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AI Summit: Down with Nav Meshes: The Next Generation of Navigation Data

Ben Sunshine-Hill  (AI Team Lead, Havok)

Location: Room 2009, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 22

Time: 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

Nav meshes are the standard for NPC pathfinding in modern video game worlds, but are they the best option? Ben Sunshine-Hill, the lead developer of the Havok AI navigation system, shares his team's ongoing research into alternative structures for storing and querying navigation data, particularly corridor maps. From identifying safe spawn points, to pathfinding for characters of different sizes, the right navigation data structure can offer new possibilities for high-realism character simulation, while maximizing reliability and reducing level designers' need to verify that characters can navigate effectively.


Attendees will learn the strengths of different navigation structures, how to build them with freely available tools, and how to leverage them for various high-level character navigation use cases.

Intended Audience

Game programmers involved in character simulation and pathfinding will benefit from this talk, regardless of what tech they use for navigation. A basic familiarity with nav meshes (what they are, not how they're generated) is a prerequisite.