Kythera AI @ GDC '23

Kythera AI at GDC 2023

Our team attended Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023 where we had a great time connecting with the wider industry. This was a particularly busy year for us where we took part in panel discussions, delivered a talk and sponsored the annual AI Dinner.

Our Talk at GDC 2023: ‘Shatterline: Practical AI in a fast-paced shooter’.

We’ve been working with our friends at Frag Lab for years, and initially planned to give this talk last year - but as they are a Ukrainian studio, Russia’s invasion brought those plans to a standstill. In September '22 'Shatterline' was released in Early Access to very positive feedback, and it was a real privilege to deliver the talk alongside them this year. Our CEO & Founder Matthew Jack spoke alongside Volodomyr Kapustin, the principal game designer at Frag Lab.

CEO Matthew Jack delivers a joint presentation at the AI Summit alongside Volodomyr Kapustin of Frag Lab.*

CEO Matthew Jack delivers a joint presentation at the AI Summit alongside Volodomyr Kapustin of Frag Lab.

Our talk was titled ‘Shatterline: Practical AI in a fast-paced shooter’, and we spoke about how upping the pace of a co-op shooter turns conventional AI design wisdom on its head, and how we used key tools to create immersive, intelligent AI that understands the environment and maximises player replayability. We drew our learnings from our experience of working with Frag Lab to develop their AI capabilities in their early-access shooter - which has already been receiving praise for their AI opponents!

Specifically, we looked at their application of Automatic cover generation, whereby the navmesh detects cover points at runtime. This could be the edge of a wall, behind a stationary vehicle, and more. It allows for dynamic environments that the AI can continue to understand well, bringing greater tactical depth to their game. We also spoke on navmesh pruning, where we automatically 'prune' out areas of the navmesh inaccessible to players and AI agents, thereby saving time in manual markup and also creating performance wins.

In this image taken from Shatterline, note how the navmesh has been 'pruned' from inaccessible areas such as rooftops. You can also see coverrails beside some destroyed vehicles.

Panel Discussions

Matthew Jack takes part in a panel discussion at the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco

The impact of recent developments in AI on the gaming industry

Matthew Jack was invited to be a part of the panel discussion at the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco, giving his thoughts on the recent developments in AI in the gaming industry. As a middleware provider, we’re always pushing the boundaries of what AI can do to support studios and developers

Innovation with AI can bring more immersive worlds to players - whether it’s more challenging opponents, more believable companions or intelligent NPCs at scale, all of this can be achieved through AI systems. Our ongoing work in this area - specifically on developing novel navigation techniques - has recently seen us receive an EPIC MegaGrant, and you can read more about this here.

Legal Issues on the Horizon: AI, Blockchain and Beyond

Our Head of Business Development, Rod Stafford, also took part in a panel discussion concerning legal issues on the horizon. We led on the discussion around the future use of generative and game AI across the spectrum of games and virtual environments. The discussion as a whole covered IP, impact on workforce, and liability for harm done by or done to AI entities.

Sponsoring the AI Dinner

We were particularly glad to sponsor the annual GDC AI dinner, organised by Neil Kirby. This dinner brings together a breadth of expertise from those in the industry who work with AI - and we met with some talented people from Square Enix, Riot Games, Ubisoft and more.

As always, it was another great year at GDC - for contributing to the latest industry thinking, networking with passionate people from across the globe, and attending a whole range of relevant and fascinating talks. We're looking forward to attending next year, and maybe we'll see you there!