Mimicking human player strategies in fighting games using game artificial intelligence techniques
2014-11-28T09:07:27Z (GMT) by
Fighting videogames (also known as fighting games) are ever growing in popularity and accessibility. The isolated console experiences of 20th century gaming has been replaced by online gaming services that allow gamers to play from almost anywhere in the world with one another. This gives rise to competitive gaming on a global scale enabling them to experience fresh play styles and challenges by playing someone new. Fighting games can typically be played either as a single player experience, or against another human player, whether it is via a network or a traditional multiplayer experience. However, there are two issues with these approaches. First, the single player offering in many fighting games is regarded as being simplistic in design, making the moves by the computer predictable. Secondly, while playing against other human players can be more varied and challenging, this may not always be achievable due to the logistics involved in setting up such a bout. Game Artificial Intelligence could provide a solution to both of these issues, allowing a human player s strategy to be learned and then mimicked by the AI fighter. In this thesis, game AI techniques have been researched to provide a means of mimicking human player strategies in strategic fighting games with multiple parameters. Various techniques and their current usages are surveyed, informing the design of two separate solutions to this problem. The first solution relies solely on leveraging k nearest neighbour classification to identify which move should be executed based on the in-game parameters, resulting in decisions being made at the operational level and being fed from the bottom-up to the strategic level. The second solution utilises a number of existing Artificial Intelligence techniques, including data driven finite state machines, hierarchical clustering and k nearest neighbour classification, in an architecture that makes decisions at the strategic level and feeds them from the top-down to the operational level, resulting in the execution of moves. This design is underpinned by a novel algorithm to aid the mimicking process, which is used to identify patterns and strategies within data collated during bouts between two human players. Both solutions are evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. A conclusion summarising the findings, as well as future work, is provided. The conclusions highlight the fact that both solutions are proficient in mimicking human strategies, but each has its own strengths depending on the type of strategy played out by the human. More structured, methodical strategies are better mimicked by the data driven finite state machine hybrid architecture, whereas the k nearest neighbour approach is better suited to tactical approaches, or even random button bashing that does not always conform to a pre-defined strategy.