GDC AI Summit: Off the Beaten Path — Non-Traditional Uses of AI


This year’s GDC AI Summit features a collection of sessions that don’t fit into the “main stream” of game AI. As such, we figured it deserved its own session. Chris Jurney (Double Fine), Michael Robbins (Gas Powered Games) and Ben Sunshine-Hill each bring their own unique gem to the party!

From the GDC description:

In the game industry, AI is typically thought of as a collection of simple tools used to make characters “do things.” This lecture will show three different ways that people have leveraged more esoteric AI techniques in manners not traditionally seen in games. Michael Robbins will show how he successfully used neural networks for tactical decision-making in Supreme Commander 2, Chris Jurney will discuss computer vision tricks for Kinect in Double Fine’s Happy Action Theater, and Ben Sunshine-Hill will explain how to use AI techniques to dynamically adjust level of detail to match what a player is likely to perceive and remember.

Ben Sunshine-Hill, Software Engineer, Havok

Ben Sunshine-Hill is a software engineer at Havok, working on character pathfinding and local steering. Ben recently completed his PhD work at the University of Pennsylvania, designing ways for game characters to switch behavioral techniques in real-time, and for games to exploit players’ limited powers of memory and perception. His dissertation was ultimately titled “Perceptually Driven Simulation” after his original title, “Messing with the Player’s Head for Fun and Profit“, was rejected.

Michael Robbins, Gameplay Engineer, Gas Powered Games

Michael Robbins is a Gameplay Engineer with Gas Powered Games working on everything from UI to AI. He has been working in the industry for a little over two years after being a long time member of Gas Powered Games’ modding community. His most notable work is featured in Supreme Commander 2, released March 2010.

Chris Jurney, Lead Programmer, Double Fine Productions

Chris Jurney is a rock and roll experimental lead programmer at Double Fine Productions, with 12 years experience in games and simulation. He has shipped numerous titles in the games industry including Company of Heroes, Dawn of War 2, and Iron Brigade. Chris frequently speaks on the topic of game AI, having presented at GDC 5 times as well as at GDC China, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, aigamedev.com, and various IGDA chapters. He has also written articles published in AI Game Programming Wisdom and frequently modifies his behaviors and routes to avoid the enemy psychics of Galactic Rear Admiral Thoothius Branx.


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