COD: Ghosts – Infinity Ward Can’t Push AI Development Further Until Next-Gen Hardware is Finalized

While Infinity Ward is hard at work crafting the next-generation experience of Call of Duty, development isn’t without it’s road bumps.

Studio Head Mark Rubin recently told Polygon that, when it comes to development of AI in Call of Duty: Ghosts, work can be “slower than some of the graphics.” He explained that this is due to the lack of finalized hardware for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

“Obviously we are in crazy early development and we will have to see how the consoles play out,” Rubin added.

He mentioned that the team is shooting for some very dynamic AI – enemies that will react differently depending on the situation they are in.

“They might behave differently to the dog, or behave a little differently compared to the events that are happening in the level,” Rubin explained. “They take some of the environment cues and pay attention to them. A lot of times they just kind of ignore the environment, they are just like, ‘OK this guy is supposed to be here I’m shooting, but the building is falling all over me… No, I’m still shooting you.’ So sort of doing stuff like that. It is subtle, really subtle. AI in general is one of those things [where] the subtle things are often easy to notice when it is bad.”

Infinity Ward is making “big strides” in development, but Rubin says they can’t really push things any further until they know exactly what they are working with in terms of hardware.

“We need some hardware, some finished hardware, before we can really expand,” he said.

If you’re interested to see some of the development process for Ghosts, check out this recent tech-demo:

Call of Duty: Ghosts hits next-generation hardware sometime after its release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on November 5.

Thanks, Polygon.

  • Xyebo

    Yeah, yeah, fish AI needs the whole next-gen power to run.

    • PuddingAuxRais1ns

      Fish smart technology will probably make it in the generation after the next one.

    • Blaine Reinsma

      Still going on that? It’s getting a little old. This whole article was meant to explain why they haven’t been able to do anything more than the fish “AI” yet (if you even wanna call it AI, it’s more like interactive environment).

    • dpg70


    • MrSunshine

      Give em a little bit of credit…

      They needed next-gen power to add in a “Holy shit the building is falling down I should stop shooting this guy and run!” Script. The amount of processing power that line of script needs is astronomical!

    • AtheistMason

      Fish AI again.

      Love how immature people is. Meaningless comment sucks 26 likes heh.

      • WarBroh

        Mad CoD kid? The Fish AI is still relevant.

      • AtheistMason

        @disqus_0hDzYWxnjJ:disqus the “mad CoD kid” you said got in the Closed Alpha. You mad bro?

  • uwantSAM0A

    Well it’s nice that they want to make intelligent AI for the single player experience. I don’t always play the campaign for FPS games, but I lose interest when I see retarded enemies. Just save me the trouble of wasting bullets that will magically reappear in my inventory during an important story segment and off yourself.


      I hate bad AI myself. In some games, I think the Hard difficulty mode is a crutch for the bad AI considering that they either do more damage or you have less health than them.

  • MikePembo951

    wtf? Isn’t this directly contradicting what they said a few weeks ago – about building big and then scaling back down.

  • diminishingNova

    And it’ll be still dumb compared to the AI of Crysis 1.

  • dasffa

    I’m sorry, Ghosts looked kinda lame at the E3 All Access Preview. I’m not saying this because I’m a hater or a BF fanboy (I love both games), I’m saying this because at this point it’s almost true. Sorry IW, I can’t back you on this anymore :/

    • lMattW

      I’m afraid you might be right. They still haven’t revealed the third pillar of the game that will replace spec ops so it’s possible there will be something new and interesting, but from what’s been revealed so far it looks very similar to the last 6 CODs (which I don’t consider to be a bad thing, but if other games are progressing and COD is standing still…..).

    • AtheistMason

      Agreed. “Into the Deep” looks and sounds like MW3’s Hunter Killer mission and “No Man’s Land” appears like another “you give orders and I follow you” mission. Still IW won’t make the player controlled character talk, even if the squad is reduced to 2 players. The whole playthrough is dull and boring.

      • dasffa

        Well said. They really should’ve showed different gameplay.

        • AtheistMason

          There’s a mission called “Federation Day” which was shown privately to attending medias and according to what I read from the good folks over @ CharlieINTEL, that mission was truly amazing with you roping down a skyscraper, and the new polished graphics were really presented. A pity they won’t show it to us fans.

          • dasffa

            IW always tries to put up a fight with Dice. And yeah I was thinking that that mission in the trailer would be epic. Thanks for the info.

