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Posts Tagged ‘East Coast Game Conference’

2nd Lecture at East Coast Game Conference

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

ECGCI’ve been asked to do a 2nd lecture at the East Coast Game Conference in Raleigh, NC next week. I have agreed to do a combination of some of my utility-based AI lectures from recent years. It will be a combination of GDC lectures from 2010, 2012, and 2013 — including an overview of the powerful Infinite Axis Utility System (IAUS) which I have been using on my recent AI consulting contracts. This is in addition to my lecture on Thursday (Day 2) at 10AM on psychology and AI that I mentioned previously.

The official information on the lecture is:

Running the Numbers: Improving Character Behavior with Utility-Based AI

AI in modern games can be an enormously complex problem. The sheer number of actions and behaviors that game characters can exhibit has been increasing rapidly. When combined with the number and complexity of possible situations those characters may find themselves in, it makes for a massive number of criteria to consider. Traditional AI architectures have started to buckle under the weight of this complexity leading to huge workloads for designers and brittle, error-prone behaviors for the characters.

The past 5 years has seen the rise of utility-based AI to help address this problem. Once used primarily in titles like The Sims or strategy games, utility methods have worked their way into the AI of other genres such as RPGs and shooters. This lecture will give an overview of utility methods, how they work, and why they are often better for handling character AI. Additionally, attendees will learn about the Infinite Axis Utility System – a stand-alone AI architecture that leverages the power of utility in a way that makes crafting behaviors quick and intuitive for designers.

The session will be on Wednesday (Day 1) at 11:15 (2nd session slot). I hope to see you there!

Speaking at East Coast Game Conference

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

ECGCI have recently accepted an invitation to speak at the East Coast Game Conference in Raleigh, NC. ECGC takes place on the 23rd-24th at the Raleigh Convention Center. I will be speaking on a favorite topic of mine, the psychology of AI. The lecture will be similar to a session I presented at the GDC AI Summit in 2012. The official description is below.

Subconscious Fishhooks: Leveraging the Players’ Own Psychology for Believable Characters

When dealing with game AI characters, psychology can’t help but come into play. Players process what they see and experience through a filter of expectations. We expect human-like game characters to exhibit human-like traits. A by-product of the quest to improve AI decisions, however, is that characters can begin to “feel” robotic and sterile. This session will use examples from film and other media showing how we process information in unexpected ways. The lecture will then show how characters can be imbued with simple “psychological fishhooks” in order to seem more “alive” and believable. Note: This session will be of interest to designers, animators, and writers – not just AI programmers!!

The conference also boasts some very interesting speakers from around the industry, including the legendary Ken Rolston. I’m looking forward to not only being a part of this conference, but attending it as well! Hope to see you there!