Dave Mark

President & Lead Designer for Intrinsic Algorithm LLC

Dave is the president and lead designer of Intrinsic Algorithm, an independent game development studio in Omaha, Nebraska. He does consulting on AI, game design, and mathematical modeling for clients ranging from AAA companies including Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest Next), and ArenaNet (GuildWars 2: Heart of Thorns) to small indie game studios such as John Smedley’s PixelMage Games (Hero’s Song).

Dave is the author of the book “Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI” and is a contributor to the “AI Game Programming Wisdom”, “Game Programming Gems”, and “Game AI Pro” book series. He has also spoken at numerous game conferences and universities around the world on the subjects of AI, game theory, and psychology of games.

He is a founding member of the AI Game Programmers Guild and was the co-founder, 10-year advisor, and host of the AI Summit at GDC.

At the end of the 2018 GDC, Dave achieved notoriety in game dev circles by personally testing a physics model when a car launched him 52 feet down 3rd street in San Francisco. Although the physics model worked as expected and Dave complimented the animators on the rag doll system that had him doing multiple in-air flips, he requested that the damage model be adjusted since the car and pavement impact almost cost Dave his last remaining life.

Talk Description:

Banishing Player AND Designer Grind with Emergent AI and Procedural Content

MMOs and other forms of persistent world games have long lagged behind in the capabilities of their AI. Characters on pedestals or rails, manually placed path waypoints, timed spawn points, hand-scripted attack sequences, and hand-authored quests and events are staples of the world-building process. However, it has become prohibitive for studios to crank out interesting content faster than the players can consume it resulting in dead periods where the world has nothing new – and players lose interest. What if we could make MORE immersive worlds… with LESS time and effort for the dev team? This lecture shows how better AI can not only enable more engaging characters (in and out of combat) but also give more continuously dynamic content with less grindy work from the design team. The result is a game world that can be “alive” and constantly engaging for the players!