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AI for Game Developers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2004

    simple explanations of major ideas

    In games, developers often concentrate on improving the graphics, because this is the first thing that catches people's attention. But suppose you've done that successfully. Beautiful, fast rendered, high resolution images. How then do you KEEP the player's attention? Especially vis-a-vis other games. So there is intense pressure on you, the developer, to make your characters more sophisticated. Bourg and Seemann offer help. The title says AI, but this can be intimidating to some. You can instead consider this as an algorithms book, that eases you gently into what can be topics of astonishing depth. Many important ideas are covered, like cellular automata and artificial life flocking. (Surprisingly, Conway's Game of Life isn't cited.) From physics, we see the use of potential functions to control character movement. We get simple explanations of finite state machines, fuzzy logic, neural networks and genetic algorithms. The virtue of this book is that the topics are understandable to developers. Hitherto, using those ideas would have required you to be a specialist in the fields. Crucially, there are code snippets that illustrate the core concepts of each major idea. Sounds like a trite statment perhaps. But if you have ever cracked open a monograph on fuzzy logic, say, and then tried to go from it to writing code, you'll understand the usefulness of what this O'Reilly book offers.

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