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Maxxeh

What should I use?

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I'm new to AI, and coding, but I understand the basics, and I know basically how things work. I am thinking of starting a project, both for personal use, and for university. But I don't know how hard it's going to be. I don't know where to ask, so I came here. I am going to start with a city, and loads of civilians. All of which will be represented with simple 3d cubes and blocks. There will be a zombie outbreak on one side of the city (zombies signified by red blocks) I want some kind of advanced AI system to control the civilians, and the zombies. Such as: there's a 10% chance that the civilians will attack the zombies, but in the first minute, that rate will be 20%, due to not knowing how dangerous the threat is. or: the zombies will have a sight range of x and a hearing range of x. when a civilian is seen or heard, they will chase them. If there are no civilians within range they will either wonder aimlessly, or travel in the direction of another zombie who is wondering. If a zombie has found a civilian they will emit a moan that calls other zombies to that location within x radius. there is a 75% chance that the zombies will follow this moan, unless there is prey closer. I have ALOT of variables and actions planned out, and i'm always thinking of more. The idea comes from here: http://kevan.org/proce55ing/zombies/ But I want to make it more advanced and 3D I'd like it either to be a viewable simulation like the java one, or a game where you run around the city too, perhaps with a weapon. I just don't know where to begin. I don't mind If it's a mod on another engine (I have been thinking about the source engine) or started from scratch. I have been looking at AI implant, as I don't even mind if the whole thing is simulated in a 3D program like Maya. As long as it's 3D, It has an adjustable AI system, and It's viewable in real time (even in a maya viewport) I'm happy. Any ideas would be great. I understand the project is probably too advanced for my level, But I'm willing to learn! Also, If the isn't the place to be asking, just tell me where to go and I'll pack my bags.

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Haha I'm sorry.
Overall I just want to know what kind of AI system would support my needs, so I can start researching on how to use it.




If I'm told AI implant w/maya is the best usage, I'll start working with that..

If I'm told Source or something similar can do what I want, I'll start finding how to mod HL2 or something.




Obviously I have no clue what I'm doing right now.(I'm just a 3D modeler/animator)

I just have ideas.. So excuse my babbling!

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Well, unfortunately, AI seems to be one of the few things you can outsource. So there is no selection of AI system to choose from.

You need some framework of graphics and input support, and then the AI is hand written.

As you've come to realize, you have ALOT of variables and actions to work with, hardly any system could be premade to deal with all of the ideas you have, as well as the inifnate amount the rest of us coders could.

So really I guess the best advice I have is to try and find a programming language or scripting language that suits you, and to start coding!

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What you listed were middleware solutions. Even if you were to install and use those products, you will still need to program. You really can't just drop those into place and have AI. What's more, those packages are serious overkill for what you want to do.

Unfortunately, I think you don't realize that programming AI - even at a rudimentary level - is not a drag-and-drop adventure. You would give me the same advice were I to say "I have no artisitic talent but I want to make really cool 3D models... what product should I buy?"

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hmmm.. I see what you mean..

lol, I feel pretty stupid really!


so if the middleware packages i mentioned are overkill does that mean my project shouldn't be too complex? (in comparison to some)

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No, what you have laid out is actually rather simple. It's a rule-based system for the decisions and something along the lines of attraction and repulsion for the chasing and fleeing. Really about as simple as it gets as far as AI goes.

Most of your problem will be setting up the simulation to begin with... that is, the world, the characters, etc. Decide on an a graphical engine such as OGRE or Torque and get that running. (One note... Maya isn't a "3D program" capable of running a simulation... it's a program for making pretty 3D objects. This error alone makes me really ponder how much you have studied what you are getting into.)

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I really don't know what I'm getting into, lol. That's exactly what I'm trying to find out!

My basis for mentioning maya was that AI implant has been advertised as being a maya plugin, so i thought perhaps it could use MEL script to run AI.

Just mentioning OGRE and torque should be a sufficient push in the right direction. I just didn't know where to look!

I'm sorry for being so mindless! My intentions are good, but I'm trying to step out to new lands!

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I;ve been reading through two books about AI that are pretty interesting. "Programming AI by Example" and "AI Techniques for Game Programmers" and they both opened my eyes to how complex AI can really be. (The first one comes with a math primer right off the bat).

I know a fair amount of C++ (not an expert by any means) and I had no trouble (so far) reading through these books and doing the exercises. You way want to see if you can find them in a book store and take a look through them.


This doesn't really answer your question but it may be something to look in to.

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Quote:
Original post by Chrono1081
I;ve been reading through two books about AI that are pretty interesting. "Programming AI by Example" and "AI Techniques for Game Programmers" and they both opened my eyes to how complex AI can really be. (The first one comes with a math primer right off the bat).
Yeah, Mat's book ("...Example") is absolutely a fantastic book to get you up to the elbows in practical AI.

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The zombie infestation sim sound like a rather simple multi-agent system. Take a look here for some advice. The explanation is very easy to understand.
You will need to be a somewhat decent programmer, however.

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Start with working out sequences of actions needed for the different behaviors (investigate FSM finite state machines)

The logic you describe can be done with only simple AI -- if-then logic to check the conditions that trigger a response to a situation (a simple linear set of tests with the highest priorities first) which then start the behavior sequences which last for a while and then reevaluate the situation to change the behavior.


Instead of cubes for the 'human' objects use Billboards (yahoo that term with the keyword '3D'), then you can draw/copy pictures of proper poses representing the actions being taken (to offer better visual representation).

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