Meanwhile… while working on the AI I added the potential for AI ships to evade their attackers or switch to target them. The evade maneuver had an issue, it needed a power boost, so I added in afterburners (been meaning to add these for a long time). The result – much more fun, both in terms of seeing the AI use these in combat and in terms of using them in combat myself. Obviously afterburners have a variety of uses, close in on a target, run away from a target, boost to reach the new gravity drive speed threshold, do a 180 then engage burners to slow the ship down Lots of fun. Combat feels more tactical and engaging now that there is an added ship function.
Have been running through a lot of fighter versus fighter scenarios in a small asteroid field, and its a lot of fun, very happy about this, the AI now has about 4 potential “attack patterns” sometimes it chose them at random and sometimes it somewhat intelligently (very small decision criteria) decides the best one out of the available options. Battles are much more dynamic with this and seeing the AI use afterburners as well.
Still a lot of work to do on the new AI initiative. I want to make larger ships more interesting in combat as well, plus I have to add in “dynamic speed” settings for ships, basically having the AI intelligently speed up or slow down to reach a target, based on distance and target’s velocity.