Tag Archives: AI

State of Decay Gets Release Window

State of Decay will be released on XBLA and PC in June.

Yes, it’s another zombie game but State of Decay concentrates more on survival, stealth, evasion, and base-building in an open-world environment. You’ll work with a bunch of AI survivors to erect structures that will help you survive in a world overrun by the undead. To build these structures, however, requires exploring the world, scavenging raw material. Should you meet a zombie up close, you’ll still be able to get rid of them using a range of sturdy melee weapons.

It’s being developed by Undead Labs, founded by Jeff Strain. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Strain was the lead programmer on World of Warcraft. The game has partnered with Microsoft Studios, so don’t expect to see it on PS3 anytime soon.

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From: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/04/15/state-of-decay-out-on-xbla-and-pc-in-june

Road Rash Spiritual Successor Hits Kickstarter

DarkSeas Games has announced a Kickstarter for Road Redemption with the goal of “bringing back the classic Road Rash-style gameplay, with next-gen graphics, physics, and online play.”

Currently seeking $160,000 on Kickstarter, the project “takes the motorcycle-combat racing gameplay, pioneered by the Road Rash series, and brings it to the next level,” adding “state-of-the-industry combat controls, insane crashes, destructible environments, AI, ragdoll physics, and online multiplayer to the classic motorcycle combat/racing formula.”

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From: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/04/12/road-rash-spiritual-successor-hits-kickstarter

Whatever Happened to Video Game AI?

Gather round fellow gamers, young and old, and I’ll tell you a tale of a golden age long past, when the creatures that roam our virtual landscapes stepped blinking into the sunlight for the first time, picked up a thigh bone and smashed stuff with it. 1998 was the year, and Half-Life the game. It brought us Marines who were seemingly capable of outflanking the player, and flushing them out with smartly thrown grenades.  Even its roaches responded to light, movement and smell.

Half Life was followed soon after by Thief, whose dark streets were populated by guards with various states of awareness, able to respond to sounds made by the player and even sounds made by other AI. Then in 1999 came Unreal Tournament, featuring AI that could snipe your face off from half a mile away. Halo in 2001 had smart, surprising AI that was so good it was a reason to buy the nascent Xbox. At that point, a future of human-like AI – opponents that could adapt to the players movements and actions – didn’t seem that far away.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Advance Auto Parts Appoints George Sherman as President; Announces Leadership Changes

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Advance Auto Parts Appoints George Sherman as President; Announces Leadership Changes

ROANOKE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– In an effort to simplify its organizational alignment, improve role clarity and provide a more intense focus on strategic and operational execution, Advance Auto Parts, Inc., (NYS: AAP) , a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, batteries, accessories, and maintenance items, today announced several organizational changes.

George Sherman will be joining the Company as President. In his role as President, Mr. Sherman will be responsible for growing Commercial and driving excellence throughout the Company’s operations. Mr. Sherman will lead the Company’s Commercial Sales, Field Operations, Store Operations Support, Merchandising, Marketing, Supply Chain and Ecommerce Teams.

Mr. Sherman served as an officer in the United States Air Force for seven years. Afterward, he was with Target for 15 years where he worked his way from Store Manager to Regional Vice President, then served as Senior Vice President, Store Operations for their Mervyn’s department stores. He then moved to Home Depot where he led their installation business as Senior Vice President and President of their Home Services Division. Most recently, Mr. Sherman served as Senior Vice President, Best Buy Services, which included leading the Geek Squad. Mr. Sherman will report to Darren Jackson, Chief Executive Officer and will relocate to Roanoke, VA.

Charles Tyson, who currently serves as Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Merchandising, Marketing and Supply Chain. Mr. Tyson joined Advance in 2008 as Senior Vice President, Merchandising and has been instrumental in improving the Company’s gross profit rate, strengthening its parts assortment and positioning the Company as an industry leader in inventory availability. In his new role, Mr. Tyson will report to George Sherman, President.

