2013-01-05 Planning in and for 2013 Zoom

Happy New Year! What better way to start the year than by "planning". With "planning" both referring to my plans for 2013 and "automated planning".

Planning in Games Workshop, June 2013 in Rome

For me, PlannedAssault is more than a mission generator (even though I use it a lot myself just to create missions). PlannedAssault started out and still is my test-bed for (automated) planning techniques for problems typical in combat games and simulations. Today, few game use planning techniques, and those that do (F.E.A.R., for example) often use automated planning for single characters and relatively short-term objectives.

However, over 15,000 missions (thus over 30,000 battle plans) generated here by PlannedAssault indicate that automated planning also is suited to (game) content generation and more complex problems.


To promote and discuss planning techniques for games, I'll be participating in the 3rd International 'Planning in Games' workshop, June 11, in Rome, Italy. The workshop is part of the 23rd International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, the conference for academics and other specialists to discuss advances in automated planning.

So, if you're working on planning yourself and want to explore the needs and opportunities of planning in games, or if you're working on games and are considering planning techniques, this is the workshop to participate in! Submit a proposal / position paper for the workshop before March 23, 2013.

One of my illustrations for the AI Wisdom book

'Collected Wisdom of Game AI Professionals' book cover

Another of my illustrations for the AI Wisdom book

Some further promotion and sharing of ideas on planning is done in my (long) chapter in the book game AI book 'Collected Wisdom of Game AI Professionals', edited by Steve Rabin. The book is scheduled to appear in May 2013.


p.s. Jomni, at his blog, wrote a nice and clear post on how easy it was for him to create an Iron Front mission using PlannedAssault. Have a look !

2011-02-06 Under the hood of of 'PlannedAssault' Zoom

As of this update, the mission planning duration has been almost halved (reduced by 45%, to precise). In addition, the planners run more stable.

This speed-up is good news for three reasons. First, it reduces the wait time for all of us. Second, it reduces the time I spend testing new features. And finally, it provides me the option of allowing more units as input and thereby bigger battles as output. I'll be increasing the unit limit once the new changes are as solid on the production server as they were on the test server.


The version numbers corresponding to this speed up are: web UI v1.49, and planners v1.56.

Title slide from the presentation

PlannedAssault architecture, planners decoupled from web UI

Tactical analysis is performed by advisors

If you're interested in what happens under the hood of 'PlannedAssault', have a look that the following slide set (pdf, 2.2MB).

These slides describe the design of the AI planner and come from a talk I gave at TNO-FEL, the Hague, November 5 last year. (TNO-FEL is a dutch institute supporting the Dutch MoD and armed forces with R&D, including training and simulation).



2009-06-18 Example Missions and Planner Design Zoom

Examples of generated missions and additional explanation about their contents and construction are now available here.


The planner's design was recently explained by William at the two-day Paris conference on Game AI. The slides can be found here.