Kythera AI launches AI-supported NPC and agent surface navigation solution

Kythera AI, a developer of AI middleware for computer game development, has officially launched its AI solution for NPC (Non-Playing Character) and agent surface navigation. The development of this technology was made possible through an EPIC MegaGrant received from EPIC Games in March 2023.

The newly launched Kythera AI Surface Navigation plugin for Unreal Engine is designed to provide AI-powered navigation across any in-game geometry, particularly addressing the navigation challenges posed by complex, three-dimensional surfaces such as walls and ceilings.

Kythera AI Founder and Lead Architect Matthew Jack emphasizes the importance of integrating great AI into games to enhance the overall gameplay experience. He expresses gratitude for the shared enthusiasm of the EPIC Games team in providing game developers with powerful tools to create realistic, interesting, and effective NPCs.

The Kythera AI Surface Navigation plugin aims to streamline development and design processes for game studios, offering a cost-effective solution for creating agents that navigate on and around 3D terrain with various orientations. Key benefits include the ability to create unique gameplay experiences, optimize game performance, and empower designers with tools to simulate realistic movement on 3D terrain.

The feature was initially teased in October with a Halloween and Horror Game theme, including a horror-level gameplay demo. The demo showcased the strong player engagement made possible by using Kythera AI’s Surface Navigation to develop games, amassing over 20,000 views on YouTube.

Lucas Musial, the Level Designer at Kythera AI responsible for building the Horror Game Demo Level, highlighted the significant time savings provided by Surface Navigation. Traditionally, designers would spend countless hours manually mapping waypoints and agent rotations. With Kythera AI’s technology, these tasks are automated, streamlining the game development process.

The company has also released behind-the-scenes content, including a how-to guide for creating levels with the Surface Navigation feature, demonstrating its simplicity and user-friendly nature. The objective of Kythera AI’s Surface Navigation is to revolutionize agent navigation in complex environments, offering a practical and efficient solution for the game industry.

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