Programming Game AI by Example

by admin on August 11, 2011

Programming Game AI by Example

  • ISBN13: 9781556220784
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Programming Game AI by Example provides a comprehensive and practical introduction to the bread and butter AI techniques used by the game development industry, leading the reader through the process of designing, programming, and implementing intelligent agents for action games using the C++ programming language. Techniques covered include state- and goal-based behavior, inter-agent communication, individual and group steering behaviors, team AI, graph theory, search, path planning and optimizat

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

vrkaya August 11, 2011 at 1:27 am
82 of 87 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
A must-have., October 22, 2004
By 
vrkaya (USA) –
This review is from: Programming Game AI by Example (Paperback)

This book is simply one of the best AI texts that I have ever seen. The author has the ability (as those others who have visited his website will attest – http://www.ai-junkie.com/ai-junkie.html ) to take complex topics and break them down into simple, logical steps that make sense even to novice programmers such as myself.

Throughout this book, he does that time and time again. He gives thorough examples and describes them very well. These are not “baby” examples that serve only to highlight this or that point – he delivers real, working examples that you could plug right into your own game or simulation. Take Chapter 4, for example. It is an elegant sports simulation of a Soccer match. This single chapter is worth the price of the entire book, in my opinion.

The examples are cool. The code is modern and efficient. The techniques are those in use today.

For years, I would buy a book on AI Programming, only to find that techniques were only hinted at and not fully explained. It was like, with those authors, they were keeping some mysterious trade-secrets all to themselves.

This author doesn’t do that. He is confident enough to give you everything you need to know to program your own AI. Be it a Finite State Machine, an intricate sports simulation, or fuzzy logic – just to name a few of the topics you will find in this book. If you have his other book, you know that he is also adept at Neural Nets and GA.

So, my advice is biased because I have read this book and I love it. I think you will, too. Buy this book. You won’t regret it.

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Rajan Sharma August 11, 2011 at 1:48 am
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of a kind book, June 27, 2005
By 
Rajan Sharma (Chicago, IL USA) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Programming Game AI by Example (Paperback)

I have read many game development books, and this is definitely one of the best ones out there. Just by flipping through the pages, you can see right away how much care Mr. Buckland has taken in writing this book. There are a plethora of diagrams and code examples, and the layout and organization is excellent. The balance between theory and implementation is just right. The writing style is concise and the book covers a lot of material, yet it is enjoyable and painless to read. Personally I also like the fact that the book is physically compact so it fits easily on my desk :)

By far though, my favorite aspect of the book is the “real-life” examples he gives. It’s easy to skim over all the theory without really “absorbing” the material, but when you see the concrete examples, it jogs your brain and gets you thinking about how to actually apply it. For example, when discussing the basic idea of “states”, he doesn’t just make up a contrived example and leave it at that; he gives several examples from actual types of games. For example, a Quake style bot might implement FindArmor, FindHealth, SeekCover, and RunAway. Even the weapons may implement mini state machines like Move, TouchObject, and Die.

Digging deeper into the actual content of the book, it covers all of the practical topics an AI programmer should know, such as FSMs, pathing, group behavior, scripting, fuzzy logic, etc. All topics are explained in enough detail that you can incorporate them comfortably in your game, and if you want to learn more, you have a solid foundation to build on. As it says in the book, being an AI programmer isn’t just about memorizing a handful of techniques, but also about how to apply them in combination. So, the book covers two concrete examples: a soccer game and a simple shooter game called Raven. To further your understanding, each section also contains some suggested practice exercises, like “Write code to update their sensory system so that a bot is able to sense when it is being shot at.” Finally, as a bonus, this book also talks about UML class diagrams in the appendix, which is very useful to know if you don’t already.

It doesn’t talk about genetic algorithms or neural networks, but that seems like a good decision because those topics rarely come up in practical AI. If you want to learn more about those, Mr. Buckland has written another book called “AI Techniques for Game Programming”.

Incidentally, notice that my review, plus all the reviews before mine, all contain the word “best”. This is no accident- this book is a gem, and should be required reading for anyone looking to get into game AI.

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Yoshiro Aoki August 11, 2011 at 2:45 am
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
none of the typical Bravo Sierra, November 14, 2005
By 
Yoshiro Aoki (Vancouver, BC / Osaka-Kobe, JP) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Programming Game AI by Example (Paperback)

This book has a very high signal to noise ratio. No patsy italicization and explanations of simple concepts like inheritance and polymorphism, and no wasted space towards their explanation. And none of the tired dogma about how important design and washing hands after picking nose is. A book that doesn’t try to address everybody on planet Earth…what a concept. Don’t know what a singleton object is? The book politely refers to the internet, and moves on to provide game application for a multitude of the concepts typically learned during undergraduate CS work. Concepts like FSMs (agents!), Graph Theory (paths, obstacles), Fuzzy Logic, and more with the perfect mix of theory and reality (mostly reality, thankfully. I got a game to write). If you are comfortable with your C++ coding this book will throw light sometimes on even old, familiar concepts spun in a new gaming application that will have you going like `whoa…how cool and what a piece of cake!’. Its one of those cornerstone books, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it became a classic in the game community some day. Maybe. Who knows. A million stars but alas, Amazon limits me to five. p.s. I hope you dont get the impression from me that you need a CS degree to understand this book. No way! All you need are your excellent coding skills.

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