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AI Techniques for Game Programming Paperback – Oct 14 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (Oct. 14 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193184108X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931841085
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 18.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 821 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #518,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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The code is rather old (written in C/C++) but it is easy to understand and well explained.

It is a shame that the book has not been updated.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Sadedin on July 15 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the only good book in what is a completely dreadful series. Andre LaMothe is regarded by so many as a publishing/editing/authoring god when it comes to programming books, but I really have to ask why.
This series is designed to take money from 16 year old wannabe programmers that don't know better. Most of the authors have no content, and simply come up with a title that sounds exciting to the unsuspecting public, and then fill a book with as many words as they can, and almost no content.
LaMothe and the Premiere Press team then make the books appear bigger by using large fonts, and sell them at ludicrously high prices.
I feel sorry for the poor authors that actually try to impart knowledge to their audience, although most of them do not even try.
Mat, thankfully, is the only author in the entire series that is genuinely interested in imparting useful knowledge to his audience. It is held back by the bloat required by the series, and has far too many side anecdotes with what appear to me to be little purpose other than relaxing the reader, which while a useful ploy, is somewhat out of place when trying to teach an audience. Whilst it could do with some aggressive editing, Mat does a good job introducing a set of topics that he is obviously passionate about, although I would stress that it is for beginners wanting to get a 'feel' for genetic algorithms and neural networks, not for people looking for explanations of how the various algorithms work, or why particular formulas are used.
As with all Game Development books there is a wasted section describing windows programming, but then the aim of this series (not the author's fault) is to fill a book with as many pages as possible, no matter whether there is content for it or not.
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Format: Paperback
I really don't see why so many people freak out and pretend to be all upset because it covers use of the GDI at the beginning. I'll agree that in many cases it's not particularly helpful, but I don't see why people pretend to be incapable of going past those chapters. Anyway, I like this book a lot because it gets you making things that actually work, and it doesn't do it in a way that it's impossible to figure out what the heck the author is talking about. I only rate it 4 stars because it would be better titled as "Neural Nets and Genetic Algorithms for Stuff." It doesn't cover anything other than neural nets and genetics, and it certainly doesn't seem to be limited to games.
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Format: Paperback
The author demonstrates that it is possible to write about a subject as complex and academic as AI without boring your audience to tears. Believe me, I've read my share of college engineering textbooks and I did plenty of crying. The author does a fine job of explaining AI in plain English. Hey, there's nothing wrong at all with injecting a bit of humour and fluff into your writing. Learning complex, scientific subjects does NOT have to be boring and painful.
The book only covers GAs and ANNs but those are two of the hottest AI algorithms being looked at in the gaming industry. The sample programs are also quite instructive.
The only gripe I have is I thought the material on Win32 programming was unnecessary. There's a plethora of material on Win32 out there, both at the bookstore and the internet.
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Format: Paperback
When I started reading this book, I was thinking why the stuff was familiar to me. Oops, it 's just a beginner guide to the Windows Programming. It talks about GDI, Dialog, Creation of Back Buffer and even the Hello World. Hey, I just want to learn AI. If I want to learn Game programming, I can read Andre LaMothe's Legendary Book. These cost 8x pages while the whole book contains 40x pages (excluding the appendix and index).
But the AI part is quite good for newbie like me. Therefore, I give it 2 stars instead of 1.
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By A Customer on May 19 2003
Format: Paperback
I spent the majority of the time I was reading this book thinking "This is perfect!" Just about every other book of this general type that I have read assumes I know things I don't, is a lot thicker than it needs to be, is much too simple, or is really boring. I don't think the author of this book wasted any pages at all. Everything was put forth in a concise, easy to read tone, and whenever I came across something I hadn't seen before, it was explained in short order. At the same time, he does assume that you know what you're doing, C++ programming-wise, so I didn't have to skip past anything I already knew. For what it's worth, this book created a lot of enthusiasm and confidence in me.
The examples in the book are great. Each chapter takes you through a different small project that helps you to understand what is going on, as well as how it can be applied to games. And, as a bonus, the projects are actually interesting! I really got a kick out of showing my versions of them to people. I was able to code each of them myself in a day or two as I went, but the author's full source code and executables are included if you just want to take a look as you read.
If you are already pretty familiar with windows programming, you probably won't need to read the first two chapters, but they answered a lot of questions for me, and really I felt like the author knew what I was thinking. Later on in the book, there is a review of transforms and matrix math that I found to be a really good reference and refresher.
As a side note, the author wanted to title this book "Genetic Algorithms and Neural Networks for Game Programming," but his publisher didn't think it was 'snappy' enough. He's very active in the forums on his website, and he and others there have been a great help to me.
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