This Saturday, there are lots of interesting Smart Links for you about game development and artificial intelligence! Also, a few job opportunities have opened up for those who are interested. Feel free to contact me if you have any news or tips for next week!
Open Positions in Automated Storytelling
Alexander Narayek sends word the ii Lab is starting a new game research project in Singapore addressing automated storytelling that adapts to the player’s actions in real-time.
“Think of a Lord of the Rings game - if the player plays Frodo and decides not to destroy the ring but instead tries to convince the elves to join forces against Sauron, how would the story change, i.e., how would we generate a story alternative in an automated way so that a great story experience for the player is still guaranteed?”
The research areas they are looking for are artificial intelligence, planning, storytelling, and user assessment. In particular, the lab has one post-doc position, 4 Ph.D. student positions, and two ‘research engineers’ (one programmer, one artist). The positions start in January so email alex at ai-center.com.
Introducing Argorha Pathfinding Library
The Argorha Pathfinding library helps find paths in the polygon soup without developer intervention. It’s released as an open-source C++ project on Sourceforge.net under the LGPL.
Screenshot 1: Pathfinding through Greek statues.
An Overview of the Argorha Pathfinding Library, gamedev.net
Argorha’s Sourceforge.net Page, sourceforge.net
Numenta Challenge: GAME
Jeff Hawkins’ new company Numenta has been working on some new ideas they call Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM). However, they need help figuring out how to apply it in practice. This time, they’re launching a game development contest where you can win an XBox360 and Amazon gift vouchers:
“The idea of this challenge is to create a game based on the Pictures example application. Use your imagination to create a fun game - a brain teaser perhaps, a party game, or a puzzle. If you win, not only will you get a prize, but tremendous exposure to one of the world’s largest game companies!”
It sounds ideal for those of you who don’t mind helping out a private corporation by creating a useful prototype of their patented technology.
Numenta Challenge, numenta.com
How Perfect AI Should Behave?
Juuso has written an archetypal GameProducer.net article with the following open-ended insight: AI needs the the ability to make mistakes.
Do you think we’ve reached the stage were we can convince the player that “mistakes” are not bugs?
How Perfect AI Should Behave?, gameproducer.net
AI and Realism
Aaron Miller follows-up on Juuso’s post discussing the old debate about how closely game AI should simulate human intelligence. Would instilling NPCs with true human intelligence really make games more enjoyable?
AI and Realism, hallower1980.blogspot.com
jKilavuz - a path engine for Java
jK?lavuz is the first and only available path engine for Java 5, consisting of an extensible set of tools for collecting pathfinding data, calculating and following paths. Despite the complexity of subject it is designed for ease of use, and works on almost arbitrary geometry.
Screenshot 2: jKilavuz’s online Java demo.
jK?lavuz - a path engine for Java, jkilavuz.com
Frontier’s Braben On Next-Gen Storytelling
David Braben explains that his latest game, The Outsider, doesn’t use the standard branched-path storytelling, but rather an infinitely more malleable system in which factional character AI chews through a formula of possible actions and outcomes and acts out more contextual and emergent behaviors.
The player influences those behaviors through a conversational system that, too, is contextual. “Dialogue trees totally kill the experience for me,” he said, with players getting taken out of the action to pause and read through things you might be able to say.
Frontier’s Braben On Next-Gen Storytelling, gamasutra.com
Experimenting with Construction of Artificial Emotions
DanC asks a simple innocent question over at Lost Garden,”What can we do to make games evoke emotions?” The answers are more about applying the lessons of experimental psychology than the 300 hot tricks of screenwriting.
Constructing Artificial Emotions: A Design Experiment, gamasutra.com
Dan’s Thoughts & Discussion, lostgarden.com
Stay tuned next Saturday for more smart links from around the web.