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AI Controller Update - Week ending 7/11

This week I worked on improving finding cover objects. The first thing I did was to go back and tag all the cover seekable objects as such. Without this, the problem is that objects such as walls and such might be detected as cover objects as they satisfy the width and height requirements.
Then, I stuck with the sphere trace implementation where a sphere cast would be performed to find the closest cover object. I compared the tag and found the closest one. Then, I changed the implementation to use Seek rather than Arrive, as realistically one wouldn’t slow down going into cover. This also removed some visual artifacts I was having with very slow movement over small distances with Arrive. The updated code to find the best hiding spot looks like this:

if (UKismetSystemLibrary::SphereTraceMulti(
              GetWorld(),
              pOwner->GetActorLocation(),
              pOwner->GetActorLocation(),
              CoverSearchRadius,
              TQuery,
              false,
              ActorsToIgnore,
              EDrawDebugTrace::ForOneFrame,
              OutHits,
              true))
       {
              // Find closest object
              FHitResult ClosestHit;
              ClosestHit.Distance = CoverSearchRadius;
              for (auto Hit : OutHits)
              {
                     // Make sure object is not under me or over me
                     if (Hit.GetActor()->ActorHasTag(CoverTag) && Hit.Distance < ClosestHit.Distance && IsHiddenBy(Hit.GetActor()))
                     {
                           ClosestHit = Hit;
                     }
              }

              if (ClosestHit.GetActor())
              {
                     // Seek works better than Arrive here, and also it's probably better
                     // since one won't "arrive" to a hiding spot - you'll probably run
                     // full velocity there
                     return Seek(GetHidingSpot(ClosestHit.GetActor(), Target->GetActorLocation()));
              }
       }

       return Evade(Target);

Now, there are a few things to consider. The closest cover object might not actually have the closest hiding spot. In that case, should we calculate all the hiding spots of nearby objects and then get the closest hiding spot from that? Might that be a little expensive? These are all questions to be answered.
Next, I started implementing my own Pathfinding. However, this proved to be more frustrating than expected, owing to the fact that Unreal doesn’t have it’s native implementation of Navigation yet, it uses Recast/Detour, and converting back and forth between the two systems is quite a pain. In order for me to create the navigation graph myself, I would have to implement a bounding volume and point detection inside of that myself, and that seems rather out of the scope of this project.

I’m currently trying to integrate my implementation with the existing interfaces, and that is proving to be taking a long time.

Find the source code here: https://github.com/GTAddict/UnrealAIPlugin/

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