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Cinematic Parkour Animation... but Interactive!
Premium Masterclass December 21st, 2010

Cinematic Parkour Animation... but Interactive!

It's very common to look at animation from the character's requirements, but when you flip the problem around and see it from the perspective of the environment, things change completely. How do you make sure animations line up perfectly with the world? How do you handle transitions in a responsive yet smooth fashion? How do these environmental animations fit into a traditional animation graph?

Interactive Behavior Debugging using an AI Flight Recorder
Premium Masterclass November 24th, 2010

Interactive Behavior Debugging using an AI Flight Recorder

Are you still relying on large .log files that are dumped by your game executable, and searching through them with a text editor to debug your AI? Well, the 1990s called and they want their debugging techniques back! Luckily for you, there's a much better way and it's not that hard to put in place.

Rule-Based Systems and Declarative Representations beyond SIMS 3
Premium Masterclass May 26th, 2010

Rule-Based Systems and Declarative Representations beyond SIMS 3

The typical decision-making systems used in games these days have many inter-dependencies; even with HFSM or behavior trees it's hard to extend the AI without having to consider the whole set of decisions. Rule-based systems provide a more modular approach to certain problems, which can help build more scalable AI using formal logic.

Hierarchical Pathfinding Tips & Tricks
Premium Masterclass March 6th, 2010

Hierarchical Pathfinding Tips & Tricks

Understanding the theory of A* or hierarchical search is only half of the battle. How do you build a good navigation system around that? What do you need to watch out for to make sure the pathfinding behavior remains robust? Which are the biggest obstacles to performance and multi-threading?

Code Coverage for QA: A Practical Approach to Testing AI in Games
Premium Masterclass March 1st, 2010

Code Coverage for QA: A Practical Approach to Testing AI in Games

As AI systems have become increasingly complex thanks to better techniques and tools, quality assurance has also had to improve accordingly. Testers have always relied on their intuitions, hard work, communication, their gaming skills and some luck to find bugs, but over the past few years better tools have been falling into place to help this process. This year will mark another step in QA for Game AI, thanks ...

HALO Inspired Blackboard Architectures and Knowledge Representation
Premium Masterclass February 4th, 2010

HALO Inspired Blackboard Architectures and Knowledge Representation

Blackboards have increasingly become a key part of almost every game's AI architecture. They help maximize computation time while reducing spikes, as well as helping decouple the behavior from the acquisition of information. However, getting this part of the system right involves finding a good knowledge representation...

Applying Behavioral Mathematics to LEFT 4 DEAD
Premium Masterclass April 14th, 2009

Applying Behavioral Mathematics to LEFT 4 DEAD

How can you go beyond boolean decisions to improve the AI in your NPCs? This session with Dave Mark looks into the bots in LEFT 4 DEAD, and finds ways they can be improved using concepts like decision theory and fuzzy logic. Learn how to select better targets by taking into account many factors without spending too much processing power, find out how utility-based models and drives can replace a FSM, and see ...

Beyond A*: Speeding Up Pathfinding Through Hierarchical Abstraction
Premium Masterclass March 19th, 2009

Beyond A*: Speeding Up Pathfinding Through Hierarchical Abstraction

What's the next step for pathfinding after the traditional A* algorithm? Find out how to improve the performance of search using a hierarchical representation combined with pathfinding on multiple layers — known as the HPA* algorithm. This masterclass will also show you how to deal with many different unit sizes and capabilities, while at the same time preserving the same speed-up provided by the ...

Navigation Mesh Generation via Voxelization and Watershed Partitioning
Premium Masterclass March 3rd, 2009

Navigation Mesh Generation via Voxelization and Watershed Partitioning

Learn how to turn a complex poly soup of triangles representing your game world into a simple but accurate mesh representation that you can use for navigation. The topics include voxelizing the polygons efficiently, ways to partition the voxels into areas, then turning these areas into triangle or convex polygons. Mikko demonstrates some real-world examples of his algorithm at work, and discuss possible ...

A Homegrown Abstract State Machine for Sports AI in NBA '09
Premium Masterclass February 24th, 2009

A Homegrown Abstract State Machine for Sports AI in NBA '09

Discover how the AI for Sony's basketball franchise was built with Lead AI Developer Brian Schwab. You'll learn about how the ASM concept was adapted and customized into a situation NBA '09. Find out how these ideas compare to behavior trees, what the editor looks like, and how Brian's situation system helped implement complex multi-agent behaviors that are 100x more detailed than 5 years ago...