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Geek Culture / What Does It Takes To Be An 'AI Programmer'

Solidz Snake
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Joined: 23rd Oct 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: 7th Dec 2002 21:40
This is another one of my honest question.
Just wanna ask u guyz, the same question like Games Designer, but rite now its a new one.

Right now I'm just in the mood of making a Pacman game using Java and currently in the function of making the Ghost AIs. U know the basic: 1 Ghost would follow Pacman, 1 Ghost would try and head off Pacman, 1 Ghost would travel around at random, and the last one also travels at random until it sees Pacman and give chase until Pacman is too far.

Well I'm not sure about the last one, but thats not the question right now. My question (for ur opinions) is:

"If I wanted to become an AI Programmer (possibly doing the best that I can) in a games company, what does it takes?"

Again, I'm just asking for opinions, no intention for flames or anything. Education and good opinions are more important.

And again, this question is open to anybody, from professionals to average individuals, opinions is mostly appreciated, discussion is waaaay cooool, but please no other than that! But even better rite now, is to ask u guyz ifu can provide images and sample codes for this topic.

Snake? What happened? Snake? Snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!!! - Colonel Roy Campbell[/img]
Shadow Robert
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Joined: 22nd Sep 2002
Location: Hertfordshire, England
Posted: 8th Dec 2002 05:35
Well the best way to go about this kind of Ai would be to think about what is actually required, because you'll have to balance the code for intelligence against processor speed.

This oftenly leads to a slightly more randomised effect than most people would like, but the only way sometimes.

There should be a pathfinding routine, which personally I'd use an array to setup numbers to tell the program on each square were walls are.
using a simply bit per wall wouldn't be hard as you get 8 bits per byte so like 6 bits for possible walls.

From that the routine can then like check where pacman is, and make a possible route calc ... if you combine that with a link checker so they take it in turns the closest to him gets to pick randomly a route then each of the others futher away get to randomly pick a route that doesn't intersect. That would kinda get the effect you are looking for. If they're in scared mode, then they should calc all routes say 10squares away which don't end in a three sided wall square, and randomly pick one.

I mean you could always have the program also calc which would give him the best chance for escape, but as i mentioned processor calc's cause this has gotta be done per second.

You also have to think how will the user react if you make the ghost so intelligent they can't be touched but are on you instantly.

Another thing you could add is LOS so unless pacman comes into thier veiw they tinker about but just checking the clear squares based on the ghosts current travel direction.

I mean the setup is oftenly different for almost everygame due to what the enemy is to do, but the same principals are to be relied upon.

Speed vs Randomness ... you can make them sit there and figure out the best possible action, like in half-life if a grunt get more than 20% dmg he'll find the nearest wall and hide but randomly he can crouch and keep firing or just try to find the nearest exit, or even follow a friend who's also escaping.

in the end they could have gone to make them think carefully about what to do, but randomness was chosen for somethings for speed.
Also take into account about difficulty levels, if you give set options to choose from - even randomly you're guarenteed what they'll do and making them slightly predicatable will make them easier. Taking away that predictability will take away that difficulty.

So for an easi version of Pacman, you could tell the ghosts to say go down route 1 all the time unless they bump into another ghost then they change to that new first route

hope this is all helpful

Anata aru kowagaru no watashi!
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