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Game/AI Conf. Amphitheatre

21+ Reasons to Visit Vienna in September: Game/AI Conf. ’12 Schedule Announced

Alex J. Champandard on July 30, 2012

Building on the incredible success of last year's record-setting event, is proud to announce the program of the fifth annual Game/AI Conference in Vienna, Austria, co-organized with the University of Vienna where the event is held. This year's conference takes place on September 18th and 19th 2012, preceded by a workshop on behavior trees on Monday 17th and followed by a workshop about procedural character animation on Thursday 20th. The schedule blends invited sessions from top AI developers from industry as well as tutorials, reviews and R&D oriented sessions.

Special Thanks

The organizing committee consists of Helmut Hlavacs of the University of Vienna, Petra & Alex Champandard and the rest of the team. We'd especially like to thank our current sponsors for the event, Havok and PathEngine.

If you're one of the few still looking for reasons to attend, here's the current schedule for those four days! Tickets are available in our store. If you're a student and want one of the last few Bronze tickets (at 48€) then email us ASAP at <billing at>.

Keynotes & Invited Talks


This year's winner of the “Best AI in a AAA Game” Award on is featured in a keynote. Tim Hanagan will present the processes and methodologies that Rocksteady uses to develop its AI. The team shipped some of the best-rated games with fewer developers than most other AAA teams. Find out how they do it!


Michael Büttner will present the character animation technology based on reinforcement learning behind the latest HITMAN game, and how it improved the workflows and empowered animators. In a separate presentation, Kasper Fauerby will show how IO Interactive managed to create game-defining crowds that run at interactive rates on modern consoles.

GRiD & F1 2012

Nic Medler from the Codemasters Racing team will present the evolution of the AI in their titles over the years, including the F1 series as well as the critically acclaimed GRiD and DiRT franchises. How has racing AI changed over the past decade?


Jan Kratochvil is a Lead Programmer at 2K Czek, and will present the key challenges of building a large city simulation of pedestrians in MAFIA 2, an open-world game with rich interactions. You'll find out the challenges in AI design and implementation on modern consoles.


Kieran Lord is an independent developer who contributed to the indie puzzle platforming hit VESSEL. The game features an adaptive audio system to truly capture the fluid nature of the world. Kieran will show the behavior tree-like implementation that to maintain musical structure with authorable variations.

» See the speaker spotlight on Kieran's presentation about VESSEL.


Find out more technical details about 2K's latest cover-based action game. Among other things, find out how reusable behavior trees were built for enemies & companions, the player-centric design approach used, and how the game emphasizes communication and interaction between the player and the A.I.


Kieran D'Archambaud will be presenting the details behind the AI of the MOTORSTORM franchise. The game not only requires mechanical skill for one of three classes of drivers (bikes, cars and trucks) but also higher-level route selection too. Find out how Evolution Studios solved this problem in practice.


Predicting Post-Launch Engagement from Gameplay Traces

Wouldn't it be great if you could predict exactly how successful your game would be post-launch? What proportion of the player spike that your publishers marketing dollars bought will you be able to retain... in a week, a month? Turns out, with some data-mining and machine learning skills this is an easy task with Christian Bauckhage!

Monte-Carlo Tree Search and AI for Board Games

In search of AI's holy grail, researchers recently discovered Monte-Carlo Tree Search (MCTS). It works elegantly without requiring you to add expert heuristics, but even better, it performs even better than other techniques if you do! Find out all about MCTS and its applications to board games, particularly on mobile platforms, in this tutorial with Peter Cowling.


Behavior Tree Workshop

This standalone workshop takes place on September 17th, the day before the main conference, and is dedicated entirely to creating AI with Behavior Trees — with a particular focus on character logic. The day is split into four parts, each covering an important aspect of creating believable character behavior.

  1. Implementation: Principles, API, Memory Allocation, Performance.

  2. Architecture: Integration with external game systems.

  3. Authoring: Building for re-usability and common design patterns.

  4. Tools and Debugging: Visualizing, rapid prototyping, logging.

» See the details of this behavior workshop.

Procedural Animation Workshop

On September 20th, the main conference is followed by an intense day-long masterclass about procedural character animation. It's the industry's only event dedicated to the technology of character animation. You’ll find out about two procedural techniques, their implementation and optimization, how pipelines have been completely redefined, how blend trees and motion graphs have been impacted by the changes.

  1. Runtime Rigs & Inverse Kinematics
  2. Locomotion and Interaction
  3. Active Skeletons & Physics Simulation
  4. Reactions & Combat

» See the details of this animation workshop.


Deceptive and Deductive Bots for THE RESISTANCE

This brand new competition is at the forefront of modern board game AI, letting competitors write bots that can deduce who is a spy, and otherwise deceive non-spies. This is a game designed for humans, but turns out to be not only challenging but entertaining to write AI for.

» Click here to find out how to participate.

Platforming AI Level Generation & Turing Test

The Infinite Luigi AI competition focuses on creating levels that players find interesting, but entirely automatically using procedural generation. The competition also features bots that can play platforming games like a human would, akin to the Turing Test. Join us for this entertaining session and help evaluate the candidates!

Networking Opportunities

Last but not least, there's the networking. With the majority of the leading studios in Europe attending and sending multiple developers, there's no better place to look for opportunities! Over the course of the two days of the Game/AI Conference and the Workshop days, there'll be multiple coffee pauses and lunch breaks that will give you the chance to socialize and find amazing projects to work on.

There'll be a set of organized events as well:

  • September 16th, Workshop Mixer. 20:00-LATE.
  • September 17th, Demo & Poster Reception. 19:00-LATE.
  • September 18th, Official Party. 19:00-22:00.
  • September 19th, PREMIUM V.I.P. Dinner. 20:00-LATE.
  • September 20th, Workshop Breakfast. 8:00-9:00.

Many of the leading developers from the games industry, programmers from related fields like serious games and simulation will attend the Paris Game/AI Conference (it's the largest in the field, worldwide) so be sure to bring your business cards!

Now What?

If you haven't got your ticket yet, best secure your seat now!

  1. Main Conference SILVER Tickets at 96€.

  2. Main Conference GOLD Tickets at 192€.

  3. Behavior Tree Workshop Tickets at 497€.

  4. Procedural Animation Workshop Tickets at 497€.

  5. Bronze Tickets at 48€ for students only, email us!

For group purchases, also contact us directly at at <billing at>.

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