Hi there, I'm FSDev Twigs, and I’ve been asked to give you all a little bit of an update regarding things here at First Strike towers and what I’ve been involved with. Now as regular readers will know, I try to get involved with a bit of everything, but lately I’ve been getting stuck into continuing to improve our AI (yep, those evil bots are my fault, sorry), as well as adding it to new maps. Well, by new maps I mean existing maps of course, I know nothing about that new space map.
Now of course, when I say new space map, what I actually mean is that we have added AI to a space map! Of course, I can’t go any further without first thanking Dnamro. He’s been a hugely overlooked member of the team throughout the AI implementation, working hard to add AI coding to various vehicles, weapons and maps.
Space was a difficult area to get the bots working properly. They are very fussy little things and don’t much like piloting capital ships. The way many of our vehicles are coded simply isn’t compatible with the bots coding. Parmel and Convoy Raid were pretty easy to run since they are purely starfighter maps, but we wanted more. We wanted Battle of Taloraan, and that’s exactly what we have now.
We had to get creative with the coding here and it’s been a joint effort, with Dnamro creating special clones of some weapons just for this map while I did the same for some vehicles. We have auto piloting cap ships now, that move as a massive convoy towards the centre for an impressive fleet battle. To prevent bots getting in the pilot seat, we had to remove spawns during these initial stages and in place of the traditional guns, added automated turrets, both anti fighter and cap ship killers, just like in the MP version.
The result of all this work, is a mass fleet engagement that rivals those seen on the big screen. Fighters dash in and out of laser fire, torpedoes fly through space and explosions rock all around you. Of course, it’s still early days. There are refinements to be done to the AI, and some balance issues to look at, but so far, it’s shaping up to be a superb Co-Op and Singleplayer addition to First Strike.
I shall leave you with one last tantalising teaser. For some time now I’ve been working on my own little map which has involved creating new objects (or at least coupling things together to create new scenery!). Including this....
Next time, I’ll let you know how it works and where it will eventually appear!
Until then, this is Twigs signing off.