Dynamic Path Planning and Terrain Analysis for Games

Paul Brobst, Ramesh Saran, and Michael van Lent

Most commercial games on the market today embed into their game maps a great deal of information. Almost all of this information is precomputed and/or manual entered by the game developers. These static map annotations don’t and can’t take into account the many dynamic factors that can influence path planning and terrain analysis. In some cases game designers work around these issues by, for example, limiting the game to a very few deformable terrain features. In other cases the artificial intelligence systems of the game simply have to make due with approximated static terrain annotations. This paper describes two of the primary challenges in dynamic terrain, path planning and terrain analysis, and describes some early ideas for how to address these challenges.

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