IMGD 400X (B 09)
Homework Assignment #11
Due by Web Turn-In: Midnight, Wednesday, December 9
(See general homework instructions for turn-in details.)
Live presentation in class on Thursay, December 10
This assignment was inspired by an article in the August 2008 issue of Game Developer magazine (www.gdmag.com) entitled "Game Brains", which very briefly reviewed eight current AI middleware systems.
The purpose of this assignment is to give you a chance to test your own broad understanding of game AI techniques and also to give you some practice presenting these ideas to a technical audience. Imagine that you are the lead
AI programmer in a game company and you have been asked to consider buying the AI middleware system in question for your next big project.
This year, just four AI middleware systems have been selected to research and evaluate in depth, based on the availability of a free evaluation download. Each review team will consist of two pairs of students: One pair will prepare a five minute overview slide presentation; the other pair will download, install and explore the evaluation copy of the software and present a five minute live or recorded demo. There will be a few minutes for questions from the audience on each system. The two halves of the team should consult with each other and may decide to break up duties differently; this initial division is to help avoid delay in getting started.
Overview Presentation (5 min)
Your slides will be turned in ahead of time and already be loaded onto the classroom podium machine. Watch your time! The instructor will warn you when you have 2 minutes, 1 minute and 30 secs. left in your presentation time. Both students in the pair should talk.
Please prepare a maximum of five slides not including the title slide, which includes the following information:
Your remaining five slides should answer the following questions:
- Your name(s) --- all four team members
- Name and logo (if available) of the middleware system
- Name and location of company that makes the system
- URL for system/company
NB: Don't just parrot back the advertising hype you find on the company web sites. Put things in your own words and try to relate it to the concepts we studied in the course.
- What does the system do?
- What AI technique(s) does it use?
- What is the most impressive thing it does?
- What does the system not do? (AI things, not wash windows :-)
- What other systems/tools does it interface with (e.g., other tools in a suite, tools by other vendors or open-source)?
- How does it compare to the other three systems being reviewed?
- How does it compare to just writing your own C code, as in Buckland?
- What platforms does it run on?
- What programming language(s) does it use or require?
- The following information may not be available for all systems:
- System cost
- Size and activity of user community
- Games it has been used for
Technical Evaluation/Demo (5 min)
For this part of the presentation you will either have to bring a laptop (for live demo) or (safer option) create some screen capture videos, e.g., using Camtasia or similar tool, that are accessible via a web browser or from a thumb drive. If you are showing videos, make sure ahead of time that they are playable on the machines in the ADP Lab, which have the same software configuration as the podium machine. Both students in the pair should talk.
This part of the presentation can be relatively informal. However, you must plan what you are going to show and explain why you chose to show it. Feel free to use tutorials that came with the evaluation copy. Another good idea is: take some aspect of SimpleSoccer (e.g., team or player behavior) or Raven and rough out how you would create it using the tool.
What to Turn In
- Zip file containing your overview presentation slides in either PowerPoint or PDF format.
- NB: Late submissions will not be given presentation time.
All four members of each team will receive the same grade.
- 4 points - Content (completeness, clarity, evidence of research and thought)
- 1 point - Presentation (legible, error-free slides, clear explanations, professional communication style, etc.)
Please post any questions to the myWPI forum for the course.