Not my way, actually, but the way of all of the NPCs that will need to be moving around the sector to make it look like there’s more going on than just the player moving from jumpgate to station and back again.
This is 100% uncharted territory for me. I’ve got the market maybe 60% complete, but one of the other aspects that I need to focus on is the “life” within the game. Ideally, there’ll be NPC traders who are moving from jumpgate to station, will sell and collect (or simulsell and simulcollect) goods, and will then move off to other sectors.
I’m thinking that these guys don’t need complex behaviors, since they’ll be merchants and not combat pilots (that’ll come later), but I really don’t have any idea on how to get them to do what I need them to do beyond using MoveTo in the most generic way possible.
I’m looking at AI pathing solutions on the asset store, but A) they’re expensive, and B) they seem to be designed for a fixed-plane setup with navmesh. Seeing as how this game is set in space, there’s no fixed plane; I want to allow movement in three dimensions, which means that NPCs may need to approach their target from “under”, “over”, and also “side”. Plus, I don’t have terrain to ‘mesh anyway, meaning I’d need to throw down a faux terrain in order to map. I suppose that would work, but it would mean that NPCs could only approach on the XZ axis, meaning it would look funny if the player had a full range of motion along XYZ.
I will have to continue my investigation into this matter.