Author Topic: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad  (Read 2172 times)

Offline Hearteater

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New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« on: February 03, 2016, 12:19:33 AM »
So here are my four new ships, the Brutes. This package should unzip in your RuntimeData folder and put everything in place, without overwriting anything else. In addition to the ship scrips, it contains 2 new ship graphics (just recolored existing ships) and one new shot (again, recolored to fit one of my ships themes), and a TestChamber for experiencing them (a_testHeartBrutes).

Let me know what you think. Be certain to try out the various difficulties. Some of their mechanics get slightly easier or harder above and below Normal. To see all the changes, test Very Easy, Normal, and Misery.

Offline ptarth

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 01:29:33 AM »
Unofficial Forum Greeting.

Hi. Welcome to the clubhouse.

I took a look at your ships, and they are pretty cool. I did try them on all 3 levels and your test room was set up very nicely for that.

Some feedback.
  • Name: Brute. When I hear Brute I think something that is a big bruiser with tons of hp and large telegraphed attack. These guys are much more elegant than that so I'd suggest something that really speaks to unique characteristics more. Shield? Pierce? Shelter? Something..
  • The Red Brutes shots live too long. You have no place to dodge for away towards for the extension of the shot. I'd suggest shortening it.
  • The Red Brutes Shield density is a bit high as well. Perhaps knock it down a shot or 2?
  • Very Easy Versions. The Green Brute has the shield density I think you should use for all of the Very Easy Variants. The normal variants may also lose a point or two of shielding, or perhaps slow down the rotation.
  • Black Shot. I like the black shots. However, I think for palette reasons they have been avoiding Black as a shot color to avoid shots blending in with the background. Perhaps changing it to something else that is as menacing, but not as hard to differentiate from the backgrounds?
  • Ship_category - They are extremely aggressive little guys. If there was a DeadlyPursuer_3x3 that would fit better. You need some space around these guys to deal with them, especially since they tend to close to melee range. In small rooms they are killers.

Nice work.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 02:18:09 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.

I'll think up a new name, so if anyone else has any suggestions, let me know. Leaning toward Phalanx or Aegis maybe?

Few quick questions:
* Red Variant shots live too long...the explosions after they hit? Or are the rocket's themselves travelling too far? Is it too long for Misery difficulty? I can scale the duration of the explosions like I did for the sparks left by the Black Variant.
* Red Variant shield...do you mean open up one or two more slots in the hole? Because the pieces of his shield are invulnerable to (most?) shots. You need to hit him through the opening if you want to hurt him. Maybe it should play a chinking sound when they get hit?
* So other than then Green Variant, the Very Easy version shields are too strong?
* The black shot I did quick just to try it out. I'm curious how others feel. I probably wouldn't want to use it for an attack, but the reason I felt it might work is because 1) its a shield around the ship, so you always know where it is going to be, and 2) it is inside the red shield which is invulnerable so it isn't even the first thing you'd hit anyway.
* Is there a DeadlyPursuer_3x3? I honestly didn't really know what the deal is with the ship categories, Attacker_3x3 seemed closest. So, should this be changed?

Just in case you didn't notice the first time and for the sake of future discussion, both the red and green variant have invulnerable shield pieces, the openings are just spaced differently. The white variant has shield pieces that are destroyed by any bullet. The black variant has both white and red variant shields stacked, with the destructibles inside the invulnerable and rotating the opposite direction. The green variant on harder difficulties also gets a copy of the white variants destructible shield, but it is outside the green's invulnerable shield and rotates in the same direction.

An additional point of balance, the shields only last so longer before they refresh, during which time the enemy ship is briefly exposed. I can also increase the frequency of this to make that period of vulnerability come sooner. It felt like a pretty good spot, but I've played against them so many times now I'm not a good judge.

Offline ptarth

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 03:19:44 AM »
[quote ]
I'll think up a new name, so if anyone else has any suggestions, let me know. Leaning toward Phalanx or Aegis maybe?
[/quote]

Those are both pretty good.


Quote
* Red Variant shots live too long...the explosions after they hit? Or are the rocket's themselves travelling too far? Is it too long for Misery difficulty? I can scale the duration of the explosions like I did for the sparks left by the Black Variant.

Sorry. I meant the Black Brute (which is red!). The lifetime of the secondary red shots. Possibly increase the gap size.

Quote
* Red Variant shield...do you mean open up one or two more slots in the hole? Because the pieces of his shield are invulnerable to (most?) shots. You need to hit him through the opening if you want to hurt him.

Right. Take 1 of off each side to make the gap a little wider, or like the greens, add empty intervals.

Quote
* So other than then Green Variant, the Very Easy version shields are too strong?
Yes. Opening up larger gaps in the lower difficulties, decrease the shield regeneration speed, something to make it a little less tricky. Alone, by themselves, they are okay. However, if you have to dodge other shots, it might be too much.

