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December 6, 2019
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Tommy Thompson's Expert Blogs

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Tue, 04 Jun 2019 10:23:00 EDT in Programming, Console/PC
In this first of a four-part series, I explore the numerous AI systems running under the hood of Rare's online pirate adventure game and the work required to maintain the experience for players across the Sea of Thieves.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Wed, 06 Feb 2019 05:37:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
In this second and final entry on the AI of Horizon Zero Dawn, I explore the sensor systems used by individual machines, the animation tools and the two distinct navigation systems on land and in the air.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Wed, 30 Jan 2019 04:59:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie
In this first of two blogs I explore the AI decision making framework that enables the machine-animals of Horizon Zero Dawn to behave independently and as part of a herd.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Thu, 24 Jan 2019 05:44:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Sometimes if you want to make your game work as intended, you need to cheat a little bit. In this video I examine one of the best 'cheating' AI systems in recent years: the companion AI of 2017's Ghost Recon Wildlands.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Mon, 10 Dec 2018 09:44:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
In part 2 of my series on The Division, I explain how the online systems manage the AI characters in-game.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Mon, 03 Dec 2018 10:16:00 EST in Design, Programming, Production, Console/PC
How Massive diversified enemy encounters with five factions and 36 unique enemy character types.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:14:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC
I explain how Halo 3 managed to have so many AI characters on screen at once.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:19:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Far Cry Primal introduces a taming mechanic that allows players to use wildlife as an assisting character. In this piece I explain how this was designed and implemented.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Mon, 06 Aug 2018 09:46:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Eight years in development, 2016's DOOM was a long awaited return for the franchise. I take a look at the AI toolchain adopted in the game, where it comes from and the secrets that reinforce the game's 'Push Forward Combat' philosophy.


Posted by Tommy Thompson on Mon, 09 Jul 2018 02:45:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC
2012's Spec Ops: The Line is a cult classic third-person cover shooter by Yager Development. In this article I explore how the horrific story of Spec Ops is held aloft by smart AI systems and designers exploiting them to full effect.


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