Thursday, June 9, 2011

UDK's Surprisingly Cool Deathmatch Bots

The majority of today was spent on making my UDK level design actually fun to play. I added things such as player starts, path nodes, and items in order to address the basic gameplay needs of the typical deathmatch. Path nodes in UDK are a nifty thing; at first it might seem tedious to create the paths for AIs to travel on for those of us who have most worked with older engines that did not require this, but it makes the enemy behavior more engaging and controllable. For example, there is a spot in the map where an out of the way, small, horizontal column leads up towards a location where the player can find a Quad Damage pick-up. It is difficult for the player to maneuver themselves up to this spot, thus making the item rewarding to get. With a classic FPS AI model the bots would have no idea how to jump onto this platform and run carefully along its narrow structure. Path nodes make this possible.

These nodes are also surprisingly easy to use; one just needs to simply place them into the map and they work. I am sure there are other functions, more complex of course, that they can utilize, but for basic death match bots I was surprised by just how effectively intuitive they were.

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