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:
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