Looking for a moddable game engine
August 15, 2006 5:02 AM   Subscribe

What is the best game/programming engine to create experimental artificial intelligence projects in?

I am interested in creating various AI-type experiments in a game engine (such as the unreal2004 engine, or half-life 2's engine). These experiments would consist of things like getting a bot to successfully find a path through a map of which it has no pre-programmed knowledge, basic problem solving etc.

I would like to do this in a game engine rather than real life because I don't have the resources to do it in real life.

* Running windows XP on a reasonably modern computer (can happily play half-life 2 or doom 3 on decent settings), however I would be willing to dual-boot with linux if there's something really good on linux
* Must be free or cheap (e.g. less than about £50 / $100)
* Programming language doesn't really matter as I will have to learn it anyway (I know some medium level PHP but that's it)
* Must be very flexible WRT programming; I am looking to do some complex stuff, not just very basic scripting
* A solution with a more-than-basic physics engine would be a huge bonus (e.g. half-life 2)

What game engine/program would be most suited?
posted by spark to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does it have to be a game engine?

Personally I've enjoyed working with the Breve environment. It uses its own simple OO language called Steve, which is kind of Objective-C like. It has a physics engine, opengl visualisation and now works with Push, if you want to try GP. It also comes with quite a few examples of the classics; walkers, boids flocking etc.

It's great for quickly prototyping something, the weak point is the physics simulation, but it should be enough for pathfinding etc.
posted by Olli at 5:38 AM on August 15, 2006

Consider Torque as well. Very open/free (will commercial options) which huge userbase and support libraries. All platforms.
posted by lundman at 5:52 AM on August 15, 2006

while not exactly what you're seeking (path finding and other abstract problem solving) the OpenCYC project has just released a new (highly publicized) version. CYC (for enCYClopediac) is a "general knowledge base and commonsense reasoning engine" - if you want to do anything with chatbots or any other kind of language based AI this is a very helpful tool
posted by qbxk at 7:34 AM on August 15, 2006

id released the quake3 source a while back, and there's been a ton of work done with bots (utterly rudimentary if we're talking AI, of course, but still), and there are still active communities dedicated to it around the web. With everything tweaked, it's still incredibly good looking after all these years (I play 24-player games of RA3 at 1280x1024 8XAA at a solid 125fps on my far-from-cutting edge 6600GT card).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:14 AM on August 16, 2006

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