Graphics, AI and the Little Things - Fall Blau January Dev Log
Hi There! Welcome to the first dev log of the new year, I’ve got lots to talk about and lots to show :) Like every month though - stats! I logged nearly 100 hours this month, which i’m super proud of. It certainly paid off, but it won’t be a number i’ll be able to keep up, since a high portion of those hours were during holidays where I spent all day just staring at a computer screen, which not only do i not have the time for it isn’t particularly sustainable either. But what’s changed across nearly 100 hours of work?
First and foremost - there’s a new level coming to alpha 0.3. Based heavily off of the ‘Last Stop’ skirmish from Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood, I didn’t do any of the design related to the level, as my objective was simply to learn the level production pipeline for Unreal Engine 4. I am really happy with how it turned out, from the lighting to my own modeling skills holding up, I’m really proud of what I’ve managed to create and I hope that I’m able to keep this level of quality for the final levels that will make up Fall Blau’s campaign. I'm going to write a more detailed breakdown of the level and how i made it over the next few weeks, and that will go up on the Fall Blau website sometime this month.
While the level did take up a large portion of the month, now that that’s done it’s time to start work on polishing and finalizing all the actual gameplay, and that primarily means AI. Alpha 0.2.X contained a rudimentary implementation of the first iteration of AI. Alpha 0.3 aims to expand upon that foundation and greatly improve what already exists. From new targeting algorithms to cover systems for enemy AI, to the introduction of friendly AI, there’s a lot coming. For now, i’ve been working on the enemy AI’s cover search capabilites. These will allow them to better respond to getting shot at. Alongside with them reacting to getting hit, this will enable them to react much more convincingly and complicate enemy encounters further for the player.
Here's a look at some of the AI systems in place:
You can see that the the points that are blue are where the AI can be seen by the player, and hence it doesn't even consider them a feasible point to move to. The remaining points, the ones in cover, are then scored based on their distance to the target and the AI itself, and a final point is selected as a point to move to.
Other than those two major changes, there were a few smaller ones, from new sound effects to breathing out cold air when in cold environments, a lot of little things that help the game feel more complete and a more cohesive experience. I'm looking forward to releasing this update, hopefully by the end of this month with all of you. There were also many internal changes to the story, design of yet to be unveiled levels and other major components of the game that i can't wait to share over the coming months.
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