New Pre-Alpha Demo Featuring Rudimentary AI!
I know! What a headline! Way to oversell it! But I feel like it’s pretty big news because one person can now get a feel for the game a little better. Also, having AI in place, even an incomplete version, is incredibly useful for testing. Up until now I have been mostly reliant on monthly playtest parties and my own messing around with controllers. Just having scripts move sticks and push buttons really shows me problems that are hard to reproduce in a fluctuating human team environment.
My basic strategy for handling AI is divided into two parts, the AI master controller script (because it sounds cool) and an AI script which is attached to each player. The AI script gets commands from the master controller script, like “Go get the ball” or “tackle that player”, and executes the commands as best it can by use of a virtual joystick and set of boolean “buttons”. Right now there are some commands missing, but the basics of picking up the ball and shooting it are there (and it’s halfway decent at that). There is a lot missing, like pathfinding, and they get confused sometimes, and other times they simply aren’t being told to do anything. In spite of the gaps, I was having so much fun playing with it that I had to put a build out. I’ll be updating the pre-alpha build througout the month as I improve the AI, put cleaned up art in place, and time permitting, add the titular slam dunking.
If you’d like to try it out, I could really use some human player feedback! So grab a few controllers, or even just one, and check out the new pre-alpha demo!