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AIGameDev Column: Beyond Single Frame Decisions

It’s Tuesday again and I have just finished my latest column in the Discussion series at AIGameDev.com.

In this week’s column, “Thinking Beyond Single Frame Decisions“, I wanted to provoke some thought about why it is that AI programmers have often painted themselves in the corner mentality that AI decisions need to be made in a single frame – 20ms or so – even if we have to cut corners on accuracy or depth in order to do so.

As AI programmers, we are forced (or force ourselves) up against the invisible wall of framerates. Our agents must live their lives in 20 millisecond slices -perceiving, pondering, planning and performing must all be arranged in little easily-digestible bites. What’s more, they share their cramped temporal quarters with dozens, scores, or even hundreds of other cohorts – all clamoring for the leftovers that the art department has discarded… and all working under the same 20ms edict. If you can’t decide what to do in 20ms, it isn’t worth doing.

If you can spare the clock cycles, head on over to Alex Champandard’s excellent community, AIGameDev.com. Remember to tap the RSS feed to the discussion column and his many other blog feeds! While you are there, spawn another helper thread and jump into the AI forums as well. (Forum registration is required but is quick and painless. If you are an AI programmer, you’ve dealt with more traumatic experiences than that!)

I have to admit, I am really enjoying writing for Alex and his site. I’m honored that he asked me to be a part of his team.

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you subscribe to IA on AI to keep up with the latest news and notes on game AI!

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