I missed the 11/30 target date for Release 3 but expect to complete the remaining work this weekend. As with the prior two releases, this release is internal (i.e. I’m the only person playing the game). Release 4 will be the first release available to others, though I’m not sure in what form yet. Certainly the game won’t be ready for Steam Early Access, but I need to start getting feedback from other players.
- Completed AI 2.0. Actors now determine actions from their observations. Observations are generated from the game events that an actor perceives as well as significant actors/objects/items in an actor’s field of view. The AI determines which observations an actor cares about and the action to take in response to the observations. The game events actors respond to include actors moving, doors and chests opening/closing, and projectiles hitting targets or landing on a cell. A number of small improvements were made to optimize performance. The most impactful optimization has been to reduce the number of actors running the AI code each turn. Also, performance was improved by organizing the AI code so that the most expensive operations are performed last and preceded by inexpensive checks that allow methods to exit before running expensive code.
- Fixed a lot of bugs. Half of the bugs were introduced by the AI changes and the other half were random bugs found during playtesting and fixed to tighten up Release 3.
Next week, I’ll create the Release 4 feature list. The focus will be refinement rather than new capabilities and content. New features and changes will be smaller; I don’t plan to implement any new systems or do any major refactorings. More time will be spent on bug fixing and testing than in prior releases. I also plan on finding an artist and replacing the stock images that are currently in the game.