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GDC 2004 Impressions?


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#41 IADaveMark   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2390

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 04:33 AM

quote:
Original post by Ferretman
While I think an all day session would be too much in a roundtable format for the reasons Dave mentions, doing a half-day session could work with a break or two in between. Alexander Nareyek has done very well with 2-hour sessions to work through the IGDA AI SIG issues; perhaps we can do this too. I''ll talk to the guys about it.

The problem with that is it may eclipse other sessions during that time period. Some serious planning would have to be done to make sure that it didn''t. If you are not careful, you are going to lose a lot of high-level AI programmers to other programming roundtables and lectures. At that point, you efforts at maximizing the quantity end up shaving from the quality.
quote:
What other suggestions do you guys have? This is a great time, frankly, to consider changes to the way we are doing the roundtables.

You and I talked about putting the beginner session on the first day rather than the third. That way, people can take what they learn there and decided whether or not to attend the following sessions.

Also, it may be better to have a more scripted approach to that session - something that covers all the basics concepts (but not implementations) of FSMs, pathfinding, etc. Make it a definition of terms sort of thing and then let it spin from there. There is too much ''wandering'' going on in the beginners session.

Also, while I like the idea of breaking up into smaller, genre-based groups... that first day (under your current scheme) is kind of upsetting in that you don''t know who you are going to end up with. One discussion in room A may have been really boosted by someone in room B, etc. If at all possible, the roundtables should be blended.

We have already noted the fact that a lot of people don''t even WANT to share - or may not posess enough knowledge to even ask a question. Let''s assume that about 20% of the people in the rooms are the ones with lots of knowledge (the "answerers") and another 40% are those that are seeking more (the "questioners") and the remaining 40% are those that are just soaking (the "listeners"). With the crowds that we have had in each room (~30), that means that about 6 people are "answerers", 12 are "questioners", and 12 are "listeners". If we combine the 3 rooms, we now have 18, 36 and 36.

If you put that into a half-day session, you may loose some of the "listeners" to other sessions. That''s OK, they may be blown away by the higher level of discussion. (Let''s assume then that the "listeners" go to the beginners session during a different time.) That leaves us with about 20 "answerers" and ~40 "questioners". During a 3-4 hour session, there is a LOT of sharing that can go on!

The way I see it, the questioners would tend to start a thread and then the "answerers" would run with it for a while - occasionally being redirected by follow-up questions. The "answerers" would get a lot of knowledge sharing out of the process as they exchange their ideas and approaches and the "questioners" would almost see it like attending an open panel session - making it very educational for them as well.

quote:
A couple of years back we were talking heavily about doing a "Tales from the Roundtable" book on things that have cropped up over the years...perhaps it''s time to consider this again? Would anybody out there be interested in something like that?

This is something that will be far more feasible with longer sessions. You won''t get enough meat with the single hour stuff. Also, this will have to be based on the premise that you are recording the roundtables - which we have also discussed. A lot of the knowledge sharing that goes on in those rooms tends to evaporate once you leave. It is hard to take with you.


Dave Mark - President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm -
"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

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#42 IADaveMark   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2390

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 04:34 AM

quote:
Original post by Ferretman
Heheheheheh...I know who he is....

Yeah, he contacted me via email and pointed me to a picture... I feel a lot better now!



Dave Mark - President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm -
"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

#43 GeniX   Members   -  Reputation: 114

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 11:12 PM

quote:
Original post by Ferretman

quote:


Might be fun to have an ''It Came From GDC'' paper written after each GDC describing briefly a wacky new idea that comes out of discussion groups.

GeniX

www.cryo-genix.net



We''ve sort of done that with our Moderator''s reports after each GDC. Neil and Eric have actually already done theirs for the 2004 sessions (they''re on my site, while mine is still in progress.



I''ve had a read through Neil and Erics reports and those are not exactly what I mean.

My idea, however impractical it may be, is that some interested parties either get together to have a good talk around some wacky algorithm or implementation idea (and stay reasonably focused on it for 30 mins or so) and then do a Game Programming Gems length write-up on it post-GDC. Not that the AI field is in need of creativity (in fact it seems to be full of it!) but to present GDC as an opportunity to have a think-tank.

Some off-the-top of my head wacky examples (fairly poor, but you get the idea):
- decide on 3 key personality traits, and use matrix/quaternion math for interpolation. Use projectin and skew transformations and see if anything comes of it.
- use the players well-travelled paths in an rpg for NPC''s to use (maybe through scenting system, allow the player to unknowingly define the paths - what implications would this have?)
- dynamic navigation mesh working off probabilities where the bot (in an fps) can try things and update the mesh accordingly.





regards,

GeniX

www.cryo-genix.net

#44 IADaveMark   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2390

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 04:13 AM

quote:
Original post by Ferretman
I think there''s a lot of value in what you''re suggesting, though we''d definitely need to line up a couple more folks to help with the break-into-groups moderation. Hmmmmmm.....
Are you recruiting?



