Brian Schwab is a Senior AI/Gameplay Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment. He has over 18 years industry experience, including 17 published titles. He has worked passionately on making engaging and fun game experiences by using anything nearby: be it academic AI techniques, production forged game methods, proprietary systems, or simply multiplying the vector to the enemy with his birthday because it just felt right during test. Brian has done work in AI, gameplay, game design, and has even been lead designer on a few titles. He’s worked at companies ranging from three person startups to SCEA. His projects have ranged from edutainment to location based thrill rides to his current gig on a super-secret project at Blizzard. When not cramming fun into a C++ compiler, he has also spent a good deal of time writing. His book, AI Game Engine Programming, is currently in its second edition. He was the AI editor for the Game Programming Gems 6&7 books. He serves on the planning council for the AIIDE conference.
When building game AI characters, psychology is coming increasingly into play. Players process what they see and experience through a filter of expectations. We expect human-like game characters to exhibit human-like traits. A by-product of the quest to improve AI decisions, however, is that characters can begin to “feel” robotic and sterile. This is probably not what you want your characters to feel like. This talk covers various psychological biases that we as game players bring to the experience, and how we as game developers can harness this information to make better AI characters.