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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.

Melee AI in 'The Last of Us Part II'

Ming-Lun 'Allen' Chou  (Game Programmer, Naughty Dog)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 10:50am - 11:20am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design, Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

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

After The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog decided to upgrade melee combat experience to bear equal weight to gun combat, with more emphasis on player skills and tight controls. Melee combat is much more intimate than gun combat, so the slightest hiccups in behaviors, visuals, or controls, would be greatly amplified. In order to polish the melee experience in The Last of Us Part II to match the high technical standards Naughty Dog is known for, various modular solutions were implemented and will be covered in this talk.


Attendees will learn various building blocks (with a focus on the AI side), as well as several useful run-time environmental analysis tools, that help creating a tight and smooth melee combat experience. The building blocks are modular, so each one of them can be applied in games individually as the developers see fit.

Intended Audience

This presentation is intended for anyone looking to have the characters in their player-vs-AI melee combat be more intimate and properly integrated with a highly detailed environment.