Skip to main content

Coding general AI.

As promised I've spent most of my time this week
on coding basic gameplay.

[text above each agent displays debug info]
I started out having separate state machines for AI decision making and actions/animation.

Sometimes AI control calls for very rapid switches of states which would also disrupt the animations. Causing them to stutter or jump.


But by setting up Animations to only switch after a short delay I eliminated the problem you get with having AI and actions in the same state.

If a call to switch animation occurs, but rapidly switches back (like stopping for an instant when walking) the switch is ignored.

So I refactored them in to a single finite state system with inheritance helping to structure things like animation and path finding.


[Blocked in!]
AI is pretty basic. They just try to get towards you avoiding squares they've already visited. But it works surprisingly well.

It's easy to get blocked in by the enemy, but you can use the nature of the grid to avoid fighting too many enemies at once.

I don't know how well this system will work once I introduce the other party members. That's going to take some serious testing to see if it's fun or not.

[Big and small agents interact seamlessly]
 I added the ability to rotate the camera 90 degrees, this keeps the WASD movement system working well, but allows you to see behind things or get a better view.

Controls are going to be all keyboard based, with a radial menu handling things like item use, switching control of party members, resting, using special abilities etc...

There will probably be a shortcut bar too, so you can map some short cuts to the number keys.

[Water shader]

I did spend some time this week mucking about with shaders again, but there seems to be some kind of bug when rotating the camera. Sigh.


You know, it's funny that shader isn't in the spellchecker dictionary...

You can check out the video that goes with this entry HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Make your game models POP with fake rim lighting.

I was watching one of my son's cartoons today and I noticed they models were using serious amounts of simulated rim lighting. Even though it wasn't a dark scene where you'd usually see such an effect, the result was actually quite effective.



The white edge highlighting and ambient occluded creases give a kind of high contrast that is similar to, but different from traditional comic book ink work.


I'll be honest, I don't know if there's a specific term for this effect in 3d design, since my major at university was in traditional art. I learned it as part of photography.


You can find plenty of tutorials on "what is rim lighting" for photography. It basically means putting your main sources of light behind your subject so that they are lit around the edges. It can produce very arresting photographs, either with an obvious effect when used on a dark subject...


..,or as part of a fully lit scene to add some subtle highlights. See how alive the subject look…

How to... build a strong art concept.

So you want to make some art assets for your game. The first on the list is a Steampunk Revolver for your main character to shoot up Cthulhu with. Quickly opening your internet browser you start with a Google image search. Ah, there is is!

It might be a good idea to find a few influences so you don't accidentally end up copying a famous design.


Just mash them up and you're ready to go! Off to your favorite modeling program.
But wait! isn't there more to building a strong design concept than that?

Of course there is.
One of the diseases of modern design is that of recursion. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy. This is especially a problem with "historical" concepts. Over the course of that recursive process the concept becomes infected with modern design elements, and ends up looking very similar to everything else that anyone else has ever made.
If you want to come up with a really fresh idea, you have to get beyond secondary references and go look at real …

Rockets

I finished working on the code for adding foliage and having some extra time I decided to experiment with the code for rockets.

The original idea I had was that rockets would be large vehicle components that can be fired very quickly, regardless of how much manpower is used for reloading.






They would use up a lot of ammo, so they would run dry after a short but devastating barrage.
The problem here is that it's easy to take advantage of this by adding a lot of ammo, which is much smaller than in bulk than the rockets.

There's also the problem of firing large caliber rockets. In real life rockets of up to 30cm were used, but I think that will be too powerful for the scale of combat in this game.



lol. Somehow that one trooper survived the mother of all explosions...

A 30cm rocket could contain nearly 30KG of explosive. That would be a very large explosion.

I've tried to balance the game by using a simple equation to make bigger guns more powerful, but hopefully not too powerf…