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rHornbek

Amorphus: the Concept

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rHornbek    175
INTRO “Amorphous,” is an action puzzle game based off the classic controls of “Robotron” and inspired by “Geometry Wars" set in a world of microscopic life forms. You play as a nano-machine whose prime directive is to eradicate all materials in a Petri Dish. But the organic life forms are not going out that easy, they will try and destroy you with various tactics and sheer numbers, in edition the longer they exist the more evolved they will become and thus harder to destroy. Do not worry, you too will evolve to become stronger by absorbing dropped Chromosomes from fallen enemies, but with each death you will lose some of your evolutionary foothold and will have to regain your strength. KEY GAME ASPECTS Enviormental Evolution: each existing life form will, after a duration of time, slightly evolve makeing them more complex. After any one of a specific life forms evolves it continue to replecate like things. Even if all of that type is eliminated it could still be spawned at that level of evolution. Tactical Evolution (experimental): is where each life form will spawn with a random new tactic that, if works, will continue to exist in others of the same life form. Chromosomes: are dropped off destroyed life forms and will be absorbed by BIX. They will create strands of DNA that will, in the right combonations, give BIX benefits and upgrades even if they are temporary. --- First of all, what do you think?

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Edtharan    607
Have you thought about using a genetic algorithm to govern the evolution of the enemies. If you make this a "swarm" shooter (like space invaders, the player will eventualy be overwhealmed, it is just a matter of how long and how many points you can get before you do die).

This could be an interesting mechanic in that if you foccus on one strategy (say a particular weapon) they enemies will evolve a soultion to that (become resistant) and you will have to change your tactics.

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rHornbek    175
You make a comment that brings to mind a problem im having for this game.

This IS a swarm shooter, and that means the most important aspect of the game is the frantic chaos. This would mean that the evolution of the individual life forms would not be so obvious or important, however...

One thought is to start the game with only three enemies that will over time evolve producing more variety of enemies. If we use a random generator we could change the experiance almost every time you play.

There are currently two methods in wich the enemies can threaten you...

One is by chaseing you to no end, which is most common for swarm shooters. Another that seems more fitting for this game is rampant replication. Imagine one life form splitting into two and each of thoes splitting in two exponecaly getting numerous.

---

Next im going to post some various enemie types for discusion.

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rHornbek    175
The following is a concept for the life forms and thier random evolution. Each group has a base life form that will change and create various species.

FAUNOID(Fon-oid): is an anamalistic life form, it yerns to eat and replicate. A Faunoid will always start with the most basic of movement, Slow Speed and Wondering. They will move at 50% that of BIX and will move in random directions. Because they are an early stage of life, they will replicate at a faster rate, dividing every 5 seconds.

FLOROID(Floor-oid): is a more patiant life form who will spend most of its time growing to differant sizes and shapes. Floroids will always start immobile and most of the time never develope any method of mobility. But from the start they will grow rapidly, increasing thier size one organism at a time. They will grow new segments off each branch ever 2 seconds and have a chance to branch twice.

VIROID(Infect-oid): is the most rare and dagerous of the life forms, they will not evolve on thier own but will attack various other life forms and corrupt them. During this coruption they will act much differant and vicious, and once destroyed they will release many more of the same Viroids. Wile most of the time Viroids go for the closest target you can be sure that if there are to many Viroids and not enough life forms they will come after you.

---

This is the base line up of life forms, each will be given an evolutionary engine and this will create much more variety.

Also i am in the works of developing a name for all the "life forms" so i dont have to use such a long winded turn.

---

Up next, the evolutionary paths.

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Edtharan    607
For each enemy you could have a value that give the enemy resistance to a particular weapon that the player could have. This value would be determined by the number of entