Playing with pathfinding

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 09:05 by bencelot



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 :)


30 Comments


STM1993 says:

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 09:53


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.


bencelot says:

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 09:57


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!


karkos says:

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 10:12


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? -)


-Altair- says:

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 17:19


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


Ragnaros says:

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 19:18


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 :>


GelatinOverlord says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 00:22


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.


bencelot says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 00:29


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.


-Altair- says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 00:49


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


bencelot says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 02:28


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.


-Altair- says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 02:47


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


bencelot says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:00


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.


-Altair- says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:11


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?


bencelot says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:52


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...


bencelot says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 03:56


Simple solution: The AI will only pick up guns if they're within the buy zone.


GelatinOverlord says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 04:00


You also want them to drop their primary weapon so they don't become over encumbered..


-Altair- says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 04:05


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


bencelot says:

Wed 15 Feb 2012, 04:16


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.


Ragnaros says:

Thu 16 Feb 2012, 14:54


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?


bencelot says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 00:45


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 :)


-Altair- says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 01:40


xp from killing zombies, AWESOME :D . will you be able to play outbreak by yourself if no one else is on or do you have to have team mates and someone to play against?


bencelot says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 05:14


well this is something we need to think about.. in quickmatch you should certainly gain XP even if you're the only player in the server. I imagine this would be quite a fun game mode even just playing by yourself as you get to progress your skills as you make your way through the map.

As for permanent, I suppose we have to decide.. should it work the same way and allow you to gain xp even when you're the only one playing? Will this cause players to just farm up on their own servers? Yes it would.. but that's not necessarily such a bad thing UNLESS it reduces the number of players who could be playing together. So all we need to do is make it so you can gain XP faster when playing with other people. This way when someone logs on they'll choose to play with others instead of play by themselves. Seeing as we'll be scaling the hitpoints of the zombies by the number of players on your team anyway, it makes sense to also scale the XP you receive for killing them too. Afterall they ARE more difficult to kill.

So maybe when you're the only player in the server you get 1xp per zombie kill. But if there are 10 players on your team then you'll get 10xp per zombie kill. This balances out as the zombies will have 10x more hitpoints but you'll be competing against 9 other players to kill the zombies.


TryGarde says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 06:36


I guess...


Ilied.jpg


-Altair- says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 08:35


I think that most people would rather play a game with other people than by themselves so I don't think that there will be an issue with everyone just playing their own private game and outbreak going from a co op Game mode to a single player game mode, although a single player game mode / campaign wouldn't be bad for those times when nobody else is on :)


bencelot says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 10:11


Yah I don't really see it being an issue at all. Regardless I think it makes sense that the XP awarded from zombies increaes with the server size, otherwise players will be pissed off that their teammates have joined and are reducing their XP.


Ragnaros says:

Fri 17 Feb 2012, 20:01


dayum alot of brainstorming here :o
bencelot wrote:
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.

Hell, just wanted to suggest it and BAM you say: "Already have it". :p

Well...

Seems legit.


darkqrc says:

Thu 01 Mar 2012, 14:09


Great,great but WHEN!!!!!!?????


bencelot says:

Thu 01 Mar 2012, 14:29


Hehe soon sir, soon. Within a month hopefully. Almost all the coding is done for outbreak now. I just need to do some graphics stuff and finish balancing some skills and then we're good to go! Outbreak won't be 100% complete in this version as we need to playtest it and add a few more zombie types, but it'll be completely playable and still much fun I hope :D


mrwtf says:

Sat 03 Mar 2012, 22:36


Rockstar14 wrote:
I think that most people would rather play a game with other people than by themselves so I don't think that there will be an issue with everyone just playing their own private game and outbreak going from a co op Game mode to a single player game mode, although a single player game mode / campaign wouldn't be bad for those times when nobody else is on :)


we can allways change it if it is a issue? can we==


-ohsnap- says:

Mon 05 Mar 2012, 20:10


bencelot wrote:
Hehe soon sir, soon. Within a month hopefully.

We should all take some game coding or coding classes and go help bence out.


bencelot says:

Tue 06 Mar 2012, 00:52


Hehe no need for coding.. though after v0.696 comes out if people wanna make some awesome fun Outbreak maps that'd be good :)

Blog Posts For Geneshift


Version 1.05: Exploding Guards and new Kill Combos!

(0)


Version 1.04: Geneshift Miami!

(0)


Version 1.03 Adds New Camera!

(0)


Version 1.02 Adds Three New Skills!

(0)


Geneshift has launched on Steam Early Access!

(3)


Geneshift v1.00 Released!

(0)


Play the Multiplayer Demo on Steam Today!

(1)


Geneshift hits Steam on May 23rd, 2017

(0)


Official Discord Chatroom

(0)


Geneshift v0.997 Released!

(0)


Geneshift Launch Trailer is Live!

(7)


Server Downtime

(0)


Geneshift v0.996 Released!

(1)


Steam Store Page is now Coming Soon!

(0)


Steam Integration & Achievements

(12)


Geneshift v0.995 Released!

(1)


Geneshift - new game name!!

(4)


3D Vehicle Models!

(36)


3D Player Models!

(34)


Time for Graphics!

(10)


Skill Casting Guards!

(6)


Campaign Stage 6: Inferno

(6)


Updating the particle system

(2)


Stealth speeds by Outbreak in Speedruns!

(1)


Version 0.994 released! Introducing Stealth mode!

(0)


Graphics fun

(2)


Trigger music with bombs and text zones

(1)


Making Music!

