Thursday, October 30, 2014

Update 40: Dynamic Pathfinding

The last two weeks have been focused on getting a basic dynamic path finding algorithm to work. This includes getting the object to follow the seeker path, and allowing for dynamic environments.

The first screenshot shows where I've been up until today. The path finding is 'baked' into the screen and there is a path from the beginning (green gate) to end (red gate).

The second screenshot shows me what it looks like with some dynamic objects added to the scene and dynamic 'baking'. Here I can see that my green path adjusted to avoid the new dynamic obstacles and created a new path to the end gate.

The ultimate test of this is to move the end gate to the other end of the screen. 

This is all good news. Now that my prototype is working, I can integrate the path finding within my game.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Update 39: Exploring Pathfinding

Another week, another round of bugs fixed.

  • Added some basic sounds for explosions and shooting
  • Fixed some bugs around shooting when I missed. The bullet would stop at the target, instead of continuing into the sunset. 
  • Upgraded the shooting range modifier using the formula:
    • RangeModifier = 50 - ([tiles between source & target * 5)
  • Upgraded the AI to choose the best target based on the difficulty, instead of taking the first enemy off the list
  • Started work on creating a path finding solution. I'm using the Aron A* Pathfinding Project. You can see an early prototype below. The first screenshot shows no smoothing, the second with smoothing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Update 38: Adding messages and more polish

This week I added a messaging system and fixed bugs. The messages show a status with showing a hit or miss with each shot . This really ties each action to a result, which I think is important.

I also have a few bloopers. This is a result of my very simple movement AI. When two tanks get close to one another, the physics pushes one of top of another, in a manner very similar to a tectonic plate in the earth's crust, but creating some humorous situations.

Next week I'll have some initial path finding results, after having some success this week using Aron's path finding plugin.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Update 37: Polishing the new UI

Another productive week, where I created more prototypes than I ever have before (in game development). When we last left off, I had created a GUI with a very discrete representation of health. 

The next step was to try and use the parallelogram design that so many modern games use. Fellow Turn based development enthusiast Stew Trezise (His website: mocked up the following design: 

My first attempt seemed to have the health cells a little tight together. It looked great in the mock up, but needed more room. 

It also needed a slightly bigger border to give it more definition. The next revision was starting to make sense, but the empty health cells were not quite looking right as a white color.

I experimented with different colors before settling on no color. Here is the (current) final version, with transparent empty health cells.

As soon as I integrated this in the game (which was very easy since I was working off a GUI prefab), I noticed that having so many GUI's visible was a bit distracting. My solution was to show the selected player (and target) with the normal brightness and lower the transparency of everyone else by about 50%.

This works well, especially when there are a lot of units piled on top of each other.

Next, I'm going to work on creating a little hover to indicate status (and health) changes.