Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review of "Unity AI Programming Essentials"

                There are many assets available for Unity that implement Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Simple AIs can also be created by coding a state machine. Unity also provides Navigation Meshes which help with developing pathfinding AIs.  Unity AI Programming Essentials” by Curtis Bennett and Dan Violet Sagmiller covers 6 different AI’s that are available in Unity’s asset store.  Each of the following AI solutions are presented in the form of a project that you can download from Packt Publishing’s website.
Quick Path AI by Alkehine Games is available for $10 at Unity’s asset store. Its main focus is on pathfinding. The manual and a demo are available on Alkehine Games’ website at This solution is covered in Chapter one in the book and is great for beginners.
React AI is by Different Methods and is available for $45 at the asset store.  This asset provides a way of building behavior trees that make use of Mecanim animation and allow you to code items such as chain-of-command AIs and NPC behavior.  The book discusses how to use React in chapters one, four and seven.  If you enjoy coding and want to use an AI for behavior trees than this is a great choice. For more information on React visit their website at
Smart Car AI is by Bonecracker Games and is available for $10 on the asset store.  All of chapter 9 is dedicated to using this AI and creating a car game demo.  Smart Car allows you to set all different sorts of properties for cars. The book provides a lot of information on modifying and using this AI. You can find more information on Smart Car AI at Bonecracker Games’ website at
In chapter 5 crowd control APIs are discussed. Crowd Simulation API by TechBizAccelerator is available for $45 on the asset store. Their website is  ANT-Op by Gray Lake Studios is available for $75 in the asset store.  Their website is Both solutions provide ways of controlling groups and defining behavior in your games.  These are very specific behavior AI and the chapter provides a good overview of them. 
The bulk of the book covers the RAIN AI by Rival Theory which is available for free on the asset store.  Their website is and provides excellent documentation and examples.  Unity AI Programming Essentials” provides great information on RAIN and shows you how to set-up several different AI situations that you will come across in the creation of your games.  Behavior trees, attacking situations and advanced navigation meshes are all discussed and explanations are provided on how to set-up RAIN in these situations.
Unity AI Programming Essentials” is a wonderful book on implementing artificial intelligence in games created with Unity.  Very little explanation is provided on AI’s in general; but for the specific situation of programming in Unity this book is great. Here is the link to the book at Packt Publishing.

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