The University of Alberta (UA) computing science department helped Edmonton game developer BioWare solve a pathfinding challenge in one of its videogames. The UA researchers were faced with the challenge of creating pathfinding programming capable of navigating complicated scenarios while minimizing the amount of memory needed. The researchers, led by UA professor Nathan Sturtevant, broke the decision-making process into separate levels, enabling the computer to calculate the steps needed by the character. “One of the things I really wanted to see was that if a character is standing on one side of the game map, would it be possible to mouse click on the farthest point away and watch your character then walk for 10, 20, 30, 40 seconds and get to where you wanted them to go?” Sturtevant says.
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