The main area I've been working on these last few days is the "Order Visualization System" since it's going to be crucial that you know where your guys are, & what they are doing at all times.
Here is how movement orders & area orders [such as patrol, defend, sell drugs, etc.] are displayed -
The first image shows the raw movement waypoints, the 2nd image shows the results after doing a Catmull-Rom interpolation to smooth them out. The images at the bottom show how circular orders are represented, also area orders with arbitrary dimensions.
When you give an order to a gangster(s) a icon is placed in the game world. You'll be able to add additional gangsters to an existing order by selecting them and right clicking the existing order icon. This will allow you to send reinforcements to a certain areas, etc.
Here are some screenshots of the order icons...
You can also see the order selection menu [on the left side of the screen] has been expanded, the scrolling made it too cumbersome. Now it fades / scales into the corner if the mouse isn't over it.
Also you might notice that two icons slightly overlap, this will be taken care of soon. If you give an order to multiple gangters at once, it will group them all into the same order, instead of creating one for each gangster.
This is how the order paths look when you're controlling a gangster...it is updated in real-time if you are controlling the gangster. I will add more information to the user interface about the gangster's current order.
Right now all 'area' orders are just treated as Patrol orders...This is how the patrol /area orders are looking...
Some other notes about the order system in the game...
* The orders will be completly syncronized across all teammates online...so if I give an order you'll be able to see it instantly if you're on my team.
* You can give orders to client controlled gangsters in your gang.
* You cannot over-ride orders given by somebody with a higher rank [Lieutenant cannot change a Boss' orders].
* I need to disassociate the 1 : 1 mapping of orders -> gangsters.
* You'll be able to mouse-over the order icon and get info about it, such as who created the order, what time it was created, and how many gangsters are performing the order.
* Going to display the current status of the gangster above his head [idle, alert, under attack, busy, etc.] by using simple icons...idle would be a "Z z Z" alert would be a " ! "...etc.
New features regarding 'Respect' -
* Controlling a gangster costs 1 respect point per second.
* You earn respect by killing enemy gangsters, selling drugs, through businesses, etc.
ZOMG normal mapping....
Any comments on this stuff will be appreciated...of course more info etc will be coming soon.
If all goes well, should have a playable / nearly finished build by beginning of April. I'll add an extra month to that just to be sure. It's getting close though, I can taste it [grin] after 3 years of work.