Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CC07 - Evolution Update

It's been a while since the last post, anyhow a lot has happened in the meantime.

First of I'd like to move the Cave Cult - Evolution project back into the spotlight. There haven't been any news about it for ages but so far it is still there growing and developing as games in the makings do.

So far I did some small experiments on AI. The first conclusions were that it is really hard making an AI that doesn't always regress into the same old patterns. Yet a few articles in the books Game Dev Gems brought me some fancy ideas about how to polish managment of some aspects within the AI. Basically it is modeled by several layers and two main parts, some sort of economic and strategic division. New AI elements will help the AI to get balanced out in some messy situations as model it more dynamic. But yet this is all stuff that has to wait for other ends of the engine to be finished.

Another new fancy feature codewise is an improved version of the IO departement. Replacing and editing textures is easier then ever, basically the new import class imports and caches all graphics that are defined by a definition file. The definition file holds label and source information on every texture. That way it is simple to edit consisting textures or add new ones. Yet it is the first draft of this class and many features to add to make it feasible to use in more advanced scenarios later, considering that different tribes or texture sets as gui elements should be managed in groups.

Currently I am working on and designing the new GUI to make the player side of the game testable. Since the GUI is not supposed to cover up the whole gameplay area as not to confuse the user this is a tricky part. Since small things are not always easy to recognize as are abstract symbols and desciptions.

Another part that will be essential to the game is some sort of developer console as a script parser and scripting syntax. Being able to script small elements at runtime makes it possible to create advanced player story interaction as make it easy to edit or write the script for it. But yet that is mostly a planed or possible feature and uncertain how much of it will be actually added.

Characters might also get additional behaviour and abilities and the gameplay modified from the original Cave Cult gameplay. Due to some feedback it might be nice to have a slightly different RTS game then the standard ones. Meaning not the pure build and attack model but more factors involved.

Stay tuned and sorry but there won't be any playable demo too soon ;).