Dave Mark will be heading out to SoCal once again for E3.
Much like last year, actually attending the conference (as in seeing the show floor) is a bit of a misrepresentation. In fact, there were rumors going around that there was some sort of show where you could play all sorts of new games. There was no time to see if any of that was true, however. Too many meetings!
So, like last year, Intrinsic Algorithm is actively meeting with studios, outsourcing companies, and recruiters regarding their need for AI consulting. If you would like to set up and appointment, feel free to contact us.
Otherwise, if you are one of our many colleagues and will be trolling around the Staples Center, make sure you say “hi”… if you manage to pick Dave out of a crowd of 50,000. (Giving me a call might be easier.)
Well, after beating my head against the wall, I’ve finally left my old web host and put this site on GoDaddy. I have to admit, I had no idea that really nifty integrated tools were out there. My earlier host was so bad that their support site wasn’t even debugged properly. The only thing that hasn’t worked out was switching my email over. The MX records can’t seem to make up their minds as to where they are pointing. Hopefully that will sort itself out by tomorrow. In the mean time, I’m not receiving any email. Please be patient.
Anyway, I have also begun the process of moving my 3 blogs on this site from Blogger to WordPress. Most of my time was spent on integrating WordPress into the site so that it looks seamless. I have finished the IA News blog and will due the other two fairly quickly now. Thankfully, the import tool from Blogger to WordPress works quite well.
Well, after the migration to the “New Blogger”, I discovered that they won’t support my php includes so that the blog can fit into the rest of my site. Therefore, I am going to ditch Blogger entirely.
After having worked as an author for a couple of other blogs that used WordPress, I figure that it was a decent solution. Therefore, I am going to begin installing WordPress and see if I can get all my existing content over to it. Things may look ugly for a bit but hopefully I can get it taken care of.
Oh… and a big thank you to Google/Blogger for screwing up dozens (if not scores) of hours of my work. Good work, folks.
Because Blogger is doing away with their FTP publishing as of May 1st, I have to convert this blog over to a new type of system with them. Unfortunately, because I have their custom code embedded in my Intrinsic Algorithm pages, this is likely not going to go smoothly. Hopefully, there will be very little down-time. Please accept ourÂ apologiesÂ if something goes amiss.
Last summer, Dave was interviewed by Matt Shaer for the debut issue of a new game magazine, Kill Screen. The magazine bills itself as a “game magazine for grown ups” rather than the more juvenile fare that one finds in other game industry mags.
Issue #0 is going to be shipping in the next few weeks complete with a major feature story about the state of game AI and how it leads to deeper games. The primary focus of the conversation (and what brought Matt to Dave in the first place), is extensive discussion of the ongoing development work on Airline Traffic Manager as an example of an AI-based game.
It’s unfortunate that the story took so long to run (the interview was conducted in Father’s Day, 2009). Some of the information is a little out of date. For example, Matt talks about the lecture Dave did at “this year’s AI Summit” with Richard Evans and Phil Carlisle. That lecture, of course, was from last year’s2009 AI Summit. By the time many people read this article, we will already be rolling out the 2010 AI Summit at GDC.
Regardless, some things are accurate… such as the fact that development work on Airline Traffic Manager is still stalled. We are now grumbling about this internally and are looking at restarting things – even if only on a part-time basis. More on that later.
Anyway, Dave was honored that Matt wanted to include him in the interview. We have see the full text of the article and it is well-written. Now we are just looking forward to seeing it in print for the first time!
Dave’s sessions for the 2010 GDCAI Summit have been posted. In addition to being one of the two Summit Advisors this year (along with Steve Rabin), Dave will be giving a joint lecture with Kevin Dill, participating in a panel, and giving a 5-minute “rant”. The session details are below.
Session Description The ‘if/then’ statement has been the workhorse of decision modeling longer than digital computing. Unfortunately, the harsh transition from yes to no often expresses itself through behavior in ways that are just as harsh. Utility theory has roots in areas such as psychology, economics, sociology, and classical game theory. By applying the science of utility theory with algorithmic techniques such as response curves, population distributions, and weighted randoms, we can improve the modeling of the underlying brain of our agents, broaden the potential decision space, and even manage edge cases that other decision systems stumble over.
Idea Takeaway This lecture explains the underpinnings of utility theory, and shows concrete examples of how to leverage it using the power of other algorithmic techniques regardless of the overall structure being used for the agent AI.
Session Description Often one of the most important issues an AI programmer needs to address is the decision of which architecture to use. This choice lays the foundation for the rest of the project both enabling and limiting choices down the road. With myriad (and even conflicting) pro and con arguments for all the major AI architectures, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for a given project. This panel approaches this issue from a unique perspective. With one person acting as an advocate for each of the popular AI architectures, the panel will be presented with hypothetical game examples and asked to explain why their method is the right tool for the job and why others are not.
Idea Takeaway While this session is likely to get playfully adversarial, the attendee will be given not only a better understanding of the pros and cons of each of the types, but witness some of the thought processes that must occur when deciding on an AI architecture.
Session Description Sometimes things just need to be said. Saying them out loud in a room filled with (hopefully) like-minded people just makes it all the more interesting and cathartic. Seven AI developers from all corners of the industry will deliver quick, to-the-point rants about what’s on their mind. Topics include AI design and programming, working with other portions of the dev team, working with academia, the perception of game AI by the public, scripting languages, and even those scary floating point numbers! Whoever said AI programmers only sit with their heads down over their keyboards?
Idea Takeaway Find out what’s on the minds of AI developers in a fast-paced, fun, yet hopefully not controversy-rife session!
Intrinsic Algorithm has entered into a consulting contract with Project Aurora Games to provide AI design and programming services for their debut space-based title.
Project Aurora entered into discussions with Intrinsic Algorithm in October of 2009 after their Founder and Creative Director, Mbambu Miller, met Dave Mark at the 2009 GameX Industry Summit in Philadelphia.
Intrinsic Algorithm is excited about assisting in the creation of Project Aurora’s unique gameplay vision.
The GDC folks have put up the main page for the AI Summit at the 2010 GDC. This year, I am listed as a Summit Advisor alongside Steve Rabin. While I helped out a lot last year, I wasn’t listed as an official advisor. That makes for a wonderful honor. I’m so pleased to be working with all the great people in the AI Game Programmers Guild to put this event on.