First, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to new readers who just discovered the site via recent features and subscribed to the feed. (You did find the RSS didn't you? :) There are even more cool articles already lined up for the next few days as we go into launch week...
Unless you've been stuck in the same finite state for the last month, you probably know we're re-opening the AiGameDev.com Premium for new Members in about 12h. You've also no doubt noticed all the extra content on the site since we relaunched — possibly even wondering who put those red crowns everywhere, and what's hidden behind those pages.
Here's the answer, watch the video below and find out everything now. It's the smartest move!
AiGameDev.com Premium Membership is...
Designed to help you apply artifical intelligence to improve your games (for strategy, behavior or tools) as well as build more believable characters (human or not).
A multimedia experience combining video & audio, illustrated reports, interactive sessions with whiteboards plus high-quality recordings, as well as source code samples.
An hybrid online program between training and consulting, to bring you up to speed in fields you're not familiar with and help you push the limits in other areas.
Sneak Peak Behind the Scenes!
Going Live on May 6th, 2009
I'll start with the most important information first. The exact time for the re-opening is 11:00 Pacific, 14:00 East Coast, and 18:00 Central European time. You can watch the countdown on the launch page. When the countdown hits zero, refresh the page and you'll see two buttons for signing up: one for Individuals (non-commercial) and the other for Studios (companies only).
When you sign-up in 12h, you'll basically get 3+1 months of membership (automatically recurring) as well as access to all the existing sessions. In summary, here's what you get:
Previous Sessions — Over the last 8 months of running AiGameDev.com Premium we've collected over 45 full-length features like masterclasses, interviews, articles and tutorials. All this library will become available to you instantly as soon as you register as a Premium Member.
Next Three Months — On Sunday May 10th, there's a public masterclass about Behavior Trees for Action & Combat AI (subscribe to the thread to be notified in advance). In June, we'll be running the Paris Game AI Conference '09 and releasing the videos online in the Premium Area incrementally.
The AI Sandbox — This is the codebase we use to write samples and demos illustrating key points. For example, see our demo of HPA* pathfinding on a Counter Strike map, and our animation planning on a Motion Graph prototype.
Bonuses & Fast Movers
For the whole week of the relaunch, if you sign-up to AiGameDev.com Premium you'll receive the following bonuses:
Recast Navigation Library by Mikko Mononen — This library is a R&D project that transforms arbitrary polygon soups into navigation meshes, and provides hierarchical pathfinding over the whole representation. The code is written in low-level C++ and designed to be integrated into games as a navigation solution.
Future City Model from Procedural.com — The CityEngine team modeled a detailed version of Manhattan in 2259 inspired by the Fifth Element. You can get your hands on the 3D models to experiment with large scale pathfinding and writing the AI simulation for city environments... Challenge extended!
For the Individual (Non-Commercial) packages, you can earn the following FAST MOVER BONUSES if you join quickly:
First 50 People — If you sign-up for the Premium Membership within the first fifty people when we go live, you'll get 20 minutes consulting time with Alex J. Champandard, contractor on Killzone 2's Bots and previously Senior AI Programmer at Rockstar Games.
First 24 Hours — Anyone that registers within the first day of going live will receive a PDF report with 150+ tips collected from Indie and AAA games, both in the design and programming departments.
If you apply for the Studio (Commercial) packages, these fast mover bonuses are available for the whole 7 days after the launch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What's the difference between "Members" and "Insiders"?
Answer: If you're already registered on the site (free) and have access to some of our content for no-cost, then you're what we call an Insider. This will not change! What's happening this week is access to our best material for paying members, which you can easily upgrade to if you have a credit card nearby!
Question: Do you support alternative forms of payment than Visa and Mastercard?
Answer: For the individual membership you have the choice between Visa and Mastercard only. If you sign-up for the commercial memberships (Silver and above) then you can arrange other forms of payment if necessary. Contact us directly by email at <members at AiGameDev.com>, for instance for payment via Bank Transfers.
Question: I'd like to subscribe for a whole year; is there a yearly payment option?
Answer: No, we currently provide only quarterly packages. Those of you that mentioned you'd like to support the site, then don't hesitate to select a more comprehensive package! (There are some for independent developers and studios.)
Question: Will the monthly price go up if I don't sign up now?
Answer: The offer above is available for this week only. Also, depending on how much work the launch is we might close the site for individual members again. It's a lot of work to take on individuals and re-open the site, and in the past we've stopped taking new members to focus instead on creating top quality content.
We won't be doing any kind of bonuses or promotion before Autumn later this year, and by then we'll have restructured the offer to split up access to our existing library content and future sessions separately. If you want full access at this price, now's your best chance.
So, what are you waiting for, go and check it out now!