One of my coursework this semester is to develop a crowd-simulation algorithm realised in Maya. The first major problem I encountered is the lack of information on crowd-simulation. I don’t mean there are no research papers on crowd-simulation, but most game-related or programming-related topics are well documented and have lots of examples.
You can simply find a vast amount of information online. Unfortunately this is not the case for crowd-simulation. When looking for any tips how to do crowd-simulation the best bet are research papers. There are very few libraries implementing crowd-simulation, which are neither easy to use nor help understanding what is happening under the hood without crawling through 100.000 lines of source code.
So where to start? The best bet is to actually work through research papers. Although not easily understandable most of them at least give you an idea how about different crowd-simulation models and algorithms and how to abstract and implement them. The best source for papers on crowd-simulation is the GAMMA research group. They also implemented a library integrable into the UDK.