Monday, April 16, 2012

Orders, AI and Fun

Ok...I have prototypes of the terrain deformation working....and some vehicle modeling.  I need to start working on some of the gameplay and AI elements.  I argue with my friend(s) about this...I don't think that players will want to control each individual piece of equipment...picking up each individual load of dirt...steering to the the staging pile and dropping it off.  Then controlling a front-end-loader to pick up a load of dirt from the staging pile and placing it in the washplant.  Or working the dozer that pushes the rocks away from the bottom of the washplant....

I don't do that in other RTS games, do you?  You click on one (or more units) and give them orders...point them at something to attack or build or whatever.  You have LOTS of work to do and shouldn't be bogged down with lowering the arm on the excavator into the 'glory hole' to pull up another load of dirt/mud....over and over and over again.  Who would want to do that?  But to that point...I don't understand how people do it in real life either....
I will certainly ALLOW the user to control individual pieces of machinery...but when your minesite gets productive and profitable, you might have a half-dozen pieces of machinery to manage...and doing everything yourself will take FOREVER to get anything done.   My next piece of work will concentrate on selecting an 'area' to excavate along with an area to deposit material....and the equipment will do your bidding 'automagically' I still have to develop a state-engine and order processing techniques for this and have been mulling it over for a while.

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