GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by time, pass type, topic, and format. With GDC Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live.

If you've registered for GDC, you can use the same login credentials for your Session Scheduler account. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

AI Summit: 'Death Stranding': An AI Postmortem

Eric Johnson (AI Programmer, Kojima Productions)

Location: Room 2002, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 16

Time: 9:30am - 10:30am

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

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

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.