My specific area of interest is designing the AI of real-time multiplayer games, for example, RTS games. Moves by players happen simultaneously, so I was wondering whether or not it would be modeled with a sequential (extensive form) game tree or something else. I don't know if this is even the correct approach at all, and if some other algorithms are more applicable.

How much of Artificial Intelligence design is based off of game trees or extensive-form games, and are there any suggested textbooks which thoroughly cover the subject game tree application to AI or AI of RTS games?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to expand on this a bit more. The answer depends highly on the type of game and what the desired effect/behaviors of the AI are. What specifically are you trying to do or learn how to make? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23, 2013 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sean Middleditch, I've expanded the question \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Webster
    Jun 23, 2013 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should describe the problem you're having instead of just asking for books. This is the book, describe the page you want to read. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Jun 23, 2013 at 5:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Asking for "RTS AI" is a bit of a trick, almost as much as asking about "real-time multiplayer games". There are many parts to RTS AI, more so than most any other genre of game; the way that exploration is handled, combat, tech trees, resource management, pathing, and so on can all be done using different AI methods, and the answer to the first part of your question will vary for each (the quick version being "not usually"). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23, 2013 at 6:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeanMiddleditch there is no trick intended here. If they are not modeling AI with game trees, then what? Any rigorous textbooks on AI applicable to game dev would be appreciated. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Webster
    Jun 23, 2013 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I will give this Question a partial try.

I guess that Game Trees are the same as decision trees and the answer to the question is, sure, why not.

But this alone will not solve the riddle for a RTS AI, you will need a combination of ai techniques to get the task done.

Some techniques you may want to use/combine:

(warning, the most of this is pure clasical ai stuff)


  • decision trees
  • behaviour trees
  • statemachines
  • fuzzy logic
  • recursive depth or Breadth-first search for planing tasks
  • neural networks for more fuzzy stuff
  • maybe even genetic algorithms/genetic programming for more fancy ai / emergent behaviour
  • maybe even this Designing Emergent AI

to name only a few.


  • Dijkstra
  • A-star


I have absolutly no idea about this field because i never programmed a rts ai, but take a look in the book i linked below.


A very good book for Game AI Programming is Artificial Intelligence for Games.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just started reading the book. Really good. I see now that most game AI isn'tlike the board game AI discussed in Chapter 8. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Webster
    Jun 24, 2013 at 0:10

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