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AI Techniques for Game Programming (Premier Press Game Development) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1931841085 ISBN-10: 193184108X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Premier Press Game Development
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (October 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193184108X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931841085
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Game programming is without a doubt the most intellectually challenging field of computer science in the world. However, we would be fooling ourselves if we said that we are 'serious' people! Writing (and reading) a game programming book, should be an exciting adventure for both the author and the reader." Andre LaMothe, Series Editor

About the Author

Mat Buckland studied Computer Science at London University, then spent many years as a Risk Management Consultant. He went on to work for a developer producing games fro Gremlin Software. Buckland now works as a freelance programmer and AI consultant. He has been interested in evolutionary computing and AI in general since he first read about these techniques back in the early 80¿s. He is the author of the ai-junkie.com web site (www.ai-junkie.com), which provides tutorials and advice on evolutionary algorithms.

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Customer Reviews

It's a great introduction to neural networks and genetic algorithms.
Can Kurtulus
I've wanted to get into AI for a long time, and if anything this book makes me feel bad that it's so easy all of a sudden.
Steve
If you need/want to learn AI programming, this should be the first book of your collection.
Gilad Novik

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Wiest on April 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so let me tell you what I was looking for: a non-academic AI book with practical examples for implementing genetic algorithms and neural nets. I don't have a math degree (though I understand basic algebra and remember a bit of trig), and I learn best by doing hand's on project, not by theorizing.
This book fits the bill perfectly. It is well written, humorous, clear and patient. The examples are interesting enough that you can see how they would be useful for solving other problems, not necessarily game related.
One caveat: if you don't have a decent intro to basic Win32 API programming, get Charles Petzold's Programming Win32 book and get busy. Yes, the first two chapters of AI Techniques are a Win32 refresher (which was good for me because I last wrote Win32 3 years ago...I now do Java only), but I'm pretty sure if you haven't seen it before you'll be lost.
BTW, just to give you an idea how clear the concepts were presented, I've recoded Chapters 3 and 5 as properly OOPed (MVC, etc) Java applications. Just MHO, but Java is a much better platform for this stuff. ...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cormac Mac Galloglai on October 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book IS my Masters thesis. I built a multi layered combative system driven wholly by neural networks evolved using genetic algorithms. The learning of agents was unsupervised and they existed collaboratively and adversarily. If all of this made no sense, dont worry! Read this book and it will.

The book covers these techniques (except for multi layered architectures) to a level understood by anyone with a basic knowledge of C++. It totally demystifies NNs and GAs. Other books on these subjects actually put you off the entire concepts of AI by feeding you fear and confusion.

I have completed the book and have read it numerous times. It is going to be invaluable for my development of PHd stuff - his writing introduces areas for potential research.

Im would definately buy other books from this author. I hope he covers other areas of AI soon and puts 'em into print.

Be jaysus, tis mighty I tell ya!!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frank Z on November 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
After reading (and enjoying) the author's web tutorials some time ago I was looking forward to receiving this book - and it hasn't disappointed.
The author has managed to squeeze in a pile of information about GAs and neural nets and yet managed to keep the math down to a minimum - which for a moron like me is especially good news! The source code is kept simple and is very easy to follow.
The example programs that accompany each chapter illustrate each technique very well, and more to the point have given me many ideas to try out with my own projects. The mouse gesture recognition example in particular is a great way of teaching backpropagation, something I had completely failed to understand until I read this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Can Kurtulus on December 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Although other reviewers have already pointed out everything positive about this book, I felt I also had to praise it because it's so good. It's a great introduction to neural networks and genetic algorithms. By the way the author should be congratulated for his "never include any code that you don't throughly explain" philosophy. Although it's over 400 pages because of this philosophy, you can skim/skip around 150 of them if you know some win32 programming and basic high school math/physics. The book is so concise and easy to understand that I went through it in a night and came up having a firm idea about the subject. There are also a lot of good ideas to try out throughout the book(i.e. tinkering with the source included etc.)

To put it shortly, this is a great book, it's really worth the money you spend on it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I work for a middle to large size game developer and found myself in a position where I had to learn about neural networks very quickly (we are experimenting with them for part of a sports sim we are developing). A colleague recommended this book and I've found it to be invaluable. I picked up the basics in just a few days, enough so I could follow the code at work, and even to suggest some improvements.
I'm was also surprised by how much fun this book makes GAs and NNs. I assumed it was going to be hard work but the author has a knack for making everything seem so easy. Learning about these techniques has also given me a whole new perspective on some AI related issues.
...In a nutshell, if you want to learn about GAs and NNs then this is a great book which will fill you with excitement and help you approach AI problems in new and interesting ways.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spent the majority of the time I was reading this book thinking "This is perfect!" Just about every other book of this general type that I have read assumes I know things I don't, is a lot thicker than it needs to be, is much too simple, or is really boring. I don't think the author of this book wasted any pages at all. Everything was put forth in a concise, easy to read tone, and whenever I came across something I hadn't seen before, it was explained in short order. At the same time, he does assume that you know what you're doing, C++ programming-wise, so I didn't have to skip past anything I already knew. For what it's worth, this book created a lot of enthusiasm and confidence in me.
The examples in the book are great. Each chapter takes you through a different small project that helps you to understand what is going on, as well as how it can be applied to games. And, as a bonus, the projects are actually interesting! I really got a kick out of showing my versions of them to people. I was able to code each of them myself in a day or two as I went, but the author's full source code and executables are included if you just want to take a look as you read.
If you are already pretty familiar with windows programming, you probably won't need to read the first two chapters, but they answered a lot of questions for me, and really I felt like the author knew what I was thinking. Later on in the book, there is a review of transforms and matrix math that I found to be a really good reference and refresher.
As a side note, the author wanted to title this book "Genetic Algorithms and Neural Networks for Game Programming," but his publisher didn't think it was 'snappy' enough. He's very active in the forums on his website, and he and others there have been a great help to me.
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