These are my notes from the Paris AiGameDev.com Conference 2009. Pretty interesting set of talks, although my notes vary in quality and comprehensiveness I’m afraid! (In a “made for me, but could be useful for others” way).
Day 1: Wednesday
- Emotion in Game Characters – Phil Carlisle, Indie Developer/Bolton University Lecturer – “Phil will present an overview of the field and a review of recent research for developers who are curious about emotional reactions for game characters. He’ll also discuss this from a practical perspective, outlining the techniques that are ready to be applied and how.”
- Coordinating Agents with Behaviour Trees – Ricard Pillosu, Lead Programmer, Crytek – “Recently, the concept of Behaviour Trees has been gaining traction and was used in games like Spore or Halo 3. Crytek has adpoted and developed this technology to also coordinate different agents in complex situations. After a brief introduction to Crytek’s perspective on Behaviour Trees, Ricardo will provide examples on how this concept canbe used to simulate group tactics.”
- The AI of Killzone 2′s Multiplayer Bots – Remco Straatman, Lead AI Programmer, Guerrilla Games and Alex J. Champandard, AiGameDev.com – “This talk will discuss the implementation of bots in Killzone 2′s online and offline multi-player component. We will discuss the overall hierarchical AI framework, the way individual bot behaviours such as bad usage are implemented using our HTN planner, how individual behaviors mix with the overall objectives in multiplayer modes and how we use data acquired at run-time to influence the tactical decisions.”
- AI Multi-threading and Parallelization – Bjoern Knafla, Paralellisation PhD. Researcher – “Bjoern will provide an overview of the concepts and techniques that are the most commonly used for parallelizing code in the games industry, and present some of his own results applying multi-threading to a large crowd simulation.”. I also added the few notes I got from the panel “The Art of Concurrency and AI system Architecture” to this.
Day 2: Thursday
- Advice and Tales form the Trenches – Alex J. Champandard, Phil Carlisle, Eduardo Jimenez, Mieszko Zielinsko – “In this interactive discussion panel, these veteran game developers will tell the story about how they got started, share some of their experiences from working in industry, and give advice to developers who are looking to get into the industry as AI programmers.”
- Planning Muli-unit Manoeuvres using HTN and A* – William van der Sterren, AI Consultant at CGF-AI – “William’s presentation will discuss the application of HTN and A* to help plan and coordinate groups of units. In the context of a turn-based strategy game, he’ll show how a planner can be used offline to create stimulating new scenarios for current games without the need for manual scripting.”
- Approaches to Interactive Narrative Generation and Story Telling – Daniel Kudenko, University of York – “Daniel will be providing an overview of approaches to interactive Drama, highlighting and summarizing the state of academic research on the subject, present an overview of selected system, and point out to potential avenues in industry collaboration to help you figure out where to start looking.”
- Discussion on Emergent Stories in Games – Axel Buendia (moderator), Daniel Kudenko, Vincent Corruble – “Researchers in the field of procedural storytelling will answer questions from developers, and explain how academia would tackle many of the narrative challenges faced by modern games. Axel wll act as the industry connection using examples from games like Far Cry 2, GTA 4, and STALKER.”
- The Racing AI in Pure – Eduardo Jimenez, Senior Programmer, Black Rock Studio – “Eduardo will explain how the AI for riders is designed o prevent the feeling of rubber band AI that’s symptomatic of many racing games, and will present the solution to the problem applied in Pure which falls into the increasingly popular category of “experience management” for games.”
- AI Characters from Animation to Behaviour – Christiaan Moleman (host), Xavier Dolci, Phil Carlisle, Julien Hamaide – “This panel brings together an artist/animator, and animation programmers/designers to discuss the challenges of next-gen animation. How can we improve our current animation workflows to get around the usual motion capture problems? How can we improve the quality of characters without having gigabytes of motion capture?”
Finally there was “Voxelization of Polygon Soups for Navigation” by Mikko Mononen – however, this was more a tech demo and I honestly took minimal notes. The only note was to look at the GECK map/mod editor for Fallout 3 which has an example of Navigation Mesh generation. Here are some pics though: