For those of you that have been wondering why this blog has been a little quiet in the past 6 months or why I haven’t progressed on Airline Traffic Manager, I present to you my excuse…
My new book, Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com (and dozens of other resellers). Some of the details on the site are incorrect since the book is being finished up. As my publisher (Charles River Media/Cengage/Course PTR) updates their information (including art for a cover that we haven’t even designed yet), the information at the resellers will be updated as well.
As it is scheduled now, the book will be available in mid-March. Thankfully, that means that it will also be on the shelf in time for GDC. Considering my role in the inaugural AI Summit, that will make for an exciting week for me.
Rather than the typical AI book which deals with the architecture of state machines and pathfinding, for example, I focus on behavioral AI. That is, what goes into a decision and how can we make those decisions more believable?
I begin by covering a lot of classical game and decision theory and explain how we can relate those examples into the video game world. I cover utility theory and marginal utility, how it manifests in the real world and how we can represent it in our AI agents. There’s a healthy dose of technical material as well. There are chapters on constructing mathematical formulas and algorithms to help replicate behavioral patterns. Lastly, I offer solutions to prevent some of the problems that hamstring our AI agents. Throughout all of the book, I tried to make it an easy and even fun read. How often have you read a technical book that would keep you awake chuckling rather than put you to sleep with a headache? After all, we do program games, right?
All in all, it has been an enjoyable project that forced me to re-analyze things that we all often take for granted as AI programmers. I hope that you enjoy it as well.