I spent the weekend entering the Ludum Dare game jam. For this competition, entrants had two days to design and produce a game given the theme “Beneath The Surface”. I used this opportunity to try out the game engine I have been working on.
My entry is called Skull Mountain and can be found here.
I have for the last few days been squinting in the dark at my monitor in the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t resist entering this months Mini Ludum Dare since the challenge was to make a RTS game in 7 days. An RTS game is something that I have always have wanted to make, from a technical point of view as much as anything. I spent countless hours playing C&C, Dune2 and dungeon keeper in my childhood and the AI in this genre in particular always fascinated me.
My initial research on RTS AI directed me to some great papers written about potential fields and their use in the RTS genre. This is a method I had read about previously, but these papers really gave me the vision for just how powerful they could be. The papers can be found a the bottom of this great article at AIGameDev. http://aigamedev.com/open/tutorials/potential-fields/.
All the programming I had done on my framework is now being tested to the limit for this project, and so far (touch wood) it hasn’t failed me. Additionally, I am particularly proud of my efforts on this project because I have made all of the graphics myself from scratch and this really is my most complete game to date, since I usually get sidetracked while working on the technical details of a project. Provided below is a screenshot of the current work in progress. Several potential fields are being displayed for debugging by eye in the lower left corners. Top left shows the fog of war maps for both the human player and the AI player respectively.