Intelligent Avatars

When most games provide a playable character, they exist as a "blank canvas" for the player to impart their own idealisms into.

A Character that thinks for themselves.

There are, however, games in which your avatar can communicate to you, thus showing some degree of intelligence. While subversive to the game's end goal of winning, it may sometimes be a systematic design choice in order to evoke a given experience.

Some examples of actions an avatar might make:

  • Instruct you, guiding you through unexplained exposition
  • Make fun or mock you, your skills, or your comprehension of puzzles
  • The character loves chocolate. You do not want them to eat the chocolate, but they cannot resist and does so anyway.
  • Mess up the control scheme.
  • Fearing of snakes, as a result, you cannot go near snakes.
  • Take away the control from you.
  • Intentionally lie to you.

How can we define Intelligence Avatars?

Intelligent platformer means that our avatar is partially AI-controlled. Adventure games have some kind of intelligent avatar however it's usually very basic, in part due to the designers intent, and the limitations of complexity to producing a large number of unique scenarios.

Another way to describe my concept of intelligent platformer would be to imagine the player is playing a co-op game, where that cooperation is with an AI to control a single character.

In some games, this means character which are "self-aware."  For example, they might know they're being controlled by something (or someone) and, say, if you were to try to make him jump across a chasm that he knows for a fact he won't be able to make, might refuse.

How can Intelligent Avatars be used for good?

Adventure Games have been long well known to break the fourth wall in this way, for example, you're directing the main character rather than actually being the main character; so they'll say things like, "I'm not doing that."  or "I don't think that'd be useful."  or "What are you, crazy?"

In the game Close Combat, one of the interesting mechanics about that game was that your soldiers were autonomous to an extent — you'd give them orders, and they would have to execute them, but, sometimes they'd get afraid and run away.
It could be frustrating at times, but it also added depth to the game, because you had to keep in mind what your soldiers would be willing to do when you gave orders, and if they had enough experience to complete the task.

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