How to teach an AI parkour

Tom Francis at

When all you expected to be able to do in a third person action game was press a button to jump over a gap, 'traversal' in level design wasn't that hard. Adding the odd bit of scenery you can vault over isn't much harder: level designers place markers that tell your character they can vault, and what animation to play to make it look right.

But full free-running over complex terrain has become an expected feature, and the job of manually marking which bits of a level you can climb, vault or scramble over has become dauntingly huge. At GDC in San Francisco last week, Ben Sunshine-Hill of Havok explained a solution they're offering to developers as middleware: AI.