We want to include a really large map, five different major land masses and various other small islands. A big issue with this is the time it would take to map all of this, a huge time waster when it comes to mapping is the laying down of edges to get rid of or reduce the 32x32 grid feel from the map.
To solve this I took the time and wrote a system that laid down turf's edges automatically saving Zane & I hours, probably days of potential time wasted.
Depending on the turf's weight it's edges will be laid down in preference of another.
Most games employ pathfinding, the only issue faced on BYOND is that after a while, with many players, the frequent loops and checks for multiple mobs may cause the game to slow down.
The movement in Spirit Age is actually based on angles, even the movement for the user, so that gives us 360 different directions for a mob to move in, instead of the standard 8 cardinal directions.
Now, with angle based movement the x change in step and y change in step is derived from the angle, chances are, even by walking in a straight line if a mob bounces into an atom it will simply slide along the atom in a timely manner and continue on it's way to it's target.
Now, I have even taken it a step further, if a mob is moving towards it's target, but sliding ceases to work as the obstruction lies in a perfect line between the target and the aggravated NPC, the NPC will simply jump over the obstruction and continue on it's merry way to attempt to take your life.
Benefit: By cutting down on the checks for a available path by a path finder, I hope to achieve some better performance. However we are still going to use a path finder as some parts of the game will actually require it none the less.
A few days ago, SuperAntx made a blog post (http://bit.ly/ucEQLS) about this video
(Certainly worth watching, whether you want to make your own game or not.)
After watching it I decided that I wanted to make the story really tie in with the game play, so in future test and future project updates I will make sure to include little glimpses into the story as we move along with development.