Further down the rabbit hole

A while back I mentioned that I started doing some research into game theory to see what I could learn that would translate into game AI. That initial research led me to realize how interested I am in psychology and human behavior in general. As Dave Mark (President - Intrinsic Algorithm) is fond of saying; the behavioral model for AI is life.

More recently this rabbit hole of human behavior has led me into researching micro expressions (thanks to Netflix). Now, how is researching micro expressions going to help be a better AI programmer? At the moment, it probably wont, but I became fascinated with the subject. The fact that there are several core facial expressions that are the same for everyone, no matter their country of origin, ethnicity, or background, it is really interesting.

As a bonus, I have become more adept at noticing these expressions. It is amazing what you can pick up on. Does this mean I can always tell when people are lying? No, not at all. However, if I am in a conversation with someone (like my daughter trying to get herself out of trouble, or in a meeting with my boss) and things don't look right, I can take what is being said with a bigger grain of salt. Heck, it might even make me a better poker player, haven't had the opportunity to try that out. I wonder what topic I will dig into next.

In a little over two weeks I get to start work on Planetary Annihilation! I am super excited (if you didn't get that from the previous sentence). I imagine it will be a little while before I get to start work on the AI. There are a lot of moving parts that will need to be in place before that can happen, but I am looking forward to doing some real base level engine programming. I can't wait to get started.

Change is good

A little over 3 years ago Gas Powered Games took a chance on me and welcomed me to the GPG family. No other company would give me the time of day. Over the past 3 years GPG continued to take chances; first by having me take over the Supreme Commander 2 AI and again by allowing me to create the AI system for their current project from scratch. There aren't many companies that would give that level of responsibility to such a junior engineer.

However, all good things must come to and end.Yesterday I gave notice that as of November 1st I would cease to be an employee at Gas Powered Games. In three weeks I will no longer be working for the employer I spent 2 1/2 years of my life hounding for a job. I wish all the best for GPG and all of its employees in all of their future endeavors and I am very thankful for the opportunities I was given to grow as an engineer.

November 1st starts a new chapter in my career as I join the ranks of Uber Entertainment. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work an such an epic project as Planetary Annihilation. With the amount of talent located in Uber's office this project has huge potential.

I will continue to update my blog as development progresses on Planetary Annihilation, so keep checking back as we go for awesome!