Sporedum Exclusive: Adventure Camp interview with Parkaboy
Posted by ballightning on May 26, 2009
What sort of triggers can you have? For example, can i have it so that when you get to a certain area a vehicle starts moving?
You can only have triggers on the advanced AI, wich applies only to creatures. You can program them to do a certain action when something (or the player speciffically) enters their awareness radius, socializes, attacks or befriends them. These are just examples, I can’t remember every option.
What you can’t do with the AI editor, you can use acts to achieve. For instance, I can place a “go to” goal on an object or building, and then change the behavior of a vehicle so it moves on the following act. The previous act is completed when the player goes to the place assigned and then the vehicle starts to move. You can change behaviors and even make creations, effects and objects appear/disappear between acts, so that’s very flexible. But you’re limited to just 8 acts per mission, though.
So would it be possible to have the captain build a building?
I believe so. Here’s how I would do it: create different stages of the building (foundations, half-finished, finished), and then make some buildings shaped like construction material. Have the goal of each act to get the items and bring them to the building. Then, between acts, make the previous version of the building invisible, and make the next one show.
In your mission log you mentioned that creations have behaviors. Could you expand on the different types of behaviors you can have for creatures, spaceships, vehicles and spaceships?
“Behaviors” is a popup window you have when clicking the thumbnail of the creature in the adventure editor. In there you can change a creation’s aggressiveness, awareness, attack bonus and movement (for creatures and vehicles) health points, visible/invisible, no team/allied/enemy teams (for everything), invisible/disguised (for gameplay objects). I may be leaving something out… And of course there’s the advanced AI editor for creatures, wich is way too complex for me to describe by memory.
You messed around with the advanced AI options, could you give us some details about what you can do?
Well, you can set a list of actions for a creature to do. Actions on top will have priority over actions on the bottom. I’m not sure how many actions we can put on one creature, the maximum I’ve used was four.
Each action has a condition. Let me give an example:
– attack (anyone) if attacked (anyone)
– follow (player) if befriended (player)
– threaten (anyone) if awareness (anyone)
– emote (angry)
Then we sould have a fierce creature, that threatens anyone that comes near it, follows the player if the player befriends it, and attacks anyone that attacks it. The top actions take precedence over the bottom ones, so it would stop following the player to attack an aggressor.
There are a lot of options, these are just a few I can remember. It’s a lot more subtle control than simply setting a creature to be aggressive. Then it would simply attack anyone that comes near.
Did you have much time to experiment with vehicle movement, and if you did could you explain to us how this works, and what the type of triggers we could use for this?
You can set a path for vehicles to move, or you can set a path for them to patrol. The difference is that patrolling means the vehicle will go back and forth on the path, instead of stopping at the end. Since this is a behavior, you can set it to happen only on certain acts, and the trigger will be completing a goal on the previous act.
Is it possible to have a many sided war, ie 4 teams at ware with each other?
Yeah, you can have up to 4 enemy teams, I believe. You can even have them allie to each other by changing them to the same team on certain acts. You can’t have a neutral team, though. A creature with “no team” would be attacked by everybody, poor thing.
Have you had a go at messing around with Time limits on adventures? If so, could you give us some examples of how this works?
I haven’t played with that… I guess you can place time limits on the completing of an act or goal, but I haven’t used it.
Did you come across any of the new achievements?
We got an achievement for publishing our first adventure, though we did it only on the Maxis internal server. So we’ll only earn it when they publish our adventures, by the time of the release.
Will we be able to record movies during a mission, creating a mission, and/or in the captain editor?
Yeah, movies and screenshots can be taken at any time. You can even make adventures just to create movies, that would be very cool.
What can you do for your missions, like get x item, kill x creatures etc?
You can place up to 3 goals per act. To place a goal, you have to drag it from the panel to a creation or object, and then choose an option from a pie-like menu (sort of like the sims interactions). There are tons of goals, such as kill, befriend, talk to, go to, bring… I can’t remember them all. You can specify numbers, such as kill “5” of this creature, or kill “all” of that one. If you choose the option “bring”, you can pick where to bring the thing.
Are we able to stack small buildings on each other so they can be like giant stairs up into the sky?
Certainly! And you can use the Tab, Shift and Ctrl keys in the same exact way that they’re used on the building editor, so you can combine several buildings in any way imagined! Creating modular buildings can result and giant and overcomplex structures. That’s probably my favourite part of the editor…
What bugs/problems did you encounter?
No bugs, though sometimes it’s hard to get te creations to behave just the way you want in the adventure. We can forget to change the behavior on the right act, and then spend several minutes trying to figure out what went wrong… I believe this happened to pretty much everyone that went to the Camp.