Open Coverage

Takeaway for Beginners in Game AI & Thanks to Our Sponsors

Alex J. Champandard on October 5, 2009

The Paris Game AI Conference '09 that we organized four months ago brought together many experienced developers from industry and a majority of the middleware developers in Game AI — including our sponsors Spir.Ops, Havok, PathEngine, and Artificial Technology. It's thanks to the support from these great companies that we can work on raising the profile of Game AI throughout the community.

Since our event in Paris was open to all, there were also a fair share of students and beginners in the field of game AI. The second day concluded with a Take Away session for the attendees. I've already written my thoughts in the official report, but here you'll find the thoughts of one of the students at the conference... (See video below.)

Once again, I'd like to thank our Sponsors for their support, and among many other things, making such events possible. In this post you'll also find some links to interesting articles / pages for each of them.

Thanks to Our Sponsors


SpirOps is a middleware development team focused on AI. Their ultimate goal is to allow video games and simulations development teams to enter what we call “the Living Game era”. To design more realistic behaviors with a never reached complexity, the SpirOps developed an artificial intelligence design paradigm called “Drive Oriented” which allows designing AI with graphical tools and keeping a linear complexity during the brain creation process.

Planning and Designer Workflows with Axel Buendia (1h30 Presentation)


PathEngine provides a sophisticated toolkit for agent movement, built around an advanced points-of-visibility pathfinding core. This gives you powerful paired path planning and collision against a sophisticated, continuous space, pathfinding movement model, with robust integrated dynamic obstacle functionality and exact representation of agent shape, for seamless movement over overlapping ground geometry.

Inside PathEngine's Collapsible Formations (Exclusive Video)


Havok is the premier provider of interactive software and services for digital media creators in the games and movie industries. With world leading expertise in physics, animation and tools, Havok’s business is to turn customers’ creative aspirations into technical realities. Havok’s modular suite of tools gives power to the creator, making sure that clients can reach new standards of realism and interactivity, while mitigating the overall cost and risks associated with creating today’s leading video games and movies.

Havok Announces New AI Middleware Library (San Francisco visit)


We bring bytes alive! This is the vision and motivation that drives Artificial Technology GmbH. Graphically, many computer games already emulate the real world quite faithfully. The behavior of the characters, on the other hand, is often less authentic. EKI One Middleware (emotional & artificial intelligence) is a new solution by Artificial Technology GmbH which allows game developers to bestow on their characters with emotional behavior.

EKI ONE 2.0 Teaser Gamescom 2009

One Takeaway from Paris...

This is a recording from the last session on the second day. Jesper (staring in the video) shared his thoughts with me the day before about how great such conferences are for beginners. I told him to say the same thing the next day with a microphone, so here's what he said:

Here's the transcript for those of you with low-bandwidth connections:

“I'm quite new to the artificial intelligence area, so I was quite surprised that you guys are all cheating... I thought the game was fair, but I don't mind you cheating because you let me win — so that's OK! That's a big takeaway for me. I'm looking at games at a really different level, and I can learn a lot from these kinds of presentations. I will take that home with me.”

I thought that was one of the funniest take-aways, so I mentioned to Jesper during the dinner later on that I'd feature him on the blog — and he called my bluff... Was that a mistake? :-)

Jesper was also among those who sent a card after my son Leon was born in late July, so a very special thanks to him for his kind words and for coming to Paris! Hopefully this will inspire more of you to make the trip next year.

The famous late dinner at Ratatouille after the Paris Conference.

Photo 1 The famous late dinner at Ratatouille after the Paris Conference '09. Bonus points for naming everyone in the photo!

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