As I work on MTG Forge version 2, I keep thinking about the artificial intelligence (AI). How can I, a guy who isn’t an expert in AI, write and program a better AI? The AI could attack or block better, but how?
One of the key phases in Magic is creature combat but making any combat choice is complicated. The cards you see in play only make up a small part of the puzzle. The AI can only see the creatures in play, so it has to make all of its decisions blindfolded. It doesn’t have years of experience or intuition to rely on. (Technically the AI can also see the cards in your hand and deck but trying to use that information is extremely complicated.)
So this leads me to the question, “How good can the AI be if it only considers the board?” The AI could comprehensively consider all the creatures in play and determine how to maximize the situation. Basically the AI would have function that evaluated the board and it would try to maximize it, but would this really help the AI play better?
The next level of AI would consider the board position and the cards in his hand, thus enabling him to effectively use Giant Growth and Terror. This type of AI would be a definite improvement over its primitive ancestor. The AI would seem more “alive” and would occasionally make a surprising play. (One of my goals is to have the AI surprise the player because it makes the game more interesting.)
Obviously there could be another level of AI that also considered the type of deck it was using and the type of deck it was playing against. I’m not sure if I’ll get to this level of sophistication, but I will keep it in mind.
Articles about the AI generate the most comments, so feel free to post your opinion. And if you are an expert in AI or write AI for videogames, please e-mail me.
--Forge (mtgrares yahoo com)