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Ubisoft Wants New Consoles For The Sake Of Better AI

Over the past few months, with all the rumors circulating about the next generation of consoles, developers and publishers have weighed in with their thoughts.  For the most part, game creators and producers are content with what we have.

But one major publisher has made it plain that we definitely need new machines. Another Ubisoft executive - this time it's executive director of production services, Yves Jacquier - has once again asked for Sony and Microsoft to deliver new game consoles. He says his company wants them "sooner rather than later" and right now, their development feels "extremely limited." He says Ubisoft specifically wants more power for better AI, not necessarily for prettier and/or more realistic graphics:

"Our challenge with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox [360] is that we're extremely limited in what we can do. It's a challenge for the engineers to provide nice graphics and nice AI and nice sound with a very small amount of memory and computation time. We think that the next generation of consoles won't have these limits any more."

Well, that makes some sense, but we wonder why no other publisher has made similar statements. Obviously, AI is a major factor and we have seen increases in enemy intelligence this generation. But Ubisoft obviously isn't content with those advances; they want more, and apparently, they need more powerful machines to grant them access to "next-gen" smarts.

Tags: ubisoft, game news, playstation 4, game consoles

7/6/2011 10:33:07 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (96 posts)

Kai200X
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:50:50 AM
Reply

Come up with your own console Ubisoft, or find better engineers :P

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:52:26 AM

Along those lines, I want better PS3 games (save a few) from Ubisoft!!

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TheAgingHipster
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 6:15:48 PM

I was gonna say, isn't that a software engineering problem, rather than a console problem? That's like saying that buying a new car will make you a better driver.

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manofchao5
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 8:38:53 PM

they're just too dumb to make a more efficient engine, theres no need for a new console unless naughty dog starts running into problems lol

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:51:13 AM
Reply

I'm more than happy with the intelligence of AI enemies in games as it is. I'm sure Ubi can see a limit, but as a gamer, I can't.

Uncharted 3, Killzone 3 and GT5 are showing off what the PS3 can truly do, and hardly any other games have come even close to hitting the PS3's limit.

I think Ubi are just being too impatient, if they want bigger memory, make a PC exclusive game that caters for it.

Apart from Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon, I don't see many games from Ubi that NEED a big RAM upgrade. If DICE can make the PS3 and 360 handle Frostbite 2 engine (scaled down though) Ubi should be able to make smarter enemies with the tech they have now.

Personally, I think Ubi want more RAM now because they are too lazy or impatient to tweak their engines to get a better performance, which is what others are doing.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:09:34 AM

"Personally, I think Ubi want more RAM now because they are too lazy or impatient to tweak their engines to get a better performance, which is what others are doing."

BINGO! They certainly don't go the extra mile. Hence why every single game they release has screen tearing galore.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/6/2011 11:09:49 AM

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jlch777
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:53:22 PM

That is true jawknee!!!

By the way infamous 2 is awesome and there is not a single torn frame anywhere just like the AC series...(-.-)

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Nickjcal
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:44:15 PM

Better AI???? I'm getting raped in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 as I type this message!

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:08:02 AM
Reply

LOL! These guys are clueless. The AI in their games is mediocre so it's the consoles fault? Goodness I'm really starting to dislike this company. I said it before and I'll say it again. Learn to code correctly for this gen's consoles Ubisoft and maybe then more people will take you seriously. Morons.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/6/2011 11:10:14 AM

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:12:51 AM

Personally, I find Ubisoft are better with art direction in their games rather than technical things in programming, like enemy AI or graphics and physics.

Ubisoft's appeal is only as deep as their aesthetic talent.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:20:56 AM

What good is a good artistic sense if the canvas is torn?

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:55:01 AM

Indeed Jawknee. All I need to reinforce that is take a look at the Hawx series. I enjoyed both games immensely, but the PS3 versions were inferior to the 360 versions.

Give me better PS3 games, thank you!!

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:11:19 AM
Reply

This is *exactly* what I've said (and I just have to brag about it cause this rarely *ever* happens :).
The current consoles do indeed have a bottleneck that prevents an AI for going *beyond* your immediate surroundings. The shortage of ram and processing power is extremely limiting to the scope of the AI.

The specs on current consoles are too focused only on churning out graphics. *Everything* have to drop dead the second you are *not* watching it. The game can't keep them alive as well as feed you the visuals.

One good example of this is how the cars on the road completely change in GTA if you turn around a couple of times. Or if you try chasing a car you want to steal and it goes out of sight a second. You rush around the corner, and *poof* the car is gone.

I do not *want* a new playstation yet, though. But more ram and more CPU power, that's *really* needed.

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 11:20:37 AM

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:21:24 AM

Soooo.... God of War 2, Res Evil 4 and Shadow of the Colossus had AI as good as PS2 launch titles? I don't think so!!!

The reason later titles excelled on PS2 wasn't because they magically found more RAM in the PS2, it's because they tweaked their engines and physics to take advantage of the whole console.

Same is happening with current gen consoles. Physics, AI and number of characters or moving scenery on the screen at once is limited by the hardware, but can be balanced to make great improvements for older hardware.

As I said before, Ubi are just either lazy or impatient. They want more RAM because they either don't have the talent to tweak their engines for better performance out of slightly older hardware, or their ideas for bigger games excel the hardware available.

I'm sorry, but there are only a handful of publishers and developers who want new consoles right now, and one of the biggest reasons is the outdated tech in the 360, with PS3 being blamed so as to avoid fan-wars.

