Skip to main content

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.


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 …


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…