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The Stars Our Destination Developer Log #5: Enemy AI & Particles

June 16, 2019

[Click here for the video version]

 

Hello everyone and welcome to this weeks game developer log on The Stars Our Destination, a turn-based strategy flight game. This week was loaded with a lot of big tasks so forgive me if it sounds like a lot of little tasks this week. Let's get into it.

 

ENEMY AI

 

Truth be told I’ve had this guy for awhile, but he wasn't exactly perfect. He didn’t attack, and instead of a traditional flight path I just had a cluster of nodes. I’d pick which one’s he’d go to that he’d cycle through them until the player ship came into distance. Good in the moment, but when adding more enemies, is when problems emerge.

 

I scrapped what I had (not much admittedly) and slowly worked them up to the new organization standard I’ve been keeping up with. Enemies now have scriptableObjects that I can make for each enemy. The new base script with functions that all of them will share. Functions like move, shoot bullets, death function all of that. Said functions will be called from AI scripts for specific enemies, in this case it’s a basic wandering enemy.

 

It’ll fly it’s designated path until the player object gets within reach, and starts shooting a fixed number of bullets in a fixed amount of time (of course according to the enemy scriptableObject values). I can’t take full credit for the flight path. Some of it was from xOctomanx’s video on the subject, I just tweaked it to work in 3D and for what I have planned.

 

Death still needs some work though, along with what to do when the player does a somersault. For the time being, think of it as one of the wandering enemies in Independence Day level of Star Fox 64.

 

The process of getting the code the way it is can be described as get it working now, organize shortly after it’s working. I’m not advanced enough to think of the perfect clean code at first (aside from the tried and true principles). So I just kind of get it to work first, and organize into their individual components and scriptableObject very soon after. Professional, probably not. To each their own I guess.

 

 

 

BARREL ROLL PARTICLES

 

This one I kind of went out of my way to finish. Just some visual flair to add to the barrel roll. Color, even particles are not official. I just needed something to provide feedback that the barrel roll is indeed happening aside from actually moving. Plus I need to do some edits to make it less fuzzy like when looking at it in the wrong angle.

 

 

 

POLISH

 

In order to get it at least prototype demo ready I needed to add some little things like making sure players don’t go out of bounds. If the player goes out of bounds they’ll automatically execute a U-Turn (gotta fix that camera jump though).

 

The next bit of polish, is a little training room. Better to get it started before development gets too far right? It has some dialogue for each individual action. The big pain in the neck I’m preparing for is to make the text and logic to change dialogue depending on if the player is using a controller, keyboard, based on custom inputs. One task at a time.

 

 

NEXT TIME

 

Next on the list is to get a basic background track for the flying section. I’ve toyed around with a few measures here and there already. Just aiming for a basic loop-able song around a minute or so. That’ll be it for this week, subscribe or feel free to join the discord server if you like what I’m doing, let me know if you have any questions or feedback take care of yourselves and have a good week.

 

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