[Ant Attack] Gazillions of Ants...
...well maybe 80!
Here's what a swarm looks like...
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The dark blue ball, roughly in the middle of the swarm is the player. Who, thankfully for them, doesn't have a health value to be depleated yet.
Below is a shot taken a few seconds before with the normally invisible tracking smells turned on. If you look in the bottom right hand corner you can see a couple of circled ants. The lower one can't see the player but can see/smell a tracking scent left by the higher up ant. The higher up ant in turn, dropped a smell when they couldn't quite see the player but could see a much stronger smell dropped by an ant right next to the player.
This is how the ants end up swarming around the player!
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The neat part about how ants are handled now is that we had already implimented some speed limiting code. So that as PCs get faster the game will still "run" at the same speed, i.e. it'll still take 10 seconds to walk along the side of the city. To get this to work we have a little code that basically just burns cycles with some handy calculations. The ant handling code is within that loop.
As PCs get faster there will be more spare CPU time to burn up, thus the ants will get updated far more often meaning either...
1. You can have more ants.
2. The ants you do have get their brains updated more often and so act "smarter"
Anyhow, I'll be talking about the Woo-ness of maps next.