Koveras' Korner

My computer and video game fandoms.

Having just recently 100%ed Cyberpunk 2077, I was particularly impressed by the attention to detail the developers have put into its world-building and narrative. Of particular note to me was the extensive use of spiritual symbolism throughout the game, from the obvious Christian and Buddhist messages of Joshua Stephenson and the Zen Master's respective storylines, to the more obscure things like the use of Tarot by Jackie's girlfriend Misty. It is the latter that I would like to examine in-depth below. Obviously, this essay will spoil the entire plot of the game, so do not continue reading unless you are okay with that.

Last November in Forum Ludorum (where else), we've discussed the topic of characters in video games, but only recently have I rediscovered my old notes from that meeting and compiled them into a coherent essay.

Having published my video game AI reading list, I came to realize that there are two interrelated aspects of video game AI architectures that the academic and industry literature doesn't really talk about: namely, the scope and the frame of artificially intelligent agents. Specialists throw around terms like "squad controller" and "director AI", but never seem to set them in a broader context – possibly because it's self-evident and obvious to them. I don't have that luxury, however, so I will try to present my current understanding of the two aspects and how they relate to each other.

Recently in the Forum Ludorum seminar, we have discussed the topic of interactive storytelling in games. Based on that discussion, I was able to summarize my own current understanding of the topic below.

Over the last few years, I have been dabbling in both game studies and practical game design, but, being a M.Sc. in artificial cognitive systems, my favorite part of development has always been the artificial intelligence – specifically, the rather unique ways it is used in video games. As I have read about the subject, I have compiled a list of illuminating resources that give a good overview of the topic that I wish I had when I myself started out.