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Video: Building the AI for Hearthstone

In one of the more popular GDC Vault videos of 2014, former Blizzard engineer Brian Schwab took the stage at GDC 2014's AI Summit to deliver a frank talk on the AI design of Hearthstone.
"By the end of it, I actually had nearly nine to eleven thousand games running on one server core at a time."

- Former Blizzard engineer Brian Schwab explains the practical value of building an online game with lightweight AI -- your players wait less time for the computer to make a move.

The AI postmortem is a perennial high point for GDC's AI Summit, and GDC 2014 was no exception as former Blizzard engineer Brian Schwab took the stage to deliver a thorough, frank presentation on the AI design of Hearthstone.

During his talk, Schwab outlined how Blizzard went about creating challenging artificial intelligence for its recently-released deck battler that would present an obvious -- but not overwhelming -- threat. He also offers a good rundown of the broader trials and triumphs the Hearthstone team faced as the game evolved from paper prototypes to a lightweight, Unity-driven cross-platform competitive card game.

It's a great talk, so we've gone ahead and embedded the free video of "AI Postmortem: Hearthstone" above. You can also watch it here on the GDC Vault.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault 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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