GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Export Schedule:

A Context-Aware Character Dialog System

Jason Gregory  |  Lead Gameplay Programmer, Naughty Dog

Location: Room 3003, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: ProgrammingAudio
Vault Recording: Video

In our most recent game, The Last of Us, the sound team at Naughty Dog created a powerful dialog system that allows enemy and ally NPCs to converse with each other and the player character in realistic ways. This system takes into account rich contextual information, including individual knowledge, collective knowledge, global game state, and information about the surrounding environment. This system puts a great deal of power directly into the hands of the sound designers, freeing the programmers to focus on AI behaviors. This talk will explore the requirements and problems inherent in any NPC dialog system, and describe the baseline features required of any such system. The talk will then investigate the unique problems Naughty Dog faced in The Last of Us, and describe the systems developed to solve them. It will then conclude with Q&A and a discussion of some ideas for future work.


Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges of crafting a dialog system for a AAA game title in general, and how we tackled these problems for The Last of Us, specifically. This talk will help prepare attendees to develop or augment dialog systems in their own games.

Intended Audience

This talk is suitable for game programmers and sound designers who are either already working on character dialog systems, or who simply want to learn more about the topic. Some programming experience is helpful, but it is not required to understand and benefit from the talk.