Coffee Diary 13/3/23


Hey Exanimates,

Our focus now is on completing force thaumaturgy. We've worked on effects, physics, lighting, sound, targeting, animation, new mechanics and UI features, but we're still not done. In the test branch we introduced large back-end changes to the AI that allow it to react to and engage with things other than characters. It has all sorts of future uses, but right now this is for the various force powers which the AI must respond to, in some cases leading to combat behaviours as some force powers react to being struck. Our AI interactions are always nuanced and unique to the situation, individual, and are driven by emotional states and relations, so there's always some complexity and careful balancing to driving AI behaviour.

Something else we still needed for force powers is an important addition to the pathfinding system. The new pathfinding is mainly based on the shape of solid objects, but things like some force powers aren't exactly solid and don't contribute to the shape of things, but could be hazardous, should be avoided or need to be navigated around. This addition introduces a new layer to our 3D pathfinding data and a system for abstract obstacles. We needed this feature for force right now, but it has many important applications with additional requirements such as the presence of specific hazards being extremely dynamic, circumstantial and subjective.

There's still work to do on the AI side of things, but we made great progress and we've got all the various parts of the AI behaviour working, now we mostly need to coordinate it and try to persuade the AI to actually do more or less what we want it to.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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