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March of the Froblins: simulation and rendering massive crowds of intelligent and detailed creatures on GPU

Jeremy Shopf, Joshua Barczak, Christopher Oat, Natalya Tatarchuk
AMD, Inc.
In SIGGRAPH ’08: ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 classes (2008), pp. 52-101

@conference{shopf2008march,

   title={March of the froblins: simulation and rendering massive crowds of intelligent and detailed creatures on gpu},

   author={Shopf, J. and Barczak, J. and Oat, C. and Tatarchuk, N.},

   booktitle={ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 classes},

   pages={52–101},

   year={2008},

   organization={ACM}

}

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is generally considered to be one of the key components of a computer game. Sometimes when we play a game, we may wish that the computer opponents were written better. At those times while playing against the computer, we feel that the game is unbalanced. Perhaps the computer player has been given different set of rules, or uses the same rules, but has more resources (health, weapons, etc.). The complexity of underlying AI systems, along with game design, belies the resulting feeling we have when playing any game. As the CPU and GPU speed and power continues to grow, along with increasing memory amounts and bandwidth, game developers are constantly improving the graphics of their games. In the last five years the production quality of games has been increasing (along with the corresponding budgets). Recent games woo players with incredible breakthroughs in real- time 3D graphics, complexity of the worlds and characters, as well as various post-processing effects. And while there had been tremendous improvements for parallelizing rendering through the evolution of consumer GPU pipelines, artificial intelligence computations are treading behind. To date, there had been rather few attempts at parallelizing AI computations.
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