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AI for Game Developers: Creating Intelligent Behavior in Games ***--

AI for Game Developers: Creating Intelligent Behavior in Games By David M. Bourg, Glenn Seemann
Published August 2004
List Price: $39.95, Your Amazon.com Price: $29.71

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,123,117
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Advances in 3D visualization and physics-based simulation technology make it possible for game developers to create compelling, visually immersive gaming environments that were only dreamed of years ago. But today's game players have grown in sophistication along with the games they play. It's no longer enough to wow your players with dazzling graphics; the next step in creating even more immersive games is improved artificial intelligence, or AI.

Fortunately, advanced AI game techniques are within the grasp of every game developer--not just those who dedicate their careers to AI. If you're new to game programming or if you're an experienced game programmer who needs to get up to speed quickly on AI techniques, you'll find AI for Game Developers to be the perfect starting point for understanding and applying AI techniques to your games.

Written for the novice AI programmer, AI for Game Developers introduces you to techniques such as finite state machines, fuzzy logic, neural networks, and many others, in straightforward, easy-to-understand language, supported with code samples throughout the entire book (written in C/C++). From basic techniques such as chasing and evading, pattern movement, and flocking to genetic algorithms, the book presents a mix of deterministic (traditional) and non-deterministic (newer) AI techniques aimed squarely at beginners AI developers. Other topics covered in the book include: Potential function based movements: a technique that handles chasing, evading swarming, and collision avoidance simultaneously Basic pathfinding and waypoints, including an entire chapter devoted to the A* pathfinding algorithm AI scripting Rule-based AI: learn about variants other than fuzzy logic and finite state machines Basic probability Bayesian techniques Unlike other books on the subject, AI for Game Developers doesn't attempt to cover every aspect of game AI, but to provide you with usable, advanced techniques you can apply to your games right now. If you've wanted to use AI to extend the play-life of your games, make them more challenging, and most importantly, make them more fun, then this book is for you.

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Sep 25 2004 07:45 AM
I bought this book as I had no prior experience in AI for game programming. I personally feel that it's a pretty good beginner's guide as it touches on many topics and has examples related to game development. As it covers so much I sometimes felt that the authors could have dug a little deeper into the subject, however they do provide references to further research which is good. One section that could have seen further detail was that of the Neural Network, I spent most of my time cross referencing with the AI Junkie tutorials as it didn't quite hit the nail on the head for me.

The examples in the book are in C-like C++ and can occasionally be frustrating to read (who codes C++ using malloc?!)
The book doesn't come with a CD, which I find poor as I had to type out most of the examples by hand. There is an obscure link to the souce on the publisher's website (if you're prepard to hunt for it), however as they're written in Borland C++ Builder my system didn't have the DLL files needed to run them and some of examples were actually missing (the Neural network implementation).

In general, it's a good book for beginners that understand the concepts of game programming and already know the sort of AI they can use but don't know where to start in the field. It's let down by it's fairly high price and the fact that it doesn't come with a CD.