AI Game Programming Wisdom 4

So I’ve been extra busy as always and haven’t had a great deal of time to post.  This time I have an excuse!  Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on my first draft for the upcoming “AI Game Programming Wisdom 4″ book.  I’m writing an article entitled “Scripting Your Way to Advanced AI” (check out more info here).  After working with Simon (our designer) on the singleplayer of Battlestar Galactica I decided to share my experiences.  I’m unsure how much I can talk about the article so I’ll leave it at that for now.  Suffice it to say at least one Dark Reign reference was snuck in there, imaginary sticker for anyone that finds it.

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Why Company Of Heroes Is The Best RTS Of All Time

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I’m obsessed with Company of Heroes, it’s official. All my other games have taken a back-seat as I spend all of my gaming time playing online. So why is it so good? What makes it stand out, and why should you start playing it?!  Below are my list of reasons why this is by far the best RTS of all time.

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Do Great Programmers Have Selective Autism?

Autism is characterised by the impairment of social interaction and communication. It manifests itself early in a child’s life (first 3 years) and is seen in varying degrees. Many programmers often show similar impairments to social interaction and communication albeit at a far less severe level. I’m going to be a little controversial and propose that great programmers sometimes have the ability to strengthen this lack of social interaction and communication making them exhibit autism like behaviour.

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Happy Easter

Hi guys,

This is just a quick post to say happy Easter and let you know how things are going at the moment. Things at work have been going crazy leading up to big milestones so I’ve been putting in 10+ hour days for a while now. This has left me little time to work on my latest blogs, but rest assured, I have a number in the works. I’m currently playing Silent Hunter 4 in all its bugginess and as usual still playing as much Company of Heroes as I can with my limited spare time.

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Less Is More Part 2

Introduction
Having ‘more’ of everything in a game does not necessarily make it a better game. I’ve spoken about this before with Paraworld and this topic has come up again, this time with Supreme Commander (SC). I was a big fan of Total Annihilation, SC’s spiritual predecessor; however this game seems to have added more complexity in all the wrong places. Quite a few people I’ve spoken to like SC so I thought I’d put down my thoughts to let them know why I am having trouble enjoying it.

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Battlestar Galactica on Xbox Live Arcade

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So it’s finally official, Auran is developing Battlestar Galactica for XBLA. I can’t really say much more than that as everything released has to go through our publisher however I can say I’m working on it, and it’s going to be a great game. Below are some links with the full details:

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Are Game Programmers Good Enough?

Computer Gaming Weekly released their first 100 magazines for free download on the net a while back.  I was reading through the first issue (November 1981) and I stumbled across an article containing a section entitled “Programmers: Are They Good Enough”.  While this is a nostalgic and interesting read, it begs the question: 25 years later, are programmers good enough?

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Orbital Mechanics

Just a quick update to let you know that things are coming along nicely in CIC at the moment. I’ve decided to put together my second tech demo (alpha 2) which wills how off movement and may have orbital mechanics involved. I’ve always been interested in orbits, both how they work, and the math that goes into entering and exiting them. I haven’t played a game to date that includes them so it seemed like a good mechanic for a tech demo. My hope is that I can hide all of the boring and complex 3D math from the player and let them concentrate on having fun sling shotting of planets, entering/exiting and changing orbits and other fun things.

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Managing Technology, People or Business?

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CIC 3D

It’s been quite a while since I posted specifically about CIC so I thought I’d give a quick update. Last night I made my first check-in since September (before the wedding). I’m beginning work on the ’3D movement’ part of the game which I’m hoping will be one of it’s main features. Homeworld 1 & 2 have been the best games to use 3D that I’ve played so far, however I still didn’t like their interface. It was predominately 2D with the 3rd dimension being an added extra. CIC is going to be fully 3D and there are no major and minor axis (z/up being minor in Homeworld). This has two advantages, firstly, you have all dimensions to use in your strategy and you’re not disadvantaged by attacking along a minor axis. Secondly, it’s far easier for the player to comprehend what’s going on in true 3D as they only need think about where enemies are relative to themselves, not relative to a given coordinate system. Will this work? Time will tell. I’ve already rewritten the tried and true chess rules for my mini-game, I may as well try rewriting the way games handle 3D while I’m at it.

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