Sun-Earther

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The perils of simulation

December 16, 2003

Heh, Peter Jackson's big battle scene at the end of Return of the King was almost scuppered by the advanced AI controlling the virtual warriors:

Special effects designer Richard Taylor says this led to the writing of a "massive" principal code for the battle to give more than 200,000 digitized soldiers and some 6,000 horses distinctiveness and individuality.

...

Basically, all the necessary information for decision-making was fed into this network of computers without determining for them whether they would win or lose.
But this attempt to ensure that they acted spontaneously almost sabotaged the the battleground sequences.
"For the first two years, the biggest problem we had was soldiers fleeing the field of battle," Taylor said.
"We could not make their computers stupid enough to not run away."

This reminds me of the tale of the Australian flight simulation which portrayed herds of kangaroos by re-using the code used to portray squads of soldiers with hilarious results!

Posted by Jonah at December 16, 2003 3:33 PM