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Game Situation

When making a strategic decision in a deathmatch game, players consider many aspects of the game world. The concepts behind both factors and features are introduced in greater depth in Chapter 22, "Fighting Conditions," which covers decision making for weapon selection.

Influential Factors

The most important factors in the decision are those depicting combat situations and the progression of the fight. Strategic decisions have an even broader scope than weapon selection, so additional factors of the game are considered.

Player State

Decisions are very subjective by nature. Aspects of the player's status play an important role in influencing the outcome. For example, both health and armor levels may affect tactical decisions, as do weapons and ammunition available. To a lesser extent, other items in the inventory may become factors of the decision.

Enemy Status

In deathmatch games, strategies revolve around the other player(s), too. Visible properties of the enemies, such as their position or orientation, contribute the decision because they affect the player's situation in the game. As well as the relationship between players and their situation in space, the observed weapons and estimated health can become decision factors.

Environment Layout

The terrain affects the movement of all players, as well as the projectiles. The layout of the world can serve as cover and secure an escape, but can also trap the players and make them vulnerable. The disposition of the items is space also affects the best tactic. As such, high-level decisions should take the role of the environment into account.

Features of the Decision

Although factors are aspects of the game that could potentially be taken into account, features are used as inputs to the problem. Features are relevant bits of information required to make the best decision. Different properties of the environment, situation, and progression of the combat are used as features in the decision.

A set of features can be considered as an array of floating-point values corresponding to the strength of the feature: F = [f1,f2,K,fn]. This strength value is easily understood when constrained to the range [0..1]—interpreted as either a probability or plausibility (fuzzy degree of truth). The decision process can take into account either interpretation as long as all the values are consistent.

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