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Funny story from testing tonight.

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x4000:
So I've been coding in some of the "bugs" that the various robots have.  Keith thought the ones up so far, and we're going to add more as we finish implementing more of the bots.  The bugs are things that are wrong with the robots that they do stupidly, and that later model revisions in the game fix (and often new different bugs crop up).  It makes for both a lot of hilarity as well as interesting strategic options.

So here's what just happened to me:

Me: Clicks on node on world map, starts mission.  Trundles on down hall and opens the door in the south.  Two DumBots are behind it, and a freaky activation noise plays as their lights turn on and they turn to face me.  (My wife remarks at this point "that was a scary noise.")

Me: Shoot first DumBot, who happens to be right next to me.

DumBot #2: Shoots DumBot #1 instead of me.  Their "bug" is that they always miss every other shot, hitting a tile adjacent to you (and whatever is in that tile) instead of you.  The next shot will hit me, though.  And it's lucky there was an enemy next to me, instead of something like a fuel tank.  And it's lucky that out of the four cardinal directions, they happened to pick the one where another enemy was standing.  Yay luck!

Me: Shoots DumBot #2.

DumBot #2: Shoots me for very little damage.

Me: Shoots DumBot #2 for the kill, and then trundles on down the hall some more.  It's midlength and suspiciously empty, so I make great time and am soon at another door. I open the door and the freaky noise plays again.  It's a room full of DumBots and BlunderBots.  Normally I would retreat down the hall I just came from, whistling and kiting and shooting them.  But I am here to test the BlunderBot's bug, so I step into the room to see what happens.

Opposing Forces: Oops!  Oops!  Miss!  Miss!  Miss!  Oops! (Explosions and death)

Me: Assault Exo down!

All the DumBots miss me, of course, and the ground on all four sides of me is riddled with holes (not really visually, just in my mind on that one; everything else is literal).  But BlunderBots don't quite have that bug.  They have a big honking rocket launcher, and they always fire a random direction on their first shot, and then they fire with accuracy with their second and final shot.

The problem?  Random direction means a random tile in their range, and that could be near you or far from you.  Two of the BlunderBots shot into the crowd of DumBots, but not before the DumBots could swiss-cheese the floor near me.  The third BlunderBot gives me an almost direct hit by chance, causing massive AOE damage to my hull that almost takes me out.  And the fourth BlunderBot barely wings me.

On to my Siege Exo to clean this mess up with his rocket launcher!

But in actuality that was where I stopped, because I had tested the BlunderBot and it was working just fine. ;)

Keith and I keep having trouble with just wanting to play the game, which I think is a good sign.

mrhanman:
The idea of bugs existing in the software of the enemy bots sounded pretty neat at first, but now that I have a better grasp of how it will work in game, it seems positively inspired!  One of my favorite parts of roguelikes has always been cautiously approaching new enemies to see what they "do".  I must admit I've never had an experience like this!

Sorry if you've mentioned this before, but how many unique enemies are you planning to include, not counting newer "patched" enemy revisions?  And, for that matter, how many revisions per enemy?

x4000:

--- Quote from: mrhanman on August 23, 2013, 11:38:26 PM ---The idea of bugs existing in the software of the enemy bots sounded pretty neat at first, but now that I have a better grasp of how it will work in game, it seems positively inspired!  One of my favorite parts of roguelikes has always been cautiously approaching new enemies to see what they "do".  I must admit I've never had an experience like this!
--- End quote ---

It was Keith's idea on the bugs, so I can't take credit for that.  I thought that was really awesome also!


--- Quote from: mrhanman on August 23, 2013, 11:38:26 PM ---Sorry if you've mentioned this before, but how many unique enemies are you planning to include, not counting newer "patched" enemy revisions?  And, for that matter, how many revisions per enemy?
--- End quote ---

Bear in mind that you are almost always fighting crowds of enemies, not individuals.  So the mix of what you are fighting matters a lot also.  For a sense of perspective, I checked the Dredmor wiki and saw that they reported 58 enemies in that game, loads of which are remixes of one another.

In Bionic, at the moment, we have I believe 42 enemies in 12 "lineages."  Out of those 8 are "general lineages" that have three robots in a succession, but with unique properties on each.  For a period during the transition, the old and new robots from a lineage are both mixed into your levels, and then the newer robot takes over completely.

There is then a Sentry lineage that also has 3 bots, and that's something that works a bit different from the others for a variety of reasons.

There is then a Boss lineage, which has three different boss types at the moment.  These are only in assassination missions and the final battle for your HQ on the last day.

There is then the "Advanced Unique" lineage which has 9 various bots in there, all of which do oddball "special teams" sorts of things.  These are scattered around through most of the game, though not in high concentrations.


The individual robot types have levels that increase at random as the game goes on, incidentally, so they remain relevant (most of them, anyway).  By "random" what I mean is that every day there are a certain number of upgrade levels the AI gets (varies by difficulty, it's 3 on Normal and 5 on Hard).  These upgrade levels are then applied to all the bot types in random lineages, one after another.  So in one universe you might have DumBots that are the terror of the earth, and in another it's really the snipers line that is the problem.

We'll see how this volume of bots winds up feeling, but we're strongly considering adding some more before 1.0.  I think it already fares favorably compared to a lot of roguelikes, though.  The stat creep is there in the form of the levels, so the actual upgraded models are free to be distinct entities (and they all have unique art, none of them are recolors... well, except the MurderBot, but his creation was a happy accident).

mrhanman:
MurderBot?  I like it already!

Penumbra:
Are the bugs tied to the individual robot types, or are they randomized like potion colors and effects in a "standard" rogue-like?

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