Successful turn-based strategy games depend strongly on robust artificial intelligence, and in this exclusive feature
, veteran software developer Ed Welch illustrates, through a hypothetical 4X space strategy game, a practical application of turn-based AI.
As Welch explains in his introduction, compared to other genres, turn-based strategy games offer a unique challenge for developers creating AI solutions:
“In action games the AI opponent always has the natural advantage: perfect accuracy and lightning fast reflexes, so the challenge in designing the AI for those games is making it act more human and to be beatable.
In turn-based strategy games the tables are turned. Speed and accuracy are no longer important factors and the cunning and intuition of the human player will easily out match any AI opponent. In fact, it's nearly impossible to design a AI that can beat an experienced player, but that is not really the point anyway.
The challenge is to make the AI's attack and defense strategy to appear intelligent and thought out, providing a challenge but letting the player win in the end. Once the player has familiarized himself/herself with the tactics of the AI the game rapidly gets boring, so a certain amount of unpredictability is desirable.”
You can now read the complete feature
, for more on this in-depth look at how to create challenging and worthwhile AI systems for turn-based strategy games, including example flow charts and code samples (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).