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Chapter 1. Artificial Intelligence in Computer Games

Key Topics

Right from the very beginning, since the days of Pong and Pac-Man, artificial intelligence (AI) has played an undeniable role in computer games. Although far from the primary concern of developers, AI was still a necessity to produce entertaining games. Now that other aspects of games (for example, graphics and sound) have reached impressive levels, more attention is being focused on AI. Over the past few years, game AI has suddenly burst out of the shadows—even taking center stage in recent games.

This chapter describes the role of AI in games, and how it fits in with the development. Specifically, this chapter covers the following topics:

  • What is AI?

  • Why do we need AI in games?

  • How can AI help in game development?

  • What are the major problems?

The next sections emphasize the link between AI and design and attempt to clarify the role of AI in this relationship.

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