Author Topic: Enemy discussion  (Read 766 times)

Offline Misery

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Enemy discussion
« on: November 25, 2015, 04:17:21 AM »
Okay, with no thread about this yet, figured I'd make one.

There's a good number of enemies in the game now, and for the most part, they've been stuck in there, but have received very few, if any, changes after being implemented. I think it's time to start looking at some of them and refining them a bit more, but the challenge is figuring out just what needs to be altered, and how to alter it.

So, here, I'd like any feedback and suggestions that you guys have related to any of the currently existing enemy ships in the game.  Most specifically, about the patterns they use, and how they move.  Both of those are critical for balance.   Also, if you find a particular foe to be a bit too dangerous, that's likely an indication for it to appear later in the game instead of early on.  I dont think it's quite time to actually do that with these yet, but having the suggestions on that aspect listed here will help alot when the time comes to do it.

Of course suggesting things here doesnt automatically mean they'll be implemented, but.... it'll sure help alot.  

One other aspect to discuss if you guys have found issues with, is enemy types appearing in certain rooms.  Are there any specific rooms that contain enemies that you think really just dont fit or work there?  Or that produce a situation that makes you go "I really have no idea how I'm supposed to deal with that in this layout"?

Any feedback on any of this is much appreciated!

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 02:51:25 PM »
Unfortunately, I have only positive feedbacks on enemies! :P 
No, really, I like them. There is little and big ones (I love the big spiders!), there is color (and it doesn't bother me to see color swaps), there is "mighty X" versions... Well, maybe the disruptive shots (I don't remember which one shoot them) that cancel player's shots: I hate it find it's just frustrating.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline mooncows

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 02:57:23 PM »
I got the day off today so once I get my tire fixed I'll play a few hours with a notebook and make a mega post on enemies. 
ai war keeps kicking my ass

Offline jerith

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 03:01:26 PM »
Well, maybe the disruptive shots (I don't remember which one shoot them) that cancel player's shots: I hate it find it's just frustrating.
I quite like those. I can shoot their bullets! :-)

I don't have much useful feedback on enemies so far. I'm terrible at this game and haven't played enough to figure out why yet.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 03:04:29 PM »
There is one enemy that I'm unhappy with, actually an enemy type. But I will tell you more, when I'm seeing him again because I want to make sure he wasn't change in the new version.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 09:50:25 PM »
I've probably died to most enemies by now.  In general, they aren't bad.  I get frustrated with shots that pass through walls and such.  Really now.... 
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2015, 11:18:21 AM »
Just some basic feedback from the top of my head for now:
  • Fleas (not the guard fleas) are tough for me, which is kinda unexpected giving their name.
    Those buggers are fast and homing in fairly accurately, though.
    For me these are currently among the toughest enemies . not sure whether you expect this to be so.
    Just just be caused by most enemies not going aggressively for you in the earlier build, though.
    Maybe I just need to adjust ;).
  • Infiniforms sometimes seem to spawn after their projectiles - looks fairly weird.
  • Blind Ladies are a tad fast in my book (are those getting faster after they have been hit? If so this might be the issue).
  • Waiting Widow projectiles seem a tad fast as well sometimes - otherwise I love them!
  • I would really, really, really like to be able to explode Floating Mines using my main gun - it can take ages, I am okay with that, but please let me handle them that way!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 11:21:14 AM by nas1m »
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2015, 12:03:01 PM »
Gonna try some enemy by enemy feedback.

Faceripper
Aggressive no nonsense enemy. Seems to do the job, although maybe a more interesting mechanic would that when they get near you, they actually latch on like the facehuggers from Alien and cause damage over time. They could then need to be shaken off by afterburning.

Foreshield
The mechanic behind these seems fine, but the problem is that the enemy doesn't feel like it's using a shield. Going purely from the design, I'm not able to distinguish that it's front is really shielded. I only really got that from reading its name. Make the front look more shieldy. Only animate the damage flash on the non-shielded part, and also make your bullets make a tink sound when hitting the front, and these will be a lot better.

Flea
OK, maybe a bit boring. They should really jump or somethng. Maybe make them jump around the place.

Crystochet
For a pretty cool looking enemy, the attack seems underwhelming. It's pretty much rebound shot, right? This would look much better if the shot was like a thin rebound laser (like Bangai-o) or something flashier. Edit: just saw another crystochet with different attack pattern, was still underwhelming. Making these guys' shots look fancier would help a lot.

CrossClaw
Seem OK.

BurstTurret
Pretty good, I think. The burst pattern is very dangerous. Maybe slowing the projectile a little bit so it's a tad easier to dodge would help, although I wouldn't want it made too easy.

Swarm Bot
These guys move in packs? Seems so, pretty good. Actually, they don't seem to chase you down, though. It would be better if these guys were aggressive, I think. You could also add the mechanic that they get angrier and more dangerous if one or more of the swarm is taken out.

