Game Master AI can change everything...

Not long ago some public tech figure said, that in the future ai players will replace online multiplayer. It will become more challenging, persistant and satisfying.

I was playing The Division 2 very recently and almost died two times in a short period of time, but managed to get in cover with 1% HP left. I really disliked the game to that point but that moment gave me chills. Then I thought about, what if the game has recognized me almost dying and ordered the enemys to shoot more but hit less, to get me in more distress and so, when I manage to barely heal myself, it would make me feel like a real badass hero… And so like the game more?

I dont think that this game does that but what if we would have a smart game master AI which is always watching the player and controlls the game like a game master, to make the game feel more alive?

It could make the npcs behave more interesting and realistic. It could give you good and bad items just in the right pacing and it could make you constantly almost fail and get yourself out like a crazy cool hero.

Specially open world games like division, far cry, TES, fallout, borderlands and so on would profit from such a system. Or lets say a Dark Souls, in which the enemys become more aggressive when your HP is low, but miss more. It could be made very complex, like creating an observation mode, in which the AI interprets the players gameplay into tags and uses the latest combination for an event or makes npcs behave in a certain way.

Imagine an RPG like gothic or TES in which the AI realizes that you killed a lot people to get their stuff. So it makes the people back off more, get together and fight you, so you can not gather great stuff so easy and so the stuff in the world feels more valueable and the game world feels more dense.

It triggers me a lot. I think we do not need smart NPCs. We just need something smart which is connected to everything in the game and tells them what to do.

What do you guys think?

What should such a thing do to make a game feel better?

That’s absolutely something that games already do. I can’t remember the articles about it from several games that make adjustments to change the amount of challenge that you have. For example there’s some games where if you lose a certain number of times in a row it’ll adjust to try to let you win on the next round. Other games do that kind of thing in the moment to moment gameplay so that if you’re doing better it will give you a greater challenge. In older games it tried to do something similar with like racing games and rubber-band AI where the other racers do better if you’re doing better but go slower if you’re going slower, though those games couldn’t do it very well so you’d have cases that you’re doing extremely well but then the AI passes you shortly before the end of the race.
It is that case though that the developers know that if you’re constantly losing then you might stop playing the game, and they don’t want you to feel like a game is too easy so making that kind of adjustment to the AI to give you enough of a challenge to feel like you’re accomplishing something is what they want to have.

Okay lets specify this a little more.

I’m working as a filmmaker. We have the tool “drama structure” which is besicly the thing you guys see in a movie and realize “hum this movie is exactly like any hollywood movie…” (this usually happens when the writers or directors didnt understand it fully. otherwise the audience isnt realizing that pattern.)

I did a bunch of own work in ths structure and cristalized a basic story structure which is aligned to our basic human understanding of how or when we see a row of events as a “story”

And it is not something static, which has only one way to be right. It is more a branching structure. Of course each character will have its own way trough the thing but while in the process, it is unknown where the journey will go.

However my toughts were, the game master AI could interpret the situation in the game and position the current situation inside a story structure. It doesnt have to always start from the beginning (much like some movies also dont do) But what it does from that point on is, ordering the NPCs to act correctly to the situation (without anyone has scripted that) so you dont have a bunch of npcs wich have a crazy clash of behaviors, like 15 people armed with machine guns yelling in panic because one level 1 mob is still alive and stucks behind a corner, but somehow an understanding of the characters what the story state situation is, like creating a tag system for situations inside the game which will be interpreted by the AI, which creates a “story” structure for that situation in concideration of the included NPCs plus players and what happened right before, so it directs a “stage play” event cluster, in which the AI sends the NPCs to do something that is “correct” in terms of the story state, and then lets the thing happen(who kills who or similar) like in any current game, to then branch into a certain direction inside the structure.

So that the actions of the player and events between the NPCs infulence the direction of the little story structure.

This would make random encounters which werent scripted by a developer feel much more alive and meaningful