I reckon Ubi should try a PS3 exclusive, THEN see if they still have the same problems as before.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:22:33 AM

The AI in Killzone is light years ahead of anything Ubisoft has done. These guys are just lazy.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:26:45 AM

I'm not saying that Ubisoft AI is particulary good, nor that there is no quality leap from ps2 to ps3 (I would not know that, anyways). I'm simply saying that the hardware priority on todays consoles (not just the ps3!) are focused on graphics, and as a result the option to have several threads running in the cpu that do other stuff than serving what you see is *extremely* limited. The size of the ram alone is proof of that.

I am using Rockstar's GTA as an example here. You don't think that the car issue is a result of lazy programming, do you?


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 11:28:01 AM

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GuyverLT
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:27:40 AM

How is the intelligence of the AI the consoles fault isn't that based on how well a developer make the game. --__--

I don't get it, someone please explain this to me cause I'm lost.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:31:58 AM

AI isn't a huge CPU load compared to rendering, on either console. Memory wise, it's again not a huge issue. You had games running on the PS2 in 32MB of memory, the current crop of systems provide about 8 times the memory for the game, as well as dedicating 256MB for graphics. Are Ubisoft saying that they can't fit better AI into a system that's 8 times bigger than what they worked with in the PS2?

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:34:38 AM

I'll try to explain it different, Guyver:
AI today decides how the characters and environment in your field of view shall behave. How *good* they behave within that field of view is indeed depending on how well it is developed.

But! AI *could* cover a lot more than just what you see.
AI could also cover how a group of enemies would behave *outside* of your field of view. Like, on the other side of the map, if you use a gun that's loud. All those things have to be scripted today, there's no true intelligence behind it.

Or in GTA the game could have let the different characters do real stuff in the world, you could have met one of the girlfriends walking along the street on her way to the clothing store - and no matter if you follow her or not she *will* enter that store and show up with the clothes she bought on the next date.

If you catch my drift? The AI could be *much* bigger and more complicated than what we see today could the hardware handle it, and that would have had a *huge* impact on some games. I think it really is the "next generation games" right there.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 11:38:42 AM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:37:03 AM

Highlander-
Seems like that's what they are saying to me.

To me it's a matter of creating something at least on par with the best we've seen so far before saying something like this. Ubisoft hasn't done that yet and until then I don't think they have room to talk. But I still respect them, I love their games.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:43:33 AM

Highlander, we have not yet seen any game with the kind of AI I talk about here!

Guys! You all should just forget the current AIs, forget Ubisoft, forget brand names - and look at this from a broader perspective. Please, re-read what I write here. The AI in games could have been a *lot* more than it is today, in ANY game.

And why is it not? Could it be because the human breed has not yet produced a clever enough programmer?
Noo - it's because of the hardware!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 11:50:25 AM

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:52:01 AM

I'm inclined to agree with Beamboom and even Ubisoft at this point. I mean, instead of just calling Ubisoft (or any of the other developers that have come out advocating for next-gen systems) "lazy" or "bad at making games" why not think that they may have a point? Is it really that crazy to think that 5-6 years into the current generation of hardware we're approaching a limit with what programmers can do?

I'd also like to point out that I'm NOT in the camp that would like to see a PS4 or the next Xbox sooner rather than later. But I'm also not just going to dismiss what professionals who make games say in regard to what they can and can't do. I unfortunately know little to nothing about the technical side of game making, so I can't speak to it.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:02:48 PM

I don't buy it. Beamboom. Why? Because I remember Ubisoft complaining about the price point of the consoles.

To me, it sounds as if Ubisoft wants its cake (RAM) and eat it too (low cost).

That sounds like a perfect world if you ask me.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:58:33 PM

But then explain to me *why* the cars disappear in GTA the moment you look the other way? Tell me *why* you never in any games find any kind of AI that comes even *close* to what I've illustrated here?
Why is it that in *every* game the AI only control what you see, what you interact with there and then! There is a *reason* for all this.

Or to turn it the other way around: Explain to me *why* all strategy games are so simple graphically? Why do *every* game that has a complicated brain-work running in the background suffer on the visual side? It is a *reason* for this too!

In order to explain this more in detail I'd have to go into the finer details of the challenges when developing multi-threaded applications as opposed to linear programming and that's meaningless unless you all know programming.
But it is a *reason* why in the old days, when resources were a fragment of what they are today, strategy games had to be turn based, where they *first* calculated their moves, *then* did the graphical changes accordingly, and *then* it was your turn!

It *had* to be linear back then, this is not just preferences or trends in game designs!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 1:04:52 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:14:32 PM

Boomy,

Cars disappear in GTA when you look away because the developer chose not to bother implementing sufficient intelligence in the game engine to have cars that persist locally at least. That's not AI, that's game design.

Actually a lot of games do feature AI that controls enemies and objects that you cannot see. In fact the memory and processing requires to do that is far lower than that requires to handle what you do see since unseen objects movement need not be represented particularly accurately, nor visually. I can't think of many games that use the same trick as GTA with respect to something as simple as making local traffic in the game world persistent.

The complexity of artificial intelligence comes from the design of the rules that control behavior. Next up is determining whether a given enemy or agent in the game has the ability to detect others and act accordingly. the game engine doesn't have to do a fully accurate physical representation to determine this, it only need be a very basic line of sight and perhaps an audible range. The enemy or other agent in the game then has it's AI rules to apply and behaves accordingly.

You can add complexity by giving the AI of each agent the ability to adjust based on what it's allies are doing, even permitting the AI to exchange information, such as the location of enemies, so that the other AIs can act according to their own rules. You can even empower them with tactics, but all of this is simply very branchy code that involves tons of decisions based on very little actual calculation.

