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Ferretman

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  1. I agree with the anonymous poster. You are unlikely to find a freeware API that will do much of what you're looking for, and so you'll end up building so much of it I wouldn't even bother with a freeware API. Fortunately you can build it gradually...it doesn't have to do everything at once. First, just get the enemies to move around realistically....that's harder than you might think. Then, get them to face towards and shoot the player (bet ya a buck you see them shooting 180 degrees away from the player at least once). Work on getting these basic behaviors down. After that you can get fancier. Want them to hide? Okay, that involves a lot of "thinking"---what kind of cover is nearby? how bad am I being hurt? does the player look like he's nearly dead himself? Moving from protected location to protected location is also an interesting challenge...rather than plotting the best path through a room you're plotting the one with the least visibility to the player (or at least where the AI thinks the player is). Etc. My point is that you can very much do what you want, but it'll take iteration and building on the pieces you got working before. Get the basic bits of behavior down first (move, shoot, find) and then you can use them to "build" more complex behaviors. Good luck!
  2. Quote:Original post by Physics515 How do I get started programing AI? I know C# and am starting to program Assembly. What are some good books? tutorials? or just good advice? The "AI Game Programming Wisdom" books are excellent sources for all kinds of neat stuff, and as Mat has noted his book is pretty darn useful too. I would also recommend "AI Game Engine Programming" by Brian Schwab; great walkthough on the pitfalls and pluses of building an AI game engine. There are some other great books; honestly your very best resource is the Internet.
  3. Quote:Original post by WeirdoFu Well, flocking is only possible with multiple agents where they sort of gain info from each other. Given the right wall setting, you can trap flocking groups. Also, with only one agent, you can't really flock. Well that's not really true....you just add an "invisible" agent, another member of the flock. He can even live at the intended destination...the important thing is have something to perform the attracter/repulsor caculations (which is really what flocking boils down to) against, isn't it?
  4. Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes For computer gamers, this means almost nothing, but for console gamers Halo and AI became synonymous. The fact that enemies reacted and spoke trash and there was strategy that you and a teammate could perform made the worthwhile. It'll be interesting to see what Halo 2.5 on the XB2 will bring. Prettier graphics or more clever AI (hopefully both). You can definitely sell a game on AI. The problem is delivering and not letting the publishers force you to concentrate on graphical eye candy. The designers behind HALO and HALO 2 had some of the very best presentations at the GDC I've seen. They got a standing ovation after the end of their presentation back in 2003...it was simply superb (and I suspect many of us were envious of their design tools).
  5. Quote:Original post by Zodiak Well, I just think that when one DOES create an awsome AI, the gaming industry will get that boost like with physics. What I mean, is if you haven't heard of a certain game, and then it comes out with average graphics etc. but with some awsome AI system, it will immediately be noticed... It's just a matter of making an excellent AI system, that's all. Because above all, people tend to admire AI the most when it's there. So the game will be a huge success, with millions of people going like 'Oh, Joe, check it out... Yesterday that <beep> had actually outsmarted me... it's so fun! I created a line of defence in the north, but that <beep> anticipated it and attacked me from the rear..." something like that. It's way way more fun to play with good AI than with graphics + physics because without AI they mean nothing (unless we are talking about multiplayer). I like your train of thought but have a problem with your example...specifically, how will the player know that the AI "anticipated" his line of defenses and hence attacked from the rear? Unless the AI tells him somehow, or perhaps the player's avatar "debriefs" the AI after the fact, the player doesn't really know whether the AI anticipated him or cheated. One of the things one loses when playing against an AI is the boast-and-goad factor you have when it's your buddy on the LAN....not sure how to solve that one though.
  6. Quote:Original post by jollyjeffers As others have said, it's going to be a while before AI takes center stage - but with the advent of these multi-processor/multi-core systems, and the inevitable switch to multi-programming, I reckon AI will get a chance at the big time.... [smile]. Fingers crossed the argument that processing resources are limited will become null and void. I submit that this has alrady been done a couple of times with some games, where the marketing made a huge deal about how amazing the AI was going to be...and then players were pretty much let down hard when the game hit the market (I'm thinking UT Online and various RTS games here). That put a bit of a crimp into making claims that were perhaps over the top. At the GDC roundtables we've occasionally had folks asking what to do if they built their AIs too smart and/or too hard. We've always told them they should be so lucky... Quote:[i] If a couple (or more!) big name games take the time to put some truly powerful AI into things, the sort of stuff that gets people going [oh] at how damn impressive it is, then they'll raise the bar. Raise the bar and others will almost certainly follow... This is absolutely the case, and I think we've seen it slowly come true across genres. Games that don't do something in particular that has become widespread quickly get slammed by the reviews. At this year's GDC we saw an incredible number of design walkthroughs that had a huge amount (I thought) in common with each other. Lots of different games but the basic AI engine designs were very similar, as if developers have been trying lots of things and slowly settling on a small handful of approaches that give them the design flexibility they need, which raising the bar another notch.
  7. Quote:Original post by John Reynolds I agree Physics has become an important part of certain genres of gaming. However, I don't think it has done so at the cost of AI. Every project I know of has dedicated AI programmers, and indeed more AI programmers than Physics, and if you look around at who is hiring it is clear how in-demand AI programmers currently are. The Graphics vs Gameplay balancing-act has eased somewhat thanks the the GPU. Now the graphics has its own processor it freed up a lot of CPU time to Gameplay, Physics, AI, etc. At the 2005 GDC (and indeed at many of the past few GDCs) virtually every serious project had a minimum of one dedicated AI programer. Several had two, and a handful had three (which just astounded me). They tended to break things up into handling different layers at that point, which I thought was interesting...this guy did the top-level strategic decision making AI and handed orders off to the guy who handled individual unit AI. The third usually did something like animation-related stuff, or companions, or perhaps NPCs (who usually just need to follow orders and not look completely stupid otherwise). It was fascinating. I think AI will continue to be a major factor in any larger game design, with physics becoming more and more important where it makes sense (like FPS games).
  8. Quote:Original post by Drew_Benton Awesome! I was like hmmm who is this Mod? [grin] I don't frequent the AI forums at all. I have been away for a long time...but now I'm back. Some great pics were taken at the Programmer's Dinner (including some from Drew Sikora right here on GameDev) and it was a lot of fun. Here in a couple of days I'll post shots from around the GDC (masses and masses of game developers mostly) too...they're kinda neat, especially for folks who have never been.
  9. All: For those who might be interested, you can now see pictures from the GDC 2005 Game AI Programmer's Dinner over at GameAI.Com. I've got stuff up from myself and fellow AI guy Neil Kirby, and there are links to a couple of other sites where folks have done writeups about the dinner and the like. Drop by and take a gander if you'd like to see a true "gathering of geeks"....
  10. Quote:Original post by InnocuousFox (Interestingly, other people came in to post in support of my definition - or rather my summation of the definition as held by many in the industry.) Quote:Original post by Timkin You keep mentioning this 'many in the industry', yet you had to pull a few quotes off google - which you clearly misrepresent through your own lack of knowledge of the depth of literature in this field - and claim that these quotes support your comments because someone else agreed with you. Well I'm one. Eric Dybsand was another, and I'll go out on a limb and add Neil Kirby and (probably) Will Wright as still others. I've been in some of the same conversations that IF has been in with some of the true industry luminaries...EB is a happy thing that comes from assigning motivations and seeing patterns in what is ultimately random or slightly directed behavior. No one ant knows it's building an anthill...they're just each stacking pebbles on each other. Quote:Original post by InnocuousFox just merely passing along an observation of how the term is often used in our industry Quote:Original post by Timkin Ah, so it's your industry? You know, he did not say that. He said "our", as in yours and mine and his and ten thousand others. Quote:Original post by Timkin It's not an industry in which academics participate and contribute? Are you claiming that all games technology is developed and implemented in games companies, or consulting firms like yours? How could you misread something he said so deliberately? Without the academics the industry would be a much sadder place, and IF is very well aware of that. Heck, I think he may listen to the academics more than some of us who are actually building AIs all the time...they have some pretty good ideas! Quote:Original post by Timkin This is not the first thread in which you've made remarks about people using definitions too much... or snide comments like 'fine-tuning their little definitions or theorems'. You also continually accuse people who use definitions of not actually doing anything useful in industry. Your comments about 'our industry' and the 'land of academia' make it perfectly apparent that you think its an 'us (you) versus them (academics)' war and that simply because you make games (a game) that you must be right. There is no us versus them. Actually my read is that your posts are more along the "us vs them" vein than anything IF has said. He said that most of the people he's talked to in the industry don't consider EB to match the definition you presented..there was no "us vs. them" until you started wondering about the credibility of his sources, his experience, and his arguments. Lighten up everybody, please...this is the worse kind of emergent behavior that seems to breed in forums....
  11. Quote:Original post by Anonymous Poster Oh for gods sakes, does this board have to become a battle between academia and industry? In game development, emergent behavior *is* a good-looking coincidence. In university, it's a non-linear whatchamacallit. Whoop de doo. I've been a game programmer for 10 years at 4 different companies and we all consider emergent behavior to be what InnocuousFox says. Oh no, we must not use an improper definition! Amen. IF is precisely right, we do consider EB as more a happy coincidence than anything else. Yes we guide the coincidences, and yes we've got a particular kind of behavior in mind, but the details are entirely up to the algorithm(s) in question. Any meaning to those behaviors is assigned by the observer, not the agents in question.