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Monday, March 2 & Tuesday, March 3

The AI Summit at GDC features panels and lectures from more than two dozen of the top game AI programmers in the industry. Organized as a collective effort by the AI Game Programmers Guild, this event promises to give you an inside look at key architectures and issues within successful commercial games, as well as let you eavesdrop on conversations, debates, and rants on how game AI can move forward. This summit is targeted toward the intermediate to advanced programmer who wants deeper insight into the world of game AI, however anyone who is interested in what AI can offer next generation games will find invaluable insights and lessons from the speakers.

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JPS+: Over 100x Faster than A*
Steve Rabin(DigiPen Institute of Technology)
It has been said that "pathfinding is a solved problem." Just because something is "solved" doesn't mean it can't be improved especially with regards to execution time. Normally, a speed gain of 10x or 100x over a traditional algorithm is unheard of. Recently, a method has been devised that is capable of doing just that to A*. In 2011, Harabor and Grastien introduced Jump Point Search (JPS) that achieves up to a 10x speed improvement over A* on uniform cost grids. In the last year, an additional 10x speed improvement to JPS, called JPS+ was independently developed by Steve Rabin as well as Harabor and Grastien. This improved algorithm is over 100x faster than A* on maps with open areas and over 2x faster than A* on worst-case maps. This incredible speed-up is due to pre-computation, eliminating the recursion in JPS and focusing only on touching select relevant nodes during the search.
Getting off the NavMesh: Navigating in Fully 3D Environments
Dan Brewer (Digital Extremes)
Space is big. Space is sparse - often with nothing to collide with. But what if your space also has groups of dense, complex geometry that the AI needs to navigate? NavMesh is the popular navigation representation for most games and it does a really good job for agents who move along the ground. However, it doesn't really work for agents who fly in any direction in 3D space. In developing the ArchWing space battles for Warframe, full 3D flight navigation and avoidance was required to function in a mix of sparse asteroid fields and the tight, complex confines of wrecked capital ship debris. This talk will cover the challenges faced in avoidance and navigation in 3D.


Dave Mark
Intrinsic Algorithm
Dave is the president and lead designer of Intrinsic Algorithm, an independent game development studio in Omaha, Nebraska. He does consulting on AI, game design, and mathematical modeling for clients ranging from small indie game studios to AAA companies including such as EA and Sony Online Entertainment. Dave is the author of the book "Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI" and is a contributor to the "AI Game Programming Wisdom" and "Game Programming Gems" book series from Charles River Media. He has also spoken at numerous game conferences and universities around the world on the subjects of AI, game theory, and psychology. He is a founding member of the AI Game Programmers Guild and has been a co-advisor for the previous AI Summits at GDC. Dave continues to further his education by attending the University of Life. He has no plans to graduate any time soon.
Steve Rabin
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Steve has been a principal figure in the game AI community for over a decade. After working as an AI engineer at several Seattle startups, he managed and edited six game AI books including the recent "Game AI Pro" series and the "AI Game Programming Wisdom" series. He also edited the book "Introduction to Game Development" and has over two dozen articles published in the Game Programming Gems series. He's been an invited keynote speaker at several AI conferences and founded the AI Game Programmers Guild in 2008. Steve has taught game AI since 2006 at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. He earned a B.S. in computer engineering and an M.S. in computer science, both from the University of Washington.