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News: Rockstar North Working On Improved A.I For Future “Virtual World” On PS4 & Xbox One

Artificial intelligence is a fickle friend when it comes to gaming. Make the A.I too smart and players get frustrated, make the A.I too dumb and players criticise the ease in which they can progress through the game.

Rockstar’s recently released GTA V did quite well in the A.I department, even if the in-game cops were basically digital terminators. Enemies ducked for cover, civilians ran like hell when you started shooting up the fairground and even animals show a sense of awareness as you run after them brandishing a knife.

Even though GTA V has proven that Rockstar are capable of providing top-notch A.I the development studio isn’t happy to leave it there – they want more.

A recent career opportunity posted by Rockstar North earlier this month shows that the Scotland-based developer is actively looking for new ways to challenge players. Direct your peepers down below and have a read.


 

Rockstar North is searching for a Senior AI Programmer to join our team. As part of the team you will be responsible for designing and implementing believable inhabitants to create a virtual world.

 

Reporting to the Lead Programmer, you will be responsible for implementing tasks to specifications. Within the AI team, you will work on a wide range of areas in an established codebase, such as:

  • Generating the navigation data that the characters use to traverse the landscape.
  • Improving the paths that the characters follow, so they move and avoid obstacles more naturally.
  • Creating realistic behaviours for characters in the world so they have objectives and purpose.
  • Making characters react realistically to the player interacting with them.
  • Work on strategies to produce fun and challenging combat encounters

Desired Skills and Experience

Qualifications

  • Minimum of 3 years commercial games programming experience working on AI.
  • A degree in computer science, mathematics, or equivalent.

Skills

  • Demonstrable experience in developing AI navigation.
  • Experience with HFSM’s and behaviour trees.
  • Solid C/C++ programming skills.
  • Strong math skills, knowledge of vectors, matrices and linear algebra.
  • Experience working on current generation consoles.
  • Excellent problem solving ability.
  • Good team communication skills.
  • Passion for playing and creating cutting edge video game experiences

It sounds like Rockstar wants to up the ante with their next game by giving NPC’s a purpose, rather than just be obstacles that occasionally get in your way. Not only that but character movement seems to be a big thing for Rockstar, maybe we’ll see more realistic interactions, not unlike the manner in which Nathan Drake responds to his environment in Uncharted 3.

We’re probably some way off from seeing anything new from Rockstar North at the moment as they’re still actively supporting GTA V, though that hasn’t stopped us fantasising over the inevitable GTA 6.

Looking forward to Rockstar North’s next big game? What do you reckon it could be? GTA 6 or a sequel to another Rockstar series? Let us know down in the comments section below.

Want to contact the author? Direct your tweets to @ChrisHardingTGC


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15 comments

  1. A.I was left untouched from last gen release… only thing I’ve noticed is more resources toward the Euphoria engine. Running people over this gen doesn’t feel as stiff as last.

      1. If they make another game before Agent they’re really taking the p*ss, it’s been ‘coming soon’ for years plus they owe Sony it, how much longer will Sony wait before taking action

          1. No it’s still on their site, other Rstar studios make those games you said, R North specifically are meant to be doing Agent

          2. I didn’t copy his name but he accused me of that. then got so wound up over it that he dug his own grave. the place is a lot better without him anyway

  2. I’m a fan of midnight club series, and it would be nice to have a racing game that doesn’t rely of rubberbanding for its races to be competitive. If they were to impove the ai Rockstar may make the best racing game ever. Then they can also make Manhunt 3 and have the best stealth game ever.

  3. “Make the A.I too smart and players get frustrated, make the A.I too dumb
    and players criticise the ease in which they can progress through the
    game.”

    This is an old lie that game developers like to tell themselves and each other to justify the terrible AI they ship time and time again. The truth is all existing AI is very simplistic and the only way they have to make it more challenging is to increase factors like accuracy and damage and letting NPCs know the player’s position at times they shouldn’t. This last part is the worst. Understandably players complain about this because it’s cheap, frustrating and feels anything but human. There has never been “too smart” AI. Don’t propagate this lie.

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