Hey everyone, Volvary here.
This is the first (and hopefully not the last) post concerning the game I developing to try my hand at complex AI building. What's my definition of "complex AI" here? To explain to you, I'll need to explain where I come from before this project.
In the past, I have done a Top-Down Crawler in JS (here) and in it, there is two types of AI. One of them bounced diagonally from walls and the other bounced in a random direction from walls. Both of them had a second behavior where they would chase any player units who entered their range.
So these had two behaviors (idle walk and chase) and a simple behavior switch (player presence).
Later down the line, I worked on a game named Legend of Iona, for while I worked as a code minion at first (writing new elements) then as a project manager the next year. While I was a minion, I worked on a simple behavioral system, which override the normal Idle-Chase behaviors and allowed us to create "lieutenants", units that used other minions to do their bidding. As some of you can guess, we basically made it a target acquisition at a longer range transferred to their minions.
During Ludum Dare 32, I made a game named No Light Without Dark. Unfortunately, I had to drop the Dare on the second day, thus leaving the project to die before I could get into complex AI. A few weeks later, I picked up the project again, but having to start back from the beginning (Flash caused problem on my setup at the time and I had to switch to Unity) I lost everything and changed the game a bit. It lost the flashlight for a more conventional bullet cannon, units turned from shades to classic geometric forms enemies and thus I was ready to work on it. Before the project was dropped (life getting in the way, as with most of my projects it seems), I managed to make a few enemies, each having a specific movement pattern and a single attack, whether it was bullets or diving at you.
Now, I am working on a Turn-Based Strategy game (you can think of it as a Fire Emblem/Advance War if you will) and I intend to make this new AI much more complex. Since this AI is not a single unit but a commander, directing up to a few dozen units, I'm about to put my feet in the majors if you will.
So come with me in this journey, as I learn how wrong I am about AI complexity and I go "Why did I do this to myself?!" in every single journal entry. It'll be fun, I'm sure.
Until next time,