Agent Behavior (Day #2)

Join experts from Square Enix, Epic, Bohemia Interactive Simulations, CCP Games for a day-long course on state-of-the-art techniques in behavior and control, including coordination of multiple agents, reuse of logic and command hierarchies. Learn how to integrate Behavior Trees and other techniques into your games and simulations, for results that are easy to author and control.

Now in its 7th edition, nucl.ai brings together hundreds of developers from creative industries and interactive media to resolve the biggest technical and design problems with Artificial Intelligence. One of the event's tracks focuses specifically on “Agent Behavior” for an entire day. (Day #2: Tuesday, July 21st)

18 Day Tickets Left! Attending Companies & Studios

  • Ubisoft Studios
  • Square Enix
  • CD Projekt Red
  • Creative Assembly
  • Unity Technologies
  • Lionhead Studios
  • INRIA Research Lab
  • MASA Group
  • Riot Games
  • Moving Picture Company
  • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Bohemia Interactive
  • Epic Games
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Iron Galaxy Studios
  • CCP Games
  • ...

I had a great time attending the AI Conference and met so many amazing and nice People there. Once again thank you for giving us students the Oportunity to visit this great Conference!

Jonas Jentsch

Gamedesign Student

Mediadesign Hochschule, GERMANY

The most informative and conference I've been too. Great value and great people. I'll be back.

Chris J. Rock

Wooga, GERMANY

This year's Game/AI Conference was the best one I've gone to so far. The programme was a great balance of high- and low-level, tech and design, as well as academia and industry. The organization was flawless and the location was great.

Jurie Horneman

Independent game designer / programmer

Awesome conferences, where professionals are sharing their knowledge, and their passion. It's quickly going to be the reference in the AI community.

Xavier Dolci

Lead AI Programmer

Ubisoft, FRANCE

This conference was a real deal — cutting edge presentations and experienced speakers. My take away list from this one is impressive! I feel this event can really push Game AI forward!.

Mieszko Zielinski

AI Programmer

People Can Fly, POLAND

I thought the conference was a great success. I learned a lot from the speakers at the conference, as well as interacting with the attendees.

Frederik De Caster

AI Programmer

Creative Assembly, ENGLAND

Thank you for this amazing conference! Great speakers, interesting subjects and nice people. Ten years that I’m looking for a good conference on AI in video games, I’m really happy to have found it.

Gabriel Robert

Senior AI programmer

Ubisoft, PARIS

Well done for putting on such a great conference, the program was varied, interesting and inspiring. Definitely hoping to return next year.

John Lusty

Lead Coder

Ninja Theory, CAMBRIDGE

The quality of the talks was consistently high and the event well organised. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss AI with so many people passionate about the subject and hope to return next year.

Vicky Smalley

Senior AI Programmer

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Thanks for organising a thoroughly enjoyable conference. It's nice to meet so many people with a common interest in AI. It was great to finally meet a number of people who I've spoken to via email over the past 2 years...

Neil Armstrong

Lead AI Programmer

Blitz Games Studios, ENGLAND

Thanks for hosting such an excellent conference. I found it great to meet such a broad cross section from the AI development community. It has certainly given me some inspiration for my upcoming projects. I will definitely try to come back next year!

David Partouche

Senior AI Engineer

CCP Games, ENGLAND

Congrats once again on pulling the conference off: it was by far the most inspiring work-related event I've ever been to. I hope it will become a regular event.

Remco Straatman

Lead AI Programmer

Guerrilla Games, AMSTERDAM



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Notes

  • The main amphitheatre (including some talks in this track) are accessible with regular Conference tickets, starting at €119.
  • Discounts are available for small teams and for those between jobs; email events(at)aigamedev.com for a coupon code.

Image Credit: Total War: Attilla

As virtual worlds become more engaging, their number of agents is going up tremendously. From AI directors that supervise a scene, to interactive tutors, as well as other actors, each of them require consistent behaviors. In this track, you'll learn about best practices in the field for creating virtual actors, in particular techniques such as behavior trees, planners, or utility systems.

Keywords

  • multi-agent coordination
  • control hierarchies
  • behavior trees
  • hybrid utility systems

Format

  • Keynote
  • Presentations
  • Panel Discussion
  • Expert Q&A

Track Schedule (Day #2: Tuesday, July 21st)

Download Agent Behavior schedule in .ics format.

Track Schedule (Day #2: Tuesday, July 21st)

Day #2: Tuesday, July 21st

Procedural Content Generation

Agent Behavior

Advanced Analytics & Data Science

Freyr Magnússon, CCP Games

14:15 Behavior Trees and Blackboards in EVE Online (Amphitheatre)

Csaba Toth, Creative Assembly

12:30 The Diplomacy AI of Total War: Attila (Amphitheatre)

Mieszko Zielinski, Epic Games

15:00 Unreal Clinic & Focus on Behavior Trees (Workshop) (Laboratories)

Download Agent Behavior schedule in .ics format.

