Games of the Year: The 2014 Awards for Game AI
Open Editorial December 31st, 2014

Games of the Year: The 2014 Awards for Game AI

Every year hosts the Awards for Game AI, shining the spotlight on the best releases of the past twelve months. There are six different awards, ranging from technology to design and of course overall game of the year.

  • Open Coverage
    August 12th, 2014

    Monte-Carlo Tree Search in TOTAL WAR: ROME II's Campaign AI

    Monte-Carlo Tree Search is a powerful AI algorithm that was recently discovered and in the past years has found great success in board games. This year, MCTS finally hit the AAA games industry, specifically thanks to Creative Assembly's TOTAL WAR: ROME II. Find out more about the design motivations for using the algorithm, how it was integrated into the game, and tips & tricks used to make it work efficiently.

  • Open Upcoming
    June 6th, 2014

    Challenges in AI for Games: Speaker Spotlight for Game/AI Conf. 2014

    As the industry innovates and games improve, the challenges that AI programmers face also evolve significantly. Issues like scaling up content creation, modernising gameplay for casual audiences, dealing with procedural levels, managing large scale emergent AI, leveraging and improving existing codebases, etc.

  • Open Coverage
    May 7th, 2014

    AI Directors Case Study #11: SAINTS ROW IV Notoriety System

    As more studios adopt design best practices, increasingly many games are using ideas from AI Directors. It's not as easy as scripting a game, but there are many examples to study and learn from. Given our recent interview about SAINTS ROW with Aaron Canary, one of Volition's AI Programmers, it seems like an ideal addition to our collection of case studies.
  • Open Editorial
    January 3rd, 2014

    Games of the Year: The 2013 Awards for Game AI

    In our 2013 Awards for Game AI, find out the winning games in categories from technology to design and of course the overall winner. The games this year have raised the bar in many places for artificial intelligence, including autonomous buddy behavior, search-based techniques to find optimal moves, and non-character AI such as music generation and learning to race cars based on human data.

  • Open Editorial
    December 31st, 2013

    This Year in Game AI: Analysis, Trends from 2013

    This year saw incredible growth, diversification and creativity in the whole industry – partly thanks to increasing use of AI techniques like procedural generation and to a rebirth of traditional AI genres like simulation games.
  • Open Tutorial
    July 16th, 2013

    Lazy Theta*: Faster Any-Angle Path Planning

    This article was written by Alex Nash, a software engineer at Northrop Grumman with a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, specializing in path planning for video games and robotics. You can contact him by email <alexwnash at>.
  • Open Article
    May 7th, 2013

    Delayed-Attached Dynamic Obstacles and Graph Optimizations in PathEngine

    The most common — and arguably most important — trick for optimizing search algorithms is reducing the size of the graph. If you can search a small one, why not do that? For pathfinding, this has lead to many techniques for better triangulating navigation meshes, reducing the number of nodes without compromising path quality or validity.


ACME Corporation’s Detailed Guide to Explosive Game AI Research
Insider Masterclass October 7th, 2014

ACME Corporation’s Detailed Guide to Explosive Game AI Research

A masterclass for new research students in the field of Game AI. What's the state of the art in the various fields of applied AI in games, and how do you identify/approach research opportunities? In particular, you'll learn about Character Behavior, Intelligent Games, Design Tools, Hardware Devices and Game Analytics. Make sure you're at least as prepared as Wile E. Coyote for explosive research!

  • Insider Interview
    April 30th, 2013

    The CTF Winners' Secrets

    Our Capture The Flag Competition over at saw a couple of fierce and exciting battles. We have asked our top scorers Alexander Shafranov, Traffic Jam, and Thomas Dupuis to share with us what they thought their commander is particularly good at. Here is what they have told us.
  • Insider Tutorial
    February 26th, 2012

    Understanding the Second-Generation of Behavior Trees – #AltDevConf

    This video tutorial provides the most comprehensive overview of the implementation of behavior trees to date. Since their incremental evolution into the games industry ~8 years ago, a lot has changed and there are clear trends in their uses and applications in commercial games. You'll learn the key principles behind first- and second-generation behavior trees as they are currently used in games — and what challenges and opportunities this presents for your game's AI and scripting system.

  • Insider Discussion
    February 9th, 2012

    Trends and Highlights in Game AI for 2011

    What were some of the most important moments of 2011 for artificial intelligence in games? Which trends developed over the year, and how do they affect you? Join our editor-in-chief Alex Champandard for his summary of the year and predictions of what's to come!

  • Insider Tutorial
    October 20th, 2011

    Effective Cover Selection Design using Interactive Editing

    Position picking and cover selection can be one of the trickiest problems of modern action/combat games. There are many design and technical solutions to this, but one of the most important things to get right is the workflow. In this video tutorial you'll learn how interactive tools can help reduce your turn-around time in tuning a cover selection algorithm.

  • Insider Discussion
    September 26th, 2011

    Bug Hunting: Understanding AI Architecture with Epic Failures

    Modern games feature very complex AI, and it's no secret that the systems break down when subject to the combination of ambitious designers and creative players. YouTube and other social media channels are full of bugs captured from even the most recent games. Looking at these bugs is not only instructive, but can provide unique insights into the implementation itself!

  • Insider Interview
    September 2nd, 2011

    Time-Travelling RTS AI in ACHRON from Determinism to Low-Memory Budgets

    ACHRON is the world's first meta-time strategy game where players and units can jump to and play at different times simultaneously and independently. The game has been in development for many years, but due to the huge challenges and computational requirements needed to simulate the game at multiple points in time, it was only recently announced during the Experimental Gameplay session at GDC.

  • Insider Tutorial
    June 11th, 2011

    How To Architect Your AI: Case Studies from Indie Games

    The best way to learn is from real examples! In this review, you'll hear about four different work-in-progress indie games, and in each case the AI hasn't been developed (much) yet. You'll learn how to approach the design, what factors to consider, as well as how to architect the system and lay out the implementation plan. By going through this process for iOS games, web-games and PC games, you'll be able to apply this to your own games too.