Quote
* The black shot I did quick just to try it out. I'm curious how others feel. I probably wouldn't want to use it for an attack, but the reason I felt it might work is because 1) its a shield around the ship, so you always know where it is going to be, and 2) it is inside the red shield which is invulnerable so it isn't even the first thing you'd hit anyway.

Perhaps pink, burning red, white? Or a different shot pattern?

Quote
* Is there a DeadlyPursuer_3x3? I honestly didn't really know what the deal is with the ship categories, Attacker_3x3 seemed closest. So, should this be changed?
There isn't. The ship_categories aren't well defined. There has been an suggestion that more ship_categories would be useful, and I was just adding to the pot, as it were. Attacker is reasonable.


Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 04:40:34 AM »
Ok, changes are done. Meet the newly renamed Aegis!

  • Red and Black variant's invulnerable shields now have 6,7,8,9,10 pieces by difficulty, instead of 8,8,9,10,10.
  • Green variant's invulnerable shield at Hard+ has 6 pieces instead of 5 (same as Normal, previous was worse than normal due to the addition of a destructible shield).
  • Green variant's destructible shield on Hard+ is down to 8 instead of 10 pieces at Hard. Still has 10 on Misery. The rotation speed is also slower.
  • White variant's shield down from 8, 8, 12 pieces on Very Easy, Easy, and Normal to 6, 7 and 10 pieces.  Hard drops from 16 overlapping to 12 in a single shield (the old Normal). Misery drops from 16 overlapping to 14 overlapping.
  • Black variant's destructible shield drops from 8,8,10,12,12 pieces by difficulty to 6,7,8,10,12. Cosmetic: Color changed from black to white (try on Normal difficulty to see old black shots).
  • Black variant's shot trails last 1 second less time. Cosmetic: They also turn a little faster.
  • All shields last 1 second less on Very Easy, and 0.5 seconds level on Easy, creating an earlier and longer window when the ship has no shield at all.
  • Fixed a bug with all White variants having a shield lasting 0.5 seconds too longer, reducing its vulnerability window to nearly nothing.
  • Cosmetic: Switched Green variant's shots to match Black variant's visual style and pushed the edge shots a few pixels back to look nicer.

TL;DR: Not as tough on Very Easy and Easy, not that different on Hard+. Black variant shots are easier on all difficulties though.

Offline ptarth

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 06:14:45 AM »
I think your changes were good.  The only other thing I would suggest is cycling through the different attack behaviors (PathfindingAttacker, and LOSattacker I think?), to see if you can help them not get caught up on obstacles when pathfinding.


Pepisolo will probably find them here, or you can PM him, or put it on the Mantis when you think they are ready.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 06:16:02 AM »
Ok, thanks. I'll try those out tomorrow.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2016, 10:27:09 PM »
I tried out other behaviours and Attacker is still the best.

PathfindingAttacker - This mode only updates it's path at maybe 0.5 second intervals. Since it never tries to face its target (only its destination, which is almost always out-of-date if the player is moving at all), it basically can't hit you except by divine intervention. PathfindingAttacker and Dumbfire weapons don't mix.

LineOfSightAttacker - This fixes the issue of facing, when combined with "rotates_to_face_firing_direction" on the weapon. However, then the ship doesn't chase at all if the target is in range. I'd hoped the "range_chases_until_within" setting would affect this, but it does not. Honestly, I'm not certain how LineOfSightAttacker would be different from Attacker if that had worked anyway. I can artificially set the range of the weapon low to force it to chase in closer since I've using a bullet pattern which ignores the weapon's range, but then it doesn't fire until it gets really close.

What would be great is for Attacker to have a "switch to Pathfinder after X seconds if I don't have LOS", and have it switch back once it gets LOS.

Meanwhile I've toyed with shield colors on the Black Aegis. If anyone wants to vote, I've attached what my current 5 choices are. Feel free to pick "None of the above".

Offline ptarth

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2016, 10:37:10 PM »
Fair enough.

I like the red & black the best of those. The Red/Red patterns seem to lack pop. Although this could change when you are actually playing rather than just looking at them stationary and at such a large scale.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2016, 10:39:19 PM »
Ok, I'll submit it to mantis with the red & black. If it needs to change in the future, that's a bridge to be crossed later. Thanks.

Offline zharmad

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2016, 07:01:10 AM »
On ship direction and dumbfire, the extreme measure is to always have the ship face the player, but I suspect that might screw with your shields.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: New enemy ships - The Brute Squad
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2016, 02:47:09 PM »
Well the intent is for you to be able to have them miss firing at you directly. They would be really obnoxious if they always fired directly at you. Basically in this case the dumbfire is not entirely visual, but also intended functionally. But I'll use that auto-face in the future if I have a ship that just needs to visually fire forward.