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March 31, 2013 - Pathfinding and interaction

I’ve spent the last few days working on the pathfinding system on Archaos. This replaces the previous and temporary ‘one step at a time’ way that non-flying units were controlled, and makes the process of moving of your units much easier and faster.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time testing the system and comparing movement ranges with the infographic posted previously. Due to some discrepancies with the way the original game handled non-flying movement, calculation of a non-flying unit’s range isn’t trivial – and when you throw in obstacles and danger of your unit getting engaged, the efficiency and accuracy of the pathfinding system becomes vital. I may still need to tweak it a little further but at the moment I’m very happy with the results.

archaos-pathfinding

Ease of interaction is one of the top priorities of the game; if the game’s controls aren’t implemented correctly, it could quickly get very annoying – for instance, if it was easy to accidentally move a unit to the wrong position. This is especially important when dealing with mobile devices, which offer less feedback and less accurate interaction methods.

With this in mind, all actions carried out in the game must be confirmed, either by tapping twice in the same spot, or by tapping the ‘confirm’ button which will appear once you’ve tapped to express your intent. This method seamlessly works between mobile and desktop, with intent on the desktop being indicated as you hover your mouse over the board.