Google's DeepMind unit trained a new artificial intelligence agent that can play Quake III Arena's Capture The Flag (CTF) mode better than humans. Interesting to see that AI agents are getting better and better at a wide variety of video games.
Full details about the work can be read on the DeepMind blog.
The game we focus on in this work is Quake III Arena (which we aesthetically modified, though all game mechanics remain the same). Quake III Arena has laid the foundations for many modern first-person video games, and has attracted a long-standing competitive esports scene. We train agents that learn and act as individuals, but which must be able to play on teams with and against any other agents, artificial or human.
The rules of CTF are simple, but the dynamics are complex. Two teams of individual players compete on a given map with the goal of capturing the opponent team’s flag while protecting their own. To gain tactical advantage they can tag the opponent team members to send them back to their spawn points. The team with the most flag captures after five minutes wins.