Computer games have evolved from simple, little programs to major Hollywood- type productions. And today’s player expectations have kept pace with this evolution—they expect truly believable gaming environments with complex stories, characters, and action. To achieve this quality, developers need to incorporate the most cutting-edge tools and techniques available. Programming Believable
Characters for Computer Games is written to provide such a resource. It takes current research in artificial intelligence and games and presents both the concepts and architectures through practical programming examples. The book focuses on the higher-level AI needed to develop interesting and believable, non-player characters that can learn and express emotions. With an emphasis on pathfinding, decision trees, finite-state machines, rule-based systems, and goal-oriented action planning, it addresses the current topics in game development.
Throughout the book, programmers work through the step-by-step creation of a 3D animated autonomous character. Each chapter covers the theory of the topic and then applies it through practical, hands-on exercises. The creation process works from design, modeling, and animation to the development of the artificial brain, which includes techniques for learning, socializing, communicating, navigating, and adapting to its environment. This is a comprehensive resource that brings current games research into the hands of programmers.
* Provides practical instruction, software, and source code for the development of a fully functioning character in a 3D environment
* Covers all the major areas of a non-player character development, including meshes and skins, inverse kinematics, human interaction, and traditional and experimental AI procedures
* Details new behavioral aspects of non-player characters, including the psychological aspects of games theory, emotional computing, and agent architectures
On the CD!
* IMAGE FILES - All the images from the book
* CHAPTER FILES - Sample code, listings, and exercise data
* SHAREWARE (WIN) - Milkshape: A 3D modeling and animation package; Netica: An API for programming in Bayesian networks; SWI-Prolog - A PROLOG Programming environment and APIs
* APOCALYX 3D GAME ENGINE - Open source game engine used throughout the book
Win Intel® Pentium® processor (required); Pentium III, Pentium IV or multiprocessor system recommended. WIN 98 (32 MB RAM) or WIN XP or equivalent or later (64 MB RAM) 500 MB+ of available harddisk space, sound card (recommended); 16-bit video card (required); 24-bit or greater video display card (recommended).