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Geta

Game Programming Gems AI articles

17 posts in this topic

[shameless plug alert!] Two of the frequent posters to this forum, Ferretman (Steve Woodcock) and Geta (Eric Dybsand), have articles covering AI topics, published in the GameDev.net Featured Book - "Game Programming Gems". Reviews at amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com are all positive. This book is worth checking out! [end shameless plug] Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion ... Eric
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I was going to get this book eventually, but I think I might get it sooner now!
What is your topic area?
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i ordered this book a couple of weeks ago, and am still waiting for it to arrive
it really seems worth it from what i''ve heard about it
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quote:
Original post by Gorky

I was going to get this book eventually, but I think I might get it sooner now!
What is your topic area?



"A Generic Finite State Machine in C++"

All comments are appreciated.

Eric
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quote:
Original post by Gorky

I was going to get this book eventually, but I think I might get it sooner now!
What is your topic area?



And mine was "A Simple Flocking Implementation"--togther with code and demo, of course.

Actually, this raises an interesting sub-topic. There's a lot of talk already about a followup book--anybody here have any specific suggestions on ideas for AI chapters for the next one? I'm currently planning a followup on the flocking stuff (this time with obstacle avoidance and predator/prey behavior) and a chapter on Influence Maps (if you don't know what those are, taking a look at the Influence Mapping thread over on my web site).

What else would folks like to see, assuming we do another book?



Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado



Edited by - Ferretman on September 22, 2000 1:50:08 AM
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I''d like to buy the book, but... it is a bit expensive, though I think it is definitely worth the price. Maybe I will sometime, but I''m still waiting for the "Humane Interface" I ordered 5 weeks ago.

-Jussi
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I''ve heard alot about that book. But what really blows is that I''m only interested in the AI part. Why buy an expensive book if you''re only going to read a fraction of it?
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Mr. Ferretman,

I''m currently writing a operational wargame on Eastern Front (1941 - 1945) and I would really appreciate a bit of more AI for this type of game. I chapter or two on writing wargames would be a dream come true. Here is what I would like to see:

1) Supply...how to handle supply and algorithm

2) Level of command - strategic (general goal driven ?)
Example: Russian 62nd Army figures out
that they have to defend Stalingrad and
then issues specific orders to its
Divisions

- Tactical (victory objectives driven ?)
Divisions do the fighting and tactics
(assaults, flanking attack) on their own

3) Movment system

4) Combat system (using CRTs)

I know that wargames market is getting smaller but i was thinking that strategy games in general could use this as well...

What do you think ?

Thanks...

Peter Fisla

PS: I''m currently waiting for my book of Game Programming Gems

PS2: If anyone knows where I could find more info on the mentioned topics on the internet please let me know thanks
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I ''m a newbie in AI programming. and I would like to find
a good AI book in C or C++ ,would you please to advice me ??
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quote:
Original post by Peter Fisla

Mr. Ferretman,

I''m currently writing a operational wargame on Eastern Front (1941 - 1945) and I would really appreciate a bit of more AI for this type of game. I chapter or two on writing wargames would be a dream come true. Here is what I would like to see:

1) Supply...how to handle supply and algorithm

2) Level of command - strategic (general goal driven ?)
Example: Russian 62nd Army figures out
that they have to defend Stalingrad and
then issues specific orders to its
Divisions

- Tactical (victory objectives driven ?)
Divisions do the fighting and tactics
(assaults, flanking attack) on their own

3) Movment system

4) Combat system (using CRTs)

I know that wargames market is getting smaller but i was thinking that strategy games in general could use this as well...

What do you think ?

Thanks...

Peter Fisla

PS: I''m currently waiting for my book of Game Programming Gems

PS2: If anyone knows where I could find more info on the mentioned topics on the internet please let me know thanks


Hey Peter:

Those are some good ideas, especially the one on supply algorithms. I don''t think there was anything in the current book along those lines.

I hope you''ll like the book when it shows up. It was a lot of work for everybody, but it turned out really well. Some of the best in the industry did chapters--heck, it''s probably worth it for the A* and 3D sections alone!

As far as more info goes, you might have some luck checking out links and resources from my game AI page (below).




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado

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quote:
Original post by Veron2

I ''m a newbie in AI programming. and I would like to find
a good AI book in C or C++ ,would you please to advice me ??


Well, the problem is there just isn''t much along those lines out there. Even our own Game Programming Gems isn''t exclusively an AI book--we''re just one chapter out of several.

Personally, if what you''re looking for is simply good AI code in C/C++ I''d stick to the Web. You''ll find more stuff, and are more likley to find exactly what you''re looking for, than with any book.




