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AiGameDev 2010

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 AIPhil 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 TrenchesPhil 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 NavigationMikko 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 SyndromeMikko 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 PlaytestingBaylor 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 MemoriesGwaredd 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 DirectorsJurie 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 V8Paulo 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 ExperienceMikael 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 BreakBruce 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 CharactersClaudio 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 AnimationKen 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 ForwardAlex 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!”