Craig Reynolds, Sony Computer Entertainment

Emergent Teamwork


Early crowd models focused on group motion, they were essentially "flat
flocks". Crowds just marched relentlessly toward their goal. Newer crowd
models address group behaviors beyond simplistic trudging. Applications in
games, movies, training and historical recreations require large groups of
characters in less ambulatory, more social activities. We might populate a
celebration with celebrants, a bazaar with shoppers, or a battlefield with
soldiers. Controllers for agents that seem to be engaged in such activities
can often be simple stochastic state machines. More interesting is when we
want the crowd to accomplish a global goal such as foraging, search or
construction. These collective behaviors have globally observable results so
individual agents require more sophisticated controllers. Inspiration for the
design of such controllers can be found in the behavior of social insects and
other self-organizing natural systems.


Craig Reynolds researches technology for autonomous characters at Sony Computer
Entertainment's US R&D group in Foster City, California
( Recent projects include PSCrowd, a high performance
crowd simulator for PS3, and OpenSteer, an open source library of steering
behaviors. He has previously worked on animation and game production, plus
developing tools for both fields, at: DreamWorks, Silicon Studio, Electronic
Arts, Symbolics and Information International Inc. He won a Scientific and
Engineering Academy Award in 1998 for "pioneering contributions to the
development of three dimensional computer animation for motion picture
production." (