AI for Game Developers is a book aimed at beginner game programmers that want to apply AI techniques in their games.

The range of topics covered is vast, chasing, flocking, pathfinding, state machines, bayesian networks, neutal networks, genetic algorithms, fuzzy logic and more.

The authors spend time to explain these AI concepts from the ground up, with numerous code samples and accompanied by full programs including GUIs & simulations, downloadable form the book's website.

So far all good, but not really so if you look a little closer. For a programmer with more experience than the complete novice, many problems become apparent quickly:

The code listings ("examples", as the authors uncommonly call them) are lacking in many aspects. The code is of low quality. C++-- some call it, and it's an appropriate name for the code of this book (take a big program with a bunch of globals and void foo(void) operating on them, wrap it all (public) in a class, and call it Object Oriented). The principal author is a scientific programmer, which shows well since the code looks sometimes like a port from Fortran. The code is also poorly typeset, in a font almost identical to the text, which makes samples hard to spot and follow. The authors also paste huge amounts of code in the book that sometimes fill whole pages, without any apparent reason. Another little deficiency is the typesetting / overall formatting quality of the book - some diagrams are simply missing, fonts are uncomfortable (especially the mix of code & text)...

It seems that most of this book's problems are about the code, though.
On the conceptual level, the book is not bad. As far as I can judge, the explanations are clear and even novices should have no trouble understanding how the algorithms work. Just look away from the code, please !!


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