My schedule demands that my work begins on Reloaded AI, and it is this module I consider the most important part of the engine. I know it's a controversial statement but we're allowed our favorites! We must take a rather basic blob and create logic around it so that a human player can be outwitted and beaten by said blob. No easy task I assure you!
We shall start with a rather inept creature, and work more cleverness into the clay to create a monster of hideous intellect and cunning. This is our mission.
Alas before I can start my AI work with due diligence I have a final task to complete which pressed my attention into the universe of Asset LOD. I had almost forgot that I asked Mark to 'provide LOD with everything' and in order to make this manifest in the engine code is needed to make the models use the right level of LOD.
Rather than code this in DBP (as the Character prototype used), I have decided to code it inside DBP itself so we get a faster form of LOD selection. A new command called SET OBJECT LOD will assign LOD levels and distances on a per object basis, but the selection of which model mesh to use will be done internally and automatically.
As I write this, I am mid-compile, half way through this work and once it is working with characters and the library assets I have so far, I will start my AI prototype.
The AI Prototype
I am strongly tempted to tack the AI work onto the physics demo as I already have the terrain and character capsules in place, but that might be a little vain of me. It is probably best I list out all the AI behaviors I am looking to recreate and get them working in a soul-less programmer art based demo that only shows the debug graphics I need to know the numbers are adding up. Of course this means no Rick friendly screen shots or videos again, but I think it's probably the best course of action.
Developer Art Stopped Again
I've also been informed that my developer-art screenshots with the large red text makes Reloaded art looking even worse! Rick has therefore imposed another ban on all artwork until we have a professionally produced 'developer-art-banner' to mask the in-progress shots.
Down the road it seems likely that we will be taking this blog underground and deliberately separate it from any publicly discoverable PR material for Reloaded. This way everyone gets what they want :)
The good news is that I got a new animation from Mark, so feast on the small amount of art I am officially allowed to show you.
This animation was added to the character set where the enemy can quickly kick open doors and start firing if they are in 'AI aggressive' mode. It should make for some quick combat for the player me thinks :)
If anyone can tell me how to upload HD videos to YouTube, the comments section is your friend. There is no mention of HD in the basic or advanced settings, and no settings that I can see in the Upload page.
Plenty of work ahead of me in the next two weeks, which is my budget to completing the main parts of the AI system. Granted other developers have a team of programmers and artists, and probably 6 months to perfect their AI entities, but a solo coder is able to make a few short-cuts in the decision making process and there is far less red tape. It also helps that I have the infinitely powerful DarkAI and a top artist to help me!