Spider

Has one of the more attractive shot patterns in the game by far. The movement seems a bit boring, though. Can you make them more crawly -- yes, I know it's a ship and not a really spider, but still.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 12:06:56 PM by Pepisolo »

Offline nas1m

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2015, 12:41:15 PM »
Faceripper
Aggressive no nonsense enemy. Seems to do the job, although maybe a more interesting mechanic would that when they get near you, they actually latch on like the facehuggers from Alien and cause damage over time. They could then need to be shaken off by afterburning.
I like that one! Mantis it :)?

Foreshield
The mechanic behind these seems fine, but the problem is that the enemy doesn't feel like it's using a shield. Going purely from the design, I'm not able to distinguish that it's front is really shielded. I only really got that from reading its name. Make the front look more shieldy. Only animate the damage flash on the non-shielded part, and also make your bullets make a tink sound when hitting the front, and these will be a lot better.
Agreed. I had trouble telling from which angle I am actually able to hurt them as well.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 12:43:08 PM by nas1m »
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Offline Misery

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2015, 01:06:19 PM »
Hm, one thing to keep in mind here, which I should have mentioned, is that I cannot DIRECTLY alter enemy movement.   This is part of why none of the bosses move; patterns of the type that I use for bosses do NOT work if any RNG or any AI is included in the mix.  They become capable of generating genuinely undodgeable situations.  Bosses often do move in actual shmups, but they're usually following an extremely strict "script" that they never, ever deviate from, because the movement is part of the pattern. 

But since I cant control that directly (engine just doesnt support it), yeah, they gotta be static.

And this same thing applies for alot of the enemies.  All I can do, for movement, is a couple of things:  I can set the movement TYPE, which is all pre-set AI-controlled stuff.  Most of which have already been used in game (all of them, actually, I think), I can set the speed, I can set activation ranges when that applies, and that's about it.  

Now, if you have a specific movement setup that you think might be interesting... and more specifically, that is open enough that it could be used in many situations, that one's worth putting onto Mantis, so Chris can see it; I could be wrong but I'm guessing that the AI is all his work.  Sure as heck aint something I could do, that's waaaayyyyyyyy out of my skillset. If I tried to make an AI, it'd stand there for awhile, stare blankly at stuff, and then crash into a nearby wall and explode.  Wouldnt be the smartest enemy ever.

That being said, this is some good feedback.

A few notes:

Foreshield:  Yes, I agree, this one needs some sort of visual effect to signify a shield.  That'd be one for mantis, that's more of an "engine needs to support this idea" kind of thing.  I think it's an important one though.

Flea:  Sorta meant to be a "popcorn" enemy.  They actually would be more effective in large numbers, but that sort of idea doesnt work entirely well in this game.  Right now though, they're kinda like a Goomba except more annoying and capable of actual damage if they get close (whereas Goombas just cause embarrassment instead of damage if you crash into one in Mario games...)

Crystochet:  This one will be getting an overhaul.  I agree, it doesnt do much at all, which looks very odd for a ship of it's size.

Burst Turret:  The game considers these to be "snipers" for a reason :D  They're not meant to be faced head on.  The difficulty of dodging the attack is fully intentional.  The trick with these guys is to never be in a position where it's possible for them to hit you.  Typically, if these guys are around at all, there'll be walls or something nearby that you can hide behind while waiting for it to fire, and then you can pop out and defeat it quickly before it fires again.

Spider:  Yeah, I'm considering adding something to what they already do.  I'm just not sure as to exactly what.  It doesnt help that the particular AI they're using has a tendancy to get stuck in corners right now, which seems to be a bug.

Infiniforms:  Spawning AFTER their projectiles?  Eh?  THAT shouldnt be happening... definitely not something that makes sense!  Sounds like a.... display glitch?  I dont know...

Blind Ladies: Hm, yes, might slow these down a bit.  And maybe increase their fire rate just a tad to compensate.

Waiting Widow:  The red one fires shots that are too fast.  Going to change that.  I might give it longer range in place of that, or something of that nature.  The others are okay.... for now.  I need to test them more against other types of player ships and setups.

Floating mines:  These arent enemies actually!  These are objects, like walls or breakables or treasure boxes.  There have been numerous complaints about these though since they need to be hit with missiles to be destroyed, so that might be something to put on Mantis if you think it does in fact need to be changed.   I could sorta go either way on them myself.  

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Enemy discussion
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2015, 01:46:10 PM »
Quote
I like that one! Mantis it ?
Done!

Quote
Foreshield:  Yes, I agree, this one needs some sort of visual effect to signify a shield.  That'd be one for mantis, that's more of an "engine needs to support this idea" kind of thing.  I think it's an important one though.
Also Mantised!

Quote
Burst Turret:  The game considers these to be "snipers" for a reason   They're not meant to be faced head on.  The difficulty of dodging the attack is fully intentional.  The trick with these guys is to never be in a position where it's possible for them to hit you.  Typically, if these guys are around at all, there'll be walls or something nearby that you can hide behind while waiting for it to fire, and then you can pop out and defeat it quickly before it fires again.
Oh yeah, makes sense.