Remember the first-person tactical shooter game that was first featured on Steam Greenlight and aims to bring back that hardcore Rainbow Six single-player experience? Well, if you remember it, the devs are still going strong and are in the process of improving animations and the AI and wish to make the enemies react similar to F.E.A.R. — the game.
That’s right, Item_42 is still hard at work fixing up and making Blister much better. To acknowledge the changes made, the developers at Item_42 (Bret, Chris and Regan) took to two dev blogs regarding Blister to address what is going on at this very moment.
The two or three key points that they talk about are destructible environments, animations and enemy AI. The first of the four blockquotes that explain what’s currently going on with Blister details destructible assets, baked lighting and a little mention of Rainbow Six: Siege:
“After this first iteration we are scaling back some of these fully physical objects to allow for both destruction mechanics and fully baked lighting. As an example, destructible walls will now be lit as if static, with internal layers such as insulation, wood beams and pipes exempt from the lighting bake pass. This lets me light the level with hardly any dynamic lights and just a few well placed directional lights (which are baked like static lights but also cast proper shadows). Not all walls will be destructible but a much greater amount certainly than Rainbow Six: Siege.”
Next up comes UI functions and how it will be displayed on-screen. The devs not only want something effective but something that is minimal that doesn’t hamper a player’s vision:
“I’m currently working on the UI in BLISTER. We’re aiming to keep the UI minimal but functional, so that it helps you do what you want to do but other than that stays the fuck out of your way. Lots to do in the rework and should be something to show soon.”
Next up details the movement and how the devs wish to make you, the player, feel like you are actually there (in the game) instead of feeling like a floating camera with a gun. Speaking of the weapons in Blister, the devs also want them to feel weighty, which can be read over in the third blockquote and seen in video form below via The Scanner Darkly‘s channel:
“The movement of the player’s weapon is not the only way BLISTER achieves that “chunky” feel, head bob when moving (which will be a toggle for those that hate it) and impacts when running into a wall make a lot of headway into the player feeling that they are part of the world, and not a floating camera with a gun. Below is a demonstration of the weapon handling and movement in a test level.”
After that comes enemy AI logic. The logic used in the game F.E.A.R. sorta makes its way into Blister in that the root/action system will have AIs filling out key actions depending on what’s going on and what is the most efficient route rather than clunky strings of script code.
The developers further explain the inspiration behind the enemy AI code and reaction system in F.E.A.R. making its way into Blister, by detailing the benefits of said setup through the path they are taking as of this moment:
“I’ve based the design of the Insurgent AI on the AI system in F.E.A.R. It has some of the best and most fun enemy AI I and everyone else have ever played against, so it’s makes sense to use it as the base of BLISTER’s enemy AI. The guys at Monolith published a paper on how their AI works and after many reads and more research I started work on it last week. You can read their paper here. Give it a read cause it’s pure brilliance.”
Whether you have time or not to read the spreadsheet pertaining to F.E.A.R.’s enemy AI algorithm, a short summary to the logic system is that it demonstrates a goal and action priority that produces interesting behavior, which the Item_42 devs note the new system to be far better than what was in the older build of Blister. Below is the last video showing how weapons and enemy AI operate in the latest build of Blister.
More information on Blister can be found over on item42.com.