Keynotes and Presentations

Not Just Planning: STRIPs for Ambient NPC Interactions in Final Fantasy XV

Ambient characters are part of many current game titles. Yet, the intrinsic necessity and difficulty to model interactions of these characters with the environment and with each other is not easily overcome. The well-known smart object semantics introduced in The Sims has been widely adapted for its flexibility and scalability. However, classic smart objects lack the ability to deal with multiple characters, and thus are not adequate to fully bring characters to life. We present an interaction-centric approach, in which smart objects instruct multiple characters by means of adaptive scripts formulated based on STRIPs-like rules. Instead of inferring possible world-states as is done in planning, the rules are used to communicate changed attitudes and circumstances between characters via a blackboard. The resulting scripting language constitutes a simple yet powerful way to express multi-character interactions situated in the environment. This approach has been employed to model ambient interactions in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae and is being extended for Final Fantasy XV. Drawing examples from this game, we show the flexibility and expressiveness of the resulting scripting system.

Hendrik Skubch, Square Enix

After graduating a Master of Science in 2007, Hendrik worked for five years in the field of autonomous robotics, focusing on robots playing soccer in the context of RoboCup. He received his PhD in 2012 for work on multi-robot behavior modelling and coordination. In 2013, he joined Square Enix as...

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Hendrik Skubch, Square Enix

After graduating a Master of Science in 2007, Hendrik worked for five years in the field of autonomous robotics, focusing on robots playing soccer in the context of RoboCup. He received his PhD in 2012 for work on multi-robot behavior modelling and coordination. In 2013, he joined Square Enix as...

Read full biography »

Behavior Trees and Blackboards in EVE Online

This talk will cover the introduction of Behavior Trees and Blackboards into EVE Online and reviewing some of the challenges involved. Also covered some of the design choices made in order to manage behavior modularity and group behaviors while keeping behaviors reactive and event driven.

Freyr Magnússon, CCP Games

Freyr has been working for CCP Games as a gameplay programmer on the EVE Online MMO since 2008. Lately he has been working unwinding legacy code issues and introducing Behaviors Trees into a 15 year old codebase.

Read full biography »

Freyr Magnússon, CCP Games

Freyr has been working for CCP Games as a gameplay programmer on the EVE Online MMO since 2008. Lately he has been working unwinding legacy code issues and introducing Behaviors Trees into a 15 year old codebase.

Read full biography »

Case-based Reasoning for Player Behavior Cloning in Killer Instinct

Fighting game players exhibit a wide variety of play styles that evolve with the metagame. Traditional fighting game AIs, however, typically use reactive agents whose difficulty comes from superhuman reaction times and do not attempt to model player behavior. Transitioning from single to multiplayer is a frustrating experience for a lot of players since fighting the default AI is nothing like fighting another player. In Killer Instinct we address this by cloning player behavior, creating living replays of players called Shadows. Players can challenge Shadows of varying skill levels and play styles. This gives players the opportunity to have fun and learn the game without the pressure of online matches. This talk covers the design and implementation of Shadows, a system for player behavior cloning in Killer Instinct. Our implementation of case-based reasoning is discussed, as well as the challenges faced implementing such a system in a fighting game.

Bruce Hayles, Iron Galaxy Studio

Bruce got his start as a bioinformatics researcher at University of South Florida. After a brief stint at Monster Media creating interactive advertisements using technologies like motion sensing and facial recognition, he transitioned to Iron Galaxy Studios as a game programmer. For the last several years, he has worked on...

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Bruce Hayles, Iron Galaxy Studio

Bruce got his start as a bioinformatics researcher at University of South Florida. After a brief stint at Monster Media creating interactive advertisements using technologies like motion sensing and facial recognition, he transitioned to Iron Galaxy Studios as a game programmer. For the last several years, he has worked on...

Read full biography »

The Diplomacy AI of Total War: Attila

Diplomacy plays a major role in every grand strategy game, so it’s essential to have a good, tuneable AI for handling it. Designing such an AI is a great challenge, because the system has to solve a series of difficult problems, and the implementation requires constant communication and cooperation between the designer and the programmers. Balancing such a system is also a tough nut to crack, and requires an “always think ahead” mentality throughout the implementation process. This talk will focus on the design aspect of creating and balancing the Diplomacy AI of Total War: Attila and will show you some tricks on how you can organically control game difficulty through diplomacy and how designers and programmers can work together on AI systems in an efficient way.

Csaba Toth, Creative Assembly

Game designer with nearly 10 years of experience in the gaming industry and with a background in programming, worked on games from a wide variety of genres, designed and tweaked AI behaviour for racing games, shooters and most recently the campaign part of Total War: Rome2 and Total War: Attila....

