Working on Wizardry 8

One of the programming bandits working on the incredible looking RPG Wizardry 8 for the last year, Steve Taylor, deserves some attention with a little design log at RPGVault that in part discusses the monster pathing in place within the game. Some fudge:

Getting monsters to path around the world was my first task, and proved to be quite a challenge. Outside of combat, all monsters move simultaneously (we call it "on patrol") and have to avoid walls and each other while they roam around in packs searching for a good fight. At any given time, there might be as many as 60 monsters patrolling around the world this way. Our levels are basically free-form, and the monsters have to avoid getting stuck in jagged narrow passages and tight corners despite the fact that they come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. And of course this all has to be done without dragging down the frame rate!

On a Wiz tangent:
If the press release version is any indication (which you'd think eh?) this game is going to be _well_ worth waiting for. The interface hit a bullseye and is not only fast, but handles the immense amount of stats this game carries with ease and grace... one of the games I think of most when I use it is Heroes of Might and Magic III. It has a similar feel but not nearly as slow due to the way that game loaded Mp3's each town scene.... more in a preview we're spicing up.