Still Alive Saturday #27: Bits and Pieces

Hey everyone!


This week was a bit of a miscellaneous task week. We spent the first two days completely and utterly engrossed by the Full Indie Summit here in Vancouver. It was a great experience and gave us quite a deal of insight into some aspects of game design and development that we hadn’t thought of before.

Beyond that, we took some time to finish up/implement a couple features that had been waiting at the sidelines for a while. Justin completed the ocean island icons for the map interface and began work on the first variant of the Quetzan. This is an important milestone for us because it will mark the inclusion of all 3 playable races into the game, at last.

I spent the week looking into re-designing the pathfinding system, primarily. Pathfinding is a complicated beast, especially in the non tile-based platformer environment that we’re working in. It’s been a struggle for me to learn, comprehend and expand on the limited resources out there for an environment like this, and so the first run of the system that I created has some flaws.

The major flaw is that I designed the algorithm to work in a grid. This works in a top-down pathfinding environment where every tile is either walkable or not walkable, but in an environment with gravity and open air, the pathfinding algorithm needs to be run on more of a general graph.

What I mean by this is that the walkable ground should be linked not based on adjacency in the grid, but based on connections created by edge detection, fall lines and jump lines. This means that the algorithm can pathfind across gaps that are as wide as I specify, allowing the ai to know when it has to jump to reach its destination.

I’m going to be spending this week largely attempting to implement it. It’s going to take some time, but hopefully I’ll be able to make a sizeable dent in it.


That’s all for this week! Check back next Saturday for some word on sound design, as well as (with a little luck) a new enemy!


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