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WarHound

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Developer: Techland

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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'Warhound' (X360/PC) AI Behavior - Trailer

by Rainier on Dec. 6, 2007 @ 8:04 a.m. PST

Warhound is a non-linear first person perspective action shooter set in modern times. You take the role of an elite mercenary who will not hesitate to undertake even impossible tasks... for the right price. Governments, businessmen and various organizations hire you for hazardous missions around the globe. Feel the incredible freedom in choosing missions, weapons, developing skills and using varied tactics on the battlefield. Take care of your training and finances, keeping an eye on your connections in the mercenaries business, at the same time. Compete with other mercenaries and prove that you’re the best in the trade. Collect wealth, equipment and weapons, work on your reputation and strive for the title of the best mercenary in the world. Become the Warhound – a real dog of war.

Get the Warhound [X360/PC] Trailer off WP (6mb)

Warhound is an open-ended First-Person Shooter (FPS) set in modern times. In the game, you will play as an ex-Delta Force operative, now working for the world's largest military contractor. In Warhound, you'll complete a variety of challenging missions in battlefields around the world, while later uncovering a massive terrorist plot that targets the United States and thousands of its citizens.

Warhound focuses on complete freedom of choice, and as such, you will have unprecedented opportunities to pick your missions, weapons, battlefield tactics and vehicles. You will select mission start times, insertion/extraction points and the types (land, sea or air) of insertion. You will also need to keep on top of your training, finances and position in the highly-competitive mercenary market to ensure you receive only the most select missions. More successful missions equal more money, which can be used to buy new equipment and weapons for future jobs. Warhound's innovative First Person Perspective (FPP) cover system will allow you to bring the battle to your enemies in ways you've never dreamed of before.

Dev Diary: Natural AI behavior in Warhound

One of the main features we put special attention to while creating Warhound is the AI behavior. A special system currently in the state of intensified production and testing makes AI behavior increasingly indistinguishable from those of soldiers on a real battlefield.

There is no room for scripted, predefined enemy behavior in the next-gen games. The artificial enemy is to be no different from the real one, especially when it comes to combat. The player should have no doubts that he fights a real soldier, not a predictable bot, who repeats a certain sequence of operations over and over again. An improved AI system intensifies the feeling of realism and amends visual experience.

The system is built of several modules which must collaborate precisely.
The primary one is an expanded animation module which explicitly models even the slightest details of human behavior – gestures and body movements through various actions, face mimics and even eyeball movement.

The module essential for the realistic gameplay is the Integrated Combat Behavior System. It includes all the basic movement types – walking, turning, crouching, crawling, running, passing obstacles, etc. All these must fit in well with the weapon held. There is a huge difference between the movement of a person with a big rifle and a person with a pistol. Realism also implies a wide range of behaviors depicting the combat itself. Current technology allows every single AI to scan the visible area and decide on the usefulness of nearby objects basing on their size, shape, and even material they're made of. The analysis of this data lets AI find the nearest safe cover, and react appropriately to current situation on the battlefield. Distance to the enemy, weapon held, sight and hearing range or enemy visibility are only a few factors for the system that chooses the optimal action for the moment.

The artificial enemy, just like the player, can use the cover system. It means that when near a safe object (e.g. a wall or a corner of a building) the AI is able to shoot at the player without the risk of being exposed to direct fire. It is, of course, still possible to hit a hiding enemy when he's leaning but the tactical play is much more rewarding in such case like flanking the hidden enemy.

What if the enemy holds a heavy sniper rifle when the player is as close as three meters away? He will simply change his gear to a weapon more adequate to the situation.
And what if he doesn't have such at his disposal? He'll pick up a weapon dropped by someone else and seek cover while crying out to his fellow soldiers for help.

When the enemy is not alerted but rather only observed from afar, he must behave in a natural way as well. One will smoke a cigarette, making it simpler for the player to spot him in the night. Another will be just observing his surroundings, and others may take up any task, like, for example, fixing a nearby vehicle.
The player must, at any time, feel like observing real people.

In the attached movie you can see behavior of an enemy, who spotted the player and has hidden behind the closes object. Player is in no way able to predict from which way the AI will appear. All is dependant on the present situation – whether will the enemy shoot precisely in the player location, or will he throw a grenade, or will he chaotically, in a very human way, burst a covering fire, not to risk getting hit. Unpredictability and complexity of behaviors automatically imply cautious and tactical play, rather than a simple charge, making the game a real battlefield.

Key features include:

  • Unprecedented freedom of choice in an FPS -
    • Tackle missions in the order you choose, create your own path through each mission's objectives
    • Plan your tactics and equipment load-outs
    • Buy satellite photos, recon data and other intelligence about the battlefield situation
    • Pick a deployment time and location, then pay for the means of getting in and getting out
  • Character development -
    • Train your character in several skills, including climbing, repair, and weapons proficiency
    • Skills are earned and developed as in the real world - for ex., shooting ranges improve accuracy, running tracks and climbing walls boosts cover and movement skills
    • Develop and use skill specializations to gain advantages in combat; new skills offer fresh opportunities for advancement through the mercenary ranks, and new ways to complete missions
  • FPP cover system -
    • For the first time in FPP/FPS games, you’ll be able to use the innovative cover system, which will forever change your way of looking at FPS games. Use items, trees, buildings and other elements of the environment to hide from the torrent of bullets. Shoot at your enemies from behind safe covers.
  • Detailed and realistic economy -
    • Earn money for each successful mission and by selling materials picked up on the battlefield
    • Use your newly earned riches to buy weapons, ammo and new gadgets
    • Invest in learning new skills
  • Constantly changing battlefields -
    • Every mission is laid out differently each time you play it, enemy units take up new positions, post new patrols, lay traps in different locations, set up ambushes, etc.
    • Enemy A.I. takes into account how you're playing the mission, and counters with unique strategies and tactics
  • Interactive, destructible game environments
    • A fully interactive environment means plenty of surprises for the enemy - destroy buildings they are hiding in, set villages on fire to "smoke them out", cause avalanches and knock down trees to clear your line of fire or to create obstacles for the enemy and cover for you
  • Rivalry with other mercenaries.
    • Climb up the career ladder and increase your reputation among the elite mercenaries of the world
    • Successful players will earn prestige among their peers, which leads to better and more lucrative contracts

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