Jim Durkin, who currently serves as President, Autopart International (AI), will assume the new role of Senior Vice President, Commercial Business. Mr. Durkin will be responsible for the Company’s Commercial Sales Team, Commercial Marketing and AI. Mr. Durkin joined AI in 2011 and under his leadership AI has seen its largest period of growth and expansion. Before joining AI, Mr. Durkin led the global business segment of OfficeMax where he served as Executive Vice President. Prior to OfficeMax, Mr. Durkin served as Vice President, Sales for ARAMARK Corporation. Mr. Durkin will report to Mr. Sherman and will relocate to Roanoke, VA. All changes outlined above are effective April 21, 2013.

Tammy Finley, who most recently served as Vice President, Employment Counsel and Government Affairs, has been promoted to the …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Thief 4 looks great, but it may be too forgiving for diehard fans of the original games

During GDC we had a chance to see a guided playthrough of Thief 4. The presentation and demos were technically impressive, showcasing the advanced lighting and shadow techniques that the developers are using to take advantage of next-generation hardware. But the gameplay didn’t seem all the way there, and while it’s still early in the development process I have some concerns that need to be addressed before I can get excited for the game.

In most regards, Eidos Montreal’s return to the classic Thief franchise is a welcome one, but it’s being modernized in ways that disregard some of what made the original series so strong—plus, it comes off a bit unbelievable in a time when stealth-action games have been elevated past a visual detection via light and darkness.

That’s the basis of stealth in the new Thief, and while it cleaves to the gameplay mechanics of the original games it also seems to rely heavily on dumb enemy AI. During our demo the player appeared to be sneaking into a home for the blind, and where’s the fun in that?

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

World's most powerful rifle raising fears in hands of Syrian rebels

By Paul Alster

New YouTube video from the Syrian battlefield shows rebels firing the same high-powered sniper rifle favored by U.S. Navy SEALs, leaving some experts wondering who the ragtag army of insurgents might train the guns on in the future.

The British-made AS-50, accurate from a distance of 20 football fields, is made for British Special Forces and Navy SEALs. Video showing Syrian rebels, who are aligned with Al Qaeda, firing the guns and shouting “Alahu akbar,” has also raised questions about who is supplying such devastating hardware.

“The video, showing jihadist rebels of the ‘Descendents of the Prophet Brigade’ firing one of the world’s most effective sniper rifles, should be cause for alarm,” said David Reaboi, of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy. “We don’t know who has been supplying this group (or the myriad others) with these weapons but, given the jihadist ideology of these groups, it’s only a matter of time until they’re turned on Americans or our allies and interests.”

The gun set a world record when a member of the British Household Cavalry in Afghanistan’s Helmand province killed two members of the Taliban with successive bullets over a recorded distance of more than 1.5 miles.

The Free Syrian Army has been receiving weapons from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – all close allies of the U.S. But the U.S. has repeatedly stated that it has sent no weapons to the opposition forces.

The U.S. State Department has acknowledged directly providing $385 million support to the Syrian people, including “emergency medical care and medical supplies, food aid, and winterization supplies like blankets and heaters for those affected by the crisis.” The site also reports that “over 4,000 major pieces of equipment have been provided, mostly to Damascus, Aleppo, and other areas with significant opposition presence, including communications and computer equipment, as well as generators.”

Experts said it could prove impossible to determine where the rebels got AS-50s and how many they have.

The sniper rifle, manufactured by Accuracy International – which sells arms to the Turkish and Saudi Arabian militaries – has a fearsome reputation. It has been used in various theaters of war in recent years by many elite forces, including both the SEALs and British Special Forces.

“I know from first-hand experience how revered the AI product is, even in the States, where traditionally US producers are favored,” a British Army sniping instructor told Wired in 2011.

Call of Duty, a warfare game that in 2009 sold more than 7 million copies in just one day, seemingly endorsed the already lofty reputation of the AS-50 by featuring the weapon in one of its many urban combat simulations, giving the sniper rifle something of an iconic following amongst players of the record-breaking video feature.

The Free Syrian Army has recently made significant territorial gains against government forces in the two-year-old bloody civil war that in March saw its worst ever body count, with independent monitors determining at least 6,000 people were killed.

