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Math in Game Development Summit: Heat Is Magic

Squirrel Eiserloh  (Professor of Practice, SMU Guildhall)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 21

Time: 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Heat maps (scalar fields, spatial metadata) have myriad uses in game development, with obvious and non-obvious applications in gameplay, procedural generation, AI, physics, graphics, audio, game balance, systems design, and quality assurance.

In this talk, Squirrel Eiserloh, Professor of Practice at SMU Guildhall, will explore a variety of different types and applications of heat maps, including (signed) distance fields, flow fields, and several other types of spatial metadata (humidity, occupancy, danger, avoidance, obscurity, death, action, misuse, etc.). They'll also look at some operations on and between heat maps, yielding even more curious and useful results.


Attendees will leave with a broadened view and heightened appreciation for the usefulness of heat maps and related constructs, as well as a number of specific tips, tricks, and applications for applying heat maps and other spatial metadata during gameplay and throughout the game development process.

Intended Audience

This is for game programmers and technical designers in all areas wanting to find better ways of analyzing and understanding their game worlds—or having their games understand themselves better—for content validation, player and NPC behavior, performance optimization, and general innovation.