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Building Mechanics and AI

I try to keep you guys posted every few days about the work in RPC, usually giving you a nice news bit at every landmark. But this landmark is a biggie, so you're getting a mid-landmark update of what I have been working on!

Over the past few days I've been working on the building mechanics and making the AI smarter. I've added quite a lot since the shadow update, mostly on the content side of the house trying to flesh out building mechanics to get this glorified map editor turned into a game. Here's a bullet breakdown! (because who doesn't like bullet breakdowns?)

- The Village Center
The Village Center is now operational, in the future you will only be able to build one. A close approximation to the village center's function is like the "Construction Yards" in classic RTS games like Command and Conquer. When you first start a new game, you'll have somewhere around a dozen villagers, and no buildings. Then you will find somewhere on the map to place your Village Center and your little guys will start putting it together. Once built, you'll be able to start building other things in-range of your center. The villagers working at the village center will automatically start building objects on the map you drop down, so make sure you always have some workers at your village center or nothing will get built! :)

- Global range.
Now, all the buildings contribute to your maximum building/harvesting range. Your village center is the only building allowed to be placed anywhere on the map (to get you started). But, after that you have to build within the constraints of your build range. But, every time you place a building, that range grows. In the future you'll also be able to build cheap "range extender" buildings, like Guard Towers and your global range will "level up" as your population grows.

- Abandoned Buildings.
I've added abandoned buildings that can be placed in the map editor, these buildings are pre-placed on maps and the player has the option to rebuild these for a fraction of the original build costs and start using them. The current plan is every single building in the game will have a "abandoned" counterpart. So map makers could make little "abandoned villages" other players could use on their map.

- Smarter AI.
I've done a lot of tweaks to the AI over the past few days. One example is I had originally I had planned that the gathering workers at the Stone Masonry, Lumber Mill, and other gathering or storage buildings would deliver their resources to the Village Center itself and then the builders would fetch the resources from the Village Center and take it to build sites to start working. But instead, the Village Center now no longer carries any resources what so ever, and the gatherers just take goods directly to new building locations automatically, making the process a lot more fluid and natural! You can see some of this action in the screenshots below, where the villagers in red (Lumberjacks/Stone Masons) are taking materials to the build sites being worked on by the villagers in brown/green (Builders).

Screenshots of various building and AI mechanics, featuring many of the new buildings. :)
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5 Comments

I need this game.

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Will there be some sort of warehouse/granary where excess resources will be stored until needed at a build site, or will they be just stored in the village center?

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Will there be some sort of warehouse/granary where excess resources will be stored until needed at a build site, or will they be just stored in the village center?

 

Yes, there are overflow storage buildings. The original plan was to have a primary resource harvesting building, like a Lumber Mill for example. Then a secondary storage-only building that you could build along side it. They would both have their own workers, but the storage building would only be able to collect resources already harvested and also be able deliver resources to other buildings that needed it, like a construction site.

 

My new plan deviates from that slightly, but generally it's the same. It just makes the process a bit more flexible. Now, you will have smaller "Shacks" that are basically mini-resource harvesting buildings, like a "Lumber Shack", and these workers will also be able to harvest resources directly like they would at the normal full sized resource harvesting buildings just at a slower speed. Then a new building is going to be added that's a general storage building, that can house all types of storage up to a total unit maximum. They will operate like the old storage buildings did, except that they will be able to collect any resources of any type on the ground. But, they will not be able to harvest anything directly.

 

As for the village center, it doesn't actually store anything. All the materials are stored in the main resource harvesting buildings, shacks and then for additional storage you'd build the storage building that can store a little of everything. The Village Center itself will only house the workers responsible for building construction, and when a new building is placed to be built the resource harvesting and storage workers will deliver materials to the site, and the builders will start working on it as soon as the first resource arrives.

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Will there be some sort of warehouse/granary where excess resources will be stored until needed at a build site, or will they be just stored in the village center?

 

Yes, there are overflow storage buildings. The original plan was to have a primary resource harvesting building, like a Lumber Mill for example. Then a secondary storage-only building that you could build along side it. They would both have their own workers, but the storage building would only be able to collect resources already harvested and also be able deliver resources to other buildings that needed it, like a construction site.

 

My new plan deviates from that slightly, but generally it's the same. It just makes the process a bit more flexible. Now, you will have smaller "Shacks" that are basically mini-resource harvesting buildings, like a "Lumber Shack", and these workers will also be able to harvest resources directly like they would at the normal full sized resource harvesting buildings just at a slower speed. Then a new building is going to be added that's a general storage building, that can house all types of storage up to a total unit maximum. They will operate like the old storage buildings did, except that they will be able to collect any resources of any type on the ground. But, they will not be able to harvest anything directly.

 

As for the village center, it doesn't actually store anything. All the materials are stored in the main resource harvesting buildings, shacks and then for additional storage you'd build the storage building that can store a little of everything. The Village Center itself will only house the workers responsible for building construction, and when a new building is placed to be built the resource harvesting and storage workers will deliver materials to the site, and the builders will start working on it as soon as the first resource arrives.

 

Alright, that seems like a good idea. If the main resource harvesting buildings can harvest resources faster than the shacks, then what will be the point of build shacks in the first place? More storage or conservation of land? Also, will the workers have their own dwellings to live in or will the live in their respective buildings, e.g. the village center for builders, the lumber mill for lumberjacks, the stone quarry for miners, etc.?

Thanks. :)

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Alright, that seems like a good idea. If the main resource harvesting buildings can harvest resources faster than the shacks, then what will be the point of build shacks in the first place? More storage or conservation of land? Also, will the workers have their own dwellings to live in or will the live in their respective buildings, e.g. the village center for builders, the lumber mill for lumberjacks, the stone quarry for miners, etc.?

Thanks. :)

 

 

There's requirements you have to fulfill before you're allowed to build and use the larger harvest buildings, but once you have them chances are you'll probably exclusively build them unless you lose a large number high level of villagers and don't have any qualified to work in the larger harvest building anymore.

 

The current (tentative) plan is that the shacks you'll be able to build as soon as you have a village center, but to build the full sized harvesting buildings you'll need to hit a certain population level *and* you'll only be able to assign villagers who are over a certain level. So you still need the shacks as you progress up, or if a big attack happens, you lose a ton of high level villagers and can no longer properly use your larger buildings. If that happens you may be forced to use the shacks again for a short while as you build up your villager's experience again.

 

As for housing, there are housing buildings, but you can't assign people to homes. It's completely automatic. As soon as you place a house, it'll automatically be filled with any villagers that currently don't have a place to live. Villagers who have homes will return to their home if their food or energy levels drop too low. But, since you can't assign villagers to homes directly you have to play a balancing act and find a good central place to have all of your houses so that they aren't too far from any of the work sites.

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