Bot Support and Botplay are both terms used to describe a map's support system for bots: artificially intelligent players that can act as if they were human. The term botplay is often used the same way the term Gameplay is used to describe the playability of a particular map.
One of the reasons for the success of the Unreal engine games is the realistic AI, which includes bots that appear to play as if they were human. This is accomplished with the coordination of two elements: the bot support of the map as created by the level designer and the Bot class AI construct.
Each map should contain a "system of waypoints" in the words of Epic programmer Steve Polge. This is commonly called the Bot Path Network, and it is up to the mapper to design this network by placing special actors in the map. This bot path network defines the safe areas for a bot player to occupy in the map. Bots are able to walk, run, and jump to get to a desired point of the map with the help of the bot path network. Special objects within the map can also provide more complex behavior beyond navigation. They use the bot path network to tell them where they can get to, what is the most direct route to take and even which route goal might be more desirable or shortest. Game Objects, custom ScriptedSequences and the GameInfo object will be providing the answer to why they might want to go there or what tactics they should follow once the route goal is reached.
The UnrealScript code in the Bot class interacts with the code in the NavigationPoint classes, GameObject classes, GameInfo classes, any UnrealScriptedSequences and custom AI objects to create a believable player character with objectives to achieve.
Bot Support Topics
This is the current hierarchy of bot support pages on the wiki.
- Bot Pathing – Concepts and elements of a bot path network.
- Strategic Bots – Advanced bot support.
- Bot Mind – Understanding the bots' motivations.
- Testing Botplay – Techniques to ensure reliable bot support.
- Artificial Intelligence – Super topic on all AI (Monsters, NPCs, etc)
- Map Design
- Bot Support (UT)
- Mind Reader (for UT)
SuperApe: Re-revision done. What do you think?
Ragdoll: Looks good. I added a link to assault path.
SuperApe: Thanks for the complement. Actually, AssaultPath is a special NavPoint whose use is covered under Bot Pathing as well as the individual Gametype "Mapping For" pages for which it is useful, like CTF, DDOM, BR, etc.