Those of you who stay up-to-date with AiGameDev.com behind the scenes (on Twitter or in the Forums) know that we've been preparing the 2010 edition of the Paris Game AI Conference for many months already. Organizing last year's event entirely was one of the most rewarding moments of my career, but at the same time it was probably the most difficult thing Petra (Mrs. AiGameDev.com) & I had done so far professionally!
It took a lot of preparation and scouting around before committing to taking the event into its third year, but thanks to your tremendous feedback from 2009 and early support from our Conference Sponsors this year, we're pleased to announce that we'll return to the CNAM in June. In particular, we'd like to thank Autodesk, PathEngine, Spir.Ops, and Four Door Lemon for their sponsorship and making it possible.
Read on for details about the conference itself, the call for proposals, and how you can secure your seat at the event...
The (Un)Official Details
Officially, the event is scheduled for the 23rd and 24th of June and is co-organized by AiGameDev.com and the CNAM, where the event is held. The organizing committee consists of Petra & Alex Champandard from AiGameDev.com, Stephane Natkin from the CEDRIC lab, and Axel Buendia of the Paris-based AI middleware company Spir.Ops. You can check the standalone site below for more details...
Paris Game AI Conference — Official Website
Photo 1: Q&A with the audience at the end of the Paris Game AI Conference 2009. (Click to enlarge if you recognize someone!)
Unofficially, I think the conference is absolutely unique. Of course, it brings together many of the brightest game developers in the world working on artificial intelligence in industry, including Ubisoft, Crytek, Arkane, Splash Damage, Rebellion, Quantic Dream, etc. But beyond that, it's what you said about the event that made it unique...
- Friendly — Outside the amphi-theatre in the photo above, there's a small-sized courtyard. You'd think this wouldn't be a feature of the event, but seeing almost 200 people chatting there about the practical side of game AI during coffee breaks made it obvious. At bigger conferences, people just disappear after sessions to hang out with people they knew before. Here, the busy courtyard was a great opportunity to network without pressure.
- Passionate — Everyone who came to Paris in 2009 came especially for the conference. These were actual developers from industry, designers, technical animators, students in computer science, programmers from other fields, etc. At larger conferences, many business-minded people, PR or managers tend to show up rather than developers, and frankly, they have nowhere near as much passion for game AI!
I don't believe this is a coincidence. We never set out to achieve this explicitly, but that's the kind of energy we put into the organization and the event itself, so it's not a surprise that's how it turned out. The little decisions and lucky breaks, from making the conference affordable to finding a great venue, all contribute to this!
For 2010, we won't be changing the recipe of the event, though there's always room for improvement with the various ingredients. Rest assured, we're working on that already. :-)
Tickets, Registration and Bonuses!
Last year's event was completely free to attend, which contributed significantly to the unique atmosphere and that almost palpable passion . However, it was also one of the main reasons we spent so much time managing the event. This year, it'll cost a symbolic amount between €47 and €97 to attend depending how you choose to sign up, and subject to the following discounts. You can get 50% off the listed price under these conditions:
If you're a Premium member at AiGameDev.com,
If you're currently an under-graduate Student,
If you're specifically traveling from outside of Europe.
The first Silver (€77) and Gold (€97) tickets will be available on the official conference site from January 15th onwards, at exactly 13:00 CET or 12:00 GMT. This is the best way to secure your seat for the conference and show your support! For the past the past two years we stopped registrations once we reached room capacity, and we expect to sell out again this year. Be sure to plan accordingly...
Screenshot 2: Ticket registration page that will open on January 15th. A limited number of Bronze tickets will be on sale from February 15th onwards.
To encourage you to register sooner rather than kick yourself later, if you purchase a Gold ticket in the first seven (7) days before January 22nd, you'll receive the following bonuses:
- If you're an individual Premium member of AiGameDev.com already, you get a whole bonus month of free membership! (First 10 individuals.)
- Otherwise, you'll receive access to the audio/video interview with Christian Gyrling about the AI in UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES. (First week only.)
Later on February 15th, we'll have the Early Bird sale for Bronze tickets (€47). There are a limited number of these tickets, and they'll only be available for a few weeks at the most, so make sure you're around!
No details about the conference program have been announced yet, but you can rest assured we'll have the best invited speakers and featured games we can find — at least as good as 2009! We've picked from best independent developers who presented last year as Advisors to make sure the conference program is the best it can be.
- Mikko Mononen
Mikko was the Lead AI on Crysis, and worked as a Programmer at Crytek for multiple years. He's also an independent developer, AI consultant and leading open-source developer. You can find information about his projects on his blog.
- Phil Carlisle
Phil is an industry veteran who worked on the Worms franchise at Team 17 for many years. As well as doing research into emotions, animation and expression, he's working on an indie title called Box Mental. See his blog for details.
- William van der Sterren
William is a game AI consultant for CGF-AI, who worked on Shellshock 'Nam and Killzone 1 with Guerrilla Games. He's currently developing mission planning as scenario generators for the ArmA game series.
Call for Proposals
If you'd like to speak at the Paris Game AI Conference 2010, now's also your chance. We're interested in hearing about game development of course, but specifically artificial intelligence in the broad sense, including character animation, or gameplay integration, including how it relates to testing and production.
We're also interested in hearing short talks about any of the following:
Independent Games — Did you build an independent game that includes AI? Was it an interesting experience?
Innovative Research — Are you applying AI to new aspects of games or simulations that you'd like to show?
Experimental AI — Did you build a prototype or demo that shows off something new and unique?
If you're interested, contact <events at AiGameDev.com> with your proposal!
Autodesk® Kynapse® middleware is a trusted artificial intelligence solution for game development and real-time simulations adopted for over 100 game titles. This high-performance AI engine supports 3D pathfinding in destructible environments, including large-crowd pathfinding in complex terrains, dynamic 3D topology analysis, and team coordination. With its efficient production tools and architecture designed for easy integration & customization, Kynapse helps streamline the process of creating top-quality console and PC games.
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.
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.
Four Door Lemon is an indie games developer who offer work-for-hire, prototyping and technology to the games and interactive industries. Established in 2005, FDL have been involved in over 35 projects across multiple platforms of varying scale. Recently FDL launched their trivia game QuizQuizQuiz on the iPhone which was a great success in the UK/Europe, further great games and related announcements will follow in 2010. If you need help with your project in any way, please get in touch!