GDC AI Summit: Animation-Driven Locomotion for Smoother Navigation

This year’s GDC AI Summit will host a presentation on navigation and animation by Bobby Anguelov, Gabriel Leblanc, Shawn Harris.

From the GDC description:

As game worlds get more detailed, simply navigating along a shortest path isn’t good enough. Additionally, as character behaviors get more complex, seeing agents pivot or “footskate” in unrealistic ways break immersion. In order to achieve realistic movement, limitations on locomotion animations the character can perform must be taken into account. In fact, the animations themselves can be used as a valuable tool for finding the most realistic path in the first place. Using examples from the games Hitman: AbsolutionReckoning, and Thief, this lecture will show methods for improving character movement by utilizing character animation to help determine navigation.

Shawn Harris — Senior Programmer – Big Huge Games/38 Studios

Shawn has been with Big Huge since 2007 focusing on pathing, NPC movement and tools. Before Big Huge he worked on numerous hand held titles for the Game Boy Advanced and Nintendo DS. Shawn obtained his BS in Computer Science from Carson-Newman College and his MSc in Games Programming from the University of Westminster.

Gabriel Leblanc — AI Programmer at Eidos Montréal

Joining the game industry in 2003, Gabriel has worked as a game programmer on titles like Scaler, Indiana Jones and Wet. In recent years, he has focused on AI and animation systems. He is currently working on the next Thief at Eidos Montréal. He graduated in software engineering from McGill University, where he occasionally offers lectures on various gaming topics.

Bobby Anguelov — AI Programmer, IO Interactive

Bobby is currently working as an AI programmer at IO Interactive on Hitman: Absolution. Prior to this he spent the better part of a decade working as an enterprise software engineer as well as a two year stint teaching computer graphics and shader programming at the University of Pretoria. He earned an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Pretoria.

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