Naughty Dog to Give Talk on Uncharted 4 Combat AI at GDC 2017

January 4, 2017Written by Tyler Treese

Uncharted 4 Combat AI

One of the key members of Naughty Dog will go behind-the-scenes on one of 2016’s biggest releases at GDC 2017. The Game Developers Conference announced today that Naughty Dog game designer Matthew Gallant will be giving a talk on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End‘s combat artificial intelligence. The talk, which is titled “Authored vs. Systemic: Finding a Balance for Combat AI in Uncharted 4,” will discuss the balance “between authored content and systemic behaviors.” This is just one of the many talks planned for GDC 2017, which takes place from February 27 to March 3 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

While the specific date and time for the talk is still to be determined, here’s the full description from the GDC website:

While combat in the Uncharted series has historically been tightly authored by the design team, Naughty Dog knew early in development that Uncharted 4 was going to be different. The open-ended gameplay and large complex environments led them to explore a more systems-driven approach to artificial intelligence. After over-steering in that direction, they ultimately found a balance between authored content and systemic behaviors. This talk explores the development process of Uncharted 4, and the lessons they learned about partitioning control of the AI between design and engineering.


Attendees will learn to evaluate which aspects of combat AI should be authored by designers and which parts are better handled with systems-driven logic. This includes specific methods for assigning roles in combat situations, particularly when larger number of NPCs or complex level geometry are involved.

Intended Audience

This talk addresses communication and delegation between design and programming; the target audience is therefore systems designers, level designers, AI engineers, and producers who work on combat in video games. The talk is not particularly technical and should be accessible to any game developer.

Matthew Gallant’s panel looks to be one of the highlights of GDC’s schedule. Tickets for the industry event are now available, with a special discount until January 18.

(Source: GDC)