The gun costs about $10,000, according to Reaboi, and each one could be around …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Scientists use AI cobweb analysis to determine spider species

(Phys.org) —The identification of spider species based on pattern recognition of their cobwebs has been shown to be quite possible and successful. The paper, “Spider specie identification and verification based on pattern recognition of it cobweb,” was published in Expert Systems and Applications and the paper’s research was also recently discussed in New Scientist. A team came up with an AI cobweb recognition system through the use of special software for analyzing images supplied by a spider expert. More specifically the team used images from William Eberhard of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Costa Rica. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

A Look at Post-Patch 'Aliens: Colonial Marines'

By Carol Pinchefsky, Contributor

When Aliens: Colonial Marines (A:CM) came out last month, the FPS was lambasted by many critics for glitchy AI and low-fi graphics. I was apparently one of the few who could look past this, because Lance Henriksen and xeno spree killing. Still, I had hopes that the game would be patched, if only because demo footage showed a much better version of the game existed…somewhere. Now it looks like my hopes have been realized: Gearbox has released a patch that’s nearly 4 GB. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Confirmed For Wii U

UPDATE: Square Enix has confirmed that the Director’s Cut of Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be released exclusively on the Wii U.

No firm release date has been given, but the Director’s Cut is slated to utilise the GamePad for touch-screen hacking, interactive map editing, augmented sniping, grenade throwbacks and other neural hub enhancements. The version will also include developer commentaries and in-game guides.

Tongs’ Rescue mission and the Missing Link chapter will both be integrated into the game, while overhauled boss fights, tweaks to combat, balance and AI, and visual improvements are also part of the package.

Original story follows.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Review

If sniping in real life – outside of the whole morality issue – was as easy as it is in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, then a few soldiers probably could save the world. Unless you’re playing on the hardest mode, bullet-drop indicators and omniscient AI teammates make sure you know exactly who to shoot and when, taking almost all the tension out of pulling the trigger. Ghost Warrior 2 ultimately does exactly what I feared the most when I started: it takes one of the highest forms of shooting skill and makes it repetitive and uninteresting.

Almost every level in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2’s brief four-or-so-hour campaign boils down to the same thing. You arrive on one of these pretty, CryEngine 3-rendered jungle scenes either alone or with a partner, and then move from position to position, killing everyone as quietly as possible. If you screw up, enemies will rush you with reckless abandon and you’ll probably die, so if you’re playing on Easy or Normal, you’d best kill people in the explicit order you’re told to. Not that that’s particularly difficult, since you seem to always know exactly where enemies are at all times.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Get Ahead in Minecraft-Inspired Sandbox Crafting Game The Blockheads

Majic Jungle’s Minecraft (and Terraria)-inspired sandbox crafting game The Blockheads has slowly and steadily been picking up steam since it hit the App Store in January. After recently falling deep down the Blockhead rabbit hole myself, crafting increasingly elaborate castles and underground lairs, I decided to get some tips and tricks directly from developer David Frampton. Did you know you get more resources from trees you chop down block-by-block? Or that you can have AI-controlled partners explore and mine out caves automatically?

Read on for these and other helpful tips for exploring, taming and crafting The Blockheads’ blocky world.

“1) When chopping down a tree, you get more sticks and wood if you climb to the top and work your way down, chopping each block individually. It’s best to use a machete on each tree branch from the outside in to get the most sticks, and an axe also gives you more wood per block.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

PAX East: Ask Ken Levine Anything

With BioShock Infinite only weeks away, we’re teaming up with Irrational Games at PAX East to discuss the black magic that went into bringing the complex AI character Elizabeth to life. But we can’t do it alone.

Here’s where you come in. In the comments section below on this article, post a question you’d like to ask the BioShock Infinite team. Include your name, and Twitter handle, if you have one. Then come back for IGN’s PAX East coverage March 22-24 to watch the panel and see if we used your question.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Cloudberry Kingdom: Platforming Levels Up

“All of our levels have been randomly generated by an AI that we designed. These levels can range from being really easy, to almost impossible.” If this was a two sentence preview, Jordan Fisher, Lead Developer, would’ve just done our job for us, because, on the face of it, that description is Cloudberry Kingdom in a nutshell. A randomly generated, impossible to crack nutshell. But as we plumb the depths of the Cloudberry world, we realise there’s so much more to say about the 2D platformer.

