Luminesca is a chilled-out underwater exploration game which follows the story of a little creature called Lum. Using the light from your esca you can explore the dark watery depths, uncover ancient machinery, and play with a whole ecosystem of strange creatures. Luminesca is a simple game which intends to create a rich, atmospheric experience.

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A video of the improvements I've made to Luminesca's AI pathfinding, to address problems some people reported.

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A lot of players have reported problems with the pathfinding of the creatures in Luminesca (I call them planktids, but you can call them jellyfish, squid, glowing blobs, whatever you like).

In the current public build, they just swim towards you in a straight line. If there is an obstacle such as a rock in the way they will just bump into it and keep trying to push straight through. Obviously, most rocks are static, so they don't get very far and players have to keep backtracking to allow a clear line of sight for them to catch up.

The next build update (0.1.4) will include improvements to their navigational skills which should prevent problems like these. Planktids will now remember the route you took and use it to follow you, even over long distances and through complex, winding pathways.

Check out the video below to see this in action.


When this is released, as with all updates, it will be available automatically and at no extra cost to anyone who has pre-ordered the game. Purchase Luminesca on Desura to try it right away!

Comments
Jac.Solar
Jac.Solar

I thought that was intentional to make the player care about, or focus on both the world and herding the planktii/planktids at the same time.

"Here little buddy! This is the way."

It didn't take long to get used to it either in the alpha.

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CrowbarSka Author
CrowbarSka

I do want to achieve that effect to a certain extent, but I think it was just a little too close to being frustrating for people who didn't really understand how their pathfinding was working.

Later parts of the game will still include that element of leading them around, but I'd like to make it challenging in more interesting ways than just fighting with the AI's navigation!

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mhughson
mhughson

What if the player does a bunch of loops or dips in and out of crevasses while the creature slowly follows; will the creature need to travel the whole path or does it find the closest point on the path and use that, skipping all the stuff that came before? Also, was there any reason not to implement a more traditional path finding using navmesh?

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CrowbarSka Author
CrowbarSka

In the version used in the video they would have just copied your path exactly, but I'm working on it at this very moment!

If they ever gain a clear line of sight to you, they'll break off their path and just go directly towards you. If you break line of sight they'll revert back to pathfinding.

Nav meshes are a Unity Pro feature. Unfortunately, I'm only using the free version, so I've had to implement my own system!

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mhughson
mhughson

Interesting solution!

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CrowbarSka Author
CrowbarSka

Thanks :D

The new version is now live on Desura so you can check it out and let me know what you think! It's still not perfect I must admit, as raycasting proved to be too expensive to do too often. This leads to some interesting problems which you might notice, but eventually the planktids should be able find their way back to you.

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Luminesca
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CrowbarSka
Engine
Unity
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