Object or agent persistence in the local environment is dependent on the memory available, but unless the designer has done a terrible job, objects and agents within the game should be locally persistent unless they move out of view or out of draw distance. Branchy code to interpret AI is not hugely computationally intensive, nor is it memory hungry, it does occupy a processor with lots of branches which bring their own performance issues, but on a 3.2GHz core, that should not be an issue.

I'm sorry, I don't buy their complaints on this.

As for strategy games, strategy games have evolved with the top down strategic approach like the Civ series, Sim City, Command and Conquer. Their graphics have continually improved, but the nature of the gameplay is what it is. It's nothing to do with the complexity of the AI keeping the graphics from being better.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:26:29 PM

"the developer chose not to bother implementing sufficient intelligence in the game engine" no no nononono, This is *not* why. In GTA the city is the *main* character, it's not just scenery!

Hold on I gotta google this and return to you. But they have commented on this particular issue prior to gtaiv, this is *not* something they wanted, but were forced to, just like in the earlier GTAs. But they stated that they have *tried* to eliminate this particular issue because it's *the* most commented "bug" in the earlier GTAs. They said it's improved in gtaiv, but they were unable to eliminate it cause the tradeoff was simply too much, they had to give up on features considered more important in order to free up the required cpu and memory alignments.

I'll get back to you on this, but in the mean time, if you can, please list some games you think are good examples of action games where the AI stretches far beyond the immediate surroundings, or are anywhere near "strategy game AI".
Cause surely, if it is possible, it must have been done?

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 1:40:14 PM

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:30:45 PM

Beamboom -

I am not a hardware/software expert by any means. However, I do understand enough to release that gaming machine that does everything (IE- graphics, AI, physics, etc.) will cost more then the average consumer is willing to spend.

The developers with supreme talent maximize their software for the platform they are on and it shows. My issue with Ubisoft is that I do not see them maximizing their software for the PS3. If they did, there Assassins Creed would be on three 360 discs just like Rage and FF13 were/are.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:50:49 PM

Boomy, I think that GTA problem is engine specific. I don't see how object persistence for objects hidden from view has anything to do with the AI unless they have implemented the AI as part of the rendering engine requiring them to fully, or partially render objects/agents that are not viewable simply to handle the AI for that object/agent.

I don't know of any action game AI that comes close to the complexity of the AI in a strategy game of the type I mentioned because they are so very different genre. I happen to think that the AI in Uncharted 2 ranges from OK to pretty good, but we're talking about the AI of a limited number of enemies in a specific space, that's not the same as a top down strategy game at all.

To me, AI is about whether the enemies and NPCs in a game can correctly identify good targets and act in an organized way to attack the target. In an action game that is a very different task to the same kind of thing in C&C or Civ - or even an RPG. But either way AI always follows the same pattern, what are the variables (local conditions, proximity of allies, proximity of enemies, priority of available targets, how threatening a target may be, cover available, enemy in cover, and so on) and then make some decisions based on those variables. Depending on how particular you want to be, I could see a discussion regarding the calculation of line of sight to allow an enemy AI to see the barest glimpse of the player behind cover, but personally I think that kind of precision is not really required in a game. The point is though, that the amount of hard calculation work needed to drive the AI is really quite limited. I just don't see the reason for their complaint.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:55:10 PM

Yes max, about the hardware, that's exactly how it is. You got it.

But the "three disk" issue is more related to other content than pure AI. that particular code doesn't require much disk space, relatively speaking.

But please note I am *not* talking about Ubisofts code here.
Sure they can write better code, everyone can! Things can always improve, and had we "frozen" this generation consoles to last for 50 years, the games 20 years from now would be better than the games today. I have no idea of by how *much* better, but they *would* be better, that's for sure.

I'm just saying that the current hardware do limit the complexity (or more precise, the *scope*) of the current AIs, and that Ubisoft is absolutely correct in stating this.
I'd even say this is "stating the obvious", really.

Highlander, yes it is engine specific! Indeed it is. It is a deliberate design decision. But it's *not* because they "could not be bothered"!

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 2:00:24 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:30:32 PM

Ok I've done some googling on this GTA issue and I am sorry to say that so far I haven’t found that particular article I am thinking of, where Rockstar commented on this issue. it's so many years ago that for all I know it's not even available any more.

However, I did come across quite a few forums where this is discussed, and the essence of what I read is that this particular issue is not so much cpu related as it is memory related. They simply can't afford to let these things stay persistent in memory longer than absolutely needed.
And, well, this is more or less exactly what Ubisoft, as well as yours truly, are saying too.

This bottleneck is of relevance also for other details regarding game design and AI in particular. The scope of the AI under these circumstances is simply *forced* to be limited to the "here and now".

... I'll leave this topic now and not spam y'all anymore. Thank you for your attention. :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 2:35:47 PM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:42:41 PM

Ok, if you say we need bigger and better hardware, how come this super ai isn't in any PC games atm? It's because no one wants to spend that much time coding something that isn't really a huge thing. I can undoubtedly say, my PC is many times stronger graphically, it certainly cost more, than my ps3, but I'm not seeing games destroying anything on my console yet. The only added benefits I get are the superior resolutions and advanced graphics options. Nothing about AI or anything.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:59:54 PM

Good question Wolfeh!
I believe that's mainly due to one reason:

Portability. Yes. I believe the current consoles are the *main* brake also for the PC platform. The PC has taken the back seat as gaming platform now, sadly.
They can push graphics on the pc cause that's platform specific code anyways, but they can't create intelligence that can't be ported to the consoles.

