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Showing posts from May, 2018

Skynet

Ok, so it's not exactly skynet, but I have got my first AI state working, kind of.


The first state is "HOLD" in which case the agent stays in place where they are and shoots at any unit that comes in range. When I started writing this module, I found that the existing method of triggering actions wasn't good enough to allow the AI to choose the best weapon or target. It worked by simply sending a command to the unit to trigger the currently selected action.

If the action is valid, it triggered, if not it didn't.
That's fine for play controlled units, as that's all they need to do. But AI needs to know in advance if the action is valid. The player can get that info from UI feedback, but that wasn't available to the AI player.

There were three problems:

1. The UI feedback duplicated code in the action trigger function. These  two sets of code could get out of phase so that UI feedback was wrong.

2. The action trigger didn't give enough feedback for …

Spotted!

After some testing, I decided to rework the radio contact rules described in the previous post. I've been playing a lot of RPG and Strategy games lately and one thing I don't really enjoy is the micromanaging aspect of buffing and de-buffing.

Rather than force the player to make hard decisions on where to allocate their buffs, it just ends up with them having to devote too many resources to support. You end up having at least one team member out of four doing nothing but support.
It also wastes a lot of time clicking and selecting and so on.

So, I want support actions to offer a significant bonus when active, but most should be passive. They should have specific utility too, not a general buff which you simply apply to your best unit. If your tanks are getting swarmed with infantry, then rapid fire will help you clear them out. If there's an enemy who is well dug in behind cover, you can use steady aim or mark target to get a bead on them.

In the end I just made special ac…

Radio Contact!

In any RPG or turn strategy game you'll find special roles for special characters. There's the tank, whose job is to absorb damage, and the DPS whose role is to do a lot of damage per second. You might find other roles like glass-cannon, but the one you can't do without is a healer.

Of course a healer isn't only supposed to heal, they also have the ability to put buffs or de-buffs on other characters. At this point you can split in to a further specialized role, the support character. They might not be able to heal at all, but they can buff or de-buff and perhaps summon allies.

Once I made the decision to switch Vinland: 1936 over to a turn based strategy game, I had to think about how roles were going to work out. Tanks are obvious, and DPS is more complex. But today I want to talk support.


In the above picture you can see that a lot of the selected unit's abilities and actions are grayed out. It can't currently use them because they are restricted. The usual …