Thesis Title: Qualities of AI: Usefulness vs. Personality
Completion Date: November 2011
Special Note: Test map uses a modified version of 'Night at the Museum' map
How do players interact with AI characters in combat and non-combat scenarios.
AI characters in modern day games have become increasingly complex. I have quantified all qualities of AI into two categories: Usefulness, qualities that pertain to gameplay; and Personality, qualities that pertain to story and immersion.
I built a five room, five encounter level in Gears of War and provided players with two friendly AI units: Coleplane, the Personality AI who gave backstory, told jokes, and hid during combat to prevent any interaction on Gameplay; and Steve, the no-faced, no-named, soldier who excels at combat and locates pick-up items for the player when out of combat.
After playing the map, the player took a survey tracking down their experiences with the map and how they felt about each character.
Most people instantly recognized that Steve was more useful and that Coleplane had a stronger presence. About one third of test subjects, though, thought that Coleplane performed in combat.
For the complete results section, scroll down below, or view my video rundown.