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Master the frantic physics-based combat, lure enemies into traps or make them fight each other for dominance in this procedurally generated dungeon escape game.
Master the frantic physics-based combat, lure enemies into traps or make them fight each other for dominance in this procedurally generated dungeon escape game.
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802 backers pledged £25,675 to help bring this project to life.

TinyKeep's AI system (Part 4 of 5)

Posted by Phi Dinh (Creator)

We're getting there! But not quite fast enough! But in the meantime, welcome to Part 4 of our AI series of updates:

In Part 2 (Retreating) we briefly touched on how Fire Imps in each other's line of sight were connected as a group, and they would share alert levels. Today, I'm going to explain a little bit more about how group movement works - and also introduce a new monster to the pack: The Skeleton Archer, with its Ranged Attacks! Combine Archers and Skeletons together and you have quite a challenging group of foes to deal with.

Try the interactive demo:

Or take a look at our previous demos at the usual place:

Apart from the new Archer behaviours, there's no special code to formulate groups here. It just so happens that a combination of melee type Skeletons (who are extremely aggressive and will chase you down as much as possible) and ranged Archers (who are cautious and will try to maintain a certain distance from you) results in quite effective emergent behaviour - it almost looks like they are working together.

More Ideas for Group AI

The above shows very basic, fundamental rules for group interaction. It's a work in progress - but we plan on bringing you more complex manoeuvres in regards to group tactics. Depending on the monster type, critters will be able to do the following:

  • Monsters won't attack if they are alone, and will flee instead. Some intelligent ones will flee towards a known group of other monsters. This results in luring, pulling the character towards a more dangerous area and then attacking again.
  • Wounded skeletons prefer to escape while their friends are locked in battle - to go and find corpses, heal, and return to the fray later.
  • Leaders - if a Skeleton King is in the area, his minions will tend to follow and do what he does.
  • Flanking - if the player is currently engaged in battle, other monsters will attempt to flank you from either side or behind.

There are more ambitious plans for bosses/leaders and how their monsters interact with them - but we can't give too much away, part of the fun is discovering them for yourself!

What's Next?

AI Part 5 is coming tomorrow, showing the rivalry between Orcs and Skeletons and this will wrap up the series at least until after the funding date. Ben is also going to talk about Weapons Generation, this is a very cool system we've been working on and will form the backbone of our swords. For our Backers that have chosen the PERSONALISED Reward Tier, you'll be able to customize your in-game sword using this tool.

2 days to go - we are creeping up there! Keeping pushing guys!


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    1. Phi Dinh Creator on

      Thanks Neil! Yes that is an oddity that I just didn't address for the demo - but will be trivial to implement if skeletons are in the way. I am actually thinking the archers should side step to find a better angle if things are in the way - this way the player can hide behind other skeletons, columns, tall furniture etc!

    2. Howeln on

      I like how the skeleton A. are not only difficult to corner, but they don't just get pushed into the corner and give up. Nice job. If I just look at the players perspective, the group tacktics look really nice. Archers pick you off while the group troops do a frontal attack.

      I noticed the arrows were not infinate distance, though I couldn't tell if it was just a limited range or not. They really shoudn't be unlimited range, which is good to see.

      Though, I was wondering, if crowded around by a bunch of skeletons, in theory, the archers should either stop firing, or some of the arrows should hit their own side. Basically, if the player is completely surrounded, few arrows should actualy reach, if any.