(22)


Version 0.994 test build is available!

(22)


Started work on the third campaign stage: Driving Downtown

(4)


Just fixed an 8 year old bug with MASSIVE performance gains!

(2)


Guard Waypoints!

(59)


Version 0.992: Speedrun Leaderboards and new skill scaling!

(0)


Leaderboards are done!

(2)


New Version, new trailer, new year!!

(17)


Finished the new trailer!

(3)


Hooray! My laptop can take video!

(0)


Version 0.99 Released!! Amazing graphics and new chemicals!

(6)


Rewording all the skills

(8)


Working on team chemical vision!

(15)


FINALLY finished map making! Thank god.

(3)


Free skill resets on mutants under level 30!

(11)


Reworked Barn, Canal and Asylum

(9)


Reworked Downtown

(0)


Added the Newbie Checklist!

(7)


3D Models!! Mutant Factions has finally gone 3D baby!

(19)


Just rented an apartment in Peru!

(0)


Update on plans and Menu Music!

(9)


Massively expanded the in-game tutorial guide

(0)


Textured, Animated, Layered and 3D Fog!!

(5)


Specular Highlights!!

(6)


Added Ambient Occlusion!

(5)


Sexy Soft Shadows!1

(11)


Version 0.98: Some nice balance changes

(1)


A little bit of graphical goodness!

(0)


Brasil trip is over, back to coding!

(2)


Version 0.97: Chemical Warfare polish and skill queues!

(0)


Introducing Chemical Warfare!! Version 0.96 is here!

(0)


Chemical Warfare is finished!

(1)


Chemical Warfare: Graphics finished, coming out soon!!

(0)


Chemical Warfare: super sexy chemical graphics

(5)


Chemical Warfare: Today I finished coding all gameplay!!

(1)


Chemical Warfare: buy menu icons and descriptions

(2)


Chemical Warfare: carrying a chemical graphics

(0)


Chemical Warfare: buying chemicals

(0)


Chemical Warfare: compound graphics!

(5)


Chemical Warfare: HUD, networking and compounds

(0)


Chemical Warfare: point scoring and compound discovery

(6)


Chemical Warfare: menu, networking and compound locations

(0)


What's this blog business??

(0)


Version 0.95! New cash system!

(3)


Version 0.94!! FLAMETHROWERS!!!

(16)


Version 0.936 is out! Superweapons galore!

(7)


Please tell your friends and vote on Steam Greenlight!

(2)


Wooot Woot! Version 0.935 is here! No longer in alpha!

(10)


Check out the new main page!

(8)


Version 0.93!! Brand new ranked servers and CC system!

(3)


Rescaling of Respect Ranks

(2)


Version 0.92 is out! Sexy new maps and Outbreak changes!

(3)


4 new custom-maps servers

(3)


I'm going to be working on Mutant Factions full time again!

(10)


Mutant Factions v0.91 is out! Introducing Respect Rankings!

(4)


Outbreak has been released! Introducing Mutant Factions v0.9

(4)


Subvein has changed names to Mutant Factions!

(7)


12 Official New Servers!

(7)


Mutant Factions Madness: Official Play Sessions!

(12)


Subvein version 0.74 has been released!

(2)


Like Subvein on Facebook!

(8)


Subvein version 0.73 released!!

(13)


Let's Play Together!

(1)


Explosions now dynamically light up the map!

(5)


Subvein is on Steam Greenlight!

(54)


An amazing optimisation!

(12)


Version 0.71 has been released!

(1)


Version 0.7 is out! Translations, Unicode, and New Skills!

(5)


Today I'm going to add translations (переводы)

(34)


Version 0.698 is out! Vehicle netcode and skill changes

(2)


Version 0.697 is out! Restructured weapons, skills, missions

(6)


Version 0.696 released! Improved netcode, AI and skills!

(30)


Playing with pathfinding

(30)


Playing with netcode

(8)


Version 0.695 is here :D

(21)


Subvein v0.694 is rockin' OUT!

(6)


Subvein v0.693 is LIVE!!

(15)


Latest developments: In-game quick levelling!

(41)


Version 0.692 is out!

(9)


New version is out! Introducing v0.691

(7)


Yehaaa!! Version 0.69 is out!

(4)


Woo hoo! We now have new hosting :D

(10)


Woohoo!! Over 5000 members!

(4)


Subvein is back up and running!!

(8)


2000 members. Let's make it 20000!!

(36)


Subvein version 0.6 has been released!

(13)


New promo video!!!

(12)


Added a new Community page!

(6)


Just added camera shake :)

(3)


Updated the news page!

(3)


Start earning community credits today!

(16)


A war is coming..

(6)


Account system coming to Subvein v0.6!!

(29)


First ever demo of Subvein vehicles is up!

(5)


Version 0.551 Released :)

(4)


Subvein version 0.55 Released!

(8)


Version 0.541 is out. Thank god!

(5)


Version 0.54 is different. Experience it now!

(9)


Version 0.54 comes out in 24 hours!!

(9)


Subvein v0.53 is OUT!!

(3)


Subvein v0.53 will go up within 24 hours!!!!

(9)


Added a new SHARE button!

(2)


Added a new FAQ section to site!

(5)


Subvein version 0.52 is HERE!!!

(13)


Subvein v0.52 will be released in 7 hours!!

(13)


Development towards version 0.52:

(70)


Version 0.51 is OUT!

(6)


Welcome to Geneshift!

(167)