Game Development Reference
The topics in this chapter range from next steps (A* path finding) to topics at the
leading edge in game AI (planning, behavior trees). In between is machine
learning. All these are of interest to AI programmers and are the subject of articles
and even whole sections in the four volumes of the AI Game Programming
Wisdom series of topics. Besides being the topics of game-industry-focused
publications, game AI issues have been picked up by academia as vehicles for
research. Game AI is too broad for one book to cover, so we will wrap up with a
selection of topics.
This topic might be considered the graduation exercise for the readers of this
book. The algorithm is one that all AI programmers need to have mastered.
Rather than provide a project with code, just the algorithm is given. Armed with
an understanding of how it works and aided by the numerous free resources
available on the Internet, you should be able to write your own implementation
A* (pronounced A-star ) is the algorithm of choice for general path finding in
most games. Path finding answers the question, ''What's the best way to get from
here to there?'' If there are only a few places in your game, you can precompute
the paths between them and store the paths.