Paper: Simulating Real Animal Behavior

Simulating Real Animal Behavior
Sandeep V. Kharkar [2002]

I found this article really interesting because this is the first time I read about AI applied to animal behavior. This type of behavior is a little bit different from the usual opponent AI as to make the animals seem realistic.

The paper states that there are three different categories of animales in a game:
  • Ambient Animals (Ambient animals are used to enchance the environment of the game. They don't require heavy AI programming but they still require specific behaviors to make them seem real).
  • Secondary Animals (Secondary animals have limited interaction with the player. They need to be intelligent but somewhat limited so the interaction with them doesn't take the focus away from the main gameplay).
  • Primary Animals (Primary animals are the focus of the game. They usually have the most complex AI as they are the center of attention and probably a key part of a gameplay mechanic).
The author gives some tips to program the behavior of different types of animals like bugs, birds and fish. Also, he provides some insight what should be considered when programming each of the three kinds of animals in games.

For example, when programming bugs, you should consider that they never fly in a straight line, that they don't always flap their wings or that they try to avoid any moving objects.

This paper is a great starting point when trying to make the environment more lifelike as it gives a nice overview of what you can expect to achieve with AI programming.

The complete paper can be found in the book: AI Game Programming Wisdom.

Kharkar, Sandeep V.; (2002). Simulating Real Animal Behavior. In Steve Rabin (Ed.) AI Game Programming Wisdom (pp 479 - 485) United States, Charles River Media Inc.

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