Programming Game AI by Example PDF

Download Programming Game AI by Example PDF book free online – From Programming Game AI by Example PDF: Programming Game AI by Example provides a comprehensive and practical introduction to the “bread and butter” AI techniques used by the game development industry, leading the reader through the process of designing, programming, and implementing intelligent agents for action games using the C++ programming language. Buy from Amazon

Programming Game AI by Example PDF

Techniques covered include state- and goal-based behavior, inter-agent communication, individual and group steering behaviors, team AI, graph theory, search, path planning and optimization, triggers, scripting, scripted finite state machines, perceptual modeling, goal evaluation, goal arbitration, and fuzzy logic.


Programming Game AI By Example by Mat Buckland is one of those books that comes highly recommended and was one I had been meaning to read for a long time. In fact, I originally purchased the paperback in 2006 and never got around to reading it. The interesting part is that the book is still very much relevant today and is not dated in the least. Well now maybe some of the engines and middleware have this stuff built in, but the fundamentals I think I still important to understand.

The book starts with a quick primer on math and physics. The basics are explained, like Cartesian coordinates, trigonometry, vectors, coordinate spaces, and some physics. Like most people reading a book of this level, the beginning was a light refresher. However, I’m a big stickler for reading books from cover to cover with no skipping around, so I did not mind a short recap. Next Buckland gets into state-driven design and demonstrates a simple command-line app using the concepts. I found this approach successful, and it was able to show the concepts without complex 2D or 3D math getting in the way.

He followed up with autonomous moving agents, mostly based on steering behaviors. I was already somewhat familiar with steering behaviors, but I found the author’s description and code to be clear and concise and explained the concept better than I’ve seen before. He then applies the previous topics to a simple soccer game. This was a great next step, and really compiled the knowledge being taught into something concrete. In the next chapter, the author went into graphs; what they are, how to use them, and some popular algorithms link Dijkstra and A*. I always wanted to know what A* was, and this book explains it fairly well. Programming Game AI by Example PDF


Buckland then devotes a section to cover scripting languages and why they are useful. In this case, he chose Lua (not a bad choice) and explains some basics about the language, how to interface it with C++, and creates a simple finite state machine. This chapter is helpful even if you’re not coding AI and just need a scripting language for your game or engine (provided you like Lua). In fact, a lot of the concepts in this book are generic enough that they can be applied to multiple fields of interest for game developers.

Next, the author creates a simple overhead game framework used in the subsequent examples. Using this framework he then shows practical path planning, goal driven agent behavior, and finishes up with fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic is another one of those buzzwords that always intrigued me but I never really understood. Buckland concludes with a quite excellent explanation of the concept.

Overall I found this book to be stellar on all accounts. I feel that any game developer could gain insight from this text, even if they aren’t primarily working with AI programming. The scripting coverage could be used in many games, and the algorithms covered are generic enough to apply to different disciplines. While this is the first book I’ve read on AI, I really can’t imagine a better introduction. Highly recommended.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

“Programming Game AI by Example 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!”
—Jeff Orkin, AI architect, Monolith Productions, No One Lives Forever 2 and F.E.A.R Programming Game AI by Example PDF

“…a nice combination of a lot of really useful information, put together in a way that doesn’t make my brain leak.”
—Gareth Lewis, Project leader, Lionhead Studios, Black & White 2

“Each chapter of Mat’s 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.”
—Mike Ducker, 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!” Programming Game AI by Example PDF
—Eric Martel, 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 doesn’t 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. I’d have no qualms about recommending Programming Game AI by Example to any programmer. It’s an excellent read and an excellent springboard for ideas.”
—Chris Keegan, Technical director, Climax Studios (Solent)

About the Author

freelance programmer and writer

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