Re: [stella] AI primer?

Subject: Re: [stella] AI primer?
From: "Andrew Davie" <adavie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 23:34:08 -0400
>But today's question is, "Where do I go for a Atari 2600 AI primer?"  I've

Finite state machines are very useful for varying AI for creatures in games.  I use one in Qb - the creatures in that game actually do exhibit differing behaviour (as much as I could fit in the remaining space :)   For example, the octopus moves squares out of position, the rabbit chases the player... or is it the other way around?  In any case, give each creature a table of pointers to code.  Each entry in each table corresponds to a 'reaction' to an event.  Events are global (ie: there is a unique number for each event).  For example, the 4th entry in each creature's state table can be a reaction to "creature was hit".  The creature may or may not react to that event (event 4) depending on if there is an entry in the table position.  If there is, then the creature vectors to that code, executes it, and optionally changes the state (ie: point to another state table).  This way, you can handle creatures  in a generic fashion yet build in quite sophisticated behaviour.
I'll be happy to explain more if you don't follow - but do check out the creature AI in Qb.  It's very straightforward and powerful.

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Ruffin Bailey <rufbo1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: stella@xxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 23:02:02 -0400

>First, a quick thank you for Color Tweaker.  Very nice.  (and a nod to The
>Dig once again)  I can only hope Thomas's Tune2600 is as useful for sound as
>Color Tweaker seems to be for color! (regardless of Tune2600's being written
>for DOS *sigh* :^D)
>But today's question is, "Where do I go for a Atari 2600 AI primer?"  I've
>been thinking about playing some Robocode
>( just for the fun of it
>and to start thinking AI, but that's, natch, a little high-level for the
>I was trying to think of games that had decent AI on the 2600 -- KABOOM!
>would not be on the list, nor would Space Invaders, nor River Raid, nor
>Barnstorming, nor Vanguard...  In fact I could think of very little short of
>the ghosts in Pac-Man and the bat in Adventure for AI, and even those are
>just more patterns with a few rules, I'd imagine.  Nothing struck me as even
>doing a real good job of pretending to have convincing AI -- Star Raiders
>and Bezerk are kinda close, perhaps?  Nothing on the level I'd like,
>I'm trying to make a game inspired by Adept (Archon II), and now that I've
>very nearly got two animated characters playable with, um, human supplied
>intelligence, I was hoping to take a break from the tedium of dreaming up 5
>to 8 more characters and start looking into AI for a one-player game,
>specifically with the mano-a-mano stuff.  Hardly a make-or-break
>proposition, but I thought it might be fun.
>Ah yes, I also updated the little player graphic creation tool to open from
>the system clipboard, which makes things much more useful, I believe.  Copy
>from your favorite text editor and voila.  Still at
> for now.
>Ruffin Bailey
>Archives (includes files) at
>Unsub & more at
Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at

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