Black & White
Black & White is a 2001 simulation and real-time strategy game developed by Lionhead Studios and designed by Peter Molyneux.
According to the research paper, Artificial Intelligence in Games: A look at the smarts behind Lionhead Studio’s “Black and White” and where it can and will go in the future, Black & White uses neural networks to influence gameplay (emphasis mine):
The artificial agent that makes “Black and White” such an incredible achievement in AI is the creature. As previously explained, the creature is used by the game player to do its bidding. It can also be seen as a child for the game player to both nurture and train. The chief AI developer for the game, Richard Evans, provided the gaming website www.gameai.com with some simple
documentation of the game design. The desire that the developers had for the creatures was that they would be both very human-like and useful. To be human-like, the creature had to be “plausible, malleable, and lovable”. To be useful it had to be able to learn how to satisfy its master and know how to correctly act based upon its beliefs and percepts. Many recent games, such as “The Sims”, have made very human-like toy agents and many other recent games, such as “Daikatana”, have made incredibly useful agents; but no game before “Black and White” was able to combine the two elements into one seamlessly intelligent and empathetic agent.
The main aspect of the game’s AI that makes it so powerful is its mixture
of different approaches of representing intelligence. Given a variety of
techniques, the one that is most suitable for any certain task can be used for that task on the fly. [...]
Decision trees represent agents’ beliefs about general types of objects. Finally, neural networks of perceptrons represent desires.
There are numerous skills involved with learning and a large variety of
ways in which a creature can learn. Creatures learn facts about its surroundings, how to do certain tasks, how sensitive to be to its desires, how to behave to or around certain objects, and which methods to apply in certain situations. [...]
- Wexler, J. (2002, May 7). Artificial Intelligence in Games: A look at the smarts behind Lionhead Studio’s “Black and White” and where it can and will go in the future. University of Rochester. https://www.cs.rochester.edu/~brown/242/assts/termprojs/games.pdf
Note: The author of the paper referenced an interview with Richard Evans (the developer of Black & White's AI) for the part about neural networks, but the provided link no longer points to the target website.
A YouTube video where Peter Molyneux talks about the development of Black & White's AI (relevant part starts at 07:22):