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 Post subject: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2012, 09:05 
Geneshift Creator
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Lots of cool new technology coming to Subvein in this next version. In the last post I talked about how I've implemented a professional netcode solution that compensates for lag and makes a hit an actual hit. Well now we're going to have professional pathfinding as well!! I've been working on the zombie AI a lot for the upcoming Outbreak game mode and I finally got pathfinding working. It's using the very famous A* algorithm and boy does it work GOOD! I couldn't believe it.. the bots just know where to go! So amazing.

The possibilities for creative map design are limitless now and you can have zombies swarm you from all directions. I'm going to apply this to gangsters as well and let them navigate their way to the opponents base. This should give all maps and all game modes a far more exciting feel. No longer will gangsters just randomly stand around looking into walls, but rather they'll spawn and start charging towards the enemy base! We'll see a constant battle between the gangsters in the map and good map makers can place their gangster and zombie spawns in all sorts of locations to maximise the awesomeness.

To further increase the relevance of gangsters they no longer just spawn with a pistol, but have a chance to randomly spawn with ANY weapon. Even a Minigun! The chance of spawning with a super weapon is extremely low of course, but we'll be seeing a much greater diversity in gangster weaponry. Not only does this make the game feel more diverse, but it also adds a new gameplay strategy of farming gangsters. Farming gangsters used to give cash and missions, but not you can also score a sweet weapon off them too! To really make things exciting some gangsters will only spawn with a knife, causing them to chase you around the map! Scary!

Anyway very excited to see all this new tech in action :)

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2012, 09:53 
Walking Encyclopedia
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Very nice! I also missed how gangsters gave AKs and SAWs before, although allowing gangsters to get superweapons is kinda overkill. Also, about gangsters charging at you with knife, the existing AI doesn't work properly with knife as they can't stab at you properly when within range since they are currently coded to start attacking only when they are within a certain % of the gun's maximum range; they'd need a melee aim improvement.

I'm hoping one day we get to command gangsters and have them ride vehicles.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2012, 09:57 
Geneshift Creator
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Hehe one day. The chance for super weapons are extremely small. It's scaled by price actually, so the more expensive the less likely a gangster will spawn with it. The chance that a gangster spawns with a super weapon is like 0.2%. Almost never happens, but if you're farming gangsters and you actually get one then god damn you're in luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2012, 10:12 
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maybe with time played, or with total money players have increase, chances to get a bit better weapon by a gangster should get a bit higher?
and vice versa, maybe at the start of the match gangsters shouldn't spawn with RPGs? -)

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2012, 17:19 
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Awesome to see you making progress on outbreak and the gangsters path finding ability. I like the idea of the gangsters having better weapons, should make battles with the bots more fun

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2012, 19:18 
Super Mutant
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ohhhh Im so going to teamkill bots! >:3 dozens of free weapons hells yea...
(consider it as a glitch)

In other news: Randomizing their weaponry is uber-awesome but how about randomizing their appearance too, like random hats/shirts? Would be extra-cool.

speaking about smarter bots:
Maybe u could add some kind of neutral gangsters? Or even bot-mercenaries which would attack anyone on sight?
Neutral bots may stop when player comes closer and look at him like if they were NPCs or smth which you could talk with... Maybe they could have some sort of healing aura, dunno... And mercenaries... Would bring tons of fun! Just imagine: 3 (!) bot-teams struggling for their dominance over the map. With human players that would be FUN AS HELL.
Anyways...
Smarter bots will bring a lot of fun to single-player AND multiplayer modes, no doubts.

Oh, almost forgot! Now when you have smart bots.. Maybe you could make something like Oubreak but with gangters? As a separate mode ofc... It's like: take Outbreak mode, replace zombies with armed gangsters, call it Hardcore Outbreak and u're good to go =D Maybe rules would be a little bit different but this kind of challenge would be pretty fun play imho. If zombies are completely noob-friendly then I suppose "Gangsters Outbreak" probably will be something like "Zombie Outbreak on steroids" for veterans and simply for those who like challenging co-op gamemodes.

