These are my notes from the Paris AiGameDev.com Conference 2010. A bit late as of posting these, and pictures will appear at some point randomly in the future.
In any case, some really good talks – below are just the blurbs, my thoughts on each one are on the respective pages. Corrections/clarifications welcome, my notes are mainly for me – there was one I missed, and so I’ve not included it here – sadly lunch was late and it overran and so started before I got there (sorry Alex, it was your talk on multithreading!).
Alex’s own summary of the conference is on his site. There are links to slides too, which is useful! I’ve linked to any summaries and slides on the respective pages.
- This Year In Game AI – Phil Carlisle (Indie Developer at MindFlock Ltd. and veteran programmer on the Worms franchise), Alex Champandard – “Take a journey through the past 12 months in the games industry, and find out where artificial intelligence is becoming a key technology for modern games.”
- Tales from the Design Trenches – Phil Carlisle, Stephane Bura (Designer and writer consultant, previously Creative Director at IDTacle Belgium), Noah Falstein (Freelance designer & producer of The Inspiracy, and LucasArts veteran), Jurie Horneman (Creative Director at mi’pu’mi, formerly designer/producer at Rockstar and Kalisto). – “Listen to veteran developers share war stories, their experiences of how design has changed over the years, and horror stories of working with programmers. :-)”
- Intimate Conversations with Interactive Animated Characters –
Bruce Blumberg (Lead Character Engineer at Blue Fang, Associate Professor at MIT) – “Keynote. Find out about the secret recipe that makes the wide variety of animals in World of Zoo so compelling to watch and interact with.”
- Navigation Loop: Avoid Turning in Circles with Local Navigation – Mikko Mononen, Kenio (Designer/Programmer specialising in AI, previously Lead AI on CRYSIS at Crytek) – “How do you handle obstacle avoidance locally for single characters, as well as local multi-agent coordination? Find out what works and what doesn’t…”
- Crowds and Pedestrians without Bumper Car Syndrome – Mikko Mononen, Ken Perlin, Jean-Charles Perrier (Lead Programmer at Quantic Dreams, developer on Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy), Bertrand Faure (Programmer at Quantic Dreams) – “Creating believable groups and crowds is both and art and a science, bridging the gap of character animation, pathfinding and behaviour. Listen to tips & tricks to help you bring you up-to-speed with recent games and its technology.”
- Inside Your Player’s Mind with Playtesting – Baylor Wetzel (Brown College) – “I need to get what the description is from the program! Anyway, it was a talk on how people perceive personalities and patterns, as well as difficulty and intelligence, in AI opponents.”
- Psychology Profiling in Silent Hill Shattered Memories – Gwaredd Mountain (Climax Group) – “I need the program info again – but in any case, it’s the AI behind the psychological profiling in Silent Hill, how it was boiled down from large amounts of psychological items to something that mostly works.”
- Metrics, Experience Management and AI Directors – Jurie Horneman, Stephane Bura and Gwaredd Mountain – “Panel discussing AI directors and player experience management.”
Thursday – Day 2
- Physics-based Racing AI in Superbike 2010 and Superstars V8 – Paulo Maninetti (Senior Programmer at Milestone, previously Game Programmer at Ubisoft) – “Finding a balance between physics simulation and AI control is always difficult. Learn how it’s done in realistic racing games with racing cars and bikes alike.”
- Creating the BATTLEFIELD AI Experience – Mikael Hedberg (Software Engineer at DICE (Electronic Arts), working on the Battlefield franchise). – “Keynote. Discover what choices helped DICE improve the AI/gameplay from good to great in their most recent franchise.”
- Building Virtual Toys that Don’t Break – Bruce Blumberg, Frederick de Caster (Total War Campaign AI programmer), Ulf Johansen (Developer at IO Interactive in Denmark, who worked on HItman: Blood Money). – “Sandbox-style games and non-linear gameplay are becoming increasingly common. This is a panel on those areas.”
- Human Territoriality for EVE Online’s Socially Smart Characters – Claudio Pedica (Researcher at Reykjavik University, collaborating with CCP). – “Research on how to get AI characters to be socially smart, aiming at working in EVE Online.”
- Modern Procedural Animation – Ken Perlin (Professor at New York University, Chief Technology Advisor at ActorMachine) – “Keynote. As the cost of hand animation and motion capture increase, more developers are turning to procedural techniques to argument their animation systems.”
- Take Away & Looking Forward – Alex Champanard, Phil Carlisle, Mikko Mononen and WIlliam van der Sterren (Consultant at GF/AI and contractor on Shellshock: Nam ’67 and Killzone 1). – “Highlights form the most interesting topics during the conference and an open discussion about what to look out for over the coming months!”