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Visualizing the Player’s Last Known Position in Splinter Cell Conviction

Alex J. Champandard on July 2, 2009

These days, the AI in most games includes the concept of a last known player position — even recent action games which aren't defined by their complex NPC behaviors. This concept initially originated from stealth games like Thief, but since most modern shooters include stealth elements, modeling the last known position has become a requirement for AI in games.

Recently, Ubisoft released a promotional behind the scenes preview of Splinter Cell: Conviction, the latest iteration in their stealth franchise. The developers have been trying to reinvent the series by revisiting the basic concepts, among which is the Last Known Position. In particular, the game will render this position as a ghost outline of the player's avatar which remains visible at the same location in 3D space while the AI hasn't reacquired the target.

Since it seems to be a controversial subject (like many topics in game design), and for the sake of turning this into a discussion: what do you think about this reinvention of this AI concept as a more obvious gameplay mechanism? Feel free to post a comment here after you've watch the relevant extract in the HD video just below...