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June 18, 2019
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Tommy Thompson's Blog   Expert Blogs


Dr Tommy Thompson is the writer and producer of AI and Games: a crowdfunded YouTube series on research and applications of artificial intelligence in video games. Tommy is a senior lecturer in computer science and researcher in artificial intelligence applications in video games and has authored over 30 academic publications in areas such as artificial general intelligence, machine learning for non-player characters and procedural content generation.  Tommy has been an active participant in the academic community for over 10 years as reviewer and chair for numerous conferences and workshops.

Outside of academia, Tommy is a freelance game AI programmer and designer working as a consultant to existing studios.  Helping to refine the designs, tools and architecture required to elevate AI within games.  In addition, Tommy develops his own projects at indie company Table Flip Games, through which he has published his first title Sure Footing on PC, with console ports coming in 2019.

You can follow Tommy, the AI and Games series and Table Flip Games over on twitter.



Expert Blogs

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Wed, 12 Jun 2019 10:24:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Skeletons and sharks, two distinct AI systems in Sea of Thieves with their own interesting design secrets.

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Tue, 04 Jun 2019 10:23:00 EDT in Programming, Console/PC
In this first of a four-part series, I explore the numerous AI systems running under the hood of Rare's online pirate adventure game and the work required to maintain the experience for players across the Sea of Thieves.

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Wed, 06 Feb 2019 05:37:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
In this second and final entry on the AI of Horizon Zero Dawn, I explore the sensor systems used by individual machines, the animation tools and the two distinct navigation systems on land and in the air.

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Wed, 30 Jan 2019 04:59:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie
In this first of two blogs I explore the AI decision making framework that enables the machine-animals of Horizon Zero Dawn to behave independently and as part of a herd.

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Thu, 24 Jan 2019 05:44:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Sometimes if you want to make your game work as intended, you need to cheat a little bit. In this video I examine one of the best 'cheating' AI systems in recent years: the companion AI of 2017's Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Posted by Tommy Thompson on Mon, 10 Dec 2018 09:44:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
In part 2 of my series on The Division, I explain how the online systems manage the AI characters in-game.

Tommy Thompson's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/30/2019 - 04:59]

Yeah... I just correct that. ...

Yeah... I just correct that. Didn 't spot it until after I published it, but I appear to have invented a new machine type. Whoops