Systemic Design, AI Directors (Day #3)

Join experts from Epic Games, CD Projekt Red, Creative Assembly for a day-long course on industry-leading applications that balance emergent behaviors (bottom-up) with designer control and narrative (top-down). Learn how to use AI techniques and design methodologies to control your simulations and guide them to provide the desired results for your players — at runtime.

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 “Systemic Design, AI Directors” for an entire day. (Day #3: Wednesday, July 22nd)

19 Day Tickets Left! Attending Companies & Studios

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

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



Day Tickets
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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: Fortnite by Epic Games

Creating emergent simulations that go beyond scripted linear experiences has proven a great way of engaging audiences. However, there are huge challenges in both design and technology for implementing these. How to combine top-down control and bottom-up behaviors? What's required to keep the player experience entertaining? Which design tools can be used to assist the process? This track will dig further into each of these topics.

Keywords

  • open world simulation
  • ai directors
  • emergent behavior
  • complex systems
  • design methodologies

Format

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

Track Schedule (Day #3: Wednesday, July 22nd)

Download Systemic Design, AI Directors schedule in .ics format.

Track Schedule (Day #3: Wednesday, July 22nd)

Day #3: Wednesday, July 22nd

Systemic Design, AI Directors

Character Animation Technology

Cognitive Bots & Language

Michał Słapa, CD Projekt RED

11:00 Spawn Trees — Inside The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's Communities (Amphitheatre)

Tommy Thompson and Michał Słapa

11:45 Extended Q&A about Witcher 3 and Open World Population Managers (Laboratories)

John Abercrombie, Epic Games

16:00 Epic AI Systems and Director in Fortnite (Amphitheatre)

Michael Sellers, Indiana University

09:45 Building a Systemic Understanding of Systemic Design (Masterclass)

Tommy Thompson, John Abercrombie, Michał Słapa, Antoine Fortier

16:45 Coordinating Open World Systems and Emergent Gameplay (Expert Panel) (Masterclass)

Antonios Liapis, Institute of Digital Games (University of Malta)

15:00 Designing CAD Tools for Productivity and Creativity (Masterclass)

Kevin Carpentier, CNRS, Heudiasyc Lab

14:30 Techniques for Orchestration of Virtual Environments (Masterclass)

Download Systemic Design, AI Directors schedule in .ics format.

Keynotes and Presentations

Spawn Trees — Inside The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's Communities

When approaching The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt community module design, we knew that we needed a scalable system capable of powering everything from the large city of Novigrad, to a small woodcutter's hut in the middle of nowhere, to ancient catacombs filled with undead monsters. It will be my privilege to talk about SpawnTrees, our internal system utilizing decision trees to define open world communities. I'll share with you the story of how we arrived at the current solution, what were the problems along the road, and how Spawn Trees worked with other AI systems. Finally, we will take a broader and more general look on the usage of AI system design principles outside of NPC behavior.

Michał Słapa, CD Projekt RED

AI and gameplay programmer from Poland, working in the industry for over 9 years. Started career with The Witcher, later worked on Hard Reset, Shadow Warrior, and now The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Specializes in AI and navigation fields.

Read full biography »

Michał Słapa, CD Projekt RED

AI and gameplay programmer from Poland, working in the industry for over 9 years. Started career with The Witcher, later worked on Hard Reset, Shadow Warrior, and now The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Specializes in AI and navigation fields.

Read full biography »

Extended Q&A about Witcher 3 and Open World Population Managers

...

Tommy Thompson, University of Derby

Tommy Thompson is a lecturer in computer science at the University of Derby, UK. He is an AI researcher focussed on machine learning applications in the areas of non-player character behaviour, procedural content generation and relevant benchmarking of AI through games.

Read full biography »

Tommy Thompson, University of Derby

Tommy Thompson is a lecturer in computer science at the University of Derby, UK. He is an AI researcher focussed on machine learning applications in the areas of non-player character behaviour, procedural content generation and relevant benchmarking of AI through games.

Read full biography »

Michał Słapa, CD Projekt RED

AI and gameplay programmer from Poland, working in the industry for over 9 years. Started career with The Witcher, later worked on Hard Reset, Shadow Warrior, and now The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Specializes in AI and navigation fields.

Read full biography »

Michał Słapa, CD Projekt RED

AI and gameplay programmer from Poland, working in the industry for over 9 years. Started career with The Witcher, later worked on Hard Reset, Shadow Warrior, and now The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Specializes in AI and navigation fields.

