Unity 3D Deer AI Tutorial

Unity 3D Deer AI Tutorial

by NSDG • Jun 6, 2019 • 0 Comments
273
In this tutorial we will be programming a simple Deer AI in Unity 3D using NavMesh and MavMesh Agent.

Let's begin!

Unity version used in this tutorial: Unity 2018.3.0f2 (64-bit)

Preparing the Scene


For this tutorial we will need a level and a deer model.

For the level I will use a simple Terrain with some grass and trees:


For the Deer model I simply combined some Cubes until it looks somewhat believable, but you can get a fully animated model from here:


Now let's move to the coding part!

Setting Up Player Controller


First we will setup a simple Player Controller so we can walk around and test the AI:

  • Create a new script, name it SC_CharacterController and paste the code below inside it:

SC_CharacterController.cs
//You are free to use this script in Free or Commercial projects
//sharpcoderr.com @2019

using UnityEngine;

[RequireComponent(typeof(CharacterController))]

public class SC_CharacterController : MonoBehaviour
{
    public float speed = 3.5f;
    public float jumpSpeed = 8.0f;
    public float gravity = 20.0f;
    public Camera playerCamera;
    public float lookSpeed = 3.0F;

    CharacterController characterController;
    Vector3 moveDirection = Vector3.zero;
    public Vector2 rotation = Vector2.zero;

    [HideInInspector]
    public bool canMove = true;

    void Start()
    {
        characterController = GetComponent<CharacterController>();
        rotation.y = transform.eulerAngles.y / lookSpeed;
    }

    void Update()
    {
        if (characterController.isGrounded)
        {
            // We are grounded, so recalculate move direction based on axes
            Vector3 forward = transform.TransformDirection(Vector3.forward);
            Vector3 right = transform.TransformDirection(Vector3.right);
            float curSpeedX = speed * Input.GetAxis("Vertical");
            float curSpeedY = speed * Input.GetAxis("Horizontal");
            moveDirection = (forward * curSpeedX) + (right * curSpeedY);

            if (Input.GetButton("Jump"))
            {
                moveDirection.y = jumpSpeed;
            }
        }

        // Apply gravity. Gravity is multiplied by deltaTime twice (once here, and once below
        // when the moveDirection is multiplied by deltaTime). This is because gravity should be applied
        // as an acceleration (ms^-2)
        moveDirection.y -= gravity * Time.deltaTime;

        // Move the controller
        characterController.Move(moveDirection * Time.deltaTime);

        // Player and Camera rotation
        if (canMove)
        {
            rotation.y += Input.GetAxis("Mouse X");
            rotation.x += -Input.GetAxis("Mouse Y");
            rotation.x = Mathf.Clamp(rotation.x, -20f, 20f);
            transform.eulerAngles = new Vector2(0, rotation.y) * lookSpeed;
            playerCamera.transform.localRotation = Quaternion.Euler(rotation.x * lookSpeed, 0, 0);
        }
    }
}



  • Create new GameObject and name it "Player" also change it's tag to "Player"
  • Create a new Capsule (GameObject -> 3D Object -> Capsule), then make it a child object of "Player" Object. Change it's position to (0, 1, 0) and remove it's Capsule Collider component.
  • Move the Main Camera inside "Player" Object and change it's position to (0, 1.64, 0)
  • Attach SC_CharacterController script to a "Player" Object (You will notice it will also add another component called Character Controller)
  • Assign Main Camera to "Player Camera" variable at SC_CharacterController then Save the Scene

The Player Controller is now ready:



Programming a Deer AI


Now let's move to the part where we actually program a Deer AI:

  • Create a new script and name it SC_DeerAI (this script will control the AI movement and other logic):



Open SC_DeerAI and continue the steps below (or scroll down to get the final script):

At the start of the script we make sure that all the necessary classes are included:
using UnityEngine;
using UnityEngine.AI;
using System.Collections.Generic;

public class SC_DeerAI : MonoBehaviour
{​

Now let's add all the variables:
    public enum AIState { Idle, Walking, Eating, Running }
    public AIState currentState = AIState.Idle;
    public int awarenessArea = 15; //How far the deer should detect the enemy
    public float walkingSpeed = 3.5f;
    public float runningSpeed = 7f;
    public Animator animator;

    //Trigger collider that represents the awareness area
    SphereCollider c; 
    //NavMesh Agent
    NavMeshAgent agent;

    bool switchAction = false;
    float actionTimer = 0; //Timer duration till the next action
    Transform enemy;
    float range = 20; //How far the Deer have to run to resume the usual activities
    float multiplier = 1;
    bool reverseFlee = false; //In case the AI is stuck, send it to one of the original Idle points

