Uncharted 4 Trailer for GDC Explains Naughty Dog Over-Steered Towards Systemic AI, then Found Balance

Uncharted 4's enemy AI is very different compared to previous chapters of the series, and Naughty Dog will explain why at GDC.

on February 5, 2017 12:44 PM

GDC is drawing close, as it’ll be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco between February 27th and March 3rd, and Naughty Dog is preparing to reveal the secrets of Uncharted 4‘s enemy AI in a talk by Game Designer Matthew Gallant.

Interestingly, Gallant explains in a trailer for his talk how in previous chapters of the Uncharted series, the approach to enemy EA was strictly authored by the studio’s developers, and the new approach for the fourth game caused the team to over-steer towards a systemic approach, only to find balance afterwards.

Authored vs. Systemic: Finding a Balance for Combat AI in ‘Uncharted 4’

While combat in the ‘Uncharted’ series has historically been tightly authored by the design team, Naughty Dog knew early in development that ‘Uncharted 4’ was going to be different. The open-ended gameplay and large complex environments led them to explore a more systems-driven approach to artificial intelligence. After over-steering in that direction, they ultimately found a balance between authored content and systemic behaviors. This talk explores the development process of ‘Uncharted 4’, and the lessons they learned about partitioning control of the AI between design and engineering.

Takeaway

Attendees will learn to evaluate which aspects of combat AI should be authored by designers and which parts are better handled with systems-driven logic. This includes specific methods for assigning roles in combat situations, particularly when larger number of NPCs or complex level geometry are involved.

Intended Audience

This talk addresses communication and delegation between design and programming; the target audience is therefore systems designers, level designers, AI engineers, and producers who work on combat in video games. The talk is not particularly technical and should be accessible to any game developer.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see in which way the AI was pushed excessively towards a systemic approach during development, and we’ll know more on Thursday March 2nd at 4 PM local time.

In the meanwhile, check out the trailer below.

hile combat in the ‘Uncharted’ series has historically been tightly authored by the design team, Naughty Dog knew early in development that ‘Uncharted 4’ was going to be different. The open-ended gameplay and large complex environments led them to explore a more systems-driven approach to artificial intelligence. After over-steering in that direction, they ultimately found a balance between authored content and systemic behaviors. This talk explores the development process of ‘Uncharted 4’, and the lessons they learned about partitioning control of the AI between design and engineering.
Takeaway
Attendees will learn to evaluate which aspects of combat AI should be authored by designers and which parts are better handled with systems-driven logic. This includes specific methods for assigning roles in combat situations, particularly when larger number of NPCs or complex level geometry are involved.

Intended Audience
This talk addresses communication and delegation between design and programming; the target audience is therefore systems designers, level designers, AI engineers, and producers who work on combat in video games. The talk is not particularly technical and should be accessible to any game developer.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.