// ANT-BOSS

Square

// ANT-BOSS is a 3D RTS where the player controls a futuristic ant hive trying to drive off enemy scorpion tribes. Starting from the main base, the player scout their surroundings using special scouting ants. These ants have the ability to build waypoints that create walkable paths that worker ants can follow to find and gather resources. Using those resources, the player builds up an army to defend against as well as defeat the hostile scorpions!

General Info

A group of ants defends a resource route.
A group of ants defends a waypoint route with workers on it

This is a project made with a second-semester student team at the Games Academy Frankfurt. In total, there were 4 students involved, plus me as an external programmer. It was realized using Unity 4.6.

Main development period was May – August 2015, with the internal gold master being held mid August. I was brought on the team during development to help out with designing and implementing the unit behaviour, combat system and other tasks that simply could not be handled by a single programmer.

The game is feature-complete, but was ultimately overscoped and as a result not nearly as polished as it could be. However it was a great learning experience both in terms of designing and programming skills as well as properly managing projects in a team.

Personal tasks

Units can also be easily customized this way
Units can also be easily customized in the Inspector
Using Unity's ECS, skills can easily be created and modified
Using Unity’s ECS, skills can easily be created and modified
  • Implemented and helped design the combat system, unit behaviour and control
    • Customizable units using Unity’s Inspector
      • combat behaviour based on priorities
      • Modular objects for vision, movement and other behaviour-related objects
      • Simple attribute system
      • Simple command system that is either influenced by the player or game AI
    • Purchaseable skills with modular logic, conditions and visual effects
      • Different activation conditions, different activation effects
    • Group-Based unit AI and indirect control
      • Fighter ants are controlled by moving their defensive waypoint
        • They move as a group using simple AI
        • If they have no other command, they patrol around their defensive waypoint until an enemy approaches
          • Adjust target based on an adjustable priority list
        • Player can assign specific commands, such as “Ignore any target, just move near point” and “Focus down this target”
      • Workers follow waypoint-routes that the player created by sending off scout ants and building waypoint routes
  • Implementation of Minimap including unit / building icons and click-to-move camera
  • Fog Of War including completely obscured and semi-transparent areas using simple shader logic
  • Various smaller implementations, such as the level objective logic and a playable tutorial
AI wayroutes are easily created in-editor
AI wayroutes are easily created in-editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design

We wanted players to be focusing on creating efficient unit routes as well as protecting them with the correct composition of units. Because of this both scout and worker ants strictly follow the waypoints, punishing players for placing their waypoints poorly and rewarding players that carefully planned ahead. Fighter workers can be upgraded and their defensive waypoints, which they use for pathinding, can be placed anywhere on the map.

Both scout and worker ants have straight AI purely focusing on their task: building a waypoint, gathering resources and bringing them back. They do not react to being attacked and simply die when reaching 0 health. This puts the focus of micro management on the fighters: Picking the correct amount of fighters to protect a strategic point on the map and choosing the correct ability upgrades for defending and attacking is key.

Without further interference, the fighter AI tries to assist each other and attack whenever they are attacked. Depending on their chosen abilities, they activate speed, damage or other boosts to protect other ants. Players can also set focus targets, such as big enemy scorpions, that override any individual AI commands.

Media