Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An Egocentric Motion Management System - article excerpt from Game Engine Gems 2

Google Books has provided a generous preview of my chapter from Game Engine Gems 2 describing a character movement solution - aspects of which I used in World of Zoo (PC & Wii). The character movement solution was also used in several demos - including a prototype of a non-zoo type game. The chapter contains a detailed write-up of how how to integrate the character movement system with a behavioral model that conveys perceived intent (section 19.9 A Single Agent Behavioral Response Algorithm and Example). The link to the article is below - enjoy!

An Egocentric Motion Management System Summary

The egocentric motion management system (ECMMS) is both a model for agent movement and an application of a behavioral theory. Any game that features agents (e.g., animals, soldiers, or tanks) that move around in a 3D scene has a need for an agent movement solution. A typical movement solution provides mechanisms that allow for an agent to move through a scene, avoiding geometry, all the while executing some sort of behavior. This article discusses not only how focusing on the agent drives the immediate interactions with the environment but also, more importantly, that by gathering some information about the environment during locomotion, we gain the ability to generate spatial semantics for use by the agent’s behavior system. Portions of the ECMMS were used in a cross-platform game entitled World of Zoo (WOZ). WOZ is an animal simulator that requires various zoo animals to move through their environments in an incredibly compelling manner while the  players constantly alter the environment. So the proving ground for this system was in an environment that could be changed around the agents at any particular moment. In addition to detailing ECMMS I also discuss how to build a unified behavioral model that utilizes technology from all three of my character movement articles.

An Egocentric Motion Management System - Theory and an Implementation

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