Chapter 6. Fundamental AI Technologies
An interesting artificial intelligence is a major component of any successful game. AI makes games challenging and addictive, and thus generates a large portion of the gameplay value. AI is a deeply evolved science with more than 50 years of history. This means very well-known methods exist to cover a broad range of scenarios and goals, whether it's commanding an army in Age of Empires or piloting a tie fighter in a Star Wars game.
In this chapter, we will study how game AI is just a specific application of general concepts from classic AI. This means most traditional AI techniques will be perfectly valid for in-game use. On the other hand, our craft will require some specific tricks and twists, such as added attention to performance and a focus on aesthetically pleasing results. In the next two chapters, we will survey game AI techniques in some detail. We will use this first chapter as an introduction to general-purpose AI techniques, so we can devote the next two chapters to action and strategic game AI, respectively. In Chapter 9, "Scripting," we will do a survey of techniques for one of the most powerful paradigms for coding any AI system. These four chapters, taken as a whole, should provide a clear and thorough understanding of the state of the industry.