New Samurai Shodown appears to use neural network AI for enemy fighters

The new Samurai Shodown game appears to be using neural network AI for enemy fighters. The revolutionary artificial intelligence system could completely change how fighting games implement computer enemies. SNK Playmore is supposedly developing the system with future titles in mind.

King of Fighters World noticed an interesting panel coming to the Game Creators Conference 2019 in Osaka. The panel is titled “The Incorporation of Neural Network based AI into Fighting Games” and features a screenshot of Samurai Shodown (Samurai Spirits in Japan). It is being hosted by Nobuaki Nigo from SNK’s research and development department. Here’s the panel’s description, written by Nigo:

“In a fighting game, we realized a system that learns and reproduces the movement of a character using a neural network on a game machine. You can reproduce the behavior of that player by using the situation the actual player is watching and the operation you performed. We introduce an example of TensorFlow connection that can test the machine learning algorithm at high speed as a prototype in the game constructed by UE 4 and show how to change the implementation in a form suitable for actual product incorporation I will explain. Finally, I will tell you about the difficulties in incorporating machine learning in products, what I felt was first to consider.”

Nigo joined SNK in 2016 where he works in consumer game development and mobile app infrastructure. TensorFlow is an open source machine learning framework that has been integrated into a number of applications since its release in 2015. Its use in game development has started to be prototyped by indie developers and larger development studios, but integration into a commercial game has so far been limited.

The new Samurai Shodown was announced in September 2018 and is expected to release sometime in early 2019. The game introduces a new art style to the storied fighting game and moves to 3D characters on a 2D plane. It is being built in Unreal Engine for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Nigo’s panel will be held on March 30 at the Game Creators Conference 2019 in Osaka, Japan.