    //Detect NavMesh edges to detect whether the AI is stuck
    Vector3 closestEdge;
    float distanceToEdge;
    float distance; //Squared distance to the enemy
    //How long the AI has been near the edge of NavMesh, if too long, send it to one of the random previousIdlePoints
    float timeStuck = 0;
    //Store previous idle points for reference
    List<Vector3> previousIdlePoints = new List<Vector3>(); ​

Then we initialize everything in the void Start():
    // Start is called before the first frame update
    void Start()
    {
        agent = GetComponent<NavMeshAgent>();
        agent.stoppingDistance = 0;
        agent.autoBraking = true;

        c = gameObject.AddComponent<SphereCollider>();
        c.isTrigger = true;
        c.radius = awarenessArea;

        //Initialize the AI state
        currentState = AIState.Idle;
        actionTimer = Random.Range(0.1f, 2.0f);
        SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
    }
(As you can see we add a Sphere Collider which is marked as Trigger. This collider will act as awareness area when the enemy enters it).

The actual AI logic is done in the void Update() with some helper functions:
    // Update is called once per frame
    void Update()
    {
        //Wait for the next course of action
        if (actionTimer > 0)
        {
            actionTimer -= Time.deltaTime;
        }
        else
        {
            switchAction = true;
        }

        if (currentState == AIState.Idle)
        {
            if(switchAction)
            {
                if (enemy)
                {
                    //Run away
                    agent.SetDestination(RandomNavSphere(transform.position, Random.Range(1, 2.4f)));
                    currentState = AIState.Running;
                    SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
                }
                else
                {
                    //No enemies nearby, start eating
                    actionTimer = Random.Range(14, 22);

                    currentState = AIState.Eating;
                    SwitchAnimationState(currentState);

                    //Keep last 5 Idle positions for future reference
                    previousIdlePoints.Add(transform.position);
                    if (previousIdlePoints.Count > 5)
                    {
                        previousIdlePoints.RemoveAt(0);
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        else if (currentState == AIState.Walking)
        {
            //Set NavMesh Agent Speed
            agent.speed = walkingSpeed;

            // Check if we've reached the destination
            if (DoneReachingDestination())
            {
                currentState = AIState.Idle;
            }
        }
        else if (currentState == AIState.Eating)
        {
            if (switchAction)
            {
                //Wait for current animation to finish playing
                if(!animator || animator.GetCurrentAnimatorStateInfo(0).normalizedTime - Mathf.Floor(animator.GetCurrentAnimatorStateInfo(0).normalizedTime) > 0.99f)
                {
                    //Walk to another random destination
                    agent.destination = RandomNavSphere(transform.position, Random.Range(3, 7));
                    currentState = AIState.Walking;
                    SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
                }
            }
        }
        else if (currentState == AIState.Running)
        {
            //Set NavMesh Agent Speed
            agent.speed = runningSpeed;

            //Run away
            if (enemy)
            {
                if (reverseFlee)
                {
                    if (DoneReachingDestination() && timeStuck < 0)
                    {
                        reverseFlee = false;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        timeStuck -= Time.deltaTime;
                    }
                }
                else
                {
                    Vector3 runTo = transform.position + ((transform.position - enemy.position) * multiplier);
                    distance = (transform.position - enemy.position).sqrMagnitude;

                    //Find the closest NavMesh edge
                    NavMeshHit hit;
                    if (NavMesh.FindClosestEdge(transform.position, out hit, NavMesh.AllAreas))
                    {
                        closestEdge = hit.position;
                        distanceToEdge = hit.distance;
                        //Debug.DrawLine(transform.position, closestEdge, Color.red);
                    }

                    if (distanceToEdge < 1f)
                    {
                        if(timeStuck > 1.5f)
                        {
                            if(previousIdlePoints.Count > 0)
                            {
                                runTo = previousIdlePoints[Random.Range(0, previousIdlePoints.Count - 1)];
                                reverseFlee = true;
                            } 
                        }
                        else
                        {
                            timeStuck += Time.deltaTime;
                        }
                    }

                    if (distance < range * range)
                    {
                        agent.SetDestination(runTo);
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        enemy = null;
                    }
                }
                
                //Temporarily switch to Idle if the Agent stopped
                if(agent.velocity.sqrMagnitude < 0.1f * 0.1f)
                {
                    SwitchAnimationState(AIState.Idle);
                }
                else
                {
                    SwitchAnimationState(AIState.Running);
                }
            }
            else
            {
                //Check if we've reached the destination then stop running
                if (DoneReachingDestination())
                {
                    actionTimer = Random.Range(1.4f, 3.4f);
                    currentState = AIState.Eating;
                    SwitchAnimationState(AIState.Idle);
                }
            }
        }

        switchAction = false;
    }

    bool DoneReachingDestination()
    {
        if (!agent.pathPending)
        {
            if (agent.remainingDistance <= agent.stoppingDistance)
            {
                if (!agent.hasPath || agent.velocity.sqrMagnitude == 0f)
                {
                    //Done reaching the Destination
                    return true;
                }
            }
        }

        return false;
    }

    void SwitchAnimationState(AIState state)
    {
        //Animation control
        if (animator)
        {
            animator.SetBool("isEating", state == AIState.Eating);
            animator.SetBool("isRunning", state == AIState.Running);
            animator.SetBool("isWalking", state == AIState.Walking);
        }
    }

