I have a school project to build an AI for a 2D racing game in which it will compete with several other AIs (no collision).
We are given a black and white bitmap image of the racing track, we are allowed to choose basic stats for our car (handling, acceleration, max speed and brakes) after we receive the map. The AI connects to the game's server and gives to it several times a second numbers for the current acceleration and steering. The language I chose is C++, by the way. The questions are:
What is the best strategy or algorithm (since I want to try and win)? I currently have in mind some ideas found on the net and one or two of my own, but I would like before I start to code that my perspective is one of the best. What good books are there on that matter? What sites should I refer to?
Set up a basic AI, then set up an API to handle your own car. If you can beat it, you should set up a recording algorithm that can then positively reinforce your AI. This could be a neural network to tweak your AI's actions. Such as gradual braking into a corner etc.
Are you allowed to use external libraries in your project? If so, I suggest you look at FANN. It is a fast neural network library; to save you writing your own. If you need the source code, you could always write it yourself, it can take some time however.
If you can preprocess the map before running the AI, then just calculate the best racing lines through segments of the map.
This post on GameDev.net has a number of suggestions.
The AI Wisdom books have A LOT of articles about racing AI. I'd definitely recommend them, especially the first one which has articles describing how you can represent the map as a data structure within your AI.
Another method I've seen is simple reinforcement learning (Q-learning), which will probably take a good few thousand iterations to get the optimal path. It's described in this paper: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~zhijin/540report.pdf
Since building a game is not about 2D anymore, I just want to build a list of the (not necessarily best, but good enough) open source software available to make games. I prefer to put emphasis on libraries that insist on specializing on one part of what makes a game (like Ogre does for graphics, and OpenSteer does for steering), rather than engines/libraries that try to feature a lot.../index.php/Libraries - Multipurpose/Multimedia: - SDL http://www.libsdl.org/ - SFML http://www.sfml-dev.org/ AI/Behaviour/PathFinding: OpenSteer http://opensteer.sourceforge.net/ Physics: NxOgre
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