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At GDC 2013, video game AI designer Ben Sunshine-Hill makes a case for why, in game development, prioritizing emergent behavior in AI design means you are not doing your job.

August 21, 2015

2 Min Read

Having your game's AI surprise you with emergent behavior is an exciting moment for any game designer. 

But during a brief, rapid-fire microtalk at GDC 2013's 'Turing Tantrums' rant session, video game AI expert Ben Sunshine-Hill makes a case for why, in game development, prioritizing emergent behavior in AI design means you are not doing your job.

To hear Sunshine-Hill tell it, you should aim to design AI that behaves just like people and creatures in real life do, and that means you shouldn't rely on "emergence" as a crutch; you should know exactly why your AI does what it does. At best, players should find your AI believable -- not surprising.

It was an intriguing presentation, and now you can watch Sunshine-Hill's brief rant (a snippet of the full session) for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel 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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