"If the buddy could jump out of cover and give you away, you could see the YouTubers saying 'fuck you, Ellie.' At that point, we'd broken the relationship between Ellie and the player, and that's something we never wanted to do."- Naughty Dog engineer Max Dyckhoff explains the design decisions that made Ellie invisible during GDC 2014. Max Dyckhoff is part of the Naughty Dog engineering team that brought Ellie to life in The Last Of Us, and as part of the GDC 2014 Programming track he took the stage to explain how his team pulled it off. During his talk, Dyckhoff ran down the systems that make Ellie act the way she does and explained why the team chose them -- as well as when they chose to break them to make the game more fun to play. Dyckhoff also took time to highlight some of Ellie’s AI shortcomings in very plain, non-specialized language in an effort to ensure that developers all disciplines could walk away with a better understanding of how buddy AI in The Last Of Us ticks. We've gone ahead and taken the liberty of embedding the free video of "Ellie: Buddy AI in The Last Of Us" above, but you can also watch it here on the GDC Vault.
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Video: Ellie's buddy AI in The Last Of Us
Naughty Dog's Max Dyckhoff runs down the systems that make Ellie act the way she does and explained why the team chose them -- as well as when they chose to break them to make the game more enjoyable.