Games And Artificial Intelligence – A-Star is one example of a path-finding algorithm

1. (a) A-Star is one example of a path-finding algorithm. Describe what is meant by a search heuristic, using the A-Star heuristic as an example.

(b) (i) Describe the operation of a simple best-first-search algorithm. Include in your description an outline of the algorithm’s search strategy, appropriate pseudo-code and one advantage and disadvantage of the method.

(ii) Describe the operation of Dijkstra’s algorithm. Provide appropriate pseudo-code. Include in your description an outline of the algorithm’s search strategy, appropriate pseudo-code and one advantage and disadvantage of the method.
(c) Outline a general improvement or potential solution for each of the following path-finding issues: In a real-time game, where updates take place every 30ms, the path-finding algorithm is taking several seconds to find a solution, causing frequent freezes in the program.

(ii) A grid is being used as a basis for path-finding calculations, so the resultant path has hard turns and corners: characters following it change velocity and orientation abruptly.

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2. (a) What is the time-complexity of the basic Boids algorithm? Describe why this is the case and an addition that can be made to the algorithm to reduce its time-complexity.

(b) (i) Describe in detail what is meant by behavioural modelling as applied to the animation of computer characters. List three key traits of behavioural characters and mention the key aim of behavioural modelling.
(ii) Describe the construction of a simple sensory system for real-time behavioural characters, providing your rationale for any design choices made. Include details of all relevant technical implementation considerations and parameters that can be used to define how sensing takes place. Illustrate your answer with a diagram.
(iii) Outline a primary difference between behavioural modelling and cognitive modelling.

(c)  Describe the successive steps required to update the position of a simple entity given its current position and velocity, its mass, a time delta and a steering force vector.

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3. (a) Chess is a two-player, zero-sum, perfect information game.
Describe the above sentence, explaining why chess is considered to be a game of this type. Provide an example of a game that involves imperfect information, explaining why it is classified in this way.

(b) (i) What is a game tree and how is it relevant to game AI? Illustrate your description by providing a small sample game tree for a subset of three turns in a tic-tac-toe game. In your description, highlight the significance of the terminal positions in the tree, the branching factor and the depth of the tree.

(ii) Describe two ways in which game tree searches may be conducted more efficiently.

(c) A form of static evaluation function is frequently of necessity when creating AI for board games. Describe the role and operation of static evaluation functions in detail, mentioning why knowledge of the respective game type and its rules is critical to the construction of a good evaluation function.

4. In order to guarantee a better game experience, online game companies need to know where their players come from, and be able to predict their playing behaviour in terms of when they are more likely to be using the game services.
a) Discuss different approaches for measuring game traffic on an existing on-line game company.
b) Describe, with the aid of a diagram, the process that generates “probe traffic”. Highlight the differences between “ probe traffic” and “game-play traffic”.
c) Discuss two server-side approaches to mapping traffic to player locations.

 

5. a) Explain the synergy between online games, multiplayer games and massively multiplayer networked games. Use examples to ratify your points.

b) Discuss the possibilities raised by the possible use of multiple communications network architectures depending on the game’s needs.

c) In the context of computer games, shared space technologies can be classified accordingly by using two dimensions: transportation and artificiality. Use an Artificiality vs. Transportation diagram to explain the resulting classifications.

 

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Games And Artificial Intelligence – A-Star is one example of a path-finding algorithm