Remember that the core elements of the code for one game is not only used in that particular game, but in several games. That also goes for memory handing and load balancing.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 3:06:12 PM

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wiley_kyotee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:23:10 PM

Beamboom,

I agree with you. I believe the AI for the cars in GTA would have to be maintained in memory. This is not something that can be streamed from the blu-ray. Since memory is still somewhat limited, persistent AI for the cars probably cannot be maintained. It would take too much away from what the player is actually viewing.

As far as Ubisoft, aren't they trying to make real living, breathing cities in Assassins Creed? With more memory they can probably make the city be more realistic. This should help draw the player in and be more emotionally attached to the characters, city, and game.

I do agree with other posters that Ubi should just make a game for the PC so they can show what can be done if consoles were more powerful. Sales may not be as robust but they would be able to actually prove their claim. They can always migrate the game to the new consoles as a day one release.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:32:58 PM

Beamboom -

You are missing my whole point. With PS3 exclusives such as GOW3, Uncharted 2, GT5 and Killzone 3, it is a well documented fact that the devs filled the Blu Ray.

Ubisoft has YET to do that, so why should I believe that they have maximized my PS3 game with content?

Yes, more complex AI would be nice, but it is completely necessary to enjoy the experience? Do the AI cars disappearing in game take the enjoyment down a notch?

Answer those questions, and while you are at it, I'll leave you with this: In the current global economy, do you actually see anyone (minus the hardcore and wealthy) spending $500 on a console that does everything?

Of course not.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 7/6/2011 3:33:54 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:48:55 PM

Content does not equal AI? Even a movie, with no AI, can fill a disk... I don't see how this is related to the topic? Sorry but it's getting late here in Norway now, I may be a bit slow :)

This is *not* about Ubisoft and their games. It's about the hardware bottleneck that *every* developer have to relate to. I have no problem accepting what you guys say about Ubisoft not using the potential of the current hardware. Sure, ok! But that's not the main point here.

Regarding the price tag, they don't have to increase the price to deliver better hardware *today* (if that's what you mean?). The PS3 hold as much punch as they could stuff into the box back then. But that's beginning to be a long time ago now, much has happened since. The PS4 *will* be better than the ps3 on these areas. That's for granted.

Regarding the AI, this goes way beyond just having persistent traffic in GTA. The possibilities are *huge* once they get rid of the current design limits that force the developers to throw shit out of the memory as fast as technically possible.

I realize that what I say here makes it look like I want the next generation asap. I do not! I hope the current generation last for many more years.

All I am saying is that Ubisoft *do* have a point here!

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 3:51:22 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:58:30 PM

I'll add to what max said and say:

What benefit as the player (main character) is there to AI hearing a gunshot across the map? The way AI react is what you see in front of you on screen and you react to that. If AI in general reacts out of sight that's great but it has no real effect until the consequence enters your view on screen. Personally your asking for much more than is really needed. Not to mention games are getting a long just fine with AI the way it is in that regard.

AI should only be judged by what you see on screen and nothing else because you dont get any benefit from it otherwise. "Awesome AI heard my gun shot across the map, but I didnt get to see their reaction, so what's the point?"

Consoles this gen are plenty capable of creating AI with advanced intelligence, and advanced procedures when you come into contact wether it be by sight, sound or physically with the AI and that's all that should matter. KZ is a perfect example of this.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 7/6/2011 4:00:44 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:22:42 PM

If we talk about the current, fast paced, "twitchy" easy entertainment action games you probably are 100% correct Bigrailer, we need no more than the current level of "here&now AI" combined with a healthy stable of scripts and tune that code further.

But can't you picture how it could be if the games are *not* just that, but offer a more persistent universe where even pedestrians have an identity and a life of their own, and actually remembered you if you pushed them over on the streets a moment ago?
Or where your virtual opponents actually communicated with each other, and their decisions were much more based on your actions? Just think what that would do to the replay value!

What if you sneaked into a house and you firing a shotgun would make *everyone* in the house react to that shot, and not just the guys in the next room? And they did not all react the same way like some brainless zombies, but individually!

Or how about a jungle where the wildlife would react to the enemy movements, whose actions in turn depended on your activity?

I mean, AI could be so much more than the current hardware allow it to be. It would make the game come *much* more alive, and realism would be on an entirely different level!

There was a time where we were amazed by the AI of the ghosts in Pack-Man, but retrospectively I think we all can agree on that we are glad we moved on?


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 4:30:02 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:37:04 PM

Ok with taking what u just said into consideration I'll list a few games.

I'll start with red dead redemption. Not only if you entered say a bar or tavern even a house and fired a shotgun would everybody scamper and the woman scream, eventually leaving the place vacated but it plays a huge role on your character and how you are viewed. More so even if you do this in the middle of a town, the whole town goes into frenzy, and it becomes a circus of AI that is reacting to the incident. As most te pedestrians are running away, some citizens will confront you, and from across the map, even inside a building of some sort, even a jail house, the sheriff and his officers will come and approach you in varying ways. Perfect example of what your asking for.

Now on to inFAMOUS 2. It has a morale system obviously as does RDR but the AI involved reacts accordingly as you do with them too. They remember things you've done, and if you provoke an innocent you soon could have a number of pedestrians chasing you down the street. It's opposite if your helping them, they will help fight along side you.

These instances already take place in games. When you talk about a single AI character remembering even a nice gesture you've done that also takes place; take Dragon Age for instance or any game where developing a romance in concerned. You give gifts, have certain conversation with characters and you relationship grows into something else, or it could become a hated relationship.

