February 2016 Meeting
We had our February meeting and a solid presentation on Game AI from Thomas Palmer. For those who didn’t get a chance to go here are his slides:
For those who might think that Game AI might be a difficult topic: Tom made it accessible because he knows his stuff. He has a PhD in Computer Science specializing in AI and machine learning. The conversational tone meant that we talked through some of the finer points. We stayed clear of getting bogged down in code and focused on topics that matter (such as what is a behavior tree, the A* algorithm, and state machines). I learned a lot about navmeshes, as I have not used them myself.
We talked a bit about finite state machines in Unity and I would recommend checking out Playmaker as a solid environment for creating finite state machines. While I was unable to show a demo due to technical issues, Playmaker is quite a capable plugin. One of the best aspects of using behavior trees and FSMs is that you can provide basic tools for designers to design, leaving the hard pathfinding and AI problems to the programmers.
Next month we will have our meeting on March 29th, and Randall will be talking about using the Swift programming language and XCode’s ‘Playgrounds’. Hope to see you then!