Greetings —

My name is Joanna Bryson, and I research ways to make it easier to build humanoid intelligence. While we would all like our game characters to learn or develop on their own so we don't have to do the work, the sad truth is that even people take years of practice and education to be useful. Being Artificially Intelligent is going to be at least as hard as being Naturally Intelligent and games companies don't have years to wait for their AI to go to school.

I developed Behavior Oriented Design (BOD). This is a development methodology intended to help ordinary programmers with skills in object oriented design and writing sequential algorithms, and help them create proactive real-time agents with memories that can handle

  • multiple, conflicting goals
  • real-time interactions with concurrent environments, and
  • learning reliably in constrained domains.


As of 2009, the EPSRC have funded the Centre for Digital Entertainment at Bath and Bournemouth Universities. There are fifty doctoral studentships associated with the Centre. I will probably be supervising several of the with AI students if we get good enough applicants. In particular, Lionhead Studios and I are using this opportunity to work on real-time humanoid AI – we are currently advertising for applicants. But I'm happy to supervise students doing Systems AI with any of our partner companies.

Some useful web pages

  • Charles University has a large group working on BOD and its POSH action selection among a number of other approaches to game AI. They call their project Pogamut. We've worked together on making AI easier for ordinary programmers to build. See my Designing Intelligent Systems page for a couple papers with their PI, Cyril Brom.


  • Joanna J. Bryson & Emmanuel A. R. Tanguy, “Simplifying the Design of Human-Like Behaviour: Emotions as Durative Dynamic State for Action Selection”, To appear in The International Journal of Synthetic Emotions 1(1) 2010.
  • Mark A. Wood and Joanna J. Bryson, “Skill Acquisition Through Program-Level Imitation in a Real-Time Domain”, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part B–Cybernetics, 37(2):272-285, April 2007.
  • Cyril Brom, Jakub Gemrot,Michal Bída, Ondrej Burkert, Sam J. Partington and Joanna J. Bryson, “POSH Tools for Game Agent Development by Students and Non-Programmers”, in the proceedings of CGAMES 2006.
  • Joanna J. Bryson, Tristan J. Caulfield and Jan Drugowitsch, “Integrating Life-Like Action Selection into Cycle-Based Agent Simulation Environments”, in Proceedings of Agent 2005: Generative Social Processes, Models, and Mechanisms, Michael North, David L. Sallach and Charles Macal eds., pp. 67-81, Argonne National Laboratory 2006.
  • Samuel J. Partington and I, “The Behavior Oriented Design of an Unreal Tournament Character”. In the proceedings of Intelligent Virtual Agents 2005 (Springer).
  • Paula M. Ellis and Joanna J. Bryson, The Significance of Textures for Affective Interfaces. In the proceedings of Intelligent Virtual Agents 2005. (Springer).
  • Joanna J. Bryson and Kristinn R. Thórisson, “Dragons, Bats & Evil Knights: A Three-Layer Design Approach to Character-Based Creative Play”, Virtual Reality, 5(2): 57-71, 2000.
  • Emmanuel A. R. Tanguy, Phil J. Willis, and Joanna J. Bryson, A Dynamic Emotion Representation Model Within a Facial Animation System. In The International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, 3(3):293-300.

Links to those papers and their full references are available from my publications page.