Platform fighters have come a long way since their inception in the late 90s, providing players with endless hours of entertainment and competition. Games like Super Smash Bros, Brawlhalla, and others have paved the way for this unique and highly enjoyable genre. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a significant driving force in various aspects of gaming, and it’s only natural to ponder what AI could bring to the world of platform fighters. Today, we’ll delve into the genre, explore its evolution, and discuss the exciting AI-driven game AI Arena, which is currently hosting one of the biggest web3 esports tournaments.
Understanding the Platform Fighter Genre
Platform fighters, also known as platform beat ’em ups or arena fighters, are a subgenre of fighting games that place a heavy emphasis on platforming and spatial control. The objective is to knock opponents off the stage while avoiding being knocked off yourself. Combining elements of traditional fighting games with platforming mechanics, these games have gained a devoted fan base that appreciates the depth of strategy and skill required to excel.
Super Smash Bros, developed by Nintendo, was one of the pioneers in the genre, with its first installment released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64. Since then, the series has continued to expand and evolve, with the latest installment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, released in 2018. The game’s immense popularity has led to various other successful titles in the genre, like Brawlhalla, Rivals of Aether, and more.
AI and Platform Fighters: A Match Made in Heaven?
As AI technologies advance, their applications in gaming have become more prevalent, raising the question of how they could impact platform fighters. One potential use for AI in these games is to enhance the training experience for players. Traditional training modes often lack the dynamic adaptation needed to challenge players effectively, but AI-driven opponents could analyze a player’s playstyle, strengths, and weaknesses, creating tailored experiences that accelerate improvement.
Another exciting aspect of AI in platform fighters is the potential to develop unique, AI-generated characters with their own playstyles and strategies. These AI-generated fighters could bring unprecedented variety and unpredictability to the genre, keeping the games fresh and engaging for seasoned players.
Killer Instinct Shadow AI
Player learning model AI has been utilized in gaming before. For instance, in the mid-2000s, the F.E.A.R. franchise introduced a similar system called “Instant Action.” It allowed players to record their actions in a match and then generate an AI-controlled character based on those actions. However, the system was limited and did not have the same depth of learning and customization as Shadow Mode in Killer Instinct.
Killer Instinct (2013) features an innovative AI system called “Shadow Mode.” Introduced in the reboot of the classic 90s franchise, Shadow Mode allows players to create an AI-controlled version of their favorite character, referred to as a “Shadow.” The Shadow Mode AI learns from the player’s actions, mimicking their playstyle, habits, and techniques. As the player continues to use a character, the Shadow AI gathers more data and refines its behavior, becoming an increasingly accurate representation of the player.
This dynamic learning process helps create a more realistic and engaging opponent for others to challenge. Players can then upload their Shadow characters to the cloud, allowing friends and other players worldwide to challenge them. This feature provides an opportunity for players to test their skills against a diverse array of real-life-inspired opponents, even when the original player is offline. It also offers a way to gauge one’s progress by comparing the performance of their Shadow against others.
Introducing AI Arena: The Future of Platform Fighters?
AI Arena is an innovative new platform fighter that takes the concept of AI integration to the next level. Instead of relying on traditional controls, players utilize an AI trainer to teach their fighter how to react and adapt during matches. This groundbreaking approach allows for unprecedented customization of playstyles and strategies, making each battle truly unique. Taking some of the concepts we saw in Killer Instinct and applying them to the Platform Fighter genre makes for a truly unique concept.
Currently, AI Arena in collaboration with TreasureDAO and Arbitrum is hosting one of the largest web3 esports tournaments, attracting players and spectators from around the globe. The tournament showcases not only the potential of AI in platform fighters but also the growing interest in web3 and decentralized technologies in the esports scene.
🤖 @aiarena_ x ✨@Treasure_DAO proudly presents!— AI ARENA | ʌı (@aiarena_) March 29, 2023
🏆 The Treasure Cup 🏆
Brought to you by @arbitrum (💙,🧡)
🔹Tournament featuring competitors from leading Treasure game communities and AI Arena vets
🔹 Prize pool worth over $100,000 on the line!
AI Arena adds to the many reason to check out TreasureDAO and the Arbitrum L2. Check our article on how and why to get started on Arbitrum here.
The evolution of platform fighters has been a thrilling journey, with AI poised to play an essential role in the future of the genre. Games like AI Arena are breaking new ground by incorporating AI trainers and generating excitement around the potential of this technology. As AI continues to advance and platform fighters adapt, the sky is the limit for this beloved genre.