The GNU is a creature between human and animal, a creature of contradictions, eerie but tender, unearthly but always seeking company. I designed, rigged, and animated the GNU in a character animation class.
The GNU come to life in a game of the same name, which we worked on it in a team of three. I took on the role of producer and technical artist.
The central interaction of the game is to herd the GNU like sheep and bring them to safety. I was in charge of the GNUs' AI. Faced with the challenge of programming a herd or swarm behavior, I partly used the boid algorithm, which is often used to simulate bird-like behavior, as well as a state machine, based on discrete logic. The state machine controls the influence of the boid forces, cohesion, adherence, and separation, as well as other forces such as flight from the monsters or the player. The calculation happens in a compute shader, which allows processing a lot of GNU at once. It was one of my favorite tasks throughout my studies. I loved working on a very abstract, technical basis to make the GNUs come to life.