We have blocked out the overall design of the “Wolves at the door” prototype (Code name for now) along with added some features to the animals in the world.
The procedural generation was also stripped back from being in runtime to being only in the editor for now, this allows us to generate a large world and then go over the fine details manually affording us the ability to create all sorts of little details that give the prototype a bit more life.
I’ve implemented steering methods on the animals, meaning that the animals can move around autonomously in a semi-realistic way. Next I added a herding system, which automatically groups similar animal types together and causes them to wander together in formation and eat at the same time.
I’m really trying to keep the code base as flexible as possible by not hard-coding solutions for individual problems. I know this is quite common for in-production software, but when it comes to prototyping I tend to hack things together, really avoiding it for this game.
Scattered across the landscape are “grass feeding” zones, these zones have an attraction radius for any animal who would eat that particular type of food. With that small addition, the wandering herds of deer walk towards the zone, eat there and move on once the food level in the zone reaches zero. By extending that same system and attaching it to a deer, having predators hunting them down becomes a rather simple addition.
Tracking the AI in the game was becoming a bit of a nightmare as they easily blended into the scene, so in order to make debugging them easier I switched their textures to glow in the dark if a key is pressed. However I really liked how they looked in the scene and I would love to hear your feedback on it, should we keep them?
A lot of what happened this week was on the production side, so we don’t have many details we can write about publically yet, however next week we’ve got some more concepts to show off so follow us on Twitter if you’d like future blog updates.