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Game AI R&D Sabbaticals & Internships Open in Vienna, Austria

Alex J. Champandard on April 27, 2011

Would you like to take a break from your current job in the games industry, spend 6 to 12 months working on cutting edge R&D about artificial intelligence, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world? If that sounds appealing to you, then a Game AI Sabbatical at AiGameDev.com may be the perfect thing for you!

It's a pleasure to announce that we're expanding to offer sabbaticals for experienced game developers, and an internship for a lucky student or graduate (both paid, of course). If you're keen for a more permanent position in the company after your fixed term, that's always an option if you'd like to step up — but it's by no means a requirement.

If you're interested, read the rest of this page to find out what you'd be doing at AiGameDev.com, how it'll be great move for your career, and why Vienna is one of the best places to take such a working interlude.

Exciting Technical Challenges

Working on AAA projects you often get creative ideas, but rarely is there time to try them out! At AiGameDev.com, it's our job to try them out and share the results with the community. Over the past few years, we've prototyped and documented a variety of new technologies:

  • Event-Driven Behavior Trees
  • Parallel Hierarchical Navigation
  • Squad-Level Tactical Pathfinding
  • Locomotion Planning
  • Occupancy Grids and Search Behavior
  • Step-Based Motion Graphs

In the next few months, we'll be focusing on other algorithms in the area of procedural animation, behavior trees and other gameplay applications of AI — with a particular focus on efficiency and parallelization. What makes these experiments the most exciting are the lazer focus we can put onto the AI, making decisions to push the technology or design to see what benefits and disadvantages they have for production... All for the sake of education or research and development!

As the team is very small and not hierarchical, you'll get to have a huge impact on the implementation and decisions for what to focus on. Weekly iterations and monthly milestones make sure that progress happens quickly and there's constant feedback from the members of the community who benefit the most.

Screenshot 2: A prototype of an area-based influence map, simulated in parallel using a job queue.

Great Career Moves

If the technical aspect of this AI Sabbatical isn't enough, you should also realize that it's undoubtedly a great thing for your career too! It's not in the traditional sense, where soulless companies try to convince you they are a great place to work for the rest of your life... but instead, if you're passionate about advancing gameplay with AI then spending 6 or 12 months at AiGameDev.com is arguably the best investment of your time! Here's why.

The Online Hub of Game AI
Over the past 3 years as a company, AiGameDev.com has established itself as the online hub of the game AI community, catering to thousands of developers, students and professionals worldwide. You'll get to jump straight into the middle of this — with all the benefits that implies...
Exposure & Publications
In particular, you'll get credited or even author in-depth tutorials and/or hold live classes about specific topics in game AI. Publications always help in this field, and significantly increase your value as a specialized developer.
Inside Industry Gossip
In the process of preparing for the leading independent event on the topic (the Paris Game/AI Conference) you'll get tremendous insights about the industry, spot trends before they happen and find out how things are moving from behind the scenes!
Lifetime Alumni
Once you've completed your sabbatical at AiGameDev.com, you'll remain a lifetime Alumni — with all the benefits that implies... including permanent access to the PREMIUM content, connection to future developers on sabbaticals or internships, and much more.

Photo 3: Our very own Paris Game/AI Conference, the world's largest event focusing on artificial intelligence in video games.

Cultural Interlude

Finally, when you spend a few months in Vienna you're not only visiting one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, but also the city with the highest quality of life worldwide. There are new things to see every month of the year, so while 11-12 months here would be ideal you can also make the most of 6 months! Austria in general is easily accessible by train from Vienna, and you'll have the time to take weekend escapades into the countryside or even nearby capitals such as Bratislava, Budapest or Prague — each of which are only a train journey away.

“A low-stress way to enjoy central Europe!

Most importantly, AiGameDev.com will be there to keep your relocation stress low. All you need to do is show up with your baggages and we'll sort out the rest! From meeting you at the airport to finding a flat for you, we'll sort that out so there's little or no hassle on your end. Most people here speak fluent English, and the locals tend to find foreign accents very interesting!

Photo 4: Shopping street in the center of beautiful Vienna.

A No Brainer!

If you're interested in everything you've heard so far, here are some logistic details about the sabbatical:

  • Duration: 6 to 12 Months
  • Start Date: Jul-Oct, 2011.
  • Contract: Temporary & Full-Time
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Salary: Experience-based
  • Benefits: Accomodation

We also have a position for a paid internship under similar conditions, though we expect this to be more competitive! In both cases, we're looking for the following:

  • Primary Languages: 3+ years experience with C++.
  • Secondary Languages: HTML & Javascript, PHP or Python.
  • Advantages: Knowledge of AiGameDev.com INSIDER, PLUS or PREMIUM.
  • Topics: AI, software rendering, parallelization, browser-based,
  • Software: Ogre3D, Bullet, TBB.
  • Skills: Technical writing, Blogging, Research.

While the bullet points above are not fixed requirements, any skills relevant to development of game engines, artificial intelligence, team dynamics, production, design, online startups, character animation, web-based technology, will be very welcome!

Please send your CVs or bio by email to <jobs at AiGameDev.com> along with a short email explaining why you're interested in the position and what you think your biggest contribution to the team would be. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask either!

Discussion 7 Comments

tensa_zangetsu on April 27th, 2011

Oh God! I've just started my new position in Brussels 4 months ago...after a "5 months pause...searching for a position like this". Think I'm gonna cry... :)

klestor on May 1st, 2011

Can you please tell me how long are the positions open for, is there any time limit for sending applications?

alexjc on May 1st, 2011

Klestor, We're already scheduling interviews, so the sooner you submit the better. The official deadline is May 10th for the positions starting in early July, but depending on how that works out we may have a decision before the deadline. (We'll of course keep you in mind when the position opens up again in January for example, and may do the interview now anyway.) The answer is, the sooner the better! Alex

klestor on May 2nd, 2011

Thank you for your answer Alex :)

jeeba on May 9th, 2011

Im a student from South America,currently researching about potential fields on an Turn Based Web browser Strategy Game. Does your offer require me to be on Europe or it is open to anyone in the world? Thanks , Carlos from Peru

princecharles23 on May 12th, 2011

whats the status on this? are you still looking or are the jobs already gone?

suilevap on May 17th, 2011

I sent email about 2 weeks ago, but have not recieved any answer yet (postitive, negative, or at least confirmation that my message in queue =). Does it mean explicitly "no"? :-)

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