    Vector3 RandomNavSphere(Vector3 origin, float distance)
    {
        Vector3 randomDirection = Random.insideUnitSphere * distance;

        randomDirection += origin;

        NavMeshHit navHit;

        NavMesh.SamplePosition(randomDirection, out navHit, distance, NavMesh.AllAreas);

        return navHit.position;
    }​
(Each State initializes the values and the NavMesh Agent target for the next state. For example the Idle state has 2 possible outcomes, it either initializes the Running state if the enemy present or the Eating state if no Enemy crossed the awareness area.
Walking state is used in-between the Eating states to move to the new destination.
Running state calculates the direction relative to the enemy position, to run directly from it. If stuck in the corner, the AI retracts to one of the previously saved Idle positions. Enemy is lost after the AI is far enough from the enemy, distance is more than a "range" variable).

And lastly we add a OnTriggerEnter event which will monitor the Sphere Collider (a.k.a. Awareness Area) and will initialize the Running state once the enemy gets too close:
    void OnTriggerEnter(Collider other)
    {
        //Make sure the Player instance has a tag "Player"
        if (!other.CompareTag("Player"))
            return;

        enemy = other.transform;

        actionTimer = Random.Range(0.24f, 0.8f);
        currentState = AIState.Idle;
        SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
    }
(As soon as the Player enters the trigger, the enemy variable is assigned and the Idle state is intialized, after that the Running state is initialzied).

Here is the final SC_DeerAI.cs
//You are free to use this script in Free or Commercial projects
//sharpcoderr.com @2019

using UnityEngine;
using UnityEngine.AI;
using System.Collections.Generic;

public class SC_DeerAI : MonoBehaviour
{
    public enum AIState { Idle, Walking, Eating, Running }
    public AIState currentState = AIState.Idle;
    public int awarenessArea = 15; //How far the deer should detect the enemy
    public float walkingSpeed = 3.5f;
    public float runningSpeed = 7f;
    public Animator animator;

    //Trigger collider that represents the awareness area
    SphereCollider c; 
    //NavMesh Agent
    NavMeshAgent agent;

    bool switchAction = false;
    float actionTimer = 0; //Timer duration till the next action
    Transform enemy;
    float range = 20; //How far the Deer have to run to resume the usual activities
    float multiplier = 1;
    bool reverseFlee = false; //In case the AI is stuck, send it to one of the original Idle points

    //Detect NavMesh edges to detect whether the AI is stuck
    Vector3 closestEdge;
    float distanceToEdge;
    float distance; //Squared distance to the enemy
    //How long the AI has been near the edge of NavMesh, if too long, send it to one of the random previousIdlePoints
    float timeStuck = 0;
    //Store previous idle points for reference
    List<Vector3> previousIdlePoints = new List<Vector3>(); 

    // Start is called before the first frame update
    void Start()
    {
        agent = GetComponent<NavMeshAgent>();
        agent.stoppingDistance = 0;
        agent.autoBraking = true;

        c = gameObject.AddComponent<SphereCollider>();
        c.isTrigger = true;
        c.radius = awarenessArea;

        //Initialize the AI state
        currentState = AIState.Idle;
        actionTimer = Random.Range(0.1f, 2.0f);
        SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
    }

    // Update is called once per frame
    void Update()
    {
        //Wait for the next course of action
        if (actionTimer > 0)
        {
            actionTimer -= Time.deltaTime;
        }
        else
        {
            switchAction = true;
        }

        if (currentState == AIState.Idle)
        {
            if(switchAction)
            {
                if (enemy)
                {
                    //Run away
                    agent.SetDestination(RandomNavSphere(transform.position, Random.Range(1, 2.4f)));
                    currentState = AIState.Running;
                    SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
                }
                else
                {
                    //No enemies nearby, start eating
                    actionTimer = Random.Range(14, 22);

                    currentState = AIState.Eating;
                    SwitchAnimationState(currentState);

                    //Keep last 5 Idle positions for future reference
                    previousIdlePoints.Add(transform.position);
                    if (previousIdlePoints.Count > 5)
                    {
                        previousIdlePoints.RemoveAt(0);
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        else if (currentState == AIState.Walking)
        {
            //Set NavMesh Agent Speed
            agent.speed = walkingSpeed;

