Popular Mechanics has written an article that describes the AI that will power The Sims 4. In all Sims games, it’s possible to leave the game unattended for a while and find your Sims relatively in-tact when you return. That’s because the AI that controls non-playable characters can take over in your absence. In The Sims 4, the AI has been enhanced to make “more honest and… more believable decisions.”
All these improvements and advancements makes a game feel more natural, but when does an AI system become too efficient? “It’s an interesting line we deal with on each of these projects because we can continue to make the Sims smart enough to run their own lives,” Pearson says. “What is too smart?”
In The Sims 4, developers have improved the AI’s efficiency by creating an autonomy hierarchy. “Instead of considering everything in the entire world every time a Sim is deciding what to do, we first evaluate all of the commodities and figure out what sorts of things are most important to the Sim,” Ingrebreston says. “That lets us eliminate from consideration a large amount of possibilities.” This means Sims become faster and more efficient at making decisions and can multitask rather than following a strict “first this, then that” script.
The Sims 4 will be the only game that can literally play itself.