Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Barbarians have arrived in Medieval Engineers!

Today we have released our first official "Tuesday" update for Medieval Engineers, and it brings you Barbarians.


Barbarians are the first prototype of artificial intelligence (AI) in our engineering games. Please don’t confuse this with our other super-secret AI project - that’s a completely different thing and it’s being developed by a different team and we will announce it later this year.

From the change log: This is our first A.I. prototype and is still a work-in-progress. Barbarians will wander around the map seeking King Statues to destroy. Currently, since only creative mode is available, the player cannot be killed by them, so barbarians will just follow the character around the map. When they're close to a King Statue - which is automatically spawned in the world or can be placed by the player - they will destroy it; they will also destroy any building that is blocking their way. Barbarians can be killed by setting traps; for example when a tower falls on them, when they fall from a cliff, or when a catapult ball hits them, etc. We've also added a few more types of catch blocks and round timber blocks. The new catch blocks should be more user-friendly as until now it was hard to attach something to them; there is also a variant which can be safely attached to walls.

The barbarian’s AI in its current state isn't very complex, they just have a basic level of behavior; the path-finding still doesn't recognize complex paths (e.g. it completely avoids compound blocks because they are geometrically much harder to describe than the regular blocks); and the path-finding doesn't search over long distances as that would stress out our terrain LOD algorithm (which would require calculating the highest LOD levels over the entire map). These are some of the things we will be solving in the next couple of weeks.


Space Engineers will receive an AI system later. The reason for this is that the environment in Space Engineers is much more complex. It’s probably the most AI unfriendly environment you can imagine (completely dynamic; gravity vector can change at any time and location; the AI is supposed to use a jet-pack as well as walking; the AI should be able to navigate through ship corridors then jump onto another ship, pilot it, etc.). I am not promising this all will get implemented; I am just trying to illustrate the difficulties involved.

The actual development of Medieval Engineers at the moment is focusing mostly on stabilizing hard-ware (HW) compatibility issues. Unfortunately the first version wasn't 100% flawless even after we tested it on all possible HW configurations, hired a dedicated testing facility to test it on even more configurations and then let players to “beta-test” it during 24-hour pre-launch window).

Once the things above are solved, we will jump right on to the two most important areas: multi-player and survival mode for Medieval Engineers.

BTW, the simple version of survival mode will be released sooner than full survival mode and it will include: death/re-spawn, slow construction, and no-levitation. Full survival will add:  resource management and inventory, material harvesting and processing, and tools using.

More details about today’s update: http://forums.keenswh.com/post?id=7310951

It’s really great to see all the stuff that people have already created in Medieval Engineers:
---

Thank you for reading this! For the latest news on our games, follow us on Facebook or on Twitter.

Website: http://www.MedievalEngineers.com
Medieval Engineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MedievalEngineers
Medieval Engineers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MedievalEng
Space Engineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers
Space Engineers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpaceEngineersG

26 comments:

  1. Woo! I love you guys! Great stuff, and I really enjoy both games!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool that AI is coming to, hopefully, both games, ME and SE. Can't wait to see it in Space Engineers and I'm asking myself how you do this because this is a real challenge ;) But keep up the great work, involving community, etc. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Apart from that, good to see another game (ME) from you. The only thing that would be cool too is somekind of Minecraft, although we already have it, they're not good developers and written in Java is not the best environment. I think it's sad that you haven't invented it because you are a much better developer than Mojang ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please fix MP in SE before adding new content. Pretty please?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is the 'super secret' AI project something that is planned to be integrated into SE and ME?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a non-game R&D project, so the chance of integrating to our games is there but it's very distant. But who knows... :)

      Delete
    2. i laughed my ass off when that barbarian was shot back with that shield thingy haha :D

      Delete
  6. Ha, as soon as I opened up the post I was about to say, "a-HA! the super secret AI project!" and then was "disappointed" with "oh, so it's actually something even [i]more[/i] interesting".

