U.N. Bot

Overview

The U.N. Bot is a game agent based on an artificial intelligence research project at the University of Edinburgh. It uses a healthy blend of robotics techniques, agent architectures, AI routines, and a few other interesting algorithms from Computer Science. All the underlying technology is geared towards getting the most human-like results possible. The result is a bot that is quite different from anything you've seen before. Read on!

Introduction

The U.N. Bot is an Utterly Naive bot that spends all its time discovering and patrolling terrains. It is intended to be a demonstration of our Ubiquitous Navigation scheme. As such all the existing targeting and experimental firing code was voluntarily removed. Don't expect a good deathmatch game from this bot! Also, as the name may indicate (to the french-speaking among you), there's only one of them... so take care of it!

During the first few months of the project -- and during time stolen from lectures and other assessments before that, this autonomous navigation system was the sole focus of all efforts. Any bot coder will admit this to you: navigation is the toughest problem to "solve" in game AI. We believe our current investigation is getting very close to that, and this demo is a first step in the right direction. Don't judge too harshly the default behaviours, since they can be drastically changed by modifying the parameters... the framework is there!

The demo is partly intended as a test, from which we would love feedback! It's also an example of our flexible behaviour system, which allows high-level customisation and learning of motion. We encourage you to dive inside the scripts provided and customise the bot until your heart is content.

Features

Select features may sound familiar to some of you; indeed some bots in the past have partly achieved these goals. However, rarely was it the premise a genuinely autonomous game agent. Rather, it was about trying to hardcode a fake behaviour until satisfactory compromises could be achieved. This bot requires NO human interference at all, and is capable of learning all of the behaviours itself -- given overall instructions of what it's trying to achieve.

Technical Overview

For those of you that have a bit of technical background, whether be it in game programming, artificial intelligence, or computer algorithms, the details under the hood may interest you also.

Download

Though the AI code itself is wrapped into a fully independent C++ module, the demo requires a specific game to run, namely Quake 2. There are plans to port the code to other platforms, but not in the immediate future.

You can find the zip containing the game DLL right here:
UN-Bot.007.zip (578kb)
Last update 03/03/2002.

As requirements, you need a PC that can run Quake 2.

Quick Guide

The first thing for you to do is view the default demonstration. Once you've got to terms with that, you can attempt to evolve your own behaviours.

Remember, if you have any comments or questions about setting up your learning bot, let us know about them!