Korax RPG: Step by step

The first internal build is nearly done; too pity I cannot show it to common users (a developers’ secret, heh), but at least I am not prohibited to speak a little about what I have already achieved.
As I already mentioned earlier , monster AI is of high importance for our new game. At current point I will state following:

  • Pathfinding works almost perfect; yet it has limitations, but they could be changed in future. If nodes are placed wisely on map, monster may find its target most of the times (if there IS a possible way). As for game speed, it does not seem to become noticably lower because of path calculations.
  • Monsters now have Team attribute. Those of same team treat themseves as allies, those who are from different teams think they are enemies and act correspondingly. Teams could be changed.
  • Monsters now have ‘threat reaction’ parameter, that determines their eagerness to notice and attack enemies. It varies from complete abstraction to high-alertness (this is needed primarily for scripting tasks, so that – for example – a soldier, ordered to patrol and defend some area, would not run for anyone in sight, unless enemy is too close).
  • Monsters now can perform simple tasks; here’s full list:
    • cancel all orders
    • cancel current order
    • stand still
    • walk to (a point on map)
    • walk along a path (a sequence of nodes)
    • patrol between 2 points
    • patrol along a path (either looped or bi-directed)
    • evade a point (run from it)
    • evade a thing
    • follow a thing
    • attack a thing
    • attack everyone endlessly (berserc mode 😉 ) – this one was added just for fun.
  • All of those orders could be issued using common Hexen map script, as well as Team and Threat Reaction could be changed.

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Korax RPG: The New Beginning

The 14 august 2007 was the historical day for Korax Heritage project. 🙂 Latest Vavoom progs were uploaded to our SVN repository on sourceforge.net, thus updating long-time-ago created KoraxRPG project. From now on KoraxRPG (Vavoom powered) will be coded and designed until final 1.0 release, and, hopefully, further.

Primary task stated for coders is copying RPG system, featured in last KMod3 version, to Vavoom platform, alterating and enhancing if needed; plus all the extra stuff like damage skins.
Afterwards, as planned, a lot of new ideas and concepts should be implemented.

High on the list stands creature AI. Basically, it should be divided into 3 “levels”; first “level” is pathfinding. I have already created an experimental algorythm which made monsters use node graph (built with common mapspot objects placed on map) to determine most effective way of moving to player. Compared to original Doom engine “pathfinding”, results were fantastic! However, whole thing worked very slow and caused game to freeze periodically. I had a guess then, that main reason is general slowness of Vavoom progs execution; now, when Vavoom seem do it faster I may try this again; and still there’s last option – to put pathfinding procedures into engine itself. Last variant will make it much faster, however there will be an obvious disadvantage: if Janis Legzdinsh won’t allow to put such a thing into main Vavoom engine, we’ll have to create separate executable for KoraxRPG.
Second AI “level” should allow to give tasks to creatures using map scripts (ACS); this should include all the possible basic orders like “wander around” “defend the area”, “goto”, “attack creature/player” etc.
Finally, third “level” is personal Behavior. Primarily configured in code and customizable by map script this should make creatures and NPCs more alive. It will be more complicated, but I belive we can do them have scheduled tasks and predefined reactions on game events.

After all, I am expecting creation of a good amount of new monsters, weapons and spells.

As for extra stuff, me, personally, would like to have some fun and implement new theatrical effects like player view shaking and swaying when player is wounded, toxication simulation and so on.

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New AI, what’s better?

Strange title for this entry, huh?

Well, that’s what we are looking for Korax Arena, since the last beta release, Crimson Wizard and me had been discussing about the bots and their much needed AI enhancements, I’ve been researching for ways to improve certain aspects of the bots AI and it seems this whole things can be extended greatly for other projects, like the RPG project, so you can expect new enemy AI for our projects besides new AI for bots in the next release, I’ve got some ideas, and Crimson Wizard is also working on this, so by combining these efforts we’ll be able to extend something to enemies and make some tests on our findings, we are focusing for now, in making bots to look for paths to reach things and enemies in a more realistic way, once this is done, we’ll be able to apply all this for other bot reactions, like strafing missiles, jumping for reaching something, etc.

Imagine if we could make enemies that jump to reach for the player in our RPG, or enemies who instead of attacking alone, get a group of other enemies and attack the player, or enemies who won’t attack if another one is in front of them, things like this can increase the challenge of the game for the player in a great way 🙂 . That’s it for now, see ya all again soon!

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New horrible weapon for RPG Trilogy

I invented a new weapon for RPG Trilogy, most probably suitable for some boss creature. Weapon is a spell that summons number of spikes in front of caster and raises them. Each spike’s position and delay before spike raise are choosen randomly from a predefined range, and this makes weapon more effective and spectacular. But what is more important – is the fact that a spike, as you may remember from time playing original Hexen, does ultimate damage killing any creature instantly. Now imagine overall power of this weapon…

Here are some shots taken while testing this weapon (I used Cleric’s Firestorm slot for the test).

spikes000 spikes001

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