We could also use heavy rain as an example as every choice or encounter you make has a positive or negative outcome, and considerably different from the other had you made a different choice.

If you want every single AI character in the game to remember you stepping off a curb your asking the developers to abandon the story. Your asking the developers to abandon crucial parts of the game for a rather meaningless remembrance or experience that probably won't play an outcome in the end. I think that type of AI is pointless, and what we have now is more than enough and rather impressive.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 7/6/2011 4:43:57 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:47:37 PM

I've not managed to explain myself good enough to get my main point across here. I'm sorry about that. Maybe my examples sucked.

But that aside, by all means, maybe todays games indeed are good enough for you and will always be that, also after the next generation and the generation after that! There's absolutely nothing wrong in that.

All I am saying is, lol, that Ubisoft are correct in that better hardware would give better room for improved AI, like it or not. Hehe!

But *now* I've repeated myself enough. I must have gotten on everyones nerves by now. It's close to midnight so I shall lay my head to rest. :D


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 4:49:45 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 5:04:27 PM

Oh, jeez go to bed man! Have a good night!



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Clamedeus
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 7:52:57 PM

Well, PC's are more powerful than consoles, so why not just do it for a PC exclusive game with advanced AI? It wouldn't need to be on consoles, just to show what you can do with the AI for demonstration purposes?

I don't see why they just don't do it that way, unless it will be very time consuming with the programming.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 2:02:31 AM

Create an entire game just to prove a point to Sony and MS? I don't think that would prove anything that Sony and MS didn't know already.

It's as easy as this: In order to maximize performance on the current hardware, the developers can not have many parallel, persisting processes running in memory, they have to throw out as much as possible as often as possible, in order to make room for new immediate events. Everything has to be immediate, short spanned events, often started by scripted actions ("step on invisible line to make the guys next room start moving").

I can not see how anyone can not understand that this represent a *huge* limitation to what can be done within a games design?


... And good morning, all :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/7/2011 2:09:29 AM

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Clamedeus
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 8:49:07 AM

You are talking to a non-tech expert here Beamboom, so that's why I don't understand it.

I'm trying to, but it's a bit difficult. I don't know anything about computers or programming, I want to learn how to build computers and all it's spec's and such, but it's going to take time. :/

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wano
Friday, July 08, 2011 @ 3:40:41 AM

while theres probably a little room for ubisoft to improve compaired to some first party devs out there (games like killzone, uncharted etc) I think Beam still has a point.

But I think people are missing the big picture here. I dont think we need a new ps3 for AI. I think we need one because nintendo and microsoft will release one. And non of us wants the crap launch games we had at the start of the ps3 launch because devs were more use to developing on platforms that has been out for a year already.

Hope I made sense there, pretty tired my self :)

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 8:09:17 AM

That's an interesting point, Wano. I've never thought of it that way.

I still want to keep my ps3 for a few more years though. :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 8:09:53 AM

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mexgeo86
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:20:42 AM
Reply

As much as I loved ACII and Brotherhood, they're still not up to par with Uncharted 2 or inFamous 2. Ubisoft shouldn't demand unless they're at or above the exclusives in terms of not just AI but also graphics and gameplay mechanics.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:25:00 AM

Agreed. If Ubi can make a mutli-plat game that either matches or out-does PS3 exclusives, THEN I will agree with their demand for new consoles once they've tapped out their talent and tweaking skills on current hardware.

AC II is good, but no where near the quality of Uncharted in terms of graphics, physics and AI.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:27:45 AM

The physics in Assassin's Creed is pretty terrible. Notice when you kill an enemy they suddenly turn into light weight stuffed dolls with double joints? Lol

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FM23
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:01:12 PM

AC may not be on par quality wise as Uncharted 2 (a linear game), but don't throw infamous 2 in. Infamous 2 is a great game technically and all, but AC (mainly Brotherhood) is done very vell and a much more enjoyable experience than inFamous overall. Just my opinion though. AC is a great franchise. And the A.I. has improved with each game, but they are no where on par with UC2. As far as physics go, Uncharted 2 or Infamous 2 don't feature gravity while AC at least takes it into consideration.

With that said, Ubisoft is being lazy it seems.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:07:34 PM

Oh really now? I wasn't aware that it wasn't gravity forcing the enemies to the ground as I was blasting them off rooftops in inFAMOUS.

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FM23
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:06:53 PM

Seriously, you know what I meant...lol Don't take it to that extreme. Uncharted and Infamous play more arcady than AC which feels more releastic imo. I'm glad they added more weight to Cole in Infamous 2 and UC3 seems to be following this same pattern. As for the rag doll effect...I never noticed this, I'mma pop brotherhood in to see what your talking about.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 2:18:34 AM

Regarding the AI in Uncharted; I have not seen much AI in U2 at all. What I've seen there is scripted actions! Notice how every enemy walk in the exact same pattern whenever you restart a level, and no matter where you yourself walk? *thats* scripting, not ai. Or that new enemies enter the map at the exact same time, entering by running to the exact same spot? That's a scripted choice, not ai.

Not that there's anything wrong with this, but Uncharted is *heavy* on scripting, not AI. That's how they control how events unfold in that particular game, and this is why all replays of any given map is almost a blueprint of earlier replays. That's because there's not an AI making those decisions, but prewritten scripts.

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/7/2011 2:21:38 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:27:07 AM
Reply

As much as I love the AC series, Ubisoft is going to have to prove they know how to -REALLY- use the PS3 before I believe this crap.

