Dr Chris Jenner acquired a PhD in optical properties of semiconductor microstructures, after gaining a BSc Hons in Theoretical Physics, both from the University of Newcastle. He then worked as a Research Associate at the University of Newcastle until May 1999, before being lured away by the games industry. He joined Ubisoft Reflections in June 1999 as a Physics programmer where he worked on a wide range of topics relating to physics, AI and gameplay. Since then he has progressed to the role of Expert Programmer where his wide-ranging knowledge of game development has enabled him to be a key contributor to achievements like ensuring Driver San Francisco ran at a solid 60fps and that The Crew was successfully ported to the new PS4 platform in time for its release.
Creating a game world that contains a realistic simulation of a large human population has been a goal of game design for many years. To make this simulation meaningful to players, it is important that the world can be altered by their actions. Changes must have persistence, so that the effect they have can propagate out to a large area. Game worlds have been growing in scale, and player expectations of NPC behaviours have been increasing. Traditional approaches to engine architecture limit what can be achieved within tight performance budgets. Limits on NPC numbers often mean that the characters that the player encounters are throw-away copies of a generic type with no concept of their place in the world. This talk will describe the fundamental technical problems that put limits on the number of fully realised NPCs in our worlds, and describe techniques that can be used to break these limits. We will discuss deterministic approaches, and simulation level of detail as techniques that can be easily applied. We will move on to talk about optimising processing requirements using asynchronous logic processing and highly multithreaded design. We will then touch on the power that can be gained from cloud computing, looking at distributed processing. Many of the problems of creating believable NPC behaviour have been solved in recent years. By concentrating our effort on increasing the scale of our simulations, we can create worlds that feel truly alive and responsive to the actions of the player.
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I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
I’ve been to every single Develop in the last 12 years. One thing you get here is networking - you will meet the most amazing individuals in the video games industry.
Develop always gets put in the diary. There are many reasons to be here, not just the talks, but the networking, people exchanging ideas about where the industry is right now and where it’s going to. It’s pretty essential to be here I think.
Ian Livingstone, CBE
There really is a huge mix of people at Develop - loads of peers that you can learn from and the perfect blend of every element of game development as well.
Develop:Brighton’s a great conference. It’s got a spread of people from all parts of the games industry talking about such a wide range of topics.
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
I absolutely love coming to Develop, it’s a brilliant, brilliant conference – you just know you’re guaranteed to meet everyone.
Jo Twist, OBE
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
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