Poachers, TweedPunk, And Clever Materials

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Sir, You Are Being Hunted is focused on dynamic AI combat across an open world. We want encounters to occur naturally rather than being scripted. The heart of the project is therefore based around our robot enemies hunting you, and each other. That means developing some interesting global and local AI behaviour, which Tom will be talking more about later this week.

What you can see in today’s screenshots is our second AI character, called The Poacher. These are stealthy, ambush-based baddies, who lay in wait for you across the landscape. The Hunters, which we’ve posted a few screenshots of previously, are much more active, and pursue you across the landscape, heading to where there has been player activity, to seek you out and take a scalp.

Of course when robots from different factions meet, there’s likely to be a fight. The Poachers happily take down tresspassing Hunters if they encroach on their territory. Poachers tend to carry and use traps, which can render their opponents wounded and immobile – dangerous for an exposed Hunter, or the unwary player. Cunning Hunted players will be able to re-purpose these traps for their own devices. Some Poachers will even carry dynamite – you know, for fishing and stuff.

You might notice that some of the objects in these new scenes have different levels of shader detail. This is because we’re experimenting with some essential tools for world-creation, such as substance textures. You can see that on the wall that the Poacher is shooting over. Rather than creating a final texture, we are able to play with variables and generate vastly different-looking walls by using a single material. This is a technology we’re hoping to apply to a number of procedural features in our sinister countryside, such as hedgerows and walls.

Finally, we’ve had a few comments on the “Steampunk” nature of our world – we’re not entirely happy with that. It is, perhaps, in some ways steampunky, but certainly not Victoriana. There are elements of high modernity – the laser visors on the Hunters, wind turbines, and so on. If such labels must be applied, we’d like to appeal for you to use “TweedPunk”, “ToffPunk”, or “UncannyChapPunk”. Thanks!

More soon.

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