topical media & game development

talk show tell print

pattern(s) / matrix / model(s) / resource(s)

<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-agents.html>Agents</a>


Entities in games that take the roles of players but are controlled by the game system.

Sometimes one cannot find enough players to make a game playable or enjoyable. To make gameplay possible in these situations, the game design may provide means of simulating players. These simulated players, or Agents, can also be used to flesh out team-based games so that the teams are of equal size or simply let players train without having to play against other people.

Example: Bots in first-person shooters or real-time strategy games let players simulate multiplayer variants of the game.

Using the pattern

Creating Agents requires that Dedicated Game Facilitators can sufficiently simulate the actions and plans of players, which in many cases requires significant computer power and AI programming. However, the skill of these Agents can easily be downgraded once they have been created and this can be used to create Handicaps for players.


Agents provide the possibility to play Multiplayer Games when not enough players are available by providing Enemies controlled by the game system. This allows for Competition, Conflict, and Tied Results, and even Social Interaction to be present, or at least simulated, in situations where they would otherwise be impossible.


Instantiates: Enemies, Tied Results

Modulates: Conflict, Competition, Multiplayer Games, Handicaps, Social Interaction

Instantiated by: Dedicated Game Facilitators

Modulated by:

Potentially conflicting with:

[] readme course(s) preface I 1 2 II 3 4 III 5 6 7 IV 8 9 10 V 11 12 afterthought(s) appendix reference(s) example(s) resource(s) _

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

You may not copy or print any of this material without explicit permission of the author or the publisher. In case of other copyright issues, contact the author.