Zealots are now sentient

My zealot C++ class now inherits from the same sentient entity C++ class that is used by my troops, towers, and resources/portals. This gives a lot of additional capabilities including the ability to see dynamic entities as well as fight other sentient entities. At some point I will add another layer between the sentient and dynamic entity C++ classes since I need to reduce memory and functionality for the zealots. With more than 12,000 zealots being allocated, I have to ensure that I’m not wasting too much memory per zealot.

I tested out the new attackable zealots and it is cool seeing them interact with the other enemy troops and towers. The zealots generate prestige for their source portal too. I just haven’t done anything with the prestige yet. It will be interesting to see how the game feels when the zealots are able to get players prestige¬†to summon¬†elite units and perform more advanced actions.

In addition, I have been thinking about some tweaks to the overall gameplay. I would like to make it so portals are captured by enemy zealots when enough have successfully reached the portal. This will make the game flow better since players can advance towards enemies. I will still provide the option to destroy the portal in order to eliminate points that are hard to control. That way the game doesn’t go on forever.

When a player captures a portal, it can be protected against enemy zealots by building fortifications. Each defensive upgrade will make it tougher to capture. Prestige will be a big part of those upgrades. The towers connected to the fortress will help decide what upgrades are possible. Furthermore, when all 4 towers are maxed out, a guardian can be summoned. I want to have some cool particle effects between the fortress towers and portals to indicate the advanced upgrades.

This week I will be adding some of the initial computer AI to use the zealots. I will start simple by focusing on generating prestige using friendly portals. This will give me an idea of what the game will look like with lots of zealots marching around the board. I will then work towards more advanced AI such as using zealots for an attack. However, I will probably wait on that part until I implement the fortresses. That way I can go right to the control point concept.

I plan to focus mainly on the fortress and related gameplay for most of April. That will also mark the start of the next milestone, which is PRE-ALPHA 2. I wrap up PRE-ALPHA 1 at the end of this month. That will be almost exactly 6 months of progress since my initial prototype. Gotta keep grinding! :)

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