A much needed update revealing the details of the top down perspective and the AI improvements, as well as what's coming up.
First a note regarding future progress: the Fall semester is starting up, so I’ll continue work on the project, though at a reduced pace. Release date is still TBD, though I hope that by the end of the next major school holiday I’ll have hit Alpha.
I’m really excited to show you guys the game from a top down perspective. Although there are still many kinks, a lot of work was required to make this happen. When you change from first to third person, it becomes clear that the map scale of 64x is too large, particularly in terms of height. In addition to rescaling the maps and overlays, I had to resize the levels to fit the new camera distance. The camera needed work too; it had to be smart enough to always keep its eye on the player, and always maintain the proper angle.
In some of the new screenshots, you can also see evidence of the lock-on mechanic. The firing for the pistol behaves like the source material: holding down the attack button activates the laser sight and locks on to the nearest target, and releasing it fires a shot. Both the lock on AI and the laser sight positioning still need work, but they’re coming along nicely.
The AI has also seen significant improvements, specifically making sure that enemy behavior is both similar to the source material and logical. Although it’s not apparent from the screenshots, the enemies will react to the player’s cardboard box disguise appropriately (depending on whether or not it blocks their path).
You can also see that the enemies will display the notorious ‘?’ if they are investigating something, and ‘!’ if they spot the player. Accompanying sound effects have not yet been implemented.
A few things still need addressing before Alpha is reached. These include leaving footprints in the snow that the enemy AI will react to properly, some first person tweaks (for when the player is in a vent/tunnel), and the addition of sound effects and music. In addition to adding new features, lots of tweaking needs to be done on existing ones.
Make sure to check out all the new screenshots in the media section!