Hello. I spent this last week working on some new particle effect systems, along with my usual work on NPC and AI interactions. I also did some UI work, but that's so minimal it's not really worth mentioning.

A large part of action games lie in their particle effect systems. They're meant to give you a visual representation of each attack, to help it be more unique and give it its own identity. Since we're a small team, I can't really afford to give each attack its very own graphical effect, but I can make a large array of effects and give them size and color differences that can make them seem like they're unique.

Funnily enough, for the last six demos, I've used our blood particle effect for literally every effect in the game. Our dust, thrusters, explosions, actual blood effects, and sparks were all made with the blood texture. This is due to me not having enough time to actually implement the use of our other effects we have in the textures folder.

However, we've recently picked up an effects artist who can provide us with an array of effects that are also animated, which has provided us a pretty cool result so far.

So basically, I spent this week writing some custom animation systems to layer over Daniel's implemenation. This includes an "AnimatedGeoSystem" and an "AnimatedParticleSystem," which extend the particle and geo systems already in place. These act as a really nice framework for me to layer on a bunch of other effects that can work somewhat the same.

AI work mostly consists of me bug-fixing as per usual. It continually impresses me with stuff I didn't expect it to do, such as AI walking and interacting with dead bodies as if to inspect the area, or the pack system I mentioned in the last post. Most of this is a result of its relatively open (yet simple) decision making algorithms, which apply to a large number of activities. So now it's just a matter of me providing a large amount of animations for the AI to have at its disposal to make it even more lifelike.

That's all for this week, have a good one!