Dave Mark - President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm -
"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

#45 Ferretman   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 04:59 PM

quote:
Original post by GeniX
quote:
Original post by Ferretman

quote:


Might be fun to have an ''It Came From GDC'' paper written after each GDC describing briefly a wacky new idea that comes out of discussion groups.

GeniX

www.cryo-genix.net



We''ve sort of done that with our Moderator''s reports after each GDC. Neil and Eric have actually already done theirs for the 2004 sessions (they''re on my site, while mine is still in progress.



I''ve had a read through Neil and Erics reports and those are not exactly what I mean.




I think I get it now....interesting thought.

quote:

My idea, however impractical it may be, is that some interested parties either get together to have a good talk around some wacky algorithm or implementation idea (and stay reasonably focused on it for 30 mins or so) and then do a Game Programming Gems length write-up on it post-GDC. Not that the AI field is in need of creativity (in fact it seems to be full of it!) but to present GDC as an opportunity to have a think-tank.



You''re dead-on right about the industry being filled with great ideas, but I''m wondering about the practicality of this one (which you yourself even doubt). A GPG-length article is going to take a fair amount of work for something that is essentially a free GDC writeup, if nothing else, and I wonder about how folks might feel about an idea of theirs being posted for free in the GDC papers after the fact. At least when somebody is putting together a presentation it''s generally on stuff they''ve already (hence the presentation of Doom and Quake engines) or based on roundtables where everybody expects ideas to be exchanged. What you''re suggesting seems one step further than that to me, which means it might limit our getting participation.

Neat thought though....

quote:

Some off-the-top of my head wacky examples (fairly poor, but you get the idea):
- decide on 3 key personality traits, and use matrix/quaternion math for interpolation. Use projectin and skew transformations and see if anything comes of it.
- use the players well-travelled paths in an rpg for NPC''s to use (maybe through scenting system, allow the player to unknowingly define the paths - what implications would this have?)
- dynamic navigation mesh working off probabilities where the bot (in an fps) can try things and update the mesh accordingly.



Interesting suggestions--more of an "AI workshop" than a roundtable per se from the look of them. This might be a good way to build on the basic approach of the roundtables but focusing on individual problems--something I''ve seen the IGDA do well (and which I kind of wish the IGDA AI Standards SIG would do).

Our biggest problem might be to come up with good "sample problems" to really capture the imagination and interest of attendees, but that''s not impossible. We could possible poll people ahead of time...hmmmmm.

Neat idea!






Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com

From the High Mountains of Colorado

GameAI.Com


#46 Ferretman   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 05:01 PM

quote:
Original post by InnocuousFox
quote:
Original post by Ferretman
I think there''s a lot of value in what you''re suggesting, though we''d definitely need to line up a couple more folks to help with the break-into-groups moderation. Hmmmmmm.....
Are you recruiting?



Dave Mark - President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm -
"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"


WELL NOW , anything is certainly possible....if we did make change to the roundtables such as those being kicked around here I think we''d need more moderators if only to help with control. A tutorial-sized session in which we break up into smaller groups would need a moderator for each group, I should think.....




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com

From the High Mountains of Colorado

GameAI.Com


#47 Ferretman   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 05:05 PM

Okay, there has been a of interesting discussion here about the possibilities of changing the GDC AI roundtables, and I think some good ideas have been kicked around. It just might be time to consider changing the format of the roundtables again....

...so, to that end, I've put up a new poll on the GameAI.Com site about this very issue. How, if at all, would folks hereabouts like to see us change the GDC AI roundtables for next year?

I put up the most likely options but if I've missed something or you have another suggested, just add a comment...I can't cover everything. Sorry.

I'm very interested to see what crops up here....




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com

From the High Mountains of Colorado

GameAI.Com


[edited by - Ferretman on April 22, 2004 12:05:29 AM]

#48 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 05:05 AM

Sorry, but where exactly is the poll? I can''t find it.

#49 IADaveMark   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2390

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 06:24 AM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Sorry, but where exactly is the poll? I can''t find it.

Click on the link in the post above, then find the place where it says "poll".

Dave Mark - President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm -
"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

#50 Ferretman   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 05:30 PM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Sorry, but where exactly is the poll? I can''t find it.


My apologies; I didn''t make it very obvious. It''s in the list of news items towards the middle of the page, where it says "What do you want the 2005 GDC sessions to be like?"

I need to clean up that page badly.....not enough time, not enough time...




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com

From the High Mountains of Colorado

GameAI.Com





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