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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

AI Summit: 'Death Stranding': An AI Postmortem

Eric Johnson  (AI Programmer, Kojima Productions)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

This session explores the unique AI challenges faced during the development of Kojima Productions' debut title, Death Stranding. Set in an Iceland-inspired, post-apocalyptic United States, a core focus of AI development was simply finding a way to support agents that could reliably and believably traverse the game's unapologetically unforgiving landscape. Learn about the strategies used to coax natural movement out of a brutal, fragmented navmesh, techniques to improve tactical positioning across extreme terrain, the hybrid pathfinding approach used to provide long-range navigation through the game's winding crevasses, terraces and ravines, support for traversal across dynamic, player-placed structures such as bridges and ladders, and more.


The audience will learn about the problems that the team at Kojima Productions faced supporting AI characters in Death Stranding and the technical solutions developed to solve them, with a focus on navigation in extreme natural environments. They will gain an understanding of what challenges can arise as environments become increasingly complex, as well as concrete technical knowledge on how they can be overcome that they can apply to their own projects.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for AI and Gameplay Programmers interested in learning about AI techniques used to support navigation in realistic open-world environments, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the AI development process of Death Stranding.