I'm about to start making a racing game, which will look like the image below.
I'm probably going to use 8 directions movement behaviour for the player, direction relative animations, but I'm not sure about what would be the best approach to opponents AI, there will be 4 karts on the track (player+3ai).
Does anyone have any experience on this? Should I use waypoints and have the AI following a pre-set path? That would result in really poor gameplay in my opinion, straight line of karts and I'm not aiming for a nascar like game. Having a different path for each opponent is a better solution but would take a lot of time depending on the number of tracks I'll have (5 at least).
I'm also not aiming for a complex AI (my first thought was something like raycasting line of sight from the car and checking for collisions and simulating acceleration and steer control for each AI, that would take longer time than I have scheduled), it's a game for childrens, so it only needs to look fine, there won't be any pro racers playing it as training for formula 1.
Also about the track, how should I set it up? Has anyone done a system to track player position and laps in a racing game (needs to prevent cheating), know if the player is going wrongway.
This topic is already pretty big, so in fewer words, I'm looking for tips, plugins and behaviours, anything that can help making the development phase faster/easier.
(Yes, I've checked the racing template, I'm looking for something more related to gameplay, not the player's car controls).