Wiley
Wiley.com
Print this page Share
Textbook

Algorithms and Networking for Computer Games

ISBN: 978-0-470-01812-5
288 pages
June 2006, ©2006
Algorithms and Networking for Computer Games (0470018127) cover image

Description

Algorithms and Networking for Computer Games is an essential guide to solving the algorithmic and networking problems of modern commercial computer games, written from the perspective of a computer scientist. Combining algorithmic knowledge and game-related problems, the authors discuss all the common difficulties encountered in game programming.

The first part of the book tackles algorithmic problems by presenting how they can be solved practically. As well as "classical" topics such as random numbers, tournaments and game trees, the authors focus on how to find a path in, create the terrain of, and make decisions in the game world. Part two introduces networking related problems in computer games and focuses on three key questions: how to hide the inherent communication delay, how to utilize limited network resources, and how to cope with cheating.

Algorithms and Networking for Computer Games provides a comprehensive resource that offers deeper algorithmic insight into game programming and explains game-specific network considerations. Read on for...

  • Algorithmic solutions in pseudo code format, which not only emphasizes the idea behind the solution, but also can easily be written into the programming language of your choice.
  • A section on the Synthetic player, covering decision-making, influence maps, finite-state machines, flocking, fuzzy sets and probabilistic reasoning.
  • In-depth treatment of network communication including dead reckoning, local perception filters and cheating prevention.
  • 51 ready-to-use algorithms and 178 illustrative exercises.

Algorithms and Networking for Computer Games is a must-read text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students on computer game-related courses, postgraduate researchers in game-related topics, and game developers interested in new approaches and the theoretical background to games.

See More

Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xv

List of Algorithms xvii

Preface xix

Acknowledgements xxi

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Anatomy of Computer Games 3

1.2 Synthetic Players 5

1.2.1 Humanness 6

1.2.2 Stance 6

1.3 Multi-playing 7

1.4 Games and Storytelling 8

1.5 Other Game Design Considerations 9

1.6 Outline of the Book 10

1.6.1 Algorithms 11

1.6.2 Networking 11

1.7 Summary 11

Exercises 12

I Algorithms 15

2 Random Numbers 17

2.1 Linear Congruential Method 18

2.1.1 Choice of parameters 20

2.1.2 Testing the randomness 22

2.1.3 Using the generators 24

2.2 Discrete Finite Distributions 25

2.3 Random Shuffling 27

2.4 Creating GameWorlds 30

2.4.1 Starmap generation 30

2.4.2 Terrain generation 32

2.5 Summary 38

Exercises 41

3 Tournaments 47

3.1 Rank Adjustment Tournaments 50

3.2 Elimination Tournaments 53

3.3 Scoring Tournaments 60

3.4 Summary 65

Exercises 69

4 Game Trees 73

4.1 Minimax 74

4.1.1 Analysis 77

4.1.2 Partial minimax 78

4.2 Alpha-Beta Pruning 82

4.2.1 Analysis 84

4.2.2 Principal variation search 86

4.3 Games of Chance 86

4.4 Summary 89

Exercises 91

5 Path Finding 97

5.1 Discretization of the GameWorld 98

5.1.1 Grid 99

5.1.2 Navigation mesh 100

5.2 Finding theMinimum Path 102

5.2.1 Evaluation function 103

5.2.2 Properties 104

5.2.3 Algorithm A* 105

5.3 Realizing the Movement 108

5.4 Summary 109

Exercises 110

6 Decision-making 115

6.1 Background 115

6.1.1 Levels of decision-making 116

6.1.2 Modelled knowledge 117

6.1.3 Methods 119

6.2 Finite State Machines 122

6.2.1 Computational FSM 125

6.2.2 Mealy and Moore machines 129

6.2.3 Implementation 130

6.2.4 Discussion 132

6.3 Flocking .135

6.4 Influence Maps 139

6.5 Summary 142

Exercises 143

7 Modelling Uncertainty 149

7.1 Statistical Reasoning 149

7.1.1 Bayes’ theorem 149

7.1.2 Bayesian networks 151

7.1.3 Dempster–Shafer theory 152

7.2 Fuzzy Sets 155

7.2.1 Membership function 156

7.2.2 Fuzzy operations 157

7.3 Fuzzy Constraint Satisfaction Problem 159

7.3.1 Modelling the criteria as fuzzy sets 161

7.3.2 Weighting the criteria importances 163

7.3.3 Aggregating the criteria 163

7.3.4 Making a decision 164

7.4 Summary 166

Exercises 166

II Networking 169

8 Communication Layers 171

8.1 Physical Platform 173

8.1.1 Resource limitations 173

8.1.2 Transmission techniques and protocols 174

8.2 Logical Platform 175

8.2.1 Communication architecture 175

8.2.2 Data and control architecture 176

8.3 Networked Application 178

8.4 Summary 179

Exercises 180

9 Compensating Resource Limitations 183

9.1 Aspects of Compensation 184

9.1.1 Consistency and responsiveness 184

9.1.2 Scalability 187

9.2 Protocol Optimization 190

9.2.1 Message compression 190

9.2.2 Message aggregation 191

9.3 Dead Reckoning 191

9.3.1 Prediction 191

9.3.2 Convergence 193

9.4 Local Perception Filters 196

9.4.1 Linear temporal contour 199

9.4.2 Adding bullet time to the delays 202

9.5 Synchronized Simulation 205

9.6 Area-of-interest Filtering 205

9.7 Summary 209

Exercises 209

10 Cheating Prevention 213

10.1 Technical Exploitations 214

10.1.1 Packet tampering 214

10.1.2 Look-ahead cheating 215

10.1.3 Cracking and other attacks 220

10.2 Rule Violations 221

10.2.1 Collusion 221

10.2.2 Offending other players 223

10.3 Summary 224

Exercises 224

A Pseudo-code Conventions 229

A.1 Changing the Flow of Control 232

A.1.1 Expressions 233

A.1.2 Control structures 234

A.2 Data Structures 237

A.2.1 Values and entities 237

A.2.2 Data collections 237

A.3 Format of Algorithms 242

A.4 Conversion to Existing Programming Languages 244

Bibliography 247

Ludography 255

Index 257

See More

Author Information

Jouni Smed is currently a researcher and lecturer in Department of Information Technology, University of Turku, Finland.  His research concentrates on computer games, optimization, and scheduling algorithms.

Harri Hakonen is a researcher and lecturer in the department of Information Technology, University of Turku.  His research interests include algorithms for computer games, string algorithmics, and software construction.

See More

The Wiley Advantage

·         A comprehensive resource that provides deeper algorithmic insight into game-related problems and explains game-specific network considerations.

·         Gives algorithmic solutions in pseudocode format, which not only emphasizes the idea behind the solution, but also can easily be written into the programming language of your choice.

·         Covers random numbers, game trees and path finding.

·         Includes a section on the Synthetic player, covering decision-making, influence maps, finite-state machines, flocking, fuzzy sets, neural networks and Bayesian belief.

·         Details resource handling, including packet compression and aggregation, area-of-interest filtering, multicast filtering, and enhancing architectural design.

·         Provides in-depth treatment of cheating prevention methods, including the MD5 algorithm and lock-step protocol.

Includes an accompanying website with errata and additional code samples.

See More

Reviews

"Indispensable for game theorist or game developers…highly recommended." (CHOICE, February 2007)

"…I recommend this book for game developers, students, researchers, and specialists in game programming." (Computing Reviews.com, December 8, 2006)

See More

Related Websites / Extra

Algorithms and Networking for Computer GamesVisit the authors' website to access programme examples to accompany their book.
See More

Related Titles

Back to Top