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Phys are reporting that a University Of Texas team won a $7000 in a competition to create game bots that would pass as human. “The winning bots both achieved a humanness rating of 52 percent. Human players received an average humanness rating of only 40 percent. The two winning teams will split the $7,000 first prize,” says the Phys report. “When this ‘Turing test for game bots’ competition was started, the goal was 50 percent humanness,” the bot’s creator, Risto Miikkulainen, is quoted as saying. “It took us five years to get there, but that level was finally reached last week, and it’s not a fluke.” The bot mimicked humans by pursuing grudges, having poor aim at long range, and by using neural networks to “evolve” the bot’s behaviour towards something that would be optimal in the game’s environment.
Does anyone know of any games that use bots for language responses? I can’t think of any offhand, but it must be going on, and there must be an intriguing state of the art for the “real” Turing Test in games.
In 2010, Epic Games released the Epic Citadel tech demo to show off what the Unreal Engine could do on an iPhone. Now, it's re-released that same demo running in a web browser on Flash 11, for you to have a look yourself. Epic also showed off Unreal Tournament 3 and Dungeon Defenders running in Flash, with only a moderate performance hit.
"For the same piece of content there is definitely a penalty on Flash in terms of CPU performance," Epic's Mark Rein told our roving reporter Andrew at GDC, but the Flash version of Unreal Engine 3 still runs around 70% as fast as the regular. Given how much more portable and accessible it is--the Flash Dungeon Defenders only has a 15MB initial download--it's a reasonable hit, and Rein noted he can still run DD on his lowly Macbook Air.
Epic Citadel isn't simply a fancy display of something Epic might do--Flash is now an official supported platform of Unreal Engine, thanks to Flash 11's GPU-accelerated 3D. It should almost certainly be a standard feature of Unreal Engine 4, which Epic plans to unveil this year.
As befits the Game Developers Conference, Epic also whipped together a trailer showing off the various shiny features the Unreal Engine 3 has to offer developers in 2012:
Unreal Engine maker Epic Games wants to get Samaritan quality visuals working in Flash.
That's the long term goal, Epic VP Mark Rein said during a GamesIndustry International attended presentation at GDC.
The Samaritan tech demo, below, was revealed by Epic Games at GDC 2011. It was designed to show what developers would be capable of with next-generation graphics technology.
Then, Samaritan took three GTX 580 Nvidia cards and a large power supply to run. At this year's GDC, Epic ran the demo on a single, unreleased Nvidia card and a 200 watt supply. This, Rein said, was a "big step forward".
Rein also showed off Dungeon Defenders running full screen in Flash as well as it does on PlayStation 3. "This isn't your father's FarmVille," he said.
He then showed off the Xbox 360 version of Unreal Tournament 3 running in Flash to hammer home his point.
Graphics technology has, according to Rein, advanced faster than Epic predicted. Unreal Engine 4, which is being shown to partners under NDA at GDC, is "blowing people's socks off". Rein expects a public showing later this year.
If Epic makes another game in the Gears of War franchise - highly likely give its success - the developer will make sure it feels "fresh and new".
"In the future, who knows?" Epic design director Cliff Bleszinski said during a VGA press conference following the announcement of Fortnite.
"We could be faced with the console transition at some point. We would certainly love to make more experiences in the Gears universe. If we get around to it, I want to make sure we switch it up sufficiently so it still feels like Gears DNA, but it feels fresh and new."
Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3 launched to critical and commercial acclaim. It sold over three million copies worldwide during its first week on sale. The franchise has generated over one billion dollars in sales.
Bleszinski once again stressed that Gears remains closely linked to Xbox maker Microsoft - casting doubt on the possibility of the franchise ever appearing on a Sony console.
"It's technically capable, but we have a good deal with Microsoft, so that's the home of Gears for the foreseeable future," he said.
"Business is business man. We could speculate about anything. What if streaming online services decided they wanted to make a great deal with us? Then Gears would be a streaming game. But as of right now, Microsoft's been an amazing partner for us."
Bleszinski said he hoped the stonking success of Gears of War 3 would help drag the announced movie project out of "development limbo". "It's still in a little bit of a movie development limbo right now," he said, "but hopefully with the success of 3 we'll see it poke back up."
During the press conference Bleszinski was asked about the future of Unreal, an Epic-owned franchise that has gone dark in recent years.
The outspoken developer said he would love to reboot it - but the chances of him doing so seem low.
"I will tell you right now, if you could magically double Epic's team temporarily and just build another game like that I would love to do it," he said.
"I've had all sorts of crazy ideas. I think it would be amazing to reboot the original Unreal with a Fallout/Skyrim vibe, where it's more about exploration than it is about action, and more RPG elements.
"But we're a slave to our success with games like Gears and Infinity Blade. Thankfully we're able to craft a new IP with something like Fortnite right now."
Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney is to be the newest member of the notable AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences) Hall of Fame.
Sweeney's name will rank alongside the likes of Nintendo icon Shigeru Miyamoto, id Software mastermind John Carmack, Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime and Sims creator Will Wright.
The AIAS acknowledged Sweeney's "technical innovations" in Unreal Engine, which powers many of today's biggest games, as well as his work on the Unreal Tournament and Gears of War series of games.
He's the nerdy backbone of Epic Games, in other words. The posh term for this is technical director.
"Tim's vision has changed the face of gaming with the advent of the Unreal Engine and the commitment of Epic, as a studio, to bring both consumer and industry-facing technology to new heights," said AIAS president Martin Rae.
Sweeney receives his AIAS 2012 Hall of Fame Award in February. Colleague Mark Rein, Epic Games vice president, will present him with it.
"I've had the pleasure to work alongside Tim Sweeney for nearly 20 years," Rein said.
"Tim's sense of fairness and doing what's right, not just for Epic but for the industry as a whole, is also what makes him so admired among the people who know him.
"I am very proud to call him my friend and mentor, and am thrilled that I will be able to present this well-deserved award to him. I wish everyone in the industry could know Tim as I do."
Sweeney founded Epic Games a hundred years ago in 1991. Back then he made games like ZZT and Jill of the Jungle. And he also put together the first version of Unreal Engine.
That fledgling foray into engine middleware is a far cry from today's Unreal Engine 3, middleware champion of this, the seventh video game generation.
Today, Tim Sweeney concentrates on Unreal Engine 4 - a technology that could shape the next decade of big-budget video games.
A last word on the AIAS Hall of Fame: "The AIAS Hall of Fame is bestowed on game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation, resulting in significant product influence on a scale that expands the scope of the industry."
Last year's AIAS Hall of Fame inductees were BioWare doctor bosses Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk.