- Series: Game Development Series
- Hardcover: 732 pages
- Publisher: Charles River Media; 1 edition (December 9, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1584502894
- ISBN-13: 978-1584502890
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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AI Game Programming Wisdom 2 (Game Development Series) 1st Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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A game has to be able to think, or at least imitate thought sufficiently to render a convincing representation of some character or phenomenon. This sort of logic requires planning on the part of the programmer: A swordfighter not only has to find his enemy and engage him in combat, but know how to react if the opponent runs away, dies, or summons his buddies. The better the game designer is at endowing characters with behaviors, capabilities, and reactions, the more realistic and exciting his or her games will be. A soldier that can shoot at targets in the distance is okay, but a soldier that can also lay an ambush, shoot around corners, and fight with a knife is a lot more exciting. AI Game Programming Wisdom 2 comprises a series of article from accomplished game programmers about designing games that feature complex and lifelike behavior.
The contributors--there are dozens--share their professional experience in the field of simulating life in software. Some of their examples are crystal-clear--Nick Porcino's block diagrams that explain the behavior of artificial insects are one example. What's more, the compilation is remarkably comprehensive, addressing such issues as how collectives (such as platoons of soldiers) exhibit behavior that takes into account the perceptions of their members (as well as the lack of information--the fog of war). This book is carefully designed to help game architects plan more exciting and realistic environments for their players. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to design a computer game in which computer-managed characters need to behave intelligently. There's coverage of how to encode a character's motivations, how to make a character relate to a group, how to make characters move through and perceive space, and how to make a character learn over time.
Preface Acknowledgments About the Cover Images Author Bios SECTION 1 GENERAL WISDOM 1.1 The Evolution of Game AI 1.2 The Illusion of Intelligence 1.3 Solving the Right Problem 1.4 12 Tips from the Trenches SECTION 2 USEFUL TECHNIQUES AND SPECIALIZED SYSTEMS 2.1 Building an AI Diagnostic Toolset 2.2 A General-Purpose Trigger System 2.3 A Data-Driven Architecture for Animation Selection 2.4 Realistic Character Behavior with Prioritized, Categorized Animation 2.5 Designing a GUI Tool to Aid in the Development of Finite-State Machines 2.6 The Beauty of Response Curves 2.7 Simple and Efficient Line-of-Sight for 3D Landscapes 2.8 An Open-Source Fuzzy Logic Library SECTION 3 PATHFINDING WITH A* 3.1 Basic A* Pathfinding Made Simple 3.2 Generic A* Pathfinding 3.3 Pathfinding Design Architecture 3.4 How to Achieve Lightning-Fast A* 3.5 Practical Optimizations for A* Path Generation SECTION 4 PATHFINDING AND MOVEMENT 4.1 Simple, Cheap Pathfinding 4.2 Preprocessed Solution for Open Terrain Navigation 4.3 Building a Near-Optimal Navigation Mesh 4.4 Realistic Turning between Waypoints 4.5 Navigating Doors, Elevators, Ledges, and Other Obstacles 4.6 Simple Swarms as an Alternative to Flocking SECTION 5 TACTICAL ISSUES AND INTELLIGENT GROUP MOVEMENT 5.1 Strategic and Tactical Reasoning with Waypoints 5.2 Recognizing Strategic Dispositions: Engaging the Enemy 5.3 Squad Tactics: Team AI and Emergent Maneuvers 5.4 Squad Tactics: Planned Maneuvers 5.5 Tactical Team AI Using a Command Hierarchy 5.6 Formations SECTION 6 GENERAL PURPOSE ARCHITECTURES 6.1 Architecting a Game AI 6.2 An Efficient AI Architecture Using Prioritized Task Categories 6.3 An Architecture Based on Load Balancing 6.4 A Simple Inference Engine for a Rule-Based Architecture 6.5 Implementing a State Machine Language 6.6 Enhancing a State Machine Language through Messaging SECTION 7 DECISION-MAKING ARCHITECTURES 7.1 Blackboard Architectures 7.2 Introduction to Bayesian Networks and Reasoning Under Uncertainty 7.3 A Rule-Based Architecture Using the Dempster-Shafer Theory 7.4 An Optimized Fuzzy Logic Architecture for Decision-Making 7.5 A Flexible Goal-Based Planning Architecture SECTION 8 FPS, RTS, AND RPG AI 8.1 First-Person Shooter Al Architecture 8.2 Architecting an RTS AI 8.3 An Economic Approach to Goal-Directed Reasoning in an RTS 8.4 The Basics of Ranged Weapon Combat 8.5 Level-Of-Detail AI for a Large Role-Playing Game 8.6 A Dynamic Reputation System Based on