Satellite Reign developer diary discusses game code, traffic jams
Posted: 14.05.2014 13:36 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
The spiritual-Syndicate-successor Satellite Reign is well underway and this latest "text heavy" developer diary focuses on the game's code, and they revealed they've got a "few major systems" up and running.

They discuss the first pass on weaponry, the AI 'state' system made up of "lots of smaller building blocks", the event system determining behaviour, and even traffic jams.

It seems the city is a little too realistic right now with roads clogged with busy commuters, which undermines our agentís ability to zip around using vehicles.

"...this is going to be a text heavy blog, but you might find some interesting info in here, even if youíre not technically minded.." blogged 5 Lives Studio. They touch on core critical systems for the game to get going, and a lot focuses on making sure the AI can act out its various personalities, as well as judge its environment.

"Nearly everything that happens in the game fires off events to nearby people. These events sometimes travel at the speed of light, sometimes the speed of sound. They then travel through the nervous system of the receiver. I literally coded up the time taken for the nervous system of a human to react to a gun shot (I hate games were AIs react instantly)."

"Everyone reacts to events if they feel so inclined, nothing is really hard coded. Thereís a few base parameters for everyone including bravery, intelligence, skill, that sort of thing. This goes through some fuzzy logic for each of the possible events they may witness, which factors in lots of extra info as necessary, such as getting a bravery boost from having allies nearby, or multiplying in your diligence stat if your boss is watching. Lots of numbers to tweak!"

In Satellite Reign we're free to choose between avoiding civilian causalities in our war against the big corporations, which will garner us favour with the common people, or use them as convenient meat shields and puppets. To that end, 5 Lives want each district to feel alive and vibrant with AI going about their day.

"The cars correctly move through the city, and have a decent navigation system that allows them to get to their desired location. The queuing at junctions needs a bit more work, itís currently a first-come-first-served approach, but that needs to change to be more like traffic lights, so a few cars can flow through at a time. The cars are pretty efficient."

"We can really crowd the streets with cars, but then the city does suffer from grid lock too much like reality."

Satellite Reign in being built using the Unity game engine. There's plenty to check out in the latest developer dairy.
Related games: Satellite Reign (PC)