How to Make a Horror Game Level with Kythera AI Surface Navigation
For Halloween 2023 the team at Kythera AI had some festive fun by creating a Horror Game Level using new Surface Navigation!
With disturbing enemy locomotion in any orientation proving to be a powerful way to create immersive nightmares, we’re diving into a behind-the-scenes look at how we used Surface Navigation to make our horror level and gameplay demo, and how easy it is for your studio to use Kythera AI in your own game. You can watch the step-by-step video of this process on our Youtube channel here.
What is Kythera AI Surface Navigation
This unique plugin provides AI-powered navigation across any in-game geometry.
Surface Navigation is a groundbreaking AI solution that automates agent navigation across complex, three dimensional surfaces, like walls and ceilings. Custom developed in response to industry needs, it allows games studios to easily and cost-effectively create agents that move on and around the surfaces of 3D terrain, with any orientation.
With Kythera AI’s Surface Navigation, studios can:
- Create unique gameplay experiences
- Streamline their development and design
- Optimize game performance
- Give their designers the tools they need to simulate realistic movement on 3D terrain
How to Make a Horror Gameplay Level using AI Surface Navigation
From creatures creeping up walls, to magbooted astronauts clambering outside space stations, an assassin scaling a building or a bottom-dweller navigating an underwater cavern, AI powered Surface Navigation allows studios to instantly realize unique designs. Check out our recent article to see how this feature opens doors for spine-tingling horror creations.
Let’s break down our horror gameplay demo to take a look at how easy this feature makes developing creepy-crawlies that navigate complex geometry.
To start, simply add a Navigation Bounds (NavBounds) box, moving or resizing it to cover the area you want to create Navigation Mesh for, and hit generate. Once you have your level environment set up, add your agent and set a destination to define its journey. AI Surface Navigation will route the path and automatically have the agent find and follow it.
Now let’s add complex geometry for a more realistic and engaging aesthetic. Here, we’ve decorated the floors, walls and ceilings with cobwebs, creating more sophisticated geometric surfaces for the agent to traverse - and adding that spook factor! Kythera AI’s tools make it easy and intuitive to add extra complexity and automatically redefines the NavMesh.
Surface Navigation handles the increased surface complexity with ease, with no extra development effort needed. Again, just set your destination points for the desired journey, and let AI powered Surface Navigation generate the agent’s path.
To achieve this before Surface Navigation, designers and developers had only a few manual and tedious options including:
- Manually placing and iterating countless waypoints, and interpolating the movement from one point to another.
- Using procedural animation and manually rotating the agent to face the correct direction for each transition between waypoints.
- Using splines as paths through a convoluted and time-consuming process.
“Designers would spend countless hours carrying out repetitive tasks to "map" waypoints and the desired rotation of the agent. The designer would need to manually place all of these points and animations, setting the desired rotations and transitions to simulate the act of the agent transitioning from surface to surface in a painstaking process. Surface Navigation with Kythera AI handles all of that for you with actual algorithms and smart tech.”
- Lucas, Level Designer
Complex Geometry, Avoidance and more…
Kythera AI’s Surface Navigation doesn’t just make the development process easier, quicker and more intuitive - it removes limitations and opens doors to interesting and immersive gameplay.
AI powered Surface Navigation can easily and intelligently find paths across elaborate environmental geometry, so studios no longer have to compromise on design.
It’s sophisticated enough to navigate multiple agents across intersecting paths while successfully avoiding collissions. Kythera AI’s interface makes it simple to add agents or make changes to the level, and the technology is adaptive enough to respond to these changes instantly.
Kythera AI’s Surface Navigation provides a groundbreaking AI solution that's custom developed to automate agent navigation across complex, three dimensional surfaces. We developed this unique offering to allow games studios to easily and cost-effectively create characters and vehicles that move on and around the surfaces of 3D terrain, with any orientation.
Book a discovery call to discuss how your team can create unique game play with Surface Navigation.