            // Check if we've reached the destination
            if (DoneReachingDestination())
            {
                currentState = AIState.Idle;
            }
        }
        else if (currentState == AIState.Eating)
        {
            if (switchAction)
            {
                //Wait for current animation to finish playing
                if(!animator || animator.GetCurrentAnimatorStateInfo(0).normalizedTime - Mathf.Floor(animator.GetCurrentAnimatorStateInfo(0).normalizedTime) > 0.99f)
                {
                    //Walk to another random destination
                    agent.destination = RandomNavSphere(transform.position, Random.Range(3, 7));
                    currentState = AIState.Walking;
                    SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
                }
            }
        }
        else if (currentState == AIState.Running)
        {
            //Set NavMesh Agent Speed
            agent.speed = runningSpeed;

            //Run away
            if (enemy)
            {
                if (reverseFlee)
                {
                    if (DoneReachingDestination() && timeStuck < 0)
                    {
                        reverseFlee = false;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        timeStuck -= Time.deltaTime;
                    }
                }
                else
                {
                    Vector3 runTo = transform.position + ((transform.position - enemy.position) * multiplier);
                    distance = (transform.position - enemy.position).sqrMagnitude;

                    //Find the closest NavMesh edge
                    NavMeshHit hit;
                    if (NavMesh.FindClosestEdge(transform.position, out hit, NavMesh.AllAreas))
                    {
                        closestEdge = hit.position;
                        distanceToEdge = hit.distance;
                        //Debug.DrawLine(transform.position, closestEdge, Color.red);
                    }

                    if (distanceToEdge < 1f)
                    {
                        if(timeStuck > 1.5f)
                        {
                            if(previousIdlePoints.Count > 0)
                            {
                                runTo = previousIdlePoints[Random.Range(0, previousIdlePoints.Count - 1)];
                                reverseFlee = true;
                            } 
                        }
                        else
                        {
                            timeStuck += Time.deltaTime;
                        }
                    }

                    if (distance < range * range)
                    {
                        agent.SetDestination(runTo);
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        enemy = null;
                    }
                }
                
                //Temporarily switch to Idle if the Agent stopped
                if(agent.velocity.sqrMagnitude < 0.1f * 0.1f)
                {
                    SwitchAnimationState(AIState.Idle);
                }
                else
                {
                    SwitchAnimationState(AIState.Running);
                }
            }
            else
            {
                //Check if we've reached the destination then stop running
                if (DoneReachingDestination())
                {
                    actionTimer = Random.Range(1.4f, 3.4f);
                    currentState = AIState.Eating;
                    SwitchAnimationState(AIState.Idle);
                }
            }
        }

        switchAction = false;
    }

    bool DoneReachingDestination()
    {
        if (!agent.pathPending)
        {
            if (agent.remainingDistance <= agent.stoppingDistance)
            {
                if (!agent.hasPath || agent.velocity.sqrMagnitude == 0f)
                {
                    //Done reaching the Destination
                    return true;
                }
            }
        }

        return false;
    }

    void SwitchAnimationState(AIState state)
    {
        //Animation control
        if (animator)
        {
            animator.SetBool("isEating", state == AIState.Eating);
            animator.SetBool("isRunning", state == AIState.Running);
            animator.SetBool("isWalking", state == AIState.Walking);
        }
    }

    Vector3 RandomNavSphere(Vector3 origin, float distance)
    {
        Vector3 randomDirection = Random.insideUnitSphere * distance;

        randomDirection += origin;

        NavMeshHit navHit;

        NavMesh.SamplePosition(randomDirection, out navHit, distance, NavMesh.AllAreas);

        return navHit.position;
    }

    void OnTriggerEnter(Collider other)
    {
        //Make sure the Player instance has a tag "Player"
        if (!other.CompareTag("Player"))
            return;

        enemy = other.transform;

        actionTimer = Random.Range(0.24f, 0.8f);
        currentState = AIState.Idle;
        SwitchAnimationState(currentState);
    }
}





SC_DeerAI has only one variable that's need to be assigned which is "Animator".

In this case Animator component requires a Controller with 4 animations: Idle Animation, Walking Animation, Eating Animation, Running Animation and a 3 bool parameters: isEating, isRunning and isWalking:



You can learn how to setup a simple Animator Controller by clicking here

Now after everything is assigned there is one last thing left to do, which is to bake a NavMesh.

  • Select all the Scene Objects that will be static (Ex. Terrain, Trees etc.) and Mark them as "Navigation Static":



  • Go to Navigation Window (Window -> AI -> Navigation) and click "Bake" tab then click "Bake" button. After the NavMesh is baked it should look something like this:



The AI and NavMesh are ready, let's test it:



Everything works as expected. The Deer runs away when the enemy is near and resume to its usual activities once it runs away far enough.

Interested in obtaining the source project of this tutorial? Click here