AI for Game Developers
Creating Intelligent Behavior in Games
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2004
Pages: 392

Advances in 3D visualization and physics-based simulation technology make it possible for game developers to create compelling, visually immersive gaming environments that were only dreamed of years ago. But today's game players have grown in sophistication along with the games they play. It's no longer enough to wow your players with dazzling graphics; the next step in creating even more immersive games is improved artificial intelligence, or AI.Fortunately, advanced AI game techniques are within the grasp of every game developer--not just those who dedicate their careers to AI. If you're new to game programming or if you're an experienced game programmer who needs to get up to speed quickly on AI techniques, you'll find AI for Game Developers to be the perfect starting point for understanding and applying AI techniques to your games.Written for the novice AI programmer, AI for Game Developers introduces you to techniques such as finite state machines, fuzzy logic, neural networks, and many others, in straightforward, easy-to-understand language, supported with code samples throughout the entire book (written in C/C++). From basic techniques such as chasing and evading, pattern movement, and flocking to genetic algorithms, the book presents a mix of deterministic (traditional) and non-deterministic (newer) AI techniques aimed squarely at beginners AI developers. Other topics covered in the book include:

  • Potential function based movements: a technique that handles chasing, evading swarming, and collision avoidance simultaneously
  • Basic pathfinding and waypoints, including an entire chapter devoted to the A* pathfinding algorithm
  • AI scripting
  • Rule-based AI: learn about variants other than fuzzy logic and finite state machines
  • Basic probability
  • Bayesian techniques
Unlike other books on the subject, AI for Game Developers doesn't attempt to cover every aspect of game AI, but to provide you with usable, advanced techniques you can apply to your games right now. If you've wanted to use AI to extend the play-life of your games, make them more challenging, and most importantly, make them more fun, then this book is for you.
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oreillyAI for Game Developers

(based on 6 reviews)

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Reviewed by 6 customers

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


Applied theory that works

By Creative Ben

from Roskilde, Denmark

About Me Developer, Maker


  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples


  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Student

Comments about oreilly AI for Game Developers:

I purchased this book for a small undergraduate course in Artificial Intelligence, which proved a great help back then, albeit mostly for its code. Back then I successfully applied Fuzzy Logic and Steering Behaviours. Then I placed it on my bookshelf as yet another Academic victory.

I decided to specialise in AI at a graduate level, and picked up the book again because I am studying Artificial Neural Networks and Evolutionary Algorithms. It is described as an introduction to AI, but I must say that it not just the case; the formula is identical to that of the scientific material I have researched, just explained with an programmers angle. (And I must admit, I understand formula better through text than five pages of mathematical proofs)

In the end, a great book. The techniques are more modern than what you think, which is a very great quality; not only is it an easy entry into a confusing field, but the knowledge is worthwhile. A good supplement to the theory at a graduate, helping with the implementation which often is as hard as understanding the techniques.

I do however find the Path Finding and Scripting out of place; Path Finding is much better understood and applied in an algorithms class covering Graph Theory, and scripting engines are an architecture question. If the goal is to create a language by yourself as in the book, Grammar theory would be better, which is a big field in itself.

Thus, I give it four stars.

(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent resource for Game AI

By Paul Milbourne

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly AI for Game Developers:

Sometimes the oldies are the goodies. As a Flash game programmer, I found myself wanting with respect to challenging publications that would effectively enhance my abilities in day-to-day life. It is so common these days to try and move on to the next best thing. And, the speed at which our industry moves doesn't typically help that fact. We often fail to realize that just because our languages change overnight, it doesn't mean that the theory behind them does. I found that the concepts put to this book are just as applicable today as they were in 2004. In fact, as someone that studies AI collegiately, many of the concepts from 20 years ago are very applicable to today. If you are a game programmer that is serious about the craft, this book is worth checking out!

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Very helpful to me, providing essentials in a goed manner

By Oskar Neugebauer

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly AI for Game Developers:

I knew nearly nothing about AI for games.

So for me there were some main reasons to buy and read the book:

overview over AI related to games,

discussion of advantages and disadvantages of special approaches,

discussion of ongoing tendencies in AI with regard to game development.

One item of critic, and this in general, not only related to this book: providing download of code examples seems ok at first sight.

But the question rises: how stable are the URL's in time? I recently bought a book from another publishing company, but with date of publishing the URL had been changed...

So, I prefer an accomanying cd.

Overall result for me:

The only minor issues for me: no accompanying cd. And, perpaps it makes sense to discuss the advantages/disadvantages of 'traditional programming language versus scripting'.

Regarding the complexity of each item each chapter would be worse a separate book.

In my opinion in each chapter the authors were very able to put the essentials to the point, providing also a discussion of advantages and disadvantages for each approach.

I am very satisfied with contents, and style to present contents. The examples supports the several approaches very well. Contents and examples provide goed starting points for own trials and experiments to me.

The URL related to discussion and errata is valuable for me.

My points of interest were fulfilled to high extend. I've got the impression that I have learned a lot.

The boek provided also goed and valuable ideas for further reading to me.

As result I give rating 5 = definitive!

So, many thanks and compliment to the authors for providing an informative and well readable book; and the publishing company for publishing.

(0 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Knowledge necessary to develop the AI in you

By Eduardo Cesar Lunardelli

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly AI for Game Developers:

I feel the will to say that this book this preparing me for the mestrado phase of.

When the see for the first time, I was so fascinated with the subject, and liked the wealth them details in Pathfinding, state machines, fuzzy logic, Neural Networks and genetic algorithms.

I still go to write a book on I WENT using the C#. I am certain that we are in way certain e this evolution already is happening, will be that I am a visionary?

Thanks David and Glenn, vocs is making to see me the future, fort hugs!

(5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Where's the code? :(

By Rafael Almeida

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly AI for Game Developers:

The book is overrall ok, but for a book that intends to help just get things done I expected more code examples. For software with graphical interface

I find it nice to be able to actually run the code, change a few things, see how things go, but that's definitely not what I got from the book.

The examples are not well organized, there's some weird mac stuff. And everything seems to be done for Visual Studio. I don't think the book should try to force you to buy some expensive propertary software for running the examples. They could just as easily been done for use with free technology. That way everyone would be able to compile it, people using mac, windows, linux, netbsd, and so on.

So I rate this book avarage, it might be ok for getting introduced to gaming AI, but I don't think it's worth having. I just got from the library and read it, it's not big. There should be better books for reference, and even intruduction to gaming AI, with better code examples.

(7 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


Where's the code?

By curtis

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly AI for Game Developers:

Perhaps I have been spoiled but good books come with an electronic version of the code in the book. This book to a great extent does not! There are example programs but some are written for Windows and some, I presume, are for the Mac. However, many of the code snippets found in the book are either non existent in electronic form or they are buried with no easy way to find them.

This would be semi-acceptable if the code was well explain but, too often, the obvious parts are explained and the more obtuse parts are left for the reader to guess. There are two common ways to grasp code. One is to read a detailed edplanation; the other is to run the code. Since the explanations are poor and it is not an easy matter to run the code, this book fails a key test.

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