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Programming Game AI by Example (Wordware Game Developers Library) Paperback – 1 Oct 2004
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From the Inside Flap
" stands out from the pack by providing industrial-strength solutions to difficult problems, like steering and goal-oriented behavior. Mat guides the reader toward building a foundation robust enough for real games. This book is a must-have for anyone new to the field, and has tips for the seasoned professional as well. I wish I [had] read it eight years ago!"
AI architect, Monolith Productions, No One Lives Forever 2 and F.E.A.R.
" a nice combination of a lot of really useful information, put together in a way that doesnt make my brain leak."
Project leader, Lionhead Studios, Black & White 2
"Each chapter of Mats book gently introduces the reader to a fundamental game AI technology before expanding the new idea into a fully formed solution replete with extensive code and clearly worded examples. The tone of the book is uncomplicated and accessible to the reader, allowing a novice programmer the opportunity to get to grips with the basics of game AI programming by implementing their own systems direct from theory or expanding upon code examples offered to gain understanding in a sandbox environment. Once individual technologies are fully understood, the book goes on to combine these ideas into several complete game environments allowing the reader to understand the relationships between the interacting systems of an overarching game architecture."
AI programmer, Lionhead Studios, Fable
"Using easy-to-follow and well-described examples, this book shows you how to use most of the techniques professional AI programmers use. A great introduction for the beginner and an excellent reference for the more experienced!"
AI programmer, Ubisoft, Far Cry (XBox)
"Programming Game AI by Example is an excellent book for the game programming neophyte, the intermediate programmer, and even the expert - it doesnt hurt to go over familiar ground, does it? The book concisely covers all of the important areas, including basic maths and physics through to graph theory and scripting with Lua, to arm any programmer with the tools needed to create some very sophisticated agent behaviours. Unusually for books of the type, Programming Game AI by Example is solid in its software engineering too, with the example code demonstrating game uses of familiar design patterns. Id have no qualms about recommending Programming Game AI by Example to any programmer. Its an excellent read and an excellent springboard for ideas."
Technical director, Climax Studios (Solent)
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Top customer reviews
It is the first book I've seen that makes a good effort to present solutions that would actually be used in real games. Which surprised me, because Mat's first book on game AI was just like every other title I've read: a blend of hype and unusable technology. With this book he has come on by miles.
I'm AI programmer in the industry, and this is the first book I've seen that I could hand-on-heart recommend for real technology (John Funge's book is also good, but as an overview, not for practical implementation).
There are some bits (such as the scripting chapter) that are squarely aimed outside the industry, but provide superb material for a hobbiest. The majority of the book is filled with technology that covers the very basics of game AI for novice AI developers. And there are some bits (like the goal oriented behaviour chapter) that could actually benefit people working on commercial games.
There are bits I disagreed with, inevitably.
My biggest criticism of the book is its narrow scope. It covers a handful of AI techniques well, but doesn't talk about the tens of other techniques that game AI programmers need to use to get the game out of the door. It also misses lots of techniques used in particular game genres (it is focussed primarily on shooters, although there is a chapter with some small inspiration for sports games). Some of this is because of size, but it means that the book can only act as a taster and not a real reference book.
Mat's writing is chirpy and readable, and so far the code is reasonably correct and useful. I would recommend it if you are a hobbiest game developer, but its probably far beneath you if you already work in AI in the industry.
for the implementation of steering behaviours until now so I can not comment on the rest. Also a minor disadvantage is that
I do not have a way to compile the code on a mac (please let me know if I am wrong on that).
Overall, an excellent book. This is how AI should be taught at University.
start (in fact I still refer to that section a year later). Then a nice gentle intro with FSMs (although, on my girlfriends orders, I had to rewrite the tasks given to the Miner's Wife). From there it's Steering Behaviours, Sports AI, Pathfinding etc (all the usual suspects) but the examples for each are superb. I did struggle slightly translating the code
(pseudo-code would have been nice) but that's a minor point.
Still, worth a read because the AI descriptions are very well put together.
The book is well written, clear and thorough both in the theory and the application of the various techniques it shows. The author takes pains to explain the math, to keep it simple and down to earth while avoiding oversimplification: math of pathing and steering can be tough even for the well versed, yet mr.Buckland succeeds in making it understandable and clear.
Giving examples and practical applications of the techniques helps a lot in making them "real things" and in allowing the reader to experiment and expand on them to understand better.
He manages to make even the relatively counter intuitive methods of fuzzy logic easy to grip and master.
Two thumbs up, a must have.
The book does not bore you with academic babble about game and AI theory. It gives you many usable tips for implementing an AI that is really used in games. State machines, goal driven agents and fuzzy logic are all explained extensively and accompanied with working examples and source codes (downloadable from authors web page). In my opinion, the book is well written and has a good hands-on attitude. It helped me a lot when I was getting started with game AI programming.
For a seasoned professional the contents of this book might be to beginnerish and the scope of book does not cover very wide field of AI programming. It is still good book to get your AI's up and running.
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Most recent customer reviews
Good examples and takes you step by step with easy directions
A bit heavy on the maths for some perhaps but I guess that is the nature...Read more
I just want to say I have no problem with the book, and its contents, infact its quite good (my uni uses it as reference material).Read more
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