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AI Game Programming Wisdom (AI Game Programming Wisdom (W/CD)) Hardcover – April 3, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Rabin is a Principal Software Engineer at Nintendo of America, where he researches new techniques for Nintendo's next generation systems, develops tools, and supports Nintendo developers. Before Nintendo, Steve worked primarily as an AI engineer at several Seattle start-ups including Gas Powered Games,WizBang Software Productions, and Surreal Software. He managed and edited the AI Game Programming Wisdom series of books, as well as the book Introduction to Game Development, and has over a dozen articles published in the Game Programming Gems series. He's spoken at the Game Developers Conference and moderates the AI roundtables. Steve teaches artificial intelligence at both the University of Washington Extension and at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. He earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from the University of Washington
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Product Details

  • Series: AI Game Programming Wisdom (W/CD)
  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Media; 1 edition (April 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584500778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584500773
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Galen K. Valentine on January 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
All of the books in the Game Programming Gems and AI Wisdom series have been quite useful to me as a game programmer. AI Game Programming Wisdom 2 is a continuation of the Charles River Media series devoted to gaming issues. As with the rest of the series the articles are of varying lengths and detail. Many of the articles simply reference other articles in the series rather than basic or classic works in AI. So, this series is less useful as a bibliographic source. The topics covered in the articles are usually short and written at a high-level, but nonetheless very interesting and worth further research. And therein lies some of the frustration. It is often difficult to find more information about a particular subject since most of the references simply refer to articles in other books in the series, which are themselves are rather vague.
AI Game Programming Wisdom 2 is structured very much the same as the first book in the series. The articles are broken into similar sections, with the addition of a new section on finite-state-machines and splitting the section on learning into two. Having already covered the A* algorithm, its various optimizations, and navigation meshes in the previous books those topics are virtually absent here (though they may be buried as a secondary topic in some of the path-finding articles). I thought that the series had exhausted discussion of finite-state machines, but the editors managed to include a couple of interesting articles. The demand for more realistic AI behavior in character-based games in growing. And while a full simulation of emotions and human characteristics is unteneable, at the moment, there are some interesting ideas in the Learning section of the book e.g.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because of one particular article on swarm simulations. Once I got the book I was amazed by the breadth of topics and by the quality of the articles. I found myself leafing through the entire book and exploring the CD-ROM.
The book is well written and nicely organized into logical sections. Where space considerations prevented an author from going into great detail, the companion CD-ROM and the list of references gave great opportunities to explore the subject further.
I should also mention that my background is not in gaming, but more in scientific applications and consulting. This book is an excellent reference even for non-gamers. It is sufficiently general in its coverage to allow me to understand the context of each article, and sufficiently detailed that I would feel comfortable implementing any of the algorithms presented.
In all, this is an excellent book that should be equally useful to gaming enthusiasts, programmers, and other technical people looking for a solid reference that covers a number of interesting algorithms, techniques and approaches to some challenging computational problems.
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Format: Hardcover
"Artificial Intelligence" means different things to different people. One useful application is the control of nonplayer characters (NPC) in video games. This is the first book to address this field. Like any collection of papers, it is uneven and does not systematically cover the subject. It should be read in conjunction with a traditional AI text, such as Murphy "Introduction to AI Robotics", Russell and Norvig "Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach", Tom Mitchell "Machine Learning" or perhaps Bruce Blumberg's forthcoming "Synthetic Characters".
I teach AI at DigiPen Institute of Technology and made this one of the required books. It is good in showing which techniques are most useful in games and what you need to consider when designing your AI. Some papers are overly general and some are too specific. That's probably unavoidable, but game programmers can pick and choose the most appropriate ideas. Unfortunately, some of the better introductory articles on A*, finite state machines, flocking and fuzzy logic are not in this book but in "Game Programming Gems".
Once you understand the basics of AI, this book can save some major headaches by helping with the selection of an appropriate architecture. The CD has source code to help you get off to a good start. Reading the appropriate articles will let you anticipate problems before they happen and design around them. Professional game programmers will likely find at least one technique that pays back the cost of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to find good information about game programming and design. The trouble is that people working in the industry have an incentive to keep their techniques secret -- they don't want their competitors to learn them. The people who aren't in the industry can write about games but don't have the experience to back it up.
Game AI Programming Wisdom gives us wisdom from people who have worked on real games. Each section is a short explanation of a particular problem (like pathfinding, tactical reasoning, or pattern recognition). Since they're short and independent, you can pick the section that applies to the problem you're trying to solve and read that without having to read everything in order. However, each section is written by a different person, so if you try to read the book straight through you will be distracted by the change in writing styles and level of detail.
I'm quite glad to see this book. It's actually the first game programming/design book that I purchased. (I'm quite picky when it comes to books. I'm sure Amazon doesn't like that.) Most of the game books I see go into low level programming details. This book teaches you the principles and techniques that will be useful for more than the specific problems they cover.
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