Post news RSS Update #2 - Should Ancestory have an AI?

In this update we introduce one of our programmers and he goes through our process of upgrading to latest version of Unreal Engine and the plans we have for AI in Ancestory

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First of all I’d like to introduce myself, since this is my first time writing for our blog! My name is Mikko and I’m working as the Assistant Producer and Game Programmer for Ancestory. I’ve been doing the project from the very beginning and I’m as excited as ever to make this game.
My responsibilities focus around programming, specifically our grid and it’s functionality. As the assistant producer, I attend 3rd party meetings to keep Tatu in check, dabble in our social media accounts, and keep the team hard at work. I’m also known for bad puns, treating the team with an occasional cake and my craving for Ancestory T-shirts.

Engine Upgrade

The Unreal engine was updated to version 4.5. We upgraded our project to 4.5 to try out the new features. The upgrading of our project was straight forward and we had only minor build issues, but those were quickly resolved. Hot reload for code is awesome and simplifies the workflow of programmers greatly. We are also looking forward to check out the new UI tools which will definately help to improve our menus. Here's a mock-up of our settings menu.

The AI

The multiplayer experience has been the cornerstone of Ancestory from the very beginning and we first wanted to focus on making that experience the best possible. Now that our core mechanics are working, we’ve started to reconsider the possibility of Ancestory not being exclusively a multiplayer game.

The greatest obstacle, that was the reason for not making single player mode before, is the huge time investment it would take. The design process for a good AI is a lengthy one as well as the implementation on the programming side. This would mean we might have to cut other features or push back the release.

AI game jam

We are planning to tackle this challenge by having a bit of a game jam to prototype the AI. Me and our lead programmer will be spending most of our time next week testing out what it takes to implement some of the planned AI features to Ancestory. This way we'll find what works and what doesn't before committing substantial resources for development of the full AI system. Stay tuned to see what we'll come up with and what we learn along the way.

We would love to hear your opinions on this matter. Should we launch Ancestory with only hot seat and multiplayer or should we implement a simple AI to practise with before going online against other players? Also we will greatly appreciate if you’d like to share your tips and tricks on AI development. Please give your opinions and feedback below or via Facebook and Twitter! We also have a poll here.


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