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NPC commands, map reveal and Inventory ideas

This week I did a whole bunch of work on commands, so the AI players can be better guided by the player. I've also added speech above the NPCs so they can respond to your commands and you can get additional info about what you're asking them to do.
For example if you ask them to walk, it says "Look out for secret doors and traps!" Which is what walking is for.

[You can also see the new doors]

Some other improvements:
If you push against an NPC (because of being stuck and wanting them to move out of the way) you will send a message to all the other NPCs to increase their distance from the player for a short time. This stops the situation where one NPC further down the line is blocking but is not too close to the player so doesn't know they need to move.

You can urge them to attack or follow you. This will set their follow distance and their engagement distance. You can also set this independently for each NPC.

You can ask them to wait behind. Again you can leave just one behind using AI behavior instead of commands.

You can tell them to hurry up, if they got lost. This will tell them to make a big effort with pathfinding (using more system resources for a time) so they can get back to you. Once they are back by your side they will go back to normal pathfinding.

Another area I've been working on is the map reveal.

[You can also see the new pits]
I'm using a ranged based algorithm which flood fills out from the player, stopping at closed doors. Monsters in an unexplored region of the map will usually be spawned in dormant state. If their tile becomes explored they will wake up.

If you open a door the interior of the room quickly becomes revealed and any monsters there will be alerted.

Some monsters will be awake even off screen and may come to join in if they hear combat.

Unexplored areas are very dark blue. You can kind of see the layout of unexplored rooms but not exactly. The image above has been lightened to help with seeing what's happening. Because my tiles are offset quads it's hard to have invisible areas right next to revealed areas. It looks strange. It's the biggest drawback I've found so far with the offset quad method.

The next area I'm working on, and this is something I keep putting off (notice how I'm writing a blog instead of doing it) is Inventory and items.

Here's a kind of mockup of what I'm planning:


I had planned to make multi tile items like in S.T.A.L.K.E.R, but that works best with mouse control. It's not so easy to navigate with just keyboard. SO all items are going to be single tile.

I've worked today on a shader to add a colored outline to items so they can be color coded. I can use that information to show weapon damage or item quality.

I think now I've settled on the single tile implementation it shouldn't be too hard to add items to the game. Anyway, I think I've explored every other possible area of working on the game and now I'm forced to get on with inventory management.


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