A practical guide to programming non-player characters for games

 

A practical guide to programming non-player characters for games

 

What Will I Learn?
  • Design and program NPCs with C# in Unity
  • Explain how AI is applied in computer games
  • Implement AI related Unity Asset plugins into existing projects
  • Work with a variety of AI techniques for developing navigation and decision making abilities in NPCs

 

Requirements
  • You should be familiar with C# and the Unity Game Development Engine.

 

Description

Do your non-player characters lack drive and ambition?  Are they slow, stupid and constantly banging their heads against the wall?  Then this course is for you.  Join Penny as she explains, demonstrates and assists you to create your very own NPCs in Unity with C#. All you need is a sound knowledge of Unity, C# and the ability to add two numbers together.

In this course, Penny reveals the most popular AI techniques used for creating believable character behaviour in games using her internationally acclaimed teaching style and knowledge from over 25 years working with games, graphics and having written two award winning books on games AI. Through-out you will follow along with hands-on workshops designed to teach you about the fundamental AI techniques used in today’s games.  You’ll join in as NPCs are programmed to chase, patrol, shoot, race, crowd and much more.

Learn how to program and work with:

  • vectors;
  • waypoints;
  • navmeshes;
  • the A* algorithm;
  • crowds;
  • flocks;
  • animated characters, and
  • vehicles.

Contents and Overview

The course begins with a detailed examination of vector mathematics that sits at the very heart of programming the movement of NPCs.  Following this systems of waypoints will be used to move characters around in an environment before examining the Unity waypoint system for car racing with AI controlled cars.  This leads into an investigation of graph theory and the A* algorithm before we apply these principles to developing navmeshes and developing NPCs who can find their way around a game environment.  Before an aquarium is programmed complete with autonomous schooling fish, crowds of people will be examined from the recreation of sidewalk traffic to groups of people fleeing from danger. Having examined the differing ways to move NPCs around in a game environment their thinking abilities will be discussed with full explanations and more hands-on workshops in finite state machines and behaviour trees.

The follow-along workshops included in the course come with starter Unity asset files and projects complete with solutions.  Throughout there are also quizzes and challenge exercises to reinforce your learning and to guide you to express your new found knowledge.

At the completion of this course you will have gained a broad understanding of what AI is in games, how it works and how you can use it in your own projects.  It will equip you with a toolset to examine any of the techniques presented in more depth to take your game environments to the next level.

 

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone interested in learning how to program their own non-player characters.
  • Anyone interested in seeing how artificial intelligence is applied in computer games.

 

Take this course