American Army enlists Autodesk AI

American Army enlists Autodesk AI

By Rob Crossley

April 28th 2009 at 2:37PM

Autodeskâ??s AI tech set to enlighten and civilise NPCs in the upcoming Americaâ??s Army 3

The US Army has given Autodesk’s AI technology its own distinctive seal of approval by enlisting the firm’s Kynapse software for its America’s Army games.

America’s Army is a series of titles developed by the US military, with an emphasis on precise simulations of combat situations. The group now wants to use Autodesk’s Kynapse tool to bring NPC AI in line with the level of fidelity the titles are known for.

Kynapse is designed to empower NPCs with spatial awareness to better navigate environments, while the engine also supports dynamic 3D pathfinding, 3D topology analysis and team coordination. Additional advanced pathfinding capabilities include destructible environment evaluation, large-crowd pathfinding in complex terrains and automatic AI data generation.

The middleware has been used in over 80 titles, with America’s Army 3 – scheduled for release this year – will now be added to that list.
 
“[In America’s Army 3], interactions with indigenous NPCs will be paramount to the successful completion of mission objectives,” said the series’ chief engineer Michael Barnett.

“NPCs on opposing forces will function as individuals, as well as part of a squad, using squad-based counter-tactics for future cooperative game play modes,” he added, also claiming that the upcoming game’s environments will be populated with a large number of NPC civilians that “move, behave and react to players realistically.”
 
Marc Stevens, vice president of Autodesk’s Games Technology Group, was understandably delighted that an organisation demanding such high levels of realism and fidelity would be using Kynapse.

“America’s Army is more than just a computer game – it’s also used to develop simulations for US government agencies,” he said. “These simulations require characters with realistic behaviour patterns. We’re very pleased that the US Army has chosen Autodesk Kynapse to help meet this need.”