More memory and computation time? Please... I -highly- doubt they've even come close to using all the computation power the PS3 can deliver. They can't even perfect brotherhood's screen tearing (which isn't a big deal to me) or fix the multiplayer party issues. Until they tighten their current stuff up, they can go complain elsewhere, as far as I'm concerned.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:30:35 AM

Screen tearing should be an absolute no no on consoles. I wish Sony would demand some quality control in that regard. If inFAMOUS, L.A. Noire and Red Dead can run without tearing, so should Assassin's Creed. Just proves Ubisoft are either bad at coding or are just lazy.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/6/2011 11:30:44 AM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:31:36 AM

Agreed, KZ has top notch AI in my opinion and GG has never said anything to the likes of this constraint. I think its more of a problem for devs who go multiple platform.

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FM23
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:03:00 PM

Yeah, Ubisoft needs to make exclusive games you know.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:26:21 PM

I'm not saying that. But arguably both games have to be the same for both consoles. We've seen amazing AI from PS3 exclusives. Ubisoft would be damned of the AI was far better on say the PS3 than the 360 so their constraints may not lye with the current systems but rather one system. I don't know I'm just going by what ive seen in many exclusives compared to Ubisofts games which are multiplat. That could say two things one in which I just explained or two Ubisoft just doesn't develop to that extent. But I have to dismiss the second option based on the fact that they want and claim they can develop better AI with different machines, so I think they are capable.

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Fane1024
Friday, July 08, 2011 @ 8:05:48 AM

@ Jawknee

It baffles me how prevalent screen tearing is this generation.

There's an option to turn V-sync "on" or "off" in the LEGO games. Why on earth would anyone choose NOT to have it "on"? Why is it optional if TT could implement it?

Do you all who don't complain about it (like Jawknee and I do) really not notice it? If so, I'm envious.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 7/8/2011 8:08:00 AM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:29:16 AM
Reply

Seems to me the AI in KZ games is pretty dang good... Considering the AI in KZ alone is marginally better than anything I've seen Ubisoft come up with, I'd have to say they don't have much to stand on.

I'm all for wanting to create better AI and I encourage Ubisoft to do so... But nobody talks about Ubisoft and says " oh wow the AI in this game is some of the best." at that point I think as a developer you can say ok there's not much more we can do with these machines. But you have to get to that point first Ubisoft! I still respect you though, especially your will to make things better! But if we get new consoles and your AI is on par with what KZ and GG have done this gen, don't expect me to back you up.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:34:53 AM
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Sorry Ubisoft, try harder my friends. You produced games on the PS2, it had a meager 32MB of RAM, and 4MB of video memory, the current crop of systems have 8 times the system memory and 64 times as much video memory. The PS3 is in the order of 50 times faster with respect to the CPU. Either the AI in Ubisoft's PS2 games was literally non-existent, or the AI in their current generation games is horribly inefficient by comparison. Or perhaps, it's a bit of both?

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Temjin001
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:52:43 AM
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AI is more of processing concern than a storage concern.

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Fabi
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:57:03 AM
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It's been a while since I played a Ubisoft game, so I can't say they're AI isn't the best. But a statement like that should only be taken seriously if it comes from a developer who really pushed the boundaries of AI this generation.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:27:03 PM

Absolutely agree 100%!

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:23:12 PM
Reply

If they are having problems they should look for new programmers instead of new hardware.

When Guerilla says they need more power for AI i'll believe them.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:31:33 PM

Excellent point there.

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FM23
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:08:37 PM

but remember...KZ is a linear and much shorter experience.

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79transam
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:30:23 PM
Reply

please make a new system so we can charge 80 dollars for a new title rather then 60.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:32:24 PM

That is what cracks me up over Ubisoft. They want more powerful machines, but yet want the sales of their titles.

Yeah. Makes sense.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:09:41 PM

To be fair though, Ubisoft does tend to lower the price of their games fairly quickly. I think Brotherhood is already $40.

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AshT
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:38:40 PM
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Hmm i dont see ND complaining on the same and i guess their games are far better in terms of graphics than any of Ubisoft's games....

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Pyramid
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:38:59 PM
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Better AI? I want to win. Now that Infamous was a free game i play it. I found in that game one of the best AI ever. Love the way enemy behave.

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RadioHeader
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:42:35 PM

lol Yeah, I wanna win too!

Stupid AI is not without its charms. When I'm playing a game on the highest difficulty and I find a way to exploit the AI's stupidity, I actually quite enjoy it :)

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Fane1024
Friday, July 08, 2011 @ 8:13:54 AM

I'm playing it right now as well and I respectfully disagree, especially regarding the civilian AI.

And inFAMOUS really suffers from the sort of "short memory syndrome" Beamboom mentioned.

It's still awesome, though.

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Bloodysilence19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:46:56 PM
Reply

Better AI learn to dev AI that's actually great than ubisoft. Go get help from ND and GG their show you how to dev great AI for ps3 and on 360 Ask Bungie. Better yet make a game exclusive to the ps3 and take actual advantage of the cell your see PS3 can handle great AI plus a lot more. Ps3 still has way more potential in it, as long as dev take advantage of the cell. Dev can say they want new consoles when really its 360 that's holding back greater games now.

Last edited by Bloodysilence19 on 7/6/2011 1:48:15 PM

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Danny007
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:54:02 PM
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I hope Ubisoft is willing to give me 600 bucks to buy a new console. Ubisoft is a joke.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 1:55:19 PM
Reply

I like in inFamous how the pedestrian AI is tied into your karma system, but that is also relatively simplistic to program (unless I'm much mistaken). The AI of Killzone 2 was really good, reacting to your presence in general, GT5 was zombie. It's more needed in certain game types and genres than others.

