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Valve unveils bots for Team Fortress 2

Valve unveils bots for Team Fortress 2

Valve has opened up a new bots system for Team Fortress 2 fans, though it's only in beta at the moment.

Valve has unveiled bots for Team Fortress 2, quietly discussing the new system on the TF2 blog and explaining how users can enable it in their games.

The bots are only in beta at the moment, so can only be turned on via the console and are only compatible with three King of the Hill maps - specifically, koth_viaduct, koth_sawmill, and koth_nucleus

"With the success of the AI systems of Left 4 Dead, we've been continuing to develop these technologies to create new kinds of game experiences," said Valve's Mike Booth. "Team Fortress 2 is an excellent 'sandbox' for explorations of this sort, and we've been quietly doing so for much of this last year.

"Some of the results of these explorations are TF 'bots' - AI-driven player proxies with simulated humanlike senses, reaction times, and tactics. Although the TFBots are not yet complete, they play a pretty decent game of King of the Hill. We thought you might enjoy testing your skill against these work-in-progress digital killing machines."

"The bots have simulated humanlike senses, and only know what they see, hear, and touch. They also have realistic reaction times and aiming limitations. They don't 'cheat' or use omniscient knowledge of the server state to make their decisions."

Specific instructions on how to enable bots are available on the TF2 blog. Let us know what you think in the forums.

16 Comments

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frojoe 22nd December 2009, 11:42 Quote
Not sure if the bots would help the game a whole lot, but if they actually play a good game with only the info a normal player has, I would be very impressed. Cool technology either way.
impar 22nd December 2009, 12:17 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
"With the success of the AI systems of Left 4 Dead, we've been continuing to develop these technologies to create new kinds of game experiences," said Valve's Mike Booth.

They are kidding, right?!

Have you watched this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vLR42GYoyY
Bauul 22nd December 2009, 12:36 Quote
Bots always have stupid AI, it's traditional! I remember the Doom bot in Quake 3 Arena on the hardest difficulty setting was programmed to never miss with the railgun. Actually computationally forced to have 100% accuracy with every shot. If that's not shoddy bot design I don't know what is!
greigaitken 22nd December 2009, 12:44 Quote
will they spy check? can the demo pipe jump past your sentry? i cant wait to see what they can actually do
Digi 22nd December 2009, 14:29 Quote
This should make idlers everywhere happy.
Delphium 22nd December 2009, 14:35 Quote
yer you can just imiagine.... "Spy sappin mah sentry" bot pyro just stands there waiting for the knife in the back.

Rocket/Demo jumps?

What about health kits, will they walk over a full health kit when they have a simple paper cut and you trialing behind with just 1 health left?!!

Will they explode them selfs to help enginees with metal??

Will the medics wait to uber up with the rest of the team instead of going on a lone rambo mission, will solider or demo damage them selfs to help uber up quicker?

Will be interesting to see, kinda makes me wish I still had our TF2 clan server just to try them out.
Infact another thing, will the bots take up player slots? Thus preventing actuall real players joining the server, can a player take a bots place etc.
Furymouse 22nd December 2009, 19:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphium
Infact another thing, will the bots take up player slots? Thus preventing actuall real players joining the server, can a player take a bots place etc.

I would assume it would be akin to the AFK of L4D.
HourBeforeDawn 22nd December 2009, 19:31 Quote
sweet ^_^ soo looking forward to this
Initialised 22nd December 2009, 23:06 Quote
Would be useful to ensure balanced teams if a player drops.
Digi 23rd December 2009, 07:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphium
Infact another thing, will the bots take up player slots? Thus preventing actuall real players joining the server, can a player take a bots place etc.

Not likely. In CS it works by just doing the opposite actually. The server is filled up with bots and as players join they are kicked/despawned etc.
Altron 23rd December 2009, 08:08 Quote
There's so many elements to this game that I don't think bots would work well at all. hell, I deal with people everytime I play who don't know a damn thing about the game.

Maybe in a simple deathmatch free-for-all type of game they would work, but TF2 is a very teamwork oriented game that also requires co-operation between all different classes to do well.

These are just for the koth maps? because tonight on fastlane I noticed a few players with "bot" in their names.

There are too many aspects of TF2 that rely on guessing or timing rather than actual game data. For instance, when is the best time to uber? what is the most efficient thing to do when ubered? Who should I spy check? As a heavy, should I keep my gun spinning or not? Where is the best sniper position? Where is the best place to build Eng buildings? Should I upgrade my SG right away, or build a dispenser first then upgrade the SG? As medic, when healing, where is the best place to stand so that I don't die? If 3 teammates are all under fire, who should I heal? As soldier or demoman, when should I time my reloading? Where should I put my stickybombs, and when should I detonate them? Should I rush forward to get the CP, or wait for my team?

All of this stuff is a lot more complicated than just a "here is the enemy, point and shoot" type approach that a standard arena bot would have.

Real people don't even know how to do a lot of this stuff. Just tonight, I was playing, and the following happened to me:
A medic ubercharged me as soldier when I had an empty clip, so I spent half the uber reloading
A medic ubercharged me as a heavy before I was in range of the enemy, so I had to stop spinning my gun and run up, wasting the entire uber
I ubercharged a soldier who ignored the 4 guys in front of him to spend the entire charge shooting at a scout who had double jumped behind him..
I was a heavy spinning my gun in a choke point, and a medic stood IN FRONT of me healing me, so that I couldn't see my targets at all.
I was in an exposed position and say a teammate medic coming to heal me, had a feeling that he wasn't acting normally, and killed the spy
I used the chargin targe to run past a sentry gun to get on a CP.

Would a bot know how to do all of these things? I don't think so, unless it was an adaptive AI bot that could learn from past experiences and improve itself.
Digi 23rd December 2009, 09:35 Quote
@ Altron:

Players will always have the edge, so don't expect the world. Having said that it is easy to program a lot of the things you mentioned in. They can run around and take cover and switch weapons in different situations and put sentries up in good spots and not take health packs until they are a certain percentage down etc

As you mentioned. That's already better than half the community that play currently! :)
Altron 23rd December 2009, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digi
@ Altron:

Players will always have the edge, so don't expect the world. Having said that it is easy to program a lot of the things you mentioned in. They can run around and take cover and switch weapons in different situations and put sentries up in good spots and not take health packs until they are a certain percentage down etc

As you mentioned. That's already better than half the community that play currently! :)

I mean, I think they will get the gist of it, but I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they pick up annoying little habits that aren't really gamebreaking but just get frustrating.
Saivert 24th December 2009, 06:43 Quote
I guess mappers and modders will have fun with this. Not regular players.

maybe some singleplayer missions will be made.
Star*Dagger 24th December 2009, 06:54 Quote
Uh Why, the Humans in TF2 are stupid enough!!

I don't have to worry about that anymore since I dont play TF2 anymore, instead I play Shattered Horizon, the best FPS to come out in many years, with real 3d tactics, rather than being limited on a x and y plane on the ground, we are Captains of the Sky, and Rocketmen of Woe!

Put up your ground pounding and play with us in Shattered Horizon!

No Bots either!
the_good 29th December 2009, 07:28 Quote
i agree with Star*Dagger...

Shattered horizon made a new whole world of new ways to play FPS... not the same XY plane old fashion!

everyone must come to space where there is an infinty of worlds!!

Space Legend
the_good
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