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado

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Mr. Ferretman,

Is there anything in the book that I could use for AI in my wargame ? I''m suppose to get the book either today or tomorrow.

Thanks...

peter
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quote:
Original post by Peter Fisla

Mr. Ferretman,

Is there anything in the book that I could use for AI in my wargame ? I''m suppose to get the book either today or tomorrow.

Thanks...

peter



I''m jumping in here with my 2 cents. The articles on Finite State Machines, Pathfinding and Flocking definitely could be useful to look at in preparation for designing a wargame AI. Also, a look at the Fuzzy Logic article would be beneficial.

Good luck and enjoy!

Eric
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> I''m jumping in here with my 2 cents. The articles on Finite
> State Machines, Pathfinding and Flocking definitely could be
> useful to look at in preparation for designing a wargame AI.
> Also, a look at the Fuzzy Logic article would be beneficial.

> Good luck and enjoy!

> Eric

Thanks Eric for your reply, I will take a close look at the topics you mentioned. Does the pathfinding chapter have some algorithms for hexes ? What exactly is Flocking ?

Peter

PS: Weekend coming up hopefully I will get my book today so I can do some "damage" this weekend

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Just bought the book today so I have not been able to study it very thoroughly yet. I do know that it has a very nice article on wavelet theory and one about 3d pathfinding optimizations. Other than the AI chapter the book also seems to cover areas such as general software engineering principles and 3d programming quite nicely. I doubt you will be disappointed if you are looking for articles on AI and 3d techniques.

I was mainly disappointed with the lack of network programming articles. It contained one that showed some lame techniques that are supposed to make it harder for cheaters to manipulate and study the network traffic. Unfortunately there were no articles that dealt with the much more crucial issues of handling lag, packetloss, latency and other ''network phenomena''. You will not get any clues to building a protocol for a networked game from the text in this book (haven''t checked the CD yet so don''t know if there''s any code on it that is relevant to network games). The title of the article was ''A network protocol for online games'' and I felt really cheated after understanding what it was really about.

Anyway, I will look into the book further and maybe register a handle and post a thorough review or something.

Henry



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quote:
Original post by Peter Fisla

Mr. Ferretman,

Is there anything in the book that I could use for AI in my wargame ? I''m suppose to get the book either today or tomorrow.

Thanks...

peter



Hello Peter:

As Eric said there are an awful lot of good articles in the book. I think probably the single best "set" of articles for somebody new to the business have to be the chapters on pathfinding using the A* algorithm. So many games use this approach that doing it right and understanding the nuances of how to use it are a definite "must know" in my book.




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
http://www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado

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quote:
Original post by Peter Fisla

> I''m jumping in here with my 2 cents. The articles on Finite
> State Machines, Pathfinding and Flocking definitely could be
> useful to look at in preparation for designing a wargame AI.
> Also, a look at the Fuzzy Logic article would be beneficial.

> Good luck and enjoy!

> Eric

Thanks Eric for your reply, I will take a close look at the topics you mentioned. Does the pathfinding chapter have some algorithms for hexes ? What exactly is Flocking ?

Peter

PS: Weekend coming up hopefully I will get my book today so I can do some "damage" this weekend




The pathfinding chapter does not address hexes specifically, although it would not be all that hard to adapt what is there to using hexes. When a node gets expanded, instead of expanding it into to 4 orthogonal and 4 diagnol neighbors, just expand it into 6 adjacent neighbors (all the same cost).

Flocking. Steve, this was your article. Please answer the man.

Until Ferretman gets an answer to you, think of flocking as a means to control multiple moving NPCs as a single unit. Look up in the sky when you see a flock of birds go by, and notice how they move in unison. Flocking movement does the same thing.

Good Luck,

Eric
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Hi guys,

I got the book last night and I must say so far I'm satisfied with the quality of text. The book is well written and well done.
Since I'm working on a WW2 operational wargame with hexes I find that sections: 1,2,3,6 are usefull to me. I red the whole AI chapter last night (finished at 3:00am) and I learned a few simple things about fuzzy logic, FSM and Neural networks. Hopefully I can use NN for my game as it is turn based and should not be a problem with CPU and memory. What I would like to see however in the next book (yes I plan on getting next book when it comes out) go a bit deeper into AI and spend some time on turn based game design and bit of stuff on hexes as well. I know that 3D and real-time are the main topics but turn based games are not gonna dissapear from my point of view.

Again, great work...

Peter

PS: A bit more on the following topics:

FSM
Fuzzy Logic (+ source)
Nerual Nets (more info)
Turn based games design
Genetic Algorithms (path finding ?)
Isometric and hex tiles (design, possibly some code)

Edited by - Peter Fisla on October 4, 2000 9:40:42 AM
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