Yeah... Ubisoft are right to cry about their AI, but not about needing new consoles. If Hitman: Absolution delivers on what it promises, and Skyrim is half as good as what they say, then I'm reasonably certain that the issues do not lie in the system.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:41:22 PM
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But they can't even fix the millions of bugs and glitches they have now.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:19:20 PM
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when i think of ubisoft the first thing that comes to mind is all that screen tearing in the ps3 version of ac2. i don't think ubisoft is very good at coding on the ps3. the digital foundrry face off is an interesting site that gives you a great deal of information about the game engine.

they want more memory for ai. that's fine, but they should also concentrate on the technical aspects of the game engine. maybe they should ask sony for help to get rid of the screen tear.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 7/6/2011 3:21:30 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:03:29 PM

Maybe they should start making use of the SPUs?

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mehrab2603
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:37:06 PM
Reply

I can understand why Ubisoft wants the next gen. Yes, the current gen consoles have more resources that the PS2/Xbox gen, and AI was rather good on some of the previous gen games. By that logic they should have enough power in this gen.

And Ubi has said that too. They have said that the power of current gen consoles let them create something like Assassin's Creed series which features cities with lots of people (and lots of AIs). They said that this wasn't possible in the PS2 days. But when you look at the crowd AI system, you'll see that they aren't that much random, at least not even close to reality.

Maybe that's why they want more power. With more power they can create a truly realistic-behaving virtual cities with crowds acting more random and stuff. Maybe that isn't possible on current gen hardware.

There are some games with very good AI this gen like KZ. But KZ doesn't have to control hundreds of individual AIs at a time like AC.
With power of current gen consoles you can create very good AIs on smaller scales, but for bigger scales you need more power.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:02:57 PM

Well, you can simulate a million blades of grass, but you can't see each one, so what's the point? If you have crowds of hundreds in a game, how much does it add to the game if there are individual AIs behind each member of the crowd? Does it really detract of there are half a dozen AI's controlling different parts of the crowd? All I'm saying is that if there is sufficient capacity to handle all the character, enemy and NPC AI, then how much does it matter if the crowds are a little generic? Does it matter sufficiently to warrant a new $500 console?

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JackDillinger89
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:53:19 PM
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Funny this is coming from the Publishers that published that wonderful PS3 exclusive called HAZE. If they cant get talented developers/game programmers/coders to deliver a quality game with the AI they desire with current hardware that has been out for 5 years+ then how the hell will they be able to give us the "smarter" AI with ps4/xbox760 that will obviously be HARDER to program for given the new technical specs. Spare me the bs ubi, i dont see naughty dog or guerrilla games complaining.

Last edited by JackDillinger89 on 7/6/2011 4:54:43 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 5:25:27 PM
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I find it very amusing that all the developers complaining or rather asking for new hardware are those developing on both consoles. The best developers on the PS3 just continually praise it and keep making better games one after the other. While multiplat devs seem to have hit a wall with their games in particular but ask for better hardware. What possibly could be the answer here?

Pretty excited for new games coming out such as rage to see what those developers can do.

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StangMan80
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 7:47:46 PM

Well, How does an exclusive to the 360 compare to a mulitplat game? How does a PS3 exclusive compare with a multiplat?
I don't see Gears of War, Forza MS, Halo, left4dead do any thing out wild over a game on both consoles. look at Uncharted, Infamous, Gran Turimo, Kill Zone. It's parent either Microsoft can't figure out how to use there console or that the wall multiplat game developers are hitting is the 360's.

That's how I see it.

But don't get me wrong. I know they're still ways to improve the AI and everything else including Graphics on both consoles even. Just need the coding, along with good engineers. Great if you want to compete with Sony's.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 8:54:24 PM

I think your right that the 360 is causing muliplat developers to start to slow in progress towards the level of high quality exclusives. I'm not a fanboy but it's the only explanation at this point. At least from my point of view. Crysis 2 was great though and crytek proved that even they can create multiplat game that looks better than most 360 exclusives. So that says there is life left.

But the PS3 exclusives are still advancing, and as I said multiplats are starting to slow.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:07:35 PM

ms seems to be able to get a lot of mileage out of their exclusives. i wouldn't be surprised if gears3 sells 9 million copies. there has been a real shift in gamers prefence towards the 360 this gen for some reason...especially in na.

sony has done a great job of creating exclusives for ps3 owners, they have a lot of talented developers working for them. why this doesn't seem to close the gap on the 360 is somewhat of a mystery to me,

i guess only a handful of exclusives really drive console sales. most gamers know that the multiplats perform better on the 360. ps3 multiplats have improved a lot, but i think those first impressions formed at the start of this console cycle had a lasting effect.

i'm hoping ms push of kinect will turn off some hardcore gamers. maybe that will give sony an oppurtunity to pick up some those gamers.. who knows how next gen will turn out? it's exciting to think about a ps4 luanch with all the talent they have lined up. kz4 at 1080p 60fps sounds pretty great to me.

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StangMan80
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:23:02 PM

@Bigrailer19; The 360 does have small room for improvment but no where near the amount of improvments on the PS3 that indicate that the PS3 has much more room, like Uncharted 3 and Infamous 2 are showing us.

