Making Smarter Bad Guys and Navigation for Road Defender

It’s been a good week for Road Defender development though visually it was difficult to capture it in something for Screenshot Saturday yesterday so today is just a quick breakdown of the progress of last week and a look ahead.

Allen had made good strides getting AI working over the last couple of week and this week we further hammered on that to make something that feels good.  It’s a difficult thing to make work the way we really want it to given the time / resources we have right now, but I think we’re making a good compromise to create the general effect to help give fans a taste of what the future will hold.

We found a nice unity3d plugin called Vectrocity that we’re exploring now to address the needs we’ll have of creating the proper vector hud augmented reality visuals we need in the game.  This vector HUD system hasn’t really been properly implemented up till now due to some of the challenges of dealing with a glass HUD in 3d space and using the free version of unity which lacks certain pro features that would make the process both easier to execute and look / perform well.

The Vector HUD is something that hasn’t so far been able to really be shown as envisioned due to a number of factors.  Bottom line is that to do it right, like AI takes serious time to build, master and polish for it to feel good.  I’m really excited to be able to demonstrate what I have in store.

Also up till now it’s be kinematic drive behavior (programmer moves vehicles around like a hand of god, ignoring physics) and overall this isn’t going to change fundamentally, however to really create the kind of over the top action the game we want, it is going to need more physics involved.  This is of course the kind of stuff that drives the need for many months of development time to perfect, but regardless, our kickstarter video would be lacking if we couldn’t demonstrate at least a taste of how awesome it will be with their support.

James is working on the environmental stuff, like rocky terrain on the outer left and right ranges as well obstacles and such like roads signs, wrecked cars and some other fun things to make the environment more dynamic.

In the art department Sam is looking to create some 3d terrain as well such as bridges and other obstacles.  This will be really awesome adding even more dynamic terrain to the game.  Tim is getting the human model rigged and textured so we can get it over to the animator and get the needed animations for the turret operators in place.  Hopefully we can get that al wrapped up around the time that Allen will be ready to do that.

Once the AI and Vector display system is in place we’re pleased to say that the remaining steps will be getting human animated turrets in place with ragdolling,  oil slick, smoke screen, getting all the terrain props going and a few other non-game views.  It’s a decent list of todo’s but since we’re not going to start the kickstarter till the start of the year we have time on our side to get things pulled together.

For more info you can check out the game’s progress here.

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About Caleb

Game Producer at Part12 Studios here in greater Boston area. Caleb loves game design and the execution of game development. He is also a semi-serious old school skater and a married father of two wonderful boys.