Getting Started with 3D Animation (Book)

Animate your 3D Characters in Unity

Mastering game programming and creating a game that is both fun and challenging, and that players will love, can be very difficult, regardless of your experience in game programming or with Unity.

This is because a player often needs to be constantly challenged, yet not frustrated with your game. This is a very challenging balance to reach; however, by including artificial intelligence to your Unity game, and some very simple principles, you can manage to make the game fun, and the Non-Player Characters (NPC) more realistic, by making sure that the behave in a way that will challenge the user.

Regardless of your background, you will always need to use some of these techniques, because good AI can really make a difference between a boring game and an exciting game that the players will want to play for hours.

Thankfully, you can easily overcome these issues and start to implement interesting AI with a step-by-step approach that gets you to progressively develop your knowledge and mastery of Artificial Intelligence with Unity. This is the approach that I have used successfully over the past years to help students create 3D games that are both challenging and addictive, thanks to a well-designed Artificial Intelligence using Unity and C#.

By following the techniques and suggestions described in this book, I can promise you that you will manage to create some very challenging games with NPCs that are smart, believable, and more importantly, challenging to the player.

Content and structure of this book
In this book, the first in the series called "Unity from Proficiency to Mastery", you will learn and apply several AI techniques for 3D games, and make it possible for NPCs to:

  • Navigate the scene (e.g., using a random or set path).
  • Sense the world around them (e.g, hear, smell, or see).
  • Take smart decisions based on their senses or current state (e.g., look for ammunition or health when these run low).
  • React to the players' moves (e.g., set an ambush, follow and attack the player, or flee).
Along the way you will also learn other useful skills and concepts such as:
  • Finite-State Machines in Unity,
  • Animator Controllers,
  • 3D character animation,
  • Navigation costs and areas
  • State Behaviors,
  • Group movement,
  • Melee combat, and much more...

The main idea behind this book is to help you to apply common AI techniques with Unity and C# to make your game more challenging and fun to play.

The content of each chapter is as follows:

  • Chapter 1 shows you how to create a simple AI for your 3D games with no coding involved;
  • Chapter 2 shows you how to create different types of navigation for your NPCs, including set paths, random paths, and wandering aimlessly.
  • Chapter 3 shows you how to add senses to the NPC so that they can detect targets and take decisions accordingly.
  • Chapter 4 shows how to make it possible for the NPCs to take more sensible decisions based on the environment and their own state.
  • Chapter 5 shows how to implement group behaviors for NPCs. You will learn how to create a group of NPCs that follow the order of the player (e.g., follow the leader, attack targets or withdraw from the battle) and to create a team of NPCs led by the computer;
  • Chapter 6 provides answers to frequently-asked questions.

If you want to start creating fun and challenging 3D games using a tried-and-tested method: download this book now!

Your Instructor


Patrick Felicia is a lecturer and researcher at Waterford Institute of Technology, where he teaches and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students. He obtained his MSc in Multimedia Technology in 2003 and PhD in Computer Science in 2009 from University College Cork, Ireland. He has published several books and articles on the use of video games for educational purposes, including the Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches (published by IGI), and Digital Games in Schools: a Handbook for Teachers, published by European Schoolnet. Patrick is also the Editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), and the Conference Director of the Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning, a popular conference on games and learning organized throughout Ireland.

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