Hello to all the forum members!!

A little background about me: I have a degree in B.E.Comp Sci with a work experience of 3 years in a MNC.
I have some general questions based on which I could decide on what I have to do to plan for the future. I would really appreciate if the forum members help me in clarifying my doubts.

1) It is a known fact that to get funding for a PhD program, the candidate must show considerable proficiency in research in his area of specialization. So if a candidate has published papers in top journals, he has a very high chance of getting funded.
The above scenario becomes easier for candidates whose work closely relates to their subject of specialization (i.e.) If the candidate is already a MS Student or a professional who works in a R&D Lab etc. as it would help him in research and writing papers.

What happens to those whose work is not related to the field they want to specialize in?
I would like to work in Game AI (Making the computer smarter in Games) but I have not yet got the opportunity to work in a Game Programming firm. Though I make games as an indie developer I have not professionally worked in the industry.

a)So say that I have lost touch with reality and harbor hopes of doing a PhD with funding, how do I go about showing my proficiency in research or how do I offset that with my other skills?

b) Even if I did try to write a paper on my own but gets rejected for publication, does that still count as a skill in doing research?

c) Is it even remotely possible for Universities to offer funding for PhD say in uncommon fields like Game AI etc. or am i really insane in thinking about this??

I would really appreciate if this forum would answer my questions. Thanking you all