Event Knowledge SECTION 9 RACING AND SPORTS AI 9.1 Representing a Racetrack for the AI 9.2 Racing AI Logic 9.3 Training an AI to Race 9.4 Competitive AI Racing under Open Street Conditions 9.5 Camera AI for Replays 9.6 Simulating Real Animal Behavior 9.7 Agent Cooperation in FSMs for Baseball 9.8 Intercepting a Ball SECTION 10 SCRIPTING 10.1 Scripting: Overview and Code Generation 10.2 Scripting: The Interpreter Engine 10.3 Scripting: System Integration 10.4 Creating Scripting Languages for Nonprogrammers 10.5 Scripting for Undefined Circumstances 10.6 The Perils of Al Scripting 10.7 How Not to Implement a Basic Scripting Language SECTION 11 LEARNING 11.1 Learning and Adaptation 11.2 Varieties of Learning 11.3 GoCap: Game Observation Capture 11.4 Pattern Recognition with Sequential Prediction 11.5 Using N-Gram Statistical Models to Predict Player Behavior 11.6 Practical Natural Language Learning 11.7 Testing Undefined Behavior as a Result of Learning 11.8 Imitating Random Variations in Behavior Using a Neural Network 11.9 Genetic Algorithms: Evolving the Perfect Troll 11.10 The Dark Art of Neural Networks About the CD-ROM Index
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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. "Motivational Graphs: A New Architecture for Complex Behavior Simulation.".
I can't say that this book is indispensible from an implementation perspective. Most of the articles are simply too vague - though there are notable exceptions throughout the entire series of books. What I found most useful in these articles was that they stimulated thought and helped to generate discussion among the programmers and designers at work.
Since what this book is isn't exactly obvious from the description, i figured i should explain it.
Like the first two volumes, this book is a collection of articles, generally 5-10 pages each. The book is roughly 800 pages long, so that's a lot of articles.
Each article is on a different topic and most are written by different people. A handful of authors wrote two articles, but realize that a *lot* of people contributed to this, and each is an expert in different areas, have different writing styles and represent different games.
i believe most of the authors are professional game AI developers who've worked on big name games. There are also articles by professors and game AI hobbyists (who shortly after writing in this series became professionals). Most write in a way you can understand, a few state things very simply, a few others use math and Greek letters and other things that give me headaches. The vast majority of articles are practical articles, not theory, and there's a fair number of examples (with code) given on the included CD.
Because the articles are small, they tend to be focused on a single topic such as navmesh generation, path smoothing or player prediction through n-gram analysis. Since there are so many, the topics cover all sorts of things, from camera movement systems to baseball games to squad FPS tactics to steering race cars to generating random numbers with a normal/Guassian distribution. My favorites are the ones where a developer discusses some bright idea he had for a game and how it backfired on him.
Given the sheer number of articles, it is almost guaranteed that you will find several articles that you don't like, several you don't understand, several you don't care abot and several you can't believe you lived without. If you're like me, you'll find one or two articles that are worth the purchase price of the book all by themselves.
I suppose i should mention that i wrote a couple of articles in this series (though not this volume), so i'm obviously biased, but this really is a very good series. i probably should give it a 5 but i don't like giving 5s and, besides, not every one of the ~100 articles was excellent, just a lot of them.
Now here's the important part: i teach a video game AI class and i don't use this book. Why? Because this is not a text book on how to write AI. It does not cover every topic a beginner needs to know to write a game. It does not build up a single example, walking you step by step through making a game. It most certainly dosn't teach you how to program. In many respects, this is a book written by professionals for professionals. It's a "tips and tricks" book. The assumption is that you know how to program or design a game. You don't have to be a genius to use this book, but it's not a cookbook or Dummies book either.
There are a lot of other books on AI, most of them all-in-one, how to write AI books. Personally, there's only one or two i'd recommend, and none i couldn't live without. But i really don't think i can stress enough just how valuable this particular series is.