Department of Computer Science Tech Talk Series 2023-2024, Wednesday, December 6, 2023

December 04, 2023

Computer Science TechTalk Series

When: Wednesday, December 6

Time: 3:00-3:50 PM

Where: RB 353 (Game Production Studio)


Treehave:  A New Tool to Facilitate Using Behavior Trees for Game AI


Presented by: Lyle Dotson – Senior, Computer Science Major, Andrew Everage-Scheible – Senior, Computer Science Major, Jeffrey Harmon – Senior, Computer Science, Alex Gestwicki – Student Research Assistant, Dr. Paul Gestwicki – Professor, Computer Science



Artificial intelligence (AI) is used in games to give behavior to non-playable characters (NPCs). The goal of using AI in games is to challenge players to overcome the NPCs’ scripted behaviors and improve their game experience. Behavior trees, a classic tool for AI in games, originated in robotics and grew in popularity for game AI after Halo 2’s implementation. As such, behavior trees are commonly incorporated into game engines, software frameworks with tools for making games. Unreal Engine has built-in support for behavior trees and they can be installed as community extensions for the Unity and Godot game engines.

This semester, a four-person student team created a Godot plugin, called Treehave, that extends an existing behavior tree plugin, Beehave. While Beehave provides a starting framework for custom behavior trees in Godot, it has a few shortcomings that our team wanted to address. Beehave allows for rapid behavior tree construction, it offers a runtime debug view, and it includes a performance monitor for those trees. Beehave does not, however, include support for showing and building trees within a tree-view. Our tool extends the Beehave plugin to add support for this missing feature.



Lyle Dotson is a senior in Computer Science who is interested in computer graphics with game design and development. Andrew Everage-Scheible is a senior computer science major with interests in software and game development. Alex Gestwicki is a homeschooled high school student who enjoys programming projects of all sorts. Jeffrey Harmon is a senior in Computer Science with interests in game design and development and software engineering. Dr. Paul Gestwicki is a Professor of Computer Science whose scholarship includes investigations of game design and development.


Light refreshments will be served

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