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Far Cry Instincts

Platform(s): Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Far Cry Instincts' (Xbox) Developer Q&A #3

by Rainier on July 7, 2005 @ 12:26 a.m. PDT

Just as Far Cry redefined the FPS genre for the PC, Far Cry Instincts will take things a step further with its wide open environments and unique immersive gameplay elements. Far Cry Instincts takes the PC version's signature locations, Full-Action Response A.I. (F.A.R. concept), and unprecedented view-distance, and combines them with improved gameplay scenarios that will challenge players to utilise an even broader range of strategies and survival tactics to uncover the many secrets within the beautiful, but deadly islands.

WP : Why is Far Cry Instincts F.A.R. AI so good?

LM : FCI AI is based on Far Cry PC version, and has been adapted for the console version. We kept the wide open environments we had on PC and the AI is able to go anywhere the player goes and hunt him down.

This is very important because in the first part of the game, the player will be a prey. It means that having enemies tracking you is a major point.

The game has a procedural AI allowing the player to play either stealth/tactic or aggressive. The AI will react differently depending on how you choose to play. It offers more replay value and satisfaction than a scripted AI.

For FCI, we made some optimization for console needs and some enhancements; in the AI system we added a tool to integrate the story into the experience, because in FCI all story events are interactive.

WP : What feature of Engine ensures an intelligent response to the player’s actions?

LM : In FCI any AI has its own understanding of the environment - they see, they hear, and they have knowledge of what it is: an ally, an enemy, a vehicle, a grenade, a gunshot, a dead body …

Based on this information, an AI makes decisions, changes or not its state of mind and takes action; it allows us to have credible human behavior.

For stealth situations, the player is encouraged to use environment to his advantage, the AI detection system takes into account the vegetation (grass and bushes), the water, the ambient noise and the visibility. Since the AI hear things and see things, we can try to trick them, for example: throwing a rock will emit some sound that distracts them in order to backstab them silently, or also to attract them into a branch whip.

In firefight situations, knowing the environment permits them to have a dynamic use of covers to hide, to lean and shoot from behind and to flank the player.

In the first part of the game, the player is a prey so when he quits a combat the AI will track him down.
In the second part, as the player shifts more and more to become a predator, the reaction of the enemies will be different and their strategy will change.

WP : What will the AI in Far Cry Instincts allow the enemies to do in the game? Can they work in group or protect their lives?

LM : Yes, enemies are acting as a group. They’ll use covers in the environments to protect themselves and will adopt complementary strategies. For example when you arrive in a fight, one will try to flank you while one will stay away throwing you grenades and shooting at you from behind his cover.
Enemies are also able to trigger alarms to alert the camp or call reinforcement if they see you before you kill them.

WP : Will the enemies be aware of changes in environments, like bird that flies away or foliage movements, making them spot the player?

LM : The player is encouraged to use the wilderness of the environment to be protected from the enemies, but anything that makes noise (for example: getting out of water too fast) can raise their interest in your direction.

WP : Can they use weapons of their fallen teammates, or replace them behind a mounted weapon? Can they use any vehicles?

LM : All enemies are already well equipped so they will not use fallen weapons.
If some enemies are asked to protect a point, and if you kill the guy that is using the mounted weapon, another will take his position unless this is not the best choice for him (for example: A grenade has been thrown in direction of the mounted weapon).
In these huge islands enemies are able to use vehicles to chase you, to block your way, or to bring reinforcements. In FCI you will see mercenaries in Humvees, on ATVs, in helicopters, on water scooters and on a variety of boats.

WP : About other character’s AI: can we expect real-time reactions of Jack’s allies, or co-op phases?

LM : You know, we have a character called Valerie, she will sometimes act with Jack, her objectives in the game is more to reach a safe spot, than fighting enemies, but she will do some firefight.

Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add?

In FCI, we introduced new gameplay elements affecting the AI, like the backstab, the branch whip and the feral abilities, so you can expect answers from the AIs and a lot of fun !!!


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