From a certain point of view, a game's world is a set and the player is the lead actor.
As amazing as starring in a one-person show might be, a world that surrounds the player with life can be far more immediate and engrossing. That's why, at GDC 2016's Level Design Workshop, Hangar 13's Seth Rosen took the stage to deconstruct how AI actors with systemic behaviors are the key to demonstrating the life of a level right in front of the player.
It was an intriguing presentation that dug into examples like Elizabeth, BioShock Infinite's companion character, and the "living world" of Hangar 13's own Mafia III, relating lessons learned during development and giving guidelines for bringing a level and its occupants to life.
If that sounds like something you'd like to watch, good news! You can now watch it for free on the official GDC YouTube channel!
In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.
Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.
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