    You keep doing this to me! Baited and then simultaneously switched with something even cooler than I was expecting. So... don't stop! =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Keen has done great work so far on SE and ME.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You could release AI in a more basic form early on for Space Engineers.. and then continue building it up from there.

    It would be fun to dogfight against craft in singleplayer.. that could be something to do early, just the flying ship part, in exploration mode you could maybe come across a ship and it is piloted by an AI enemy.. and it goes after you and tries destroying you.. Then you could shoot back or run away...

    Something like that early on would be quite fun I think.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Did you talk about your 'super secret AI project' before? I'm now very interested and want to hear more. Maybe upgrade it to 'not so secret AI project'?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Have you ever seen this before Marek?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpD6pkA83k8

    It is a trailer for the video game "Shattered Horizon", it is a zero-g space combat first person shooter released in 2009. it was made by the makers of the futuremark benchmarking software.

    That game has some really cool gameplay mechanics in terms of combat and moving around in zero g.. also ragdolls.

    I'm guessing you may have already heard of it, but just in case you haven't, please check it out.. it may give you some ideas for Space Engineers.

    : >

    ReplyDelete
  11. This game has a very huge potential ! You are doing a great job guys !

    ReplyDelete
  12. Briiiiilliant job, just bought Medieval engineers.
    But... => Export does not work... :( (and it is in the user manual....so if if it's in the specs, it should work :p)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This update is amazing!! I love the sound the barbarians make when they get spawned haha

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great to hear you guys are working on AI in . I can definitely see the difficulties in implementing AI in SE that can walk and fly around. Maybe you could try making drones that simply fly around.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What if you try implementing drones that just flu around In Space Engineers? I'm not a programmer but that seems easier to code and what fit perfectly with the theme of the game.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a glaring omission to point out! There are no outer corner blocks which really puts a crimp on late Renaissance / Early Modern style forts (ramps for cannon protection).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Marek,

    thank you for creating the castle building game. I am a big fan of castle building and invest a good amount of time write into creating modular buildings and machines. As a developer myself, I hope that you and your team keep fixing the basic bugs/improving existing game experience (e.g. my catapults on wheels are sometimes rising into the air) while continuing to deliver new features (e.g. switching taskbar while catalogue is open, optional warning for unsufficient struc.integrity when adding something to a model) for long time motivation.

    Where do I find (or Do I find) a long time feature list that you want to realize this year?

    Keep on roling, you are doing a great job so far,

    best regards
    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Marek,

    I do massively and positively look forward to you adding planets and oxygen to Space Engineers. The idea of landing on a planet as a home base, building a home for my beloved and then venturing out into the open space, to return after a days work and get to bed inside of the base...

    I can imagine your game can become something really great and awesome, much more awesome as it is at the moment. It could be the awesome of awesomeness! ;-)

    best

    Alexander

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wish to know what you plan to do about combat balancing in space engineers.
    currently there are many issues with combat in general, the most pressing I find to be the lack of effective or even functional point defense, the high yield of missiles, and the complete lack of thought in the defensive aspect of large vessels in general honestly.

    I found the volumetric damage mechanics you and your team added to be best thing you have done for defense in a long time, I think it might be time to give it more attention as it is frustrating that there is real defensive measures for large vessels, leaving them open targets.

    My opinion on this matter are very clear in my post on the forums, while some do not share my belief and continue to mock me for not just hiding my large ships in deep space I believe this to be a huge error in the combat area of the game.

    But I digress, please visit my post on missiles and balancing in the suggestions thread, it would be nice to know what you and the team thinks on the issue in general.

    http://forums.keenswh.com/post/missile-balance-and-point-defense-thread-7346574?pid=1286637124#post1286637124

    ReplyDelete
  20. Why would you need to path highest LOD over long distances? Why not have enemy AI be aware of general cardinal direction of settlements and then do short distance pathing that takes them in that general direction?

    ReplyDelete