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ZanAlex

Narrow-scoped project involving slightly-more-than-basic AI

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ZanAlex    141

Hi everyone,

 

That topic might not be in the right spot but I'd looking for advice about personnal project.

I've studied software engineering and games programming for a few years and I work as a trainee in a very young French game company (and I apologize for my English ;) ). During my studies, I found a particular interest in AI and designed a (clunky) nav-mesh generator as my finale year project.

 

The point of the last paragraph was to show that I have some experience in games programming, a basic understanding of various topics and that I can make things done eventually.

 

My objective is now to develop my skills in AI. My internship does not offer me that so the best solution is to develop some simple games on my own. Here is my problem: I'm having a really hard time finding a narrow-scoped game idea that could help me develop my skills. I've tried to start doing some kind of a simple engine that could power some basic tasks (DX11 rendering and input for now) so that I could later focus on the parts I like, but it really feels like I'm never going to get it done (especially with a time-consuming job).

The game ideas that I have seam a bit too tough for side-project. I'd like to work on RTS planning AI, but that would mean doing all the RTS related stuffs, that are really interesting but not my priority at the moment.

 

The reason why I'm posting here is to get some pieces of advice from you about where to go. I'm quite sure someone might have been in that situation and some words of wisdom would be very appreciated.

 

Again, I'm not sure that thread is in the correct section, sorry if that's not the case.

Thank you for reading me!

Alex.

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Ashaman73    13715


The reason why I'm posting here is to get some pieces of advice from you about where to go.

My advice would be to stick to your goal and strip off all features you really dont need.

1. Use a ready to go engine like udk, unity for rendering/physics/input/tools.

2. Use abstract visuals, there are some video on youtube show off zombie AI. The environment is represented by blocks, the zombies are colored cubes. You don't need more !

3. You don't need a game in the first place to create game AI.

4. Don't make game design, just think about AI, that is , don't create interesting units, think what interesting AI behavior exists and build a unit from this one.

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IADaveMark    3741

Look up the Heider-Simmel Animation.

If they can create 70+ years of controversy over whether or not squares and triangles "appear intelligent" using such an animation, you can do some damned convincing AI work using modern technologies. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTNmLt7QX8E 

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ZanAlex    141

Well, thing is I don't know the first thing about HTML and JavaScript. But I have a decent knowledge of C# and I think that even a basic knowledge of Unity might be valuable in the labour market. So I think I'd rather stick to cube and sphere in a Unity project.

 

Again, that's just my opinion, do not hesitate to tell me if I'm wrong.

 

And thank you very much for your help :)

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sunandshadow    7426

There are some board games that are very similar to an RTS, but would probably be easier to make a mock game with minimal graphics so you could focus on making an AI that could assess the 'board' at each turn and intelligently decide what to do.  Another possibility is getting an opensource game of this type and writing additional AI for it.

Edited by sunandshadow

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wodinoneeye    1689

The output (graphics/visual whatever) needs to be sufficient to clearly communicate the situation of the simulation the AI is operating upon  and the actions and possibly displaying  the 'searching' for a solution - simply indicating the internal processing the AI uses.

 

Ive done this with just basic "billboard" (2d texture standup facing the 3d viewpoint) objects on a grid terrain map (squares of different textures to indicate the 'terrain' situation).    The objects can be 'dumb' props, which can be acted upon/modified whatever (a state texture if they have more than one).    The 'smart' object likewise can have some state texture appearance varying with what actions  is being taken (doesnt have to be animated).    Thought bubble like indicators can likewise be done using a similar 'billboard' visual output.

 

Mine was 2D surface visible in 3D (with a moving/rotating eyepoint), but a 1D 'stage' situation might be adaquate depending on what your game's simulation is.

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