The concept itself is fairly straightforward. Players explore an infinite amount of 2D side scrolling worlds with ‘heroes’ of varying ability, collecting crystals. It fits in perfectly with the recent resurgence of platform games that have dominated Steam, XBLA or the PSN, most of which are stylised tests in ingenuity and puzzle solving. It does however standout for its overt nostalgia.  It’s a throwback to platform games of yesteryear where speed, timing and perseverance are skills you must wield, whilst playing in a perpetual state of rage.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Interview: 7 Questions With 'SimCity' Producer Kip Katsarelis

By Jason Evangelho

On Tuesday, city-building fans will finally experience the new SimCity (MAXIS/Electronic Arts) after a decade-long wait. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Kip Katsarelis, Lead Producer on SimCity, prior to the game’s launch. In the interview below Kip discusses the emergence of green awareness and its impact on the game’s development, surprising AI behaviors, and the new data layers that will have stat junkies drooling. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Technology

This Week on the Wii U and 3DS eShop (2.21.13)

If you like demos and/or hunting monsters, you’re in for a treat. Step right up and have a look at the latest additions to the 3DS and Wii U eShop. As always, each Thursday we’ll be bringing you a list of what’s available (retail and original software, DLC, demos and more), complete with prices and descriptions (care of Nintendo’s official site). For more information, jump over to your 3DS or Wii U!

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Free)

“Discover the epic world of Monster Hunter as you journey through more than 200 exhilarating quests, battle larger-than-life monsters, and create hundreds of weapons and armor. Hunt with your two AI companions in single player quests or connect the Wii U system with up to three friends in four player online battles. Visually stunning 1080p HD graphics and online voice chat make this the best Monster Hunter experience to date.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Review: Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition serves up the classic RPG better, and worse, than you remember

Bioware made it big riding on the back of Baldur’s Gate, and its success became the basis for add-ons, sequels and spin-offs that established Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk as legends in the gaming industry. A mix of undiluted 2nd edition D&D rules along with party combat dynamics, well-paced leveling and a strong, character-driven narrative produced an experience so satisfying, its remains a benchmark other RPGs are measured against. Overhaul Games, fresh off the slick remake of MDK2 HD, aimed its sights considerably higher in the Bioware back catalog and produced a long-requested and highly anticipated update to this crown jewel of gaming. Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition ($20, buy-only) introduces official native high-resolution visuals, new story content, multiplayer support and a gladiator-style combat mode for quick action. It delivers on these promises, but like most translations, something of the original spark is lost in the process.

1) Character creation is a step down memory lane with D&D 2nd edition rules used throughout.

Overhaul Games, who started out life as a division of online game distributer Beamdog, petitioned Bioware for over a year before being given access to the sacred Infinity Engine source code, the lifeblood from which Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape flowed. What followed were hundreds of bugs fixes and improvements as the engine was refitted for modern OS and hardware environments along with visual upgrades to the artwork and interface graphics.

The technical improvements are largely successful. The game runs in crisp high resolution without lag and supports widescreen monitors natively, feats the original game can only perform with substantial end-user modification. Engine improvements from later games in the series, such as Shadows of Amn, have been retroactively fitted so additional class kits and subraces are available to round out character creation. The experience cap has also been raised, giving a little headroom for point gobbling multiclass builds.

Combat is a mix of RTS mob management and RPG clickfest.

Gameplay is largely the same, with characters arrayed on the right side of the screen, mode selections to the left, and actions across the bottom. Control is more like an RTS game than a traditional action RPG, focusing on mob attacks using a pause-go command flow to issue orders to your party or relying on AI. Quick slots let you pick preferred weapons or items via function keys and despite its age, the ergonomics of the layout are easy to appreciate. In some ways, they surpass the radial menu paradigm Bioware used for the subsequent Neverwinter Nights series.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Here's What You See When You Download Real Racing 3 for Free

There has been much hand-wringing and gnashing of the teeth regarding Real Racing 3’s freemium pricing model.

It isn’t hard to see why. I had an hour-long bus ride yesterday and wanted to pass the time playing EA‘s gorgeous new racer. In my first event, an AI opponent thumped into my rear end, sending me spinning into a wall. If I didn’t pay up, the car repairs were going to take 30 (realtime) minutes to complete. Oops. I just played other games instead.

But on the other hand, I’ve been picking up Real Racing 3 off and on for a full day now, completing 44 out of 961 events and buying 3 of the 46 available cars. All for $0. It’s nice.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games