rather than the usual “true or false”). Unfortunately it caused trouble, because determinism is necessary when developing games. You can’t get random results, or QA won’t be able to properly test features.

On the otherhand, Quake had a bot system that attempted to learn from the player’s style in order to be able to play against him afterwards.

He played Forza (Merceron did not specify whether it was Forza Motorsport or Horizon) on Xbox One, and he found the AI system that learns from the players’ driving style extremely interesting, and something that coupel be applied to several games he has in mind.

He’d love to work on that kind of application, because there isn’t just synchronous multiplayer, but also asynchronous. On mobile there are many asynchronous activities, and Merceron believes that this kind of technology has an important role to play in the introduction of new kinds of gameplay and activities both on console and mobile games.

The Video Game masterclass event in Paris was organized by Jeux Vidéo Magazine and Cité des Sciences.

[On-Location Reporting and Translation: Morgane Bouvais]

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.