I've started planning the basic AI concepts for Manta-X. Now, I haven't ever done any sort of AI programming before, aside from the regular track/evade/random movement and scripted patterns. It's a pretty interesting subject yet is one that you can drown in without any clear guidance so I went out and bought AI for Game Developers to give me a bit of a hint. It's a useful book for a high-level view of the various AI concepts and gives you enough code to get started. I'll probably suppliment it with Mat Buckland's 'Game AI by Example' at some point after it's released.
In Manta-X I want a bit more to the enemies than the regular scripted pattern motions. I'm thinking of having enemies fly in their own formations, so each wing will have a leader that has a degree of intelligence. Each member of the wing will probably use some sort of flocking pattern to follow the wing leader. This way, I'll be able to use this code for both enemies and NPCs in the player's wing.
I'm keen on getting some personalities in there, so perhaps some form of fuzzy logic that will influence decision making of the game agents. For example, I'd like certain members of the player's wing to have strong tendencies to break off and attack enemies whilst others will stick close by and need bailing out at times. The same is true for the enemies - maybe a known enemy ace will take more chances and risks when attacking.
Obviously there will need to be some form of NPC skill matrix that affects how well it can fly, attack, etc. It'll be an interesting topic at least.
I've been working on the scripting API for jsInvaders again. The new templated binding classes are gift to porting native classes to script. This version is fairly frustrating as I'm having to limit the script's power and flexibility to keep the article simple. I'm looking forward to getting #2 out of the way so that I can 'unleash' on part 3, where the magic should all happen [grin]
I had an email from a beginner who is interested in SpiderMonkey Embedding in games. It's a sad fact that for a great little library it has poor documentation. I'm hoping to write some mini tutorials for it in the future, focusing on the language more than the high level stuff of this current series. Drop me a line if you'd like to see anything covered.
It's probably not my place to spam this, but Andreas (the creator of AngelScript and mod on this site) has created an excellent online reference database on his site. It's got several hundred article links collected from over 200 sites and is a fine resource for pretty much any game related topics. Please, check out the AngelCode Reference Database and drop Andreas (WitchLord) a line to show your appreciation for such a fine piece of work.
This weekend's going to be pretty busy as I have several things planned; a couple of websites to spec, an article to write, some code to complete and anything else that comes up. It's nice being able to do things at weekends :)
I'd just like to thank all the people that have PM'd me to show their support for my new moderator position on this site, I'll do my best to support the community and it's users, especially the newly-forming Web Development forum [smile]