@Excelior1; Actually the PS3 has been out selling the 360 on average per month. The PS3 came out some 16 months after the 360. the PS3 will pass up the 360 in sales soon enough even though the PS3 has been the better system from day one, the price, and the hole blue ray thing didn't catch on. And the exclusives are rolling in like crazy lately.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:16:01 PM

@stangman

i was refering to na sales where the 360 has conistently outsold the ps3 despite sony's great exclusive library. there was an article on the sixth axis that tracked worldwide console sales. there was a trend of sony catching up with ms until the last fiscal quarter when the 360 actually outsold the ps3 in worldwide sales by 600,000 units. the best way to see the article is do a google search for sixth axis 360 extends lead on ps3.

it's a pretty interesting read with all kinds of charts tracking worldwide console sales. they got the numbers from the financial documents released by the companies. the 360 slim and kinect seem to be driving a lot of those sales. i think i read that over half the 360 sales were kinect bundles. i guess the surge in the 360 sales is not that surprising considering the amount of money ms spent on marketing kinect. the real question is that surge in sales sustianable. probably not.

anyways, i hope the ps3 overtakes the 360 soon. i will literally scream for joy when that happens. i do watch the console sales closely...especially the na numbers. still puzzeled how the 360 manages to outsell the ps3 despite sony's great library vs hardly anything recently for the 360. last month the 360 outsold the ps3 by 46% according o the npd. the 360 had a 39% increase in sales comapared to the same month last year. ps3 had a 13% increase. that's prety good but i still wonder how the 360 is managing to extend its lead in na despite sony's great lbrary of exclusives. that's kind of why i feel that only a handful of exclusives really drive console sales. i think if sony does a price cut on the ps3 when uc3 luanches you would see that drive a lot of console and game sales.

this ix off topic but i heard resistance 3 will have some kind of online pass like ea does.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 7/6/2011 10:30:41 PM

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StangMan80
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 5:56:18 PM
Reply

joke. That's what that comment from ubi is.
They can improve AI.
Make a better engine and learn how to use this gen's consoles!
You can also try finding new game developers.

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___________
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 3:47:00 AM
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AIs more then good enough in games today.
as the saying goes, got bigger fish to fry.

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Ash33
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 2:31:01 PM
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instead of a new console Ubisoft, how about you stop making every game a crossover. maybe focus on the PS3 and you might just see it has more capability than you give it credit.

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Caanimal
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 7:00:33 PM
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If Ubi needs "better consoles" to make better AIs than why do all the PC versions of their games still have the same "stupid" AIs of the console versions of said game? If they "need more power" then drop the "weakest link" (not going to say who but it starts w/ an X and ends w/ an X...) and work w/ the stronger systems.

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monkeypunch
Friday, July 08, 2011 @ 7:54:59 PM
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I have to comment on this because I'm one of those engineers (not working for UBISoft though). I've written software that runs perfectly on my PC & Mac. The animation is amazing at 60fps. It has 32bit color, blah blah blah etc.

But the problem is when I install that on my Android device the frame rate drops to 12-15fps, the color is down sampled to 16bits on some phones (Android OS limitation not software) and if any other programs are running it can be shut down (crash to the user) by the Android OS because it has 384MB total rather than 8000MB that my Mac has or 1500MB that my PC has. And not that it's using all that either. It only uses 32MB.

The problem is that with games and live AI. If you have a program like photoshop you can apply a filter and it happens in 1 to 15 seconds in super general terms. In a game you *have* to do that in 16 milliseconds because to achieve 60 frames per second you have only 1000/60 = 16.

So its not that they can't do a lot of these things it's just that there is only this small slice of time to do it in.

And I don't think that they are talking their current line of games when they make this statement.

Let me put it another way, there is "fake" AI and "real" AI. Has anyone heard of Watson?

Quote,
Watson is made up of ninety IBM POWER 750 servers, 16 Terabytes of memory, and 4 Terabytes of clustered storage...These ninety POWER 750 servers have four POWER7 processors, each with eight cores. IBM Watson has a total of 2880 POWER7 cores.

...Without an efficient memory sub-system, no amount of compute power will yield effective results. ...At 3.55 GHz, each of Watson’s POWER7 on-chip bandwidth is 500 Gigabytes per second. The total on-chip bandwidth for Watson’s 360 POWER7 processors is an astounding 180,000 Gigabytes per second!”

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/what-makes-ibms-watson-run/8208

I think the real issue is people don't want to pay for another console when they are happy with the PS3??? Thoughts?

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 8:24:10 AM

"So its not that they can't do a lot of these things it's just that there is only this small slice of time to do it in." - yes, ergo you need several parallel threads running with each their own little share of memory and cpu in order to have more things happening in the game within that same slice (or "real time"). And *that*s when the problem starts, and you have to give priority to anything that has an immediate effect to the game, and in effect scrap everything else. You can't afford to have a thread running that calculates something you can't see within the immediate timeframe, or maybe even something you might never see (depending on your actions). There are no room for such calculations today, and that is what Ubisoft refer to here, and this do indeed limit the scope of the AI a lot.

I don't think people truly understand how immensely more complicated, challenging and system demanding it is to create a "living world" compared to a heavily scripted game like Uncharted.Then you can allow yourself to load the system with intense graphics, cause there really isn't much more for it to do than that.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 8:38:35 AM

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beebs83
Friday, July 08, 2011 @ 9:35:21 PM
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Maybe if ubisoft could make a decent game other than Assassins Creed. Brothers in Arms Fail, Far Cry Fail!, and how about taking the failure of splinter cell and making it exclusively for ps3 more power, and not the crapbox. I wish Naughty Dog could make every game.

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theReigen
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 4:21:30 PM
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i fink ubisoft should write beter codes if they dont feel satisfied with their wisuals and ai
uncharted and gears look great
and killzone has incredible ai
hardware will only do so much
its how you use the arhitecture

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