Or imagine a Survival gamemode where one team have one point which they should defend at all costs, like X players and a bunch of gangsters. And they are being invaded by enemy gangsters (with other players maybe?). With each wave enemy gangsters becomes stronger and grow in numbers. Pretty possible with good pathfinding?

hell that pathfinding thingy is pretty exciting... so many opportunities... new gamemodes, map designs... hell, cant wait to try this out =)

So yea, my 2 cents :>

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 00:22 
Slippery Fish
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Ragnaros wrote:
hats

This.

Do Gangsters avoid death tiles and/or high falls?

Also, concerning the random weapons, I kinda like but dislike it.. Playing as a merc, If you accidentally piss off a gangster via infection or whatever, they'll start running after you with a vengeance, I thought gangsters with M3s were deadly, But imagine a gangster with a SPAS, Or Ruger... Do nades go into the random weapons things? Because I don't want to be flashbanged everywhere...

Also, Having a gangster outbreak would be pretty cool too. Could be named "Riot" or something... Think of Frankenstein except with guns... Plant a bomb, Citizens get pissed and start hunting you down.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 00:29 
Geneshift Creator
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Hehe yeah a riot based game mode would be pretty awesome. But 1 step at a time :p

Also, gangsters will never spawn with nades, flashbangs or bazookas.

As for killing gangsters on your own team currently it's only possible with friendly fire enabled, but perhaps I should change it so even with FF enabled you still can't kill gangsters. We'll have to playtest it I think. Again, weapons are quite rare.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 00:49 
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I like the mercenary bot idea that way even mercenarys would get shot at without them shooting first. More bots and better guns, extreme carnage. Also for the survival mode, you could make it kinda like survival in cod. start out with a pistol and fight against waves of enemies and picking up better guns from them. no trying to outrace the other team, just everyone working together to survive waves of enemies. Now that I think about it, at a high level trying to survive against bots driving torpedos and hornets or a fully loaded death truck could be interesting. One thing I have noticed about the bots is that they have to stand still to shoot (at least all the bots I have seen shooting at me). This would probably have to be changed to have a game mode where you are fighting an enemy that is trying to kill you via shooting, otherwise you could just snipe the bots. However if they are able to run around and shoot that would make it much harder

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 02:28 
Geneshift Creator
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Yup, there's still a lot more AI work that can be done for the gangsters. I won't do it now as zombies and Outbreak are the priority, but eventually. One thing I really wanna do is make gangsters follow you around if you go up and talk to them (press E nearby). Kinda like a personal bodyguard. This would have a huge impact on gameplay though so we'd have to just test it. I think it'd really add a fun new dynamic though and further define the role gangsters have in the game. The way the game is coded currently gangsters actually can't kill anyone if they've recently been hit by a proper player (15s or something), so they can never steal kills. They'd simply help you bring your enemy down to 1hp and then you can finish them off. Question is, how many gangsters can you recruit? Should there be a limit to just 1 or how many?

Another thing I want to do is give gangsters squad tactics. Taking cover behind walls.. moving out in groups of 4 bunny hopping around corners till they reach the enemies base. This wouldn't have much of an impact on gameplay but it'd just be damn awesome to watch and really give the game a nice feel. I suppose it'd have some gameplay implications as you could time your charge to grab the enemies flag just as a squad of your gangsters was making their way into their base.

P.S. Outbreak will have a strict coop mode which disables Rebels, so there's no racing element and it's just pure teamwork.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 02:47 
Mutant
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personal bodyguards would be awesome :o gang wars in the middle of downtown :) . but there would have to be a limit I think, otherwise the server host could set the bot count to 50 and run around with all of them slaying everyone

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:00 
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lol yup. Infact I'm pretty excited about this idea just to try it out. I think I'll code it in right NAOW! I'll make it just a limit of 1 gangster for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:11 
Mutant
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With your companion, would they have the gun that they spawn with or do you get the option to equip them with a gun that you buy?

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:52 
Geneshift Creator
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Oo interesting idea. I think for now it'd just be the gun that they spawn with. Buying a gun for them might be tricky. Having said that perhaps I could change the AI to make it pick guns up off the ground, so you could just buy a gun and drop it infront of them. This might get annoying for general combat though...

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:56 
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Simple solution: The AI will only pick up guns if they're within the buy zone.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 04:00 
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You also want them to drop their primary weapon so they don't become over encumbered..

