As a game developer, how would it feel if you could generate a population of autonomous characters with just a few steps?

There are tools for the film and advertising industries that make digitally filling up a stadium or creating an army easy and quick. From a dozen to thousands of characters, virtually created crowds make the end products more compelling and closer to reality.

Through Populate Project, Golaem, which is part of the project's consortium, is offering to the gaming industry a similar technology with the one used for films, TV series and commercials as a game module.

The crowd simulation module is an easy-to-use and efficient solution for game designers to populate and manage the population simulation of a video game for smartphones and tablets. The developed module, Golaem for Unity, is a plugin used by AMA Romania, to populate the game populations.

How it works

For the Populate Project, AMA's designers author populations using the native Unity tools for animation & path-finding/navigation, and Golaem's integrated behaviour editor and placement tools in order to create complex behaviours. The designed behaviours are then executed on a dedicated runtime C# plugin. This editor is a production tool for creating and managing a behaviour graph by connecting multiple behaviours to complement the built-in elementary behaviours.

The population tool provides an easy way to place characters in the environment, handling the repartition of types and avoiding placement inside obstacles.

How it is used

Within the Populate prototype, AMA's developers used the Golaem for Unity module to build complex behaviours for crowds and also individuals, as we wanted the characters to react as a group in some situations and as a person in others.

All this led to having diversity in the way the entities are being placed. It also helped to visualise and adapt the behaviour and the decision flow at runtime.

The module has the potential of reducing the time spent on simulating digital characters behaviours and moreover, you get the desired behaviours with only one solution.

Who is Golaem

Golaem is a software editor based in Rennes, France. Golaem develops Golaem Crowd, population software used by artists of VFX and Animation studios who need to populate backgrounds and midgrounds of films, TV series and commercials. Golaem Crowd is currently used by over one hundred and sixty of the greatest VFX and Animation studios worldwide.

Populate Project

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no 644655

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