Interesting AI observation

I have been writing a lot of AI code these last couple weeks and it is kind of strange. I have been working on AI for the different races in the galaxy. They need to be able to scout, colonize, defend planets, guard important ships, and attack enemy planets and fleets. All of this is pretty typical for a strategy game and in a normal strategy game the AI needs to be pretty smart about all of this because they are playing against a human. Except we aren't making a strategy game. The races in our game are competing with each other, not the player.

This changes the goal of the race AI. In a strategy game the goal of the AI is to make it challenging and fun for the player to win. In our game the goal of the AI is to create an interesting setting and provide the player with lots of opportunities to effect the outcome of the struggle for supremacy of the various races. For example, in a strategy game if a race needed to send a freighter between planets to transport some goods around, it would probably have to consider how to protect the shipment from the player. In our game destroying that freighter might be a quest. The game wants you to go over there and destroy the freighter. The race that owns the freighter might still try to make this challenging for the player to accomplish though. The difference ends up being subtle, but it's there and it's strange.

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