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.
I'm hoping that the author AI Techniques for Game Programming writes a follow up book going into more details with greater explanations of the reasons behind the selections of the genetic algorithm pseudo evolutionary formulas. Very interesting stuff.
So, this is a good book for beginners, that is somewhat too wordy for my taste, but represents the only book in this series that is worth it's buying price.
It is a pity that there may be other Game Development books written by committed authors such as Mat, because due my disgust at all other Game Development books I have seen aside from this one, I have made a pact with myself never to buy another, since 'Game Design' and 'Swords and Circuitry', two others I sadly bought are the saddest cause any tree could die for. They are, bluntly, pathetic, and I am furious with Lamothe for such a dreadful series.