Banz-AI

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Banz-AI

Nope, title makes no sense today, but my brain is fried. I’ve been crunching new AI code for the last 7 hours and my head meats are sore. I got to the point where I need animations to continue, so that seemed like a good place to stop. I could get more of the AI functions built, but I don’t want to have to redo chunks of them after I get the new collision system working.
The problem I’ve got is this – the old combat collision system really sucked. Every attack hit on the same animation frame. That picture would vary a little but, but it was frame 3, every time. With the number of new attacks and the way it’s put together, that simply will not work anymore. As I stated in a previous post, now it’s all about a big-assed array with variable hit frames and variable numbers of frames per animation. It’ll be very, very shiny and make The Animator very, very happy.
Unfortunately, without the content I can’t build the array, so blah.

-I ruined a bug today. I noticed while I was building a map for The Ron that the new enemy AI pathfinding code Epic Failed in the actual game, and I didn’t know why. For some reason, they were all in odd places in the level. Like, they were on the ceilings and roofs. Then I realized that I only built some code so they wouldn’t jump off of ledges, not turn around at walls. Add to that the step up function that I built in and they could literally leap tall structures in a single bound. Added some wall code and now the enemies behave a little bit better and follow the laws of physics.

– For the new AI, I’m trying something new. The whole thing it built of tiny, granular functions. Like, the ledge and wall code both use 4 different functions, but they’re nice and small. I noticed the last AI system’s code was large and unwieldy, and difficult to sequence and dubug correctly. I’m finding the new way to be a lot more efficient. Well, I did find a bug that was spread over 3 different functions, but at least I could visualize what each was doing.

-Why will the new combat animation system make The Animator happy? Now his animations will look better. When I told him the original 4 frame combat system he said, “That works, but I guess we’ll change it later.” Now I can. Since the animations already built are Maya models, he would just have to re-render them with more frames. And voila, extra smooth and pretty.

-Speaking of him, he got his acceptance to an art school in Florida. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Envy maybe. Maybe something else. I mean, it’s 2 fold. One the one hand, soon I’ll be without an animator for my little project, so that sucks. Especially considering that he’s crazy dedicated and hard working. Not everybody stays up until 3 AM doing something that they’re not even getting paid to do. I could find another, but I really don’t want to.
The other bit is that I’m getting older and finding new friends is actually quite hard. I really do not want to lose another. They seem to have a tendency to move away. Yet, as a friend, I can’t help but be happy for his achievements and hope that the art school turns out as well as it can. I’m sure it will.