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Pay attention, this is important stuff. How the West was won using axemen, rattlesnakes, dynamiters and whiskey healers. All of them AI controlled!

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What's it all about.
Spawn AI controlled creatures against human players and other AI, and do it along other teammates so damage inflicted is proportional to coordination and timing. That's the idea more or less. Customizable NPCs give an extra twist to the whole thing, allowing different tactics and level interactions.

If I had to explain it using already known concepts, it would some sort of mix between Zombie Master and Left4Dead's versus. I'm not a ZM player myself, but the basic idea is pretty similar I guess. The concept is taken to another level though, there's no single godlike player but several-less powerful so they must cooperate to maximize their attacks. Add to that an important difference: both teams start the game as gunfighters, only when a player is killed goes to ‘ghost state' and can spawn stuff. Therefore, there's additional interaction between live and dead players from same team. Finally, there's no direct NPC control unlike a RTS, players may order their minions to attack directly (rush) or await until being discovered (ambush).

There are many factors which made me wanted to create something like this. Artificial intelligence is one of the coolest things from a game developer perspective, building an AI framework from the ground is an enormous task though. As a Source developer, the engine is quite powerful in this aspect so no large effort required. The new NPC classes are familiar to FoF players but they are new code wise, their basic behavior is quite different from DM/co-op AI.

AI is already pretty important in multiplayer FPS field. Players demand experiences beyond the traditional team versus landscape. Adding AI is a tricky matter though. Unresponsive or ‘dumb' AI may just take the fun out. It's still something to be seen, but I certainly took lot of care to avoid such issues.

I also wanted to offer an experience which wasn't solely based on FPS combat/aiming skills. Frags matter in Fistful of Frags, obviously. The competitive aspect used to be the driving factor for many mods, now isn't enough to create a community around a mod like this. Getting past a level of competitiveness hurts unless there are tournaments, leagues, etc. Players in public servers just want fun and everybody has no bot-like accuracy. So this new mode offers two different but complementary experiences: FPS and NPC management done in an original way.

This is like a mod inside another mod. Originally meant to be an autonomous project, there was some ties with FoF and it could be a worth addition. So I went for it along some other important additions you'll see in 3.5. My intention is to preserve FoF as the team versus mod it always was meant to be, so a new project should spawn from here if all goes well. There's a clear path I want to follow and this is just the beginning. During the upcoming days I'll try to showcase how cool are the new NPCs, there's more :)

Henley - - 1,973 comments

Awwwwwwww yeah boi!

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ElderGamer - - 131 comments

Oh mah gawd, this looks amazing, can't wait to play as a sinister ghosty thingy.

Any hints you can give on the next project?

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell - - 368 comments

Not many because I like to wait until features are developed, art is in place and such things.

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--JoKeR-- - - 359 comments

you should make a little coop chapter

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medve - - 1,475 comments

cant agree more

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell - - 368 comments

I'm trying to focus on the mp/team vs side because it's already a rather large effort for 1 person. However I always was interested in a singleplayer mode along co-op and some sort of last man standing, using features that aren't meant to be included in FoF (like savegames). So you'll have to wait :)

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Xylemon - - 2,677 comments

That's pretty inventive, this looks like a blast!

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Jesusfreak - - 770 comments

Can't wait for this!

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thedeepkiss - - 5 comments

Could you please give the bots with rifles a ranged AI where they always keep a certain distance from their target if possible and always duck behind cover in between shots?

You can simulate the player location as always firing simulated aimbot shots that the ranged AI senses and uses as basis for finding cover.

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell - - 368 comments

I see your point, it's tricky though. There's deathmatch field where AI just walks around, making it aware of good cover spots goes out of my personal scope. I may try to prevent it from running towards players sometimes. Co-op AI, on the other side, is meant to be semi-scripted, adding movement restriction, hints for cover spots and such. That's not deeply used, speaking truth ^^

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Lacedaemonius - - 510 comments

great, now just let me know when the mod's been optimized.

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell - - 368 comments

Let me know when you upgrade your computer :) FoF requirements are quite affordable, even if some maps (outdoors mainly) aren't very optimized. Other than that, there's extensive usage of LOD's, sliders to decrease some FX's.

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LORDDEREX - - 1,159 comments

Nice post :)
Very nice :)

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Newbez - - 480 comments

not being able to walk from a bite? i think slowed down movement or not being able to run is a much better idea

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell - - 368 comments

It's more complex than that actually, I had to simplify it for the video. There's a speed reduction only if player gets bitten by a 'stock' rattlesnake. An attack enhanced snake causes paralysis for a few seconds, and player speed is recovered progressively. That's however a pretty expensive combination, which may require additional speed (another NPC enhancement) to increase success chances. It's going to get properly explained as I said ^^

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Darius0101 - - 135 comments

Wow, after playing this mod for years its good to see something completely new, should bring alot more players in hopefully!

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