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Final 4 GDC AI Summit sessions announced

The GDC site has finally posted the final 4 sessions (of 12) for the AI Summit. Here’s the details on the ones that recently went up.

AI and Interactive Storytelling: How We Can Help Each Other
Speaker: Daniel Kline (Lead Game Engineer, Crystal Dynamics), Michael Mateas (Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz), Emily Short (Business Operations Coordinator, University of Advancing Technology)
Date/Time: TBD
Experience Level: All
Summit: AI Summit
Format: 60-minute Panel

Session Description
For some time, the industry has been exploring how to effectively manage the complexity of multiple story arcs, contextually appropriate character behavior, and yet still maintain an over-arching ebb and flow of tension and drama. In their quest, writers and designers have started looking to AI for solutions to these problems. Additionally, many techniques that are already being used in interactive drama can be used to augment traditional games. Through three short lectures, this session gives examples of ways that AI can enable the design and implementation of branching narratives, dynamic adaptive dialog, interactive storytelling, and drama management.

Idea Takeaway
The attendee will be presented with a number of examples of how AI techniques have addressed the needs of dynamics, interactive storytelling in games.


Answering the Designers’ AI Wish List
Speaker: Brett Laming (Lead Programmer, Rockstar Leeds), Richard Evans (Lead Simulation Engineer, Maxis), Soren Johnson (Designer & Programmer, EA Maxis), Chris Jurney (Senior Programmer, Double Fine Productions), Adam Russell (Games Studio Manager and Lecturer, University of Derby)
Date/Time: TBD
Experience Level: All
Summit: AI Summit
Format: 45-minute Lecture

Session Description
We asked designers from all across the industry to answer a questionnaire of probing – and even outright crazy questions. The intent was to get their heads and assemble a sort of wish list. We then present their answers to a panel of top-notch AI designers and programmers and ask them… how would you go about granting this wish? In what promises to be the most forward-looking session of the AI Summit, this panel should give us all a look into not only what the designers would like in their games, but some ideas on how to address the difficult obstacles in AI.

Idea Takeaway
An impression of how much AI technology can accomplish, an insight into the technical design process of experienced developers. This session should be kind of fun and wacky!


Suspending Disbelief: Bringing Your Characters to Life with Better AI
Speaker: Steve Gargolinski (AI Lead, Blue Fang Games), Phil Carlisle (AI Programmer/Senior Lecturer, MindFlock Ltd./University of Bolton), Michael Mateas (Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz)
Date/Time: TBD
Experience Level: All
Summit: AI Summit
Format: 60-minute Panel

Session Description
In the past 30 years, game graphics have progressed to the point where still shots and cutscenes can often look extremely realistic. However, as soon as characters act in the world, that sense of believability is often broken. The characters no longer seem alive. Much of the impression that something is alive comes from minutia such as what they look at, how they move, and what they do when they aren’t doing anything important. This session examines this phenomenon and gives concrete examples of how to improve the feeling of aliveness in game characters.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will see how including subtle details in the behavior can increase the believability of game characters.


Case Studies: AI in Recent Games
Speaker: Tara Teich (Senior Programmer, Double Fine), Chris Jurney (Senior Programmer, Double Fine Productions), Alex Champandard (Editor in Chief & Technical Director, AiGameDev.com)
Date/Time: TBD
Experience Level: Intermediate
Summit: AI Summit
Format: 45-minute Lecture

Session Description
While there are many versions of post mortem analyses in the game business, sometimes a broad brush approach doesn’t highlight what the truly interesting nuggets are. In this session, we asked three AI programmers for recent games (Killzone 2, BrĂ¼tal Legend, Dawn of War 2) to specifically address some unique challenges they faced in the development of their respective titles. They will describe what the challenges were, how they often arose from design decisions that pushed the boundaries of the typical AI comfort zone, and how these challenges were overcome.

Idea Takeaway
The attendee will see examples of creative solutions to AI design problems – and potentially come away with a sense of how stepping outside a comfort zone is not necessarily dangerous.

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