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 04:05 
Mutant
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Qwertybeef wrote:
You also want them to drop their primary weapon so they don't become over encumbered..

just make a weapon exchange, they pick the gun up off of the ground that you set in front of them and drop the gun they currently have

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 04:16 
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I think what I'll do for now is the AI will only pick up a primary weapon if it doesn't already have one. Most of them will just be carrying knives or pistols anyway so if you wanna buy a specific weapon for your bodyguard just choose one of those. Otherwise if you wanna save the money just pick a gangster who's already equipped.

As for killing your own gangsters, I'm going to make it possible but take a really long time. There are rare situation where you can get stuck behind gangsters and it's handy to be able to kill them if you really need to escape.. but for the most part to kill an allied gangster it'll take heaps of damage.


EDIT: Also once you deal over 30% damage to an allied gangster he'll get pissed off and start shooting back at you. This will make it really hard to ever kill an allied gangster to steal his gun, while at the same time not suffering the issue we had before where a flashbang would suddenly turn all your allied gangsters against you.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb 2012, 14:54 
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Fructdw told me one interresting thing today...
Like what would happen to zombies if they're facing 90+ level players? Im afraid that small group of 100lvl players gonna rape any zombie horde like noone's buisness. That would spoil all the fun.

How they do it in Killing Floor (that mod for UT which became a separate game): If you're low level and u're playing on easy difficulty (difficulty is a server-side option) then you recieve exp at normal rate. If you're high lvl and playing on the low difficulty - u get exp at 50% reduced rate. If you're low lvl and u're playing on hard difficulty - u get double exp boost. Simple as that.

We suggest the same kind of thing. Maybe we should decrease the damage dealt by player if he's playing on difficulty not suitable for his level? Well sounds fair... partly.

Another option is that you start with X skill-points where X is based on difficulty level. You get "Y" skill-points per bomb captured. At the same time each detonated bomb slightly increases overall difficulty like zombies hp, dmg and their number. So in the end u face ultimate challenge with your ultimate skills set :3

Quick-match in Outbreak would be nice too. But then you should be able to get exp from killing zombies otherwise you wont make any progress in level...

Also would be cool to have some kind of MAX-PLAYERS-LIMIT for both co-op and race outbreak modes. 8 for co-op and 16 for race would be just fine. Otherwise all active players will be playing on the same server all day long as it usually happens in Subvein. It's fun but... makes no sence. =\

Speaking about no-sence... How about sandbox mode? Like you can set some crazy max-players-limit, bombs respawn right after they were detonated and can be detonated again just a second later, you get no exp in this mode, you can set any amount of gangsters for both teams (they could fight off zombies too)... Also all players are 100 level each. Oh and you can use modified weapons.ini in this mode. Sounds fun, huh?)

One more idea! xD
Gangsters fighting off zombies. Something like a "helping hand for noobs in single-player". hm?

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 Post subject: Re: Playing with pathfinding
PostPosted: Fri 17 Feb 2012, 00:45 
Geneshift Creator
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Few things.

Regarding difficulty, I'm going to be putting in a dynamic difficulty thingo that adjusts the difficulty of the zombies based on how well you're doing. This will account for a team full of level 90 players as they'll start off doing really well but then the zombies will quickly be made more difficult to compensate. This difficulty factor will be applied equally to both teams though to keep things fair.

Regarding quickmatch, you'll get mutation from killing zombies. Same for permanent games to, which will make XP farming possible.. but if anything that'll just get people playing more and I'll build in incentives for players to join servers with other people than just farm zombies on their own.

Regarding level 90 players and high skills, we'll probably have to tweak a few of the skills after v0.696. I'm thinking skills like Explosive Rage, Microvolt, etc.. these massive splash damage skills are way too good against zombies atm. It'll just be something as simple as reducing the damage these skills do specifically against bots.

Regarding a max player limit, we already have one :p but the difficulty of the zombies will scale with the number of players on the team anyway, so it should work for both big and small servers. Maybe a 20v20 would be a bit too crazy as you couldn't all fit in the bomb zone.. but if a server ever got that big we'd simply see half the players on either team run across the map to start killing eachother, effectively balancing things out anyway. Anyway will be interesting to see how it all works out :)

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