August 22, 2014

Clever Sneaky Sharks

Its incredible to see how many improvements we are making over the first version of Shark Attack Deathmatch and this is not just limited to visuals and animations.

Eds primary focus for this week was building a better Base AI Navigation system. This will drive the behaviour for all sharks, fish and other creatures, a major challenge with this is ensuring that underwater life moves through the seascape believably. With most FPS games enemy movement is primarily 2d (forward and backwards, left and right). With SAD there is the extra dimension of creatures being able to swim up and down ( creatures need to glide through the water at varying angles). Another aspect to consider is that sharks generally always move forward and have a limited space to turn around, this really throws a spanner in the works when you are wanting them to explore underwater wreckages, coral reefs, caves and not get stuck or move unrealistically.

Ed has managed to come with a incredibly slick solution which is not only fast but will also allow us to expand on it massively and create unscripted cinematic experiences that should blow peoples expectations away.Work on this will continue next week as new behaviours and the actual attack mechanics are added and tied in with animations.

I spent a large portion of this week, tying up loose ends on SFX , adjusting of animations and textures and building Great White Gibbs ( bits of dead sharks) and doing final polish on the Manta Ray. Another aspect which i spent a lot of time looking into was our new foliage system. I still have to adjust many of the plants/seaweeds that we currently have in the game to work with the new system ( next weeks task) . Plants will now sway gently in the ocean currents, some of the longer plants will now be effected by the players as they swim through them or near them ( bend and sway as if touched and slow movement down). The tests so far look incredible and will give so much life to the environment, we cant wait to show you guys.


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