Read full biography »

Csaba Toth, Creative Assembly

Game designer with nearly 10 years of experience in the gaming industry and with a background in programming, worked on games from a wide variety of genres, designed and tweaked AI behaviour for racing games, shooters and most recently the campaign part of Total War: Rome2 and Total War: Attila....

Read full biography »

Designing Realistic Behaviors for a Military Training Simulation

Simulation is one of the main tools for armies’ training; it is used to confront trainees to complex situations that would be expensive and potentially dangerous to do in the real world. In this context the modeling of realistic automated forces becomes essential. This talk will focus on the behavior modeling process, from the analysis of the operational requirements and the military doctrine to the actual implementation and finally the test and validation process. Attendees will learn what are the main guidelines to build a maintainable library of behaviors that are both perceived and measured as realistics. MASA SWORD, a simulation for command post training used by many armies throughout the world will serve as an illustration for this presentation.

Newfel Messouci, MASA Group

Newfel is an AI developer and behavior designer at MASA Group, working on their cutting-edge constructive simulation: SWORD. He takes an active part in improving the AI engine and strives to improve the behavior customization experience. Newfel earned his Master's degree in Artificial intelligence and decision at the Université Pierre...

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Newfel Messouci, MASA Group

Newfel is an AI developer and behavior designer at MASA Group, working on their cutting-edge constructive simulation: SWORD. He takes an active part in improving the AI engine and strives to improve the behavior customization experience. Newfel earned his Master's degree in Artificial intelligence and decision at the Université Pierre...

Read full biography »

Reusability and Abstraction: The Next Evolution for Behavior Trees

Behavior trees (BTs) are now commonly used to create autonomous behaviors in games and simulation. Usually in behavior trees, the abstractions are limited to the reuse of subtrees in other trees, which is the equivalent of defining a nonparametric function in a regular programming language. While this kind of abstraction is useful, it is still very limited. In this talk, we propose a way to bring more powerful abstractions from general programming languages to BTs. Attendees will learn how local variables and parameterized subtrees are one of the key to make the creation of reusable behavior trees both easier and less error prone.

Juraj Blaho, Bohemia Interactive Simulations

Juraj works as a Senior AI Programmer at Bohemia Interactive Simulations. He is currently developing a new AI subsystem for Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3), which is well known in game-based military training and simulation. He closely cooperates with game designers to address their AI needs. Previously he worked at SAAB...

Read full biography »

Juraj Blaho, Bohemia Interactive Simulations

Juraj works as a Senior AI Programmer at Bohemia Interactive Simulations. He is currently developing a new AI subsystem for Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3), which is well known in game-based military training and simulation. He closely cooperates with game designers to address their AI needs. Previously he worked at SAAB...

Read full biography »

Martin Kolombo, Bohemia Interactive

Martin works as a Senior Game Designer at Bohemia Interactive Simulations. He is currently the product owner of the new AI subsystem being developed in Bohemia Interactive Simulations. Previously he worked on designing many of the core gameplay features of VBS3, including advanced command and control systems, bridge laying, or...

Read full biography »

Martin Kolombo, Bohemia Interactive

Martin works as a Senior Game Designer at Bohemia Interactive Simulations. He is currently the product owner of the new AI subsystem being developed in Bohemia Interactive Simulations. Previously he worked on designing many of the core gameplay features of VBS3, including advanced command and control systems, bridge laying, or...

Read full biography »

Unreal Clinic & Focus on Behavior Trees (Workshop)

In this open laboratory, Unreal expert and member of the AI team Mieszko Zielinski will let you ask questions about the AI features in Unreal. Whether it's the navigation system, the behavior trees, or Blueprints, feel free to drop by and ask questions about their usage or underlying implementation.

Mieszko Zielinski, Epic Games

Epic Games' Lead AI Programmer Mieszko Zielinski has been developing games for over a decade now. He found his game industry calling in 2003, when he joined a little known studio, Aidem Media, to get his foot in the industry's door. Since then, Zielinski has worked at CD Projekt Red,...

Read full biography »

Mieszko Zielinski, Epic Games

Epic Games' Lead AI Programmer Mieszko Zielinski has been developing games for over a decade now. He found his game industry calling in 2003, when he joined a little known studio, Aidem Media, to get his foot in the industry's door. Since then, Zielinski has worked at CD Projekt Red,...

Read full biography »

Speakers & Organizers

Hendrik Skubch

Freyr Magnússon

Bruce Hayles

Csaba Toth

Newfel Messouci

Juraj Blaho

Martin Kolombo

Mieszko Zielinski

Clodéric Mars

Browse Conference Tracks

Character Animation Technology

Real-time Decisions

Agent Behavior

Procedural Content Generation

Virtual / Augmented Reality

Crowds and Ambient Life

Advanced Analytics & Data Science

Systemic Design, AI Directors

Cognitive Bots & Language