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Space Combat AI

Alrighty

As I’ve been hanging around here since the days of UDK and never really bothered showing anything I do (usually cause everything I do is not worth showing…) I thought I’d share a quick video of what I’ve been messing about with lately.

This is just some little project I’ve been doing to improve my C++ skills, everything is coded from scratch in C++, no copy pasting code from the internet, including all the AI, it does use Behaviour Trees but all the task/conditional/service nodes are all written in C++. Big thanks to Tom Looman for his Udemy course and getting me started coding properly.

Being an old sod who’s 1st computer was a Sinclair Spectrum 48k I’ve always been more about the gameplay than graphics so I concentrate most of my efforts in gameplay related coding, I’m absolutely hopeless at modelling and graphics stuff so rather than what I usually do and have a load of primitive shapes wobbling looking gash I have used various Star Wars assets ripped from the internet. Which admittingly isn’t great I know but this isn’t something I ever intend to release or claim to be my own, just nicer and quicker to have some decent placeholder graphics to work with. The Skybox is one of the defaults that comes with the SpaceScape software with a bit of material jazzing up to make it a bit more vibrant…maybe to vibrant…

On the flip side of that, I have made all the particle effects from scratch in Niagara, as you will be able to tell by how rubbish they look. Less said about the target reticle the better…

So anyway here’s a video of me testing the combat AI in VR, I’m amazed how well it runs with that much going on and its running in the editor not even built! Maybe EA should have used UE4 for Squadrons…

Feel free to tell me how rubbish it looks :slight_smile:

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Looks great actually. I mean obviously the assets are borrowed. But while watching I was thinking what if… What-if you partnered with a modeler or just used less known assets. Few small bits of feedback that would add something and yet be simple to implement.

  1. 6DOF combat against an infinite skyscape often comes across as a bit random, like where the **** am I in space? So having a reference object in the scene is often important. Think large planet / giant space-station / jump-gate / wormhole.
  2. Have a mission / goal to get to, so the dog-fighting doesn’t come across as an endless runner. For example, having to shoot patrols first, to then get to a convoy of imperial cruisers, that you then have to destroy, before flying down to the planet.
  3. Switching to 3rd Person at some points might better capture the scale of the action especially the larger ships, and so feel different to cockpit dog-fighting.
  4. The skyscape adds very little, as that type of vista is overused to death. It would help to place a few planets / suns in the scene with lens-flares just to break things up a little. For example, if you place a lens-flare behind a nebula with high emissive, it may have an immediate effect.
  5. The gameplay is definitely ready for onscreen lock-on widgets / 3D Elite-type radar.

Agreed. This actually looks and feels pretty awesome! The backdrop skysphere needs toning down a lot, way too vibrant! It will also make the action stand out more. The VR adds so much here…

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Wow cheers guys I was expecting a response more along the lines of “mate thats ■■■■■ deinstallio unreal” :slight_smile:

Obviously yeah its a bit empty at the moment, no HUD of any type or anything actually to do other than endlessy kill tie fighters, more just a test for the AI shooting each other.

Appreciate your advice, bit of praise is good to keep me enthused to implement the things you suggest and make it more fleshed out and something maybe resembling a game.

Splendid. You guys made my day, have a great weekend :slight_smile:

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