August Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

This week has been all about AI and melee, as well as how they work together. We have been pulling together multiple systems this week and finally have something we can see all the areas working together as we designed, exciting times!

John – Lead Designer

As you can tell from our latest development work we’re focusing on injecting a lot of quality into key areas of the game, combat with creatures being the main pillar of a long with improvements to the player characters, their looks, and movement. We’re hoping to group these features together for concurrent releases as we get close to finishing them.

Matt – Art Director

Continuing work on the character setup for Lauren and refinements to her first person arms. I’ve also been setting up of the finished male mesh with textures and materials.

Going into next week I’ll be getting around to finishing the new first person arm meshes that go with the new characters, The heads and eyes will have better shader work done to them as well so they look more realistic!

Lee – Technical Director

So this week I have been adding new functionality to the planners to allow the designers more control over how they setup the behaviours and control the AI. The new behaviours are starting to come together now, while we identify new primitive tasks which are still needed.

Marcin – Designer

The goal for this week for me was to complete the first iteration of the generic melee combat behaviour for AI. I know this sounds like just redoing what we already had, but this is so very much not the case. We effectively took all of our previous systems, broke them down into tinier pieces and are now putting them back together in more effective combinations.

As an example of this process I can talk about the “Move” command. Previously we had a mother of all move tasks, which was responsible of performing every single type of AI move in the game. And in general it was always trying to move the AI to its target (usually you). We have taken a massive metaphorical sledgehammer to it (with massive help from Lee) and from the pieces we can now put together all kinds of different move tasks per desired behaviour, such as:

  • Well known and loved “move towards your target”,
  • Move away from the target, but maintain eye contact,
  • Walk slowly around, not looking at anything in particular
  • Strafe in a circle around a point, etc.

Another major part of the combat rework is the “attack component”, which I have very briefly mentioned before. It fills the role of a manager that unifies and communicates with all AI attacks in the game, (which I am also remaking under the new system). Previously every attack was implemented as an independent entity, with it’s own complete logic, timings, and data. That approach gave us a lot of freedom, but ultimately deprived us of the ability to maintain it, because, when you have 5 different functions that check if target is in range, after a while it was impossible to tell which one was the right one. I know it sounds crazy, but I guess this is what “work in progress” really means.

The new system groups various attacks into 1 of 3 categories: ranged, area, or melee. They make sense from the system’s perspective because each type requires different set of conditions, but ones that will always be shared for all attacks of the type. Centralising logic like this frees the attacks themselves to only contain logic that determines how the attack looks, sounds, and feels, and we can still do crazy things with that.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been researching localisation (***NOT*** with a ‘Z’) and all (well probably just some) of the woes that come with it. This should help us out a great deal with speeding up the localisation process when we come to it.

Ricky – Senior Developer

After extensive meetings with lee about a newfangled gizmo he’s created to thoroughly optimise a few of our HUD systems, I’ve been looking into some of the bugs which have appeared such as how servers sometimes not accepting parameters.

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been working with Marcin on the new Melee. I have started on new attack animations for AI that should give more variety to how our creatures engage the player. We are moving away from the zombie-like ‘run up to player then attack player until dead’ behaviour into something that should allow for more strategy and fun.

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve been looking into many of the issues that the community mention on the stream forums regarding multiplayer servers and certain player built assets taking environmental damage while inside an eden kit shield. Happy to inform that we have discovered the cause of these issues and we are working on a fix for them currently.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix