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ahw

Group behaviours in games

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ahw    264
I am looking for online resources, preferably articles and theory about group behaviours in games. Things such as boids, unit formations and anything that you might think as relevant in order to create group behaviours in games would be of great interest for my research... Usually I go straight ahead and try to create my own ideas, fearing that working with older techniques might restrict my vision. But since I am required to have quite a big reference/research part in my report, I need some help. Any help appreciated, even personal ideas ! youpla :-P

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One thing you should cover in a report is ''flocking''.
There are numerous Java-applets on the net that simulate variants of this technique. Just type the word in a search engine and you''ll find them.

Another interesting approach are those genetic pool simulators where creatures evolve after several generations. I once had a demo of a DOS-app that did this with several distinct species in an environment but I lost it. The game was great since you could really see how the individual characteristics resulted in group behaviour such as ''garding a fertile area (of food)'', ''hunting in group''...

If anyone knows this demo and has a URL, I''d greatly appreciate it if you could post it.

Good luck with you report ahw!

******************************
Stefan Baert

On the day we create intelligence and consciousness, mankind becomes God.
On the day we create intelligence and consciousness, mankind becomes obsolete...
******************************

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ahw    264
Thanks for this first reply.
I should have been a bit more explicit in what I already knew ...

I have already stuff on flocking, and boids (unless of course you implied that they are different things ?) : the famous "steering behaviour document for autonomous characters".
I also, and the Gods of the Net must have been guiding my mouse last night, found excellent pieces of articles on Gamasutre about movement of units in strategy games. But I am looking for peculiar topics, things like non A* algorithms (I loved the idea of using a potential field for creating paths explained here on Gamdev, for instance). I know very well I would find stuff, but I have learnt already that the things you need the most seem to appear when it''s too late.
Also I should add that I am doing a Masters, so I have already (well ... I hope ) a good understanding of the basics. But I am afraid I would have missed really obvious things.

Maybe I should come up with a list of topics, and ask to others if they see something missing ?

Oh BTW, I think the simulator you are talking about is Tierra, or is it Salt and Spice ?? Anyway it''s probably on gameai.com ?
Also I love this kind of artificial organisms simulator. The first program I did in BASIC was the algorithm of the Game of Life, and I must say I am still fascinated by it. I am not sure that it would be very relevant to my report though

So many things to say, and so few words !

But please if you hav any ideas don''t hesitate to share

youpla :-P

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ahw,

Thanks for your positive remark on the potential field article (I wrote that ). You could check out my site for the full report (the potential field was just a part of it) but sadly it is written in Dutch so I''m afraid you won''t have much on it. There''s also a demo application on the site however. It shows some of the more popular pathfinding algorithms like Dijkstra, cell decomposition,...

The site : http://www.softline.be/StrategicAlliance/RUG/MotionPlanning/

BTW, the demo might be Salt & Spice but I can''t find it anywhere on the net All I know is that it had genetic algorithms that decided how a creature would move based on how many friends or foes were next to him.

******************************
Stefan Baert

On the day we create intelligence and consciousness, mankind becomes God.
On the day we create intelligence and consciousness, mankind becomes obsolete...
******************************

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ahw    264
Lucky me I have a flamisch (belgian) uncle, but this is off-topic
On the other hand, I think that I might be wrong for Salt & Spice since it''s a MIT research project if I am correct. Again, it''s all in Steve Woodcock page ... somewhere in there that is.
My main goal for the report/project is to create something new, I have some ideas of mixing some existing techiques; the thing is that to do this kind of mix you need to understand the bricks you try to put together ... another interesting topic for group behaviour will be the determination of paths, and there I definitely hope to use the "influence map" idea, which if you don''t know about it, is very similar to your potential field effect, but used to figure out enemy/friendly units occupation in a map.
Well anyway ... maybe I should simply say that I am interested by anything to do with RTS, since most topic would be relevant

thanks for the feedback anyway.

youpla :-P

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