speaker Micro Authored vs. Systemic: Finding a Balance for Combat A.I. in Uncharted 4

Combat in the Uncharted series has historically been tightly authored by the design team. This approach was unsuited for the wide-linear combat of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, so we began developing a more systems-focused approach to artificial intelligence. After oversteering in that direction, we eventually found a balance between authored content and systemic behaviours. This talk explores the development process of Uncharted 4, and the lessons we learned about partitioning control of the A.I. between design & engineering.

Attendee Takeaways:

  • How to enable communication between combat design & A.I. programming
  • Deciding which aspects of game A.I. should be authored by the design team and which parts should be handled systemically
  • How to assign roles when larger numbers of NPCs are involved in combat
  • Tools and tuning knobs that help designers make each combat encounter feel unique
  • How to help A.I. handle complex combat spaces
  • How A.I. can aid player navigation and discourage them from adopting boring tactics


Matthew Gallant (Naughty Dog)