A crappy AI companion is just the worst. And it seems developer Irrational Games completely understands that.

After deciding upon an AI buddy for the upcoming Bioshock Infinite , Ken Levine and Co. knew they had to create a realistic, believable – and likable – character who "reacted to the world around her and to the player's actions."

In speaking to Eurogamer about the process of developing a solid, reliable AI character, Levine spoke in detail about what they wanted to do:

"One thing AIs generally don't do is react to what's around them. They don't observe what's around them. They have no interest in what's around them. So we spent a lot of time making Elizabeth notice the world and react to the world and engage with the world. That was heightened by the fact she's been locked up. But even so, people are always looking at stuff. When you walk down the street you don't walk down the street like a robot, which is generally what companion AIs do."

Elizabeth will frequently interact with the player, hand out health and ammo, and can even draw supplies to her with her special "tear" power. Heck, she even has the capability of resurrecting the player if need be. But in addition to her functional roles, she will also issue commentary on the engrossing environment, and her facial expressions will accurately reflect her emotional state. Added Levine:

"So we had to seed the world with things she was interested in and things she could interact with. We had to seed her with various emotional states that are primarily an overlay on the animation she does. And she has sounds to go along with all of those things. Making her present in the world was one of the most difficult things and one of the most important things."

It's tough to do AI just right and in fact, we haven't seen too many examples of fantastic AI allies over the years. Personally, I thought Elika in Prince of Persia was the best…the kind of ally you don't have to worry about; she was more of a tool than anything else. Of course, she didn't have anywhere near the personality Irrational has infused into Elizabeth.

Related Game(s): Bioshock Infinite

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8 years ago

That's a nice thing to hear, it's one of those things that you'd expect from this generation more often. Most people don't notice their AI is behaving more like a PS1 character but I do.

The only hitch that could be caused in Infinite is if Elizabeth notices special areas and things but still acts robotic and blank everywhere else. I think I'll just trust that this part will be great on faith though.

8 years ago

oooooh yes that sounds VERY nice indeed!
really interested to see how far they have taken it, in fact the sess did a interview with ken a few days ago and one of his questions was what was the 1 think that really shocked the team and took allot longer than expected.
kens answer was elizabeth and her AI, so i really have allot of expectations for this!
if this is not GOTY, than this will be THE biggest disappointment in the industries history!
thats how much hype and expectation is behind it!

8 years ago

If they do this right other games won't have an excuse anymore.