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Valve Confirms New Engine?

LambdaGeneration has word on Valve's software engineering efforts based on a video of a visit to Valve by some members of 4chan's /v/ (thanks Joao). This seems to offer the first concrete word on hints that they are working on a new game engine. Here's their transcript of the pertinent passage:

Fan: Is Valve potentially already working on a new engine?

Fan: Source 2? Could or… could not be?

Gabe Newell: We’ve been working on Valve’s new engine stuff for a while, we’re probably just [incomprehensible, subtitled as: "waiting for a game to roll it out with"]

Fan: Is it going to be more than just an extension to Source? Is it an entirely new engine?

Gabe Newell: Yeah!

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51. Re: Valve Confirms New Engine? Nov 13, 2012, 02:23 Jerykk
BobBob wrote on Nov 12, 2012, 19:12:
Ray Ban wrote on Nov 12, 2012, 16:37:
You can't list games with good AI without including NOLF2 and F.E.A.R. They were impressive then and they are (sadly?) just as impressive today. I had such high hopes for the future (7 years ago) ...

Monolith fully integrated this system with the enemy's dialogue and game environments in an effort to create the illusion that the AI was smarter than it actually is. F.E.A.R. was widely lauded for the ability of its soldiers (both singly and in squads) to flank the player. In reality, the AI wasn't flanking at all -- it was moving from one cover area to another cover area. Because of the skill exhibited by the level designers, that next cover area was to the side of the player's location (or where the designers assumed the player would be), so when the AI moved to that location, it created a seamless illusion of the enemy flanking you.

"Good AI" is just AI that reacts appropriately and gives the illusion of intelligence. In NOLF, this was achieved by giving NPCs knowledge of the default states of doors and lights within a level, so if they noticed a door or light that wasn't in its default state, they'd investigate. It's a relatively simple thing but it makes a huge difference in how the player perceives the AI.

Stealth games still have ways to go in terms of AI, though. For one thing, AI needs to actually remember stuff. Every time it notices something suspicious, its suspicion level should be increased. So if you make a loud noise once, he'll investigate and then return to his idle state. Make another loud noise and he'll investigate again and return to his idle state. Make another noise and he'll decide that something is definitely wrong, permanently putting him into his alert state. I can't think of any stealth game that has actually done this. They always treat suspicious occurrences as isolated incidents when they should be keeping track of each one and reacting with escalating suspicion.
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