"AI should be a lot better now," but that it hasn't really improved since the original XCOM's AI of a "few Kb" designed for 80386 PC. It hasn't leaped with hardware.
While XCOM: Enemy Unknown "does a good job" with its AI, it still "relies a lot on the player triggering stuff." It's behaviour-based and predictable patterns soon emerge.
He gave his views during awhere he was asked his opinion on AI in modern strategy games, especially Firaxis Games' highly lauded XCOM reboot.
"AI should be a lot better now, since the amount of processing power is huge, but I am not convinced it really is that better. The original X-Com had an AI programmed in a few Kb and was designed to run on an 80386 PC. I think the new XCOM does a good job, but it seems more behaviour based and relies a lot on the player triggering stuff," said Julian Gollop.
He did really enjoy the new XCOM, despite one disappoint: "I think Jake Solomon and the team at Firaxis did a really good job. It was tight and focussed with never a dull moment. I like the character progression system a lot. On the downside I was disappointed that there weren't randomly generated maps and the Geoscape was largely irrelevant."
Jake Soloman has revealed he tried to get procedurally generated maps into XCOM: Enemy Unknown but sadly things didn't pan out and he was forced to abandon the ambitious feature. "I believe it could have been done, but it would probably have compromised the graphics somewhat. 3D engines are highly optimised because the environments are highly static. This has always annoyed me about 3D games," added Gollop.
"I haven't programmed AI in a while, although I was involved in the design of it for Ghost Recon Shadow Wars. I think some of the same principles apply from my earliest days - a little bit of randomness can make something seem more intelligent than it is. Unpredictability is an aspect of intelligence in games," he continued.
The Gollop Chamber in the new XCOM was also 'approved' by the man himself, although he wasn't told exactly what it did. "I had to find that out by playing it," said Mr. Gollop.
He's also looking forward to trying out the fan remake Xenonauts.
"I have followed what they are doing, but I haven't played it yet (it's on my list). It seems like something quite faithful in may ways to the original X-COM, which may be no bad thing, but the proof is in the pudding. I certainly wish them the best of luck with the project because I know they have put a huge amount of effort into it. I hope it succeeds."
Today Julian Gollop isn't working on ways to shore up our defences against an alien invasion but has taken towith Wizardly tactics in - another series he created with Games Workshop. It has 23 days left to go and over 2,300 backers have pledged a little more than $91,400. It needs $180k to be successful.