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Session Name:

AI Summit: Driving Emotionally Expressive NPC Animations and Behaviors with a Designer Friendly Pipeline


WONDER is a prototype project from Square Enix Co., Ltd. Advanced Technology Division, focused on creating a bonding experience between players and characters. In modern times, interaction between players and AI-directed characters often feels limited and lacking empathy. This work aims to apply a designer-friendly method to add an emotional pipeline to production, allowing virtual characters to interact with human users more flexibly and naturally than ever before. First, this talk explains the emotional pipeline (emotion, mood, personality and liking/disliking) and how this pipeline can be tweaked and improved to fit the needs of the experience. Secondly, it covers how to express the emotional state of the agent through not only animations, but also its decision-making, by covering each extension added to the AI pipeline. Then, it describes how to make this pipeline designer-friendly to give designers maximum control. Lastly, it will introduce two debug tools and guidelines to balance emotions and moods to fit the targeted experience.

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