AI update – Our fighters is about to get a lot smarter!

When we launched into early access some weeks back, we knew we wanted to give some love to the AI in Haxity (Artificial intelligence, just in case you wouldn’t know ).

While it was still fun to fight the AI, good fighters immediately realized the opponent was pretty ‘dumb’. The card and hack choices often made no sense, perhaps similar to the newbest of Newbs when entering the game. Obviously, we wanted to improve this to make the game more fun. Now we have, and it’s coming in a patch in the near future!

To shed some light on what we did, we got some sagely words on the matter from guru coder Christian Tellefsen, who has done a lot of AI in games throughout the years. Here is what he had to say on the work he did over the summer holidays:

The main improvement is that the AI now tries to predict which hacks you might hold, while using that knowledge to figure out a good play sequence.

For example, it might see that you could have an Adjacent Swap on your hand that would be really damaging, leading it to preempt your possible play with an Edge Lock. It doesn’t cheat in cases like this, though – any hidden information that would not be available to a human opponent, is never made available to the AI either.

The AI now has an improved algorithm for determining how strong its position is, compared to yours.

Before, it mostly tried to get an immediate health advantage, or a win, but many other considerations have now been added to the calculations. The AI will look at the predicted deck quality after its turn – it will often prefer buffing already strong cards, or removing weaker ones. It understands that temporary cards will disappear, so it’s less likely to give those cards permanent buffs. It will also look at which fighter buffs you end up with, and how many. It will prefer plays that leave it stronger for the rest of the fight.

In the beginning of a fight the AI will give high priority to improving its overall position – like fighter buffs, card advantage, or improving card stats. When fighters get low on health, it will look less at permanent gains. It will switch to try to take you out as quickly as possible.

In addition, an AI can now gain specific preferences. Some AIs might like playing particular cards or combos, even if they are perhaps not the strongest possible. Watch out for this, and use it to your advantage!

The AI should now be stronger, more predictable, and less prone to making nonsensical or suboptimal moves.

This is something we need to keep on balancing out as the game continues, so please remember to give us feedback on Discord so we can hone it further!

Team Haxity