Programming Believable Characters For Computer Games Paperback – May 20 2004
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About the Author
Dr. Penny Baillie-de Byl (Australia) is a university lecturer, computer programmer, systems simulator, and Web site application engineer who has been researching in the area of artificial intelligence since 1995. She has published a number of international conference papers, journal papers, and a book chapter in this area. She also presents talks internationally about her work, and currently teaches courses on computer programming, multimedia systems and computer graphics at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
OpenGL examples simply allow the various examples in the book to be compiled and run on machines other than the PC.
The previous reviewer really needs to get a grip and realise developers DO develop on other systems...including OpenGL but its the information presented on character development that's of interest here.
I've not read this book yet, but have ordered it on the strength of the content discussed. Unfortunatly I can't enter a null rating so have given it 5 stars to negate the previous negative review.
I'll start by telling you that this is not a book for beginners, though oddly, it seems to try and be one at times. But then, when you're digging into some of the technologies Penny Baillie-de Byl talks about in Programming Believable Characters for Computer Games, the idea that it could be a beginner book flies out the window. (To Baillie-de Byl's credit, however, she's the first person I've found in over a decade capable of explaining artificial neural networks on anything approaching a layman's level.)
I don't think this should need a synopsis, but just in case: it's about programming NPCs. I bet you figured that out from the title. Baillie-de Byl goes through a number of possible ways to program NPCs, covering everything from the most simplistic (finite state machines and the like) to the most complex (behavioral neural networks, etc.). Needless to say, in such a relatively slim volume, nothing gets covered in a great deal of depth; this is more of a sourcebook than it is an in-depth study. But Baillie-de Byl does offer some coding examples, and a CD-ROM full of more of them, so you can work after class on your own if you feel so inclined.
I will say that one pipe dream I was hoping I'd find here did not materialize-- that mythical, long-searched-for improvement on the A* algorithm. Unfortunately, you'll have to find your cold fusion elsewhere folks. But otherwise, it's worth looking into if you plan on doing any RPG, RTS, or sim programming. ***
A very interesting book if you want to study the various existent AI techniches and apply them at game development.
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