      • 3RDRANGER

        I know right?

        Not to mention that the protagonist’s squadmate was his brother. Where’s the brotherly love, IW?

        Seriously, military shooter campaigns WILL NEVER WORK with silent protagonists. You know why? Because the protagonist is with a SQUAD. A squad is consisted of soldiers that have to get know each other if they want to survive together. If you’re not going to talk to your squadmates, then how were you in the military in the first place?
        Another stupid thing I find is how the protagonist talks during cinematic cutscenes (ala Battlefield 3). It shows they hired a voice actor for the protagonist during some parts of the campaign, but then they just forget about them everywhere else. If I was hired to voice the protagonist and a developer (e.g. DICE or IW) told me I could only do it for cutscenes, then I’d just quit on the spot. I came to voice a character and I’ll do it for the whole campaign or else I’m wasting my time!

        As well, developers always seem to put more emphasis on the supporting characters more than the protagonist. If that’s the case, why not just have me play as one of them and cut the character of the protagonist altogether?

        (Note to AtheistMason, none of this was directed towards you. It was just my rant that I came up with after reading the second last sentence of your comment.)

        • AtheistMason

          I totally agree with your point. Progatonist dialogs go a long way towards building the character figure. Take Black Ops II as an example. David Mason is a commander, and he can speak. So there are interactions between him and others in game, contacts, change of feelings, which gives us a better feeling of so-called “immersion”. The player really feels like he is someone, and is doing something, not just completing objectives and watching cutscenes. Nowadays devs of shooter games are trying to make an immersive campaign but somehow keep “forgetting” that one key factor is to make the protagonist speak.

          • 3RDRANGER


            It’s not necessary to have a nobody as a protagonist just to get players immersed in the game.

  • Thomas

    Must we repeat this process every time a CoD article pops up? A couple people make some facetious comment, a few more people chime in, then a few fans defend CoD and then rinse/repeat. It’s still going to outsell every other shooter and you’re still going to hate it. Save yourself the trouble and just move along when a CoD article gets posted.

  • MegaMan3k

    You need next gen hardware? In The Last of Us, enemies react differently depending on how many enemies there are, whether they know where you are, whether they know you’re ‘there’, whether you have a gun, whether you have a melee weapon, …

    I mean hell, the human – or at least ‘police’ – AI in The Last of Us will dynamically clear rooms, including slicing the pie around objects and checking corners.

    Cut the crap. Put more effort into AI and less effort into making your grass blades wave dynamically in the wind.

  • So the Xbox One is not even finished hardware wise? Because thats the platform they are developing it on for next-gen so I dont even understand what he is trying to say?

    • Niosus

      It looks like that. At E3 all Xbox One demos were actually running on Windows 7 PCs with Nvidia graphics cards inside.

      Not that it’s a bad thing to have placeholders for developers to work on until the dev kits are finalized, but less than half a year before the release of the system is cutting it close. I can understand devs holding off for a bit untill they actually know what they have to work with. It’s just weird that he uses AI for that argument. AI uses a good amount of performance, but it’s not THAT drastic and there is certainly no reason to just stop trying to improve it because you don’t know your performance target. You can always scale down or simplify AI routines if needed.

      On the PS4 side it looks like all games were running on actual PS4 (equivalent) hardware so I’m pretty sure he is talking about the Xbox

  • Scurvy

    They are really behind on this game. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a dev talking about their struggles and delays with the new hardware. They can’t miss their launch date so watch out for an incomplete game at launch.

  • WarBroh

    “My dog ate my homework”. Meanwhile a zillion other developers are having no problems or excuses developing for the PS4 (I dont count the XBONE anymore since Microsoft has taken itself out of the running)

  • B_Boss

    The heck does this mean lol..? I thought that the hardware was finished for the consoles no? I mean I also figured Rubin/IW would have working devkits too. I am a noob when it comes to understanding game dev. anyway so apologies beforehand.

  • koenbezemer!¿¡?++

    haha, (cod)hey guys we have interactive fish and a dog. (bf) bitch please we have a skyscraper falling down in MULTIPLAYER. good looking site btw. Do you have a new design for the site?

  • Wiking

    Id say BS

  • Ryan Gravestock

    I half to be blatantly honest, all I’ve seen is how far behind the curve IW is. There playing catch up big time. That being said MW2 was groundbreaking but they stuck to that formula for way to long. What I really want to know is what happened to the company internally and staff wise that caused such a development stand still.