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You'd be surprised at how devious some of the tricks are. I'll give you an example from Startopia: visitors want particular services. These have queues. If the queue is too long, the visitor looks for a shorter line. Except... this led to them aimlessly wandering in circles. Oops.

So, instead, when they decide they want a service, they reserve their place there and then and then just walk to their spot. A completely hidden variable, cheap to compute, and the AI now behaves "sensibly".

In general, the AI of the average opponent in a computer game is way less complex than that of a housefly. Primitive communication and responses to external stimuli is about all there is.

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