This week I worked on refining the AI, optimizing the AI to allow for more AI on screen at once, and building out the framework for the AI's spellcasting system.
In the area of refining the AI, the most noticeable thing I did in regards to the player is adding feedback to AI behavior. It is pretty important that the player can recognize that the AI is doing something. Especially if it is a ranged enemy firing at them.
Optimization, not a very sexy thing to work on and doesn't typically move the design forward early in development. In our case optimization was absolutely necessary. We were dropping under 30 fps with more than a couple AI on the screen which was not acceptable given what our design required. As a result I, with the help of tyler, were able to optimize the AI and player units to the point that we can now comfortably pull 100+ fps with over 2 dozen AI active in the level. This allows us to make larger engagements, add more complex interactions in the level, and of course have AI that do more interesting things than just run at the player units and hit them.
One of the first things I did this week was make some big strides in the spellcasting logic for the AI. The result was our first spellcasting unit, the basic suicide enemy. This enemy rushes the player units and explodes after a short time, dealing damage in a small radius.
Nothing really prevented me from being productive this week if you don't include Hall of Fame. It is an event that is held every year on Full Sail Universities campus. During which alumni who have gone on to do great things in their respective industries are honored. The event is massive and generally takes over campus, to the point that there is no classes held during that week. Even then it was really only only a few hours of my time each day. The majority of the rest of my time was spent working on our game with the team.
The team as a whole did a lot of work this week on the game. The game itself plays very differently now that there is new AI, a more readable and reactive HUD, a cover system, and more improvements to the controls of the player. I am actually really proud of our team for putting so much work in this week in spite of the distractions of Hall of Fame.