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 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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Dr Mata Haggis-Burridge
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
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.
There’s really something for everyone at Develop and the experience of being around like-minded people is really useful.
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
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 the must-attend event for the games industry in the UK. It’s where we all come together and learn from each other. It’s the best way into the industry and it’s the best place to learn from your colleagues.
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.
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