This month I worked on implementing a bit of intelligence into the soccer game. The AI system can now determine the best position for a player to receive a pass. Alternatively, the system can also determine the best defending positions to intercept a pass.
The video below shows these implementations:
Computing Passing Angles
Passing angles are important concepts in soccer. Players are always scanning their surroundings looking for passing angles to reach. Passing angles is also an important concept for the dribbling player. If the dribbling player can spot a good passing angle, the chances of scoring a goal increases.
In the mobile game, I implement a method that scans 36 segments, each 10 degrees apart. Thus, forming a circle with the dribbling player at the center.
The system does interception tests of each segment against nearby players of the opposite team. If a segment intercepts one of these players, the segment is discarded as a passing angle. If it does not intercept a player, it is kept as a possible passing angle.
In the end, the system tries to select two segments whose angle with respect to the dribbling player is 45 degrees and 135 degrees, respectively.
The system then sorts the players closest to these segments and orders them to move to these passing angles.
Computing Defending Positions
Passing angles are not only important for a team who is in possession of the ball, but also for the defending team. As a defender, learning to read passing angles is crucial. And even more important is positioning yourself in a spot where you can intercept the pass.
The system determines defending positions by scanning the movement of the supporting players. And orders the defending players to move towards the passing angle. However, the defending players do not position themselves between the dribbling players and the supporting players. Instead, the defending players stand between the supporting players and the goal.
Determining a Time Interval
In a soccer game, players are constantly scanning for passing angles and defending positions. In a mobile game, the AI system scans for passing angles and defending positions at a set interval. There is no point in scanning for these items continuously.
The key is to find a balanced time interval to compute these elements. If you make the time interval too long, you will miss good passing angles and defending positions. If you make the time interval too short, you will make unnecessary computations; since players don't move around instantly.
Unfortunately, there is no formula to find the best time interval. The time interval to compute the passing angle and defending positions is determined through experimentation.
Thanks for reading