The revival of the discussion about trying to generate human-looking faces versus displaying some iconic representation (or just a name) of an NPC got me thinking about the (relatively) old rule in game AI: a system that is perceived as behaving plausibly but is simple internally has much more value for a game than a system that achieves the appearance of complexity because it really is complex internally.
This is the very first observation in Will Wright's presentation, AI: A Design Perspective
, presented at the First Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference.
This PowerPoint presentation, which Wright created around the time of The Sims 2 and Spore, doesn't contain Wright's actual remarks at the presentation... but the gist of his ideas is there in his Observations. And they are very much worth taking a look at by anyone who wants to create plausible actors in a game.
The above was the public stuff. This link is to the full list of papers presented at the conference
. This link is for everyone EXCEPT JOSH. Josh is not permitted to follow this link, because it leads to a black hole of game AI notions from which he will never emerge. And we don't want that. But you who are not Josh -- you are permitted to read these papers.