Read full biography »

Epic AI Systems and Director in Fortnite

Fortnite is Epic Game's upcoming free-to-play title with fort building and an AI director that spawns procedural hordes of enemies towards the player. In this talk, John will dig into various systems that go into the game from both a technical and design perspective, including runtime procedural navigation meshes, behaviour trees and goal management. With a focus on how bringing it all together makes for a coherent and fun gameplay experience!

John Abercrombie, Epic Games

John Abercrombie currently works on the AI for Fortnite at Epic Games. Previously he directed the work for the companion character Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite, and led the AI teams working on Bioshock & SWAT 4.

Read full biography »

John Abercrombie, Epic Games

John Abercrombie currently works on the AI for Fortnite at Epic Games. Previously he directed the work for the companion character Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite, and led the AI teams working on Bioshock & SWAT 4.

Read full biography »

Building a Systemic Understanding of Systemic Design

Systemic design is for many of us like water to fish: we swim in it daily, but we have a difficult time articulating exactly what it is. This talk will provide useful, practical definitions of important concepts and a cohesive framework for creating systems and systemic effects in game and AI design will also be presented. Despite a lot more attention being given to systemic design, many professional designers still have only a hazy idea of what a system actually is -- and whether whether they're even building one. This talk will help game designers at all levels understand how to build and recognize systems, and to make sure their systems are both grounded enough to be implemented and relevant enough to add meaning to a game.

  • Systems and system design are vital areas for games and simulations. And yet, terms like "systems," "emergence," and "interaction" remain ill-defined despite their broad use.
  • Come away from this talk with a clearer theoretical and practical understanding of these concepts to improve your ability to construct and recognize interactive systems.

Michael Sellers, Indiana University

Mike Sellers is a Professor of Practice at Indiana University. He has spent more than twenty years working in the games industry and has been a founder of three successful independent game companies. He has been a Lead Designer, Creative Director, and General Manager in AAA game companies, and has...

Read full biography »

Michael Sellers, Indiana University

Mike Sellers is a Professor of Practice at Indiana University. He has spent more than twenty years working in the games industry and has been a founder of three successful independent game companies. He has been a Lead Designer, Creative Director, and General Manager in AAA game companies, and has...

Read full biography »

Coordinating Open World Systems and Emergent Gameplay (Expert Panel)

As new ideas emerge and hardware continues to evolve, the size and complexity of video game worlds are growing into vast and rich environments. 2015 alone is filled with examples of such wide and expansive worlds from CD Projekt Red's 'Witcher 3: Wild Hunt' to Rocksteady's 'Batman: Arkham Knight'. These worlds provide new affordances for player experience, but present interesting challenges not only in creating AI systems that craft these experiences, but also in building the environment to begin with. Systemic design and the adoption of director systems can provide solutions across both of these fronts, but there are many challenges still to be met. In this panel we will discuss with a collection of our speakers from the track the open challenges of the field and how AI can continue to innovate in this area.

Tommy Thompson , Lecturer in computer science at University of Derby

John Abercrombie , Lead Programmer at Epic Games

Michał Słapa , Senior AI Programmer at CD Projekt RED

Antoine Fortier , AI programmer at Ubisoft Montreal

Designing CAD Tools for Productivity and Creativity

...

Antonios Liapis, Institute of Digital Games (University of Malta)

Antonios Liapis is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta (UoM). He received his 5-year Diploma (2007) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and the M.Sc. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in Information Technology from the IT University of Copenhagen....

Read full biography »

Antonios Liapis, Institute of Digital Games (University of Malta)

Antonios Liapis is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta (UoM). He received his 5-year Diploma (2007) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and the M.Sc. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in Information Technology from the IT University of Copenhagen....

Read full biography »

Techniques for Orchestration of Virtual Environments

...

Kevin Carpentier, CNRS, Heudiasyc Lab

Kevin Carpentier is a fresh PhD from Heudiasyc (Université de Technologie de Compiègne). He works on the orchestration of virtual environment for learning purposes. His main concern is to ease the production process of a virtual environment by procedurally generating scenario according to expert knowledge.

Read full biography »

Kevin Carpentier, CNRS, Heudiasyc Lab

Kevin Carpentier is a fresh PhD from Heudiasyc (Université de Technologie de Compiègne). He works on the orchestration of virtual environment for learning purposes. His main concern is to ease the production process of a virtual environment by procedurally generating scenario according to expert knowledge.

Read full biography »

Speakers & Organizers

Michał Słapa

Tommy Thompson

John Abercrombie

Michael Sellers

Antoine Fortier

Antonios Liapis

Kevin Carpentier

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