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2D Side Scrolling RTS AI in SWORDS & SOLDIERS

Joost van Dongen on March 22, 2011

SWORDS & SOLDIERS is a multi-platform 2D sidescrolling RTS game that distills real-time strategy tactics to their very core. The game exhibits all of the traditional challenges for AI, including timing about when to build units, how to balance production of workers vs. combat units, which branch of the technology tree to develop, and which path to send the units on.

This interview with Joost van Dongen, Lead Programmer on the game, looks into the techniques and design decisions used to build the AI. Joost explains why and how they used a behavior tree to solve this problem, allowing their designers to build the logic for the enemy skirmish AI. He also talks about applying the behavior tree to assisting the player with tutorial tips and interactive help. Joost talks about future extensions to their technology, in particular moving more towards a decision tree style implementation.