Interesting and creepy AI experiment with Q3

http://i.imgur.com/x3yyaew.jpg (Warning: large image)

TL;DR, in an experiment to test out Q3's adaptive AI this guy set up a server of 16 bots to see how good at the game they would get over time, and ended up leaving the server running for 4 years and forgetting about it.

Each of the AI ended up just standing still in quiet compromise, seemingly independently coming to the conclusion that the only way to win is not to play. When he finally came back and after observing, he decided to join and frag one of them--every single other AI immediately went to go grab a gun and murder the fuck out of him and then the server crashed.

I recommend reading the whole thing, it's pretty interesting and frankly pretty creepy!

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did they seriously believe a 4chan post

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The one time I don't do any fact checking. Thanks a lot Tumblr. :C

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I hoped this would be about quantum computing AI and how much we can do with very few qubits, because some people seem to get "creeped" by that.

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After reading the first post I thought they'd learn to stay in their spawns to stay alive. Looks like I was right. Even though this is all false. That's why AI should have aggression.

I'd also hate to see the file size of 4 years of learning how others play.

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Memfis said:

did they seriously believe a 4chan post

did you seriously expect fact-checking from the huffington post

printz said:

I hoped this would be about quantum computing AI and how much we can do with very few qubits, because some people seem to get "creeped" by that.

All right, I'll bite. What are some examples of quantum computing AI and how much we can do with very few qubits, Uncle Printz?

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I always question a lot of the stuff I see on Huffington Post. Its hilarious they picked up on the story though. I guess the QuakeCon craze is here. Time to make up some stuff about leaked Doom 4 images.

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Q3's bot AI IS extremely complex, but it doesn't do any of the stuff alleged in that story.

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Urban Space Cowboy said:

All right, I'll bite. What are some examples of quantum computing AI and how much we can do with very few qubits, Uncle Printz?

I saw an IEEE article, I'm too lazy to link or find it again.

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Quasar said:

Q3's bot AI IS extremely complex, but it doesn't do any of the stuff alleged in that story.


I've never played Quake 3. What makes them complex. Forgive me for my ignorance.

<<< edit. I own it, I just haven't played it.

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geo said:

I've never played Quake 3. What makes them complex. Forgive me for my ignorance.


Download the Q3 Demo and find out for yourself.

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I have Quake 3. Bought it with the Quake Collection yesterday. Just haven't had a chance to play it since I'm stuck on a laptop until Monday. Is their accuracy spot on? Do they constantly jump? Do they realize you're camping somewhere and take an alternate route? Splash damage you?

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They have an AAS system that allows them to understand the map ina way that many other AIs can't. That being said, they are still not very clever. But that is mostly because people who play understand the game a lot better these days, while bots only has a baseline understanding of the game.

It's alleviated by insane aim on higher skill levels. They don't even time items or strafejump through the maps. Though adding those to the AI should be rather simple I think. At least compared to what already is in the bot code. EDIT: Correction, they do time items a bit, and even sometimes bait them out. But mostly they just wander around the maps looking for you, regardless whether they got anything to shoot you with or not.

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geo said:

I have Quake 3. Bought it with the Quake Collection yesterday. Just haven't had a chance to play it since I'm stuck on a laptop until Monday. Is their accuracy spot on? Do they constantly jump? Do they realize you're camping somewhere and take an alternate route? Splash damage you?


The final boss (Xaero) is pretty much unbeatable if you fight him on his own terms, aka standing on your platform and trying to accurately aim your railgun at a small pixel-sized opponent far away. Needless to say, Xaero never misses, and has no problem locking on you. I think the only effective tactic is to spawncamp him continuously on his own platform.

A bot -and any AI, in general- can have 100% aiming accuracy in any circumstances (some fall under the computer is a cheating bastard) and in general do things the player cannot or is not supposed to do -e.g. they can "see" you at any distance and always know where you are thanks to the game engine. The only reason they are not invincible is usually due to human trickery like spawncamping, spawn spamming etc. rather than being truly able to take them one-on-one. Even Doom bots have these elements, and it's only the random scattering which prevents hitscanners from raping you all of the time, and the finite travel speed of projectile prevents other monsters from trapping you with a barrage of lead-ahead shots.

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I remember when I first got Quake 3 I used to play around with the bot chat lol.

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I seem to remember the bot chat for Legacy being pretty funny. But maybe I'm thinking of Skulltag.

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Maes said:

A bot -and any AI, in general- can have 100% aiming accuracy in any circumstances


This can make weapons like the rocket launcher much easier to dodge, though, compared to human players.

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geo said:

I've never played Quake 3. What makes them complex. Forgive me for my ignorance.


You have two options to play Quake 3 free.

The first is playing Open Arena, which is an open source clone of Quake 3. It plays almost exactly the same (though pushing someone into a pit is a kill for you, rather than a suicide for them), but it adds new modes and all textures/models are replaced with open source ones.

The second is Quake Live, an official port of Quake 3 Gold to online browsers. The free account is limited in maps (free have maps in rotation), and the weapons were re-balanced and feel much weaker. But all textures and models are preserved.

geo said:

A bot -and any AI, in general- can have 100% aiming accuracy in any circumstances (some fall under the computer is a cheating bastard) and in general do things the player cannot or is not supposed to do -e.g. they can "see" you at any distance and always know where you are thanks to the game engine.


If anyone wants to see a perfect example of this, get UT (any of the three are fine), and play against bots of godlike difficulty. They can see everything in the entire map at all times, due to having 360 degree view that also goes through walls. They also have aiming that is less than 1 degree off, and can turn around in a half second. Cheating bastard indeed.

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People must have missed where I said I own Quake 3. The idea just never appealed to me. I'm not really into multiplayer games. I'd much rather play Quake 1 and 2 for the soloplay.

However, the bot talk has me motivated to try it when I get back to my PC.

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Khorus said:

This can make weapons like the rocket launcher much easier to dodge, though, compared to human players.


If they wanted to, they could have coded-in an "evasive maneuver" routine even in vanilla Doom: each monster checks for the movement of projectiles within a certain distance of itself (let's say...2 or 3 map blocks away) and determine if any of them are moving too close to it. If so, temporarily modify its movement pattern in order to avoid them (I think ZDaemon bots kind of do that already, by quickly strafing whenever you shoot at them point blank).

Of course, it's too easy to overwhelm this mechanism in a fragfest or by spamming or using hitscan weapons, but still it gives inhuman dodging skills to the bots, even for projectiles behind their back.

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TF2 soldiers aim for your feet to make rockets more accurate instead of being able to simply strafe dodge them.

I've also noticed a lot of multiplayer games have accuracy cones where nothing is 100% accurate (except maybe sniper rifles). A lot of people had issues with ACM having accuracy cones in the single player. You'd shoot straight at something, but still manage to miss.

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My question is this - are Q3's bots actually capable of learning? I have no doubt they're complex, but there are different kinds of AI. You can have an AI programmed to be very good at a game, but never learn from mistakes. I never got the feeling that Q3's AI ever really adapted - it just seemed naturally good at picking off noobs. In other words, at least to me, once you learned its weaknesses, it never seemed to adapt to your ability to exploit them. I mean yeah, I guess the bots got harder as you progressed through the game, but it seemed to me that the only real challenge factor was that their aim got better. That's not adapting, that's just cheating. It'd be like saying that in Mario Kart, the AI was advanced because the other karts would drive faster if you got too far ahead.

Sorry for rambling, but anyway, as I'm not familiar with the source code, nor could I probably understand it even if I read it, can anyone confirm or deny that the Q3 bots are even capable of learning in the first place?

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I'd think to learn, they'd have to remember where you were or spend your time in the game. Like if there are 5 areas in one map and you're constantly in areas A & B, then the bots could always be there with you. Or if you always take one specific route like instead of going straight you always go forward, then jump left over lava, it would know to look for you in that lava jump. Especially if it remembers tat you never look left or right it will wait where you never look left or right to blindside you.

If you're the type of player that jumps, it would aim for the height of your jump.

Maybe if you constantly camp and the bot has a basic weapon, it will seek out a weapon to counteract your camping and just lob pipes or rockets into the area where you can't see. Or maybe it sees where you are looking, so it specifically stays out of your line of sight.

I'm not exactly sure why a bot would need to learn instead of just using these tactics already.

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