GDC AI Summit: Believable Tactics for Squad AI

Next in the line of sessions slated for this year’s GDC AI Summit is Believable Tactics for Squad AI. It was submitted as a joint lecture by founder Alex Champandard, along with AIGameDev engineers Matthew Jack and Philip Dunstan.

From the GDC description:

Squads of non-player characters are notoriously hard to get right, particularly when designing the highly visible interactions of teammate squad members. Through a series of live, interactive demos, this presentation will compare a wide variety of techniques commonly used in the games industry for creating dynamic squad behaviors, including attacking and flanking, suppression and player leading and following. The analysis will include both centralized and distributed designs for squad member synchronization, the trade-offs of scripted versus procedural designs and high-level techniques for tactical squad path finding and cover selection.

Alex Champandard, Founder & CEO,

Alex is the mastermind behind, the largest online hub for artificial intelligence in games. He has worked in industry as a senior AI programmer for many years, most notably for Rockstar Games. He regularly consults with leading studios in Europe, most recently on the multiplayer bots for KILLZONE 2-3 at Guerrilla Games. Alex authored the book AI Game Development and often speaks about his research – notably at the Paris Game AI Conference he co-organizes. He’s Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on AI in Games, and serves on the Program Committee for the AIIDE and CIG conferences.

Mathew Jack, AI Consultant, Moon Collider Ltd

Matthew founded Moon Collider in January 2010, where he consults on AI for companies in the US and Europe and builds bespoke AI systems. He specializes in CryEngine 3 and Recast/Detour. He developed AI at Crytek for many years in a senior R&D role, including work on Crysis and Crysis 2. He has since worked for Microsoft and, and consulted for games and serious games companies in Europe and the US. Current clients include Xaviant LLC and Enodo, with products delivered to companies such as BMW. He has written for Games Programming Gems and presented at the Paris Game AI Conference and at Google.

Philip Dunstan, Senior AI R&D Engineer

As a Senior Engineer on the AI Sandbox at, Philip Dunstan prototypes cutting-edge solutions to the Artificial Intelligence problems found in today’s games. In addition, Philip brings his experience from six years of working within Electronic Arts’ EATech Central Technology Group, where, as a specialist in physics simulation, core technology and console performance, he worked on several of EA’s biggest franchises including FIFA, Need for Speed, Battlefield and Harry Potter.

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