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on 18 December 2010
I think this is a great book. Clearly written and does not not assume any prior knowledge. I must say that I 've only used it
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).
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on 17 January 2005
This is a great book for hobbiest game developers, and professionals new to AI. It gives a good overview of some of the most interested areas of game AI, and practical solutions to make progress.
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.
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on 11 November 2004
The book uses source code (C++) and UML diagrams to explain AI techniques that can be found in various games in a simple yet precise manner. Each chapter has a practical Visual C++ project, which can be used as a framework to expand on the ideas presented. I thoroughly recommend this book, not only for AI programmers, but programmers in general, as it re-inforces good software engineering practices in an industry that largely discards them.
Overall, an excellent book. This is how AI should be taught at University.
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on 7 February 2010
I found this book to be a fantastic resource for AI Game Development. It showed me new techniques on implementing simple agents that displayed intelligent behaviour, without causing the resulting program to be a resource hog on the computer. It teaches 'weak' AI techniques instead of all the 'strong' AI I was taught at university. This makes the book more useful for game development and quite easy to follow. I found the most useful chapters were on building autonomous agents and the chapter devoted to pathfinding. This is not just the usual pathfinding techniques that show you how to get from A to B in the shortest distance, but how to set up your program in order to balance the need of your agents with the capabilities of the CPU, such that your agents wont slow down your program to an unbearable frame-rate, yet still show intelligent behaviour.
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on 8 March 2007
First off, it's a good read as it is so well written. There is an invaluable basic maths/physics primer at the

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.
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on 3 September 2008
A good book for game AI to get you started, the text reads fine and is easy to follow. The code on the other hand is rather messy, and I agree with the other reviewer that pseudo code would have been a better option - you have to read through all the authors little coding habits to root out what you need.

Still, worth a read because the AI descriptions are very well put together.
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on 28 June 2011
I've bought this book along with AI Techniques for game programming - which I only later found are by the same author. It's been the best bang for the buck I've had in a long time.
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.
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on 26 October 2011
This book is must have for all beginner game AI programmers.

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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on 29 May 2014
A great read. Tells you all you need to start implementation in your own code in a very short time.
A bit heavy on the maths for some perhaps but I guess that is the nature of the topic so the way the author deals with it is exceptionally well done.
The examples are great and really show the good and bad methods. I've seen both in games I own since reading this book and know how their underlying coding works now.
Well worth buying though the full price is steep so I got a second-hand copy...
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on 18 January 2012
This is the best book on AI I've read so far targeted at beginners onwards. Lots of code and workable game examples. The explanation is really well done.
The book has lots of content and I really like the small size of the book itself makes it easy to hold and read like a novel. Unlikely other books with massive fonts and lots of blank lines this book is just right.
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