Friday, November 26, 2004

On Intelligence and the potential relevance on AI programming.

I just picked this one up and before I post my take on this book, as well as suggestions on how I envision its potential usage for AI development, I will say that if you develop software of any types and especially if you program AI for games, then you must buy this book. Its that good. It has me thinking about the structure of an AI system in a fundamentally unconventional way. Not since I read Mark Ludwig's Artificial Life and Evolution have I had this type fundamental shift in thinking.

On Intelligence Link

More to come.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Men of Valor is completed.

I'm the lead programmer on Men of Valor for Xbox. The game has now been completed and will be on the store shelves, October 19.

The PC version will be on the store shelves the following week.

For information on the game :
as well as my employers website:

Needless to say I'm happy this one is behind me and I can get back to a normal life.
These are just some old notes, from the site.

I've updated my papers page. I've written a few papers as well as an outline for a pending series on writing parallel AIs.

J.F.C. Fuller : Military Thinker
One of the most interesting biographies on one of the men that pioneered modern tank warfare. The other being Liddell Hart. If you come across this gem of a book, you should pick it up. The book goes through Fullers early years quickly and starts in on the more interesting aspects of his genesis thoughts on armoured warfare, and the roles infantry would play in general warfare. Some of the text is lifted directly from Fullers own memoirs and other hard to find books. One of the best formulations of strategic thought comes out of the statement that, "The object of battle, ...,was not so much the destruction of individual soldiers, but the disintegration of the organization of masses of soldiers." Once this had been achieved, soldiers would become subject to the caprice of their instincts. Basically likening them to a mob of civilians.

AI Wisdom 2 Purchase Link
AI Wisdom 2 has just been released. Alot of good articles (including mine ;-) )but in general some of the articles are not really even game AI related and could serve as a good starting point for more esoteric research projects into thought formulation.
AI Wisdom 2

Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare
Just finished reading "Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare" by Mark McNeilly. Simply buy this book. If you want to design and program an AI that has a solid foundation, this book should be on your shelf - after you've read it. Covering topics such as preparing the battlefield, leadership, identify weaknesses in the enemy, direct and indirect forces, and finally achieving an objective without destroying it. I blew through this book in no time and took COPIOUS notes. This book will be one your fundamental building blocks in writing a good turn based AI.

Art of Maneuver
Just finished reading "The Art of Maneuver" by Robert Leonard, a truly superb treatize on maneuver warfare. Copious coverage of the theory of maneuver construction, to a basic analytical overview of the evolution of maneuver based warfare. The most useful aspect of the book is the examples drawn from history on the usage of maneuver in campaigns. Though, this maybe subjected to scrutiny because, you can ALWAYS find an example to corroborate your claims - it still adds an interesting amount of credibility to the book. Worth a read.

Picked up two new books today, "The Essential Clausewitz" and "Principles of War." Both are excellent strategic books that describe in detail the basic fundamental aspects of war. Focusing on maneuvering of forces, how to target and attack, the use of terrain and alot more.

The last few months...
Been very busy, moved to Tulsa to take on a new gig at 2015 ( to lead up a little game called Men of Valor : Vietnam.

Basic Defensive Tactics in MOTE
A basic tactical defense of a capital. This shows the defense of a pass with artillery; that can effectively decimate an enemy invasion without much danger to themselves. With the reserves milling around, anything that happened to get through, would be easily dealt with.

MOTE stuff
Heres a new pic of MOTE at play. Enjoy. Progress is slow but constant. I'm working on fine tuning the influence maps for the ai and integrating it into the MTAIF.

Strategy books
I've invested alot of time into reading several good books. The first being, "A Study of his Military Thought" by Brian Bond and "The Liddell Hart Memoirs." Both are exceptional books, that cover the evolution of mobile mechanized warfare from the man that provided the seed for its germination in the German military; as well as most of todays armed forces. Very good stuff.

Masters of the Art of Command by Martin Blumenson.
If your wanting to learn about how to design and implement effective AI's grab this book. It gives a bunch of wide ranging essays on military leaders, how they dealt with war, mobilization, doctrine and maneuvering. No programming in this book, just a real-life treatment of tactics. Good stuff.

Master of the Empire.
I integrated some new art assets, and finished up the interface for unit selection So here is a thumbnail of the new screen.

Master of the Empire.

The entire networking layer has been coded, so you can play games over a network. In the WorldFall folder there are a couple screenshots from the early version of the game. At the current rate of progress, I should have a demo by the end of the month, that allows you too play a game against the computerized empires. The game is shaping up to be something fun, with a simple interface, an incredible AI framwork (its really awesome to see decisions made at a strategic (operational) level and then see the enemies carry out the orders in the field. The system allows operational decisions to be made by an AI that is exclusively programmed for that, I don't have units in the field trying to determine if they should attack or not, the operational AI has ALL that critical info, so the Heavy Tank ("Steel Weight") can just do what he does best, blast units and buildings to pieces. So here is a thumbnail of one full screen shots, two fullscreen shots are on the WorldFall page.

Master of the Empire AI REVEALED!
MOTE: WorldFall is still progressing, but I've spent alot of time working on a series of articles for the next AI Programming Wisdom book. Though, I can't give details now, the articles are covering the MOTE architecture and a second article is covering a generic object manager that is usefull for all games. Not just AI programming. In other breaking news, since I am now joining the ranks of the unemployed, I will be spending alot more time working on the MOTE games.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Parallel AI Framework

Creating framework for generally available parallel framework.
Initial paper will be published in Game Gems 5 - sometime early 2005.