Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In love with Unity's built in AI !!!

    Recently I started playing around with Unity's built in Navigation/ NavMesh tools so that I could learn a little bit more about AI behaviors such as pathfinding and so on. I must say, I am in love with the built in navigation the game engine provides. Its very smart, easy to use and opens up a ton of different possibilities for what the game engine could be used for.

For those of you who don't know what I am talking about check out the Unity website over here. Pretty much you can bring your characters, enemies, whatever you want in the game to life using Unity's AI.

In very little time I built my own playable prototype using the navigation tools to create an enemy gameobject that follows the player around while at the same time avoiding obstacles such as walls. Its a very simple basic AI behavior but its very effective and of course much more advanced AI behaviors could be created.

Check it out over here

So I am in love with this feature that the game engine provides. This is a very important feature for me and my games and probably most game developers out there. Creating good quality AI behaviors for my games characters and enemies has always been a bit of a challenge for me. AI in general is a subject of its own and could be very time consuming work. In my past games such as "Revolver Finger", "Forest Soup""Hide-n-Seek Winter" and other game projects I could never quite create good quality AI behaviors. I managed to create my own AI behaviors for enemies and such in the past but they were never really good AI behaviors. For example, the enemies in my forest soup game and revolver finger game would follow you around but also they wouldn't avoid obstacles, they would go through walls, they would not follow the player around accurately and sometimes even float above the ground when they aren't suppose to. The AI would even break sometimes and behave weird. Getting to the point, the AI behaviors I created for my past games were very poor quality and not professional.

However, now that I have the power of Unity's built-in navigation tools I can create much more believable AI behaviors, much more smarter AI behaviors and much much better and more professional quality AI behaviors. I am sure this will have a really positive impact on my future game projects. So I just really want to thank the devs behind the Unity game engine for making this feature available to everyone.

The AI/navigation tools use to only be a feature available to pro licensed users. However, a few recent builds of unity 4.xx ago this feature became available to users using the free version of unity and that is just awesome. Those of you who have been using unity might of already known about this feature for a while now and I did to, but I just recently started using it and am really impressed by what it could do.

Anyway that's about it. Once again a big thanks to the people behind the Unity game engine for giving users another pro feature for free. If you haven't played around with the Navigation tools yet I highly encourage you to it is a lot of fun.

I know this post isn't really about my next game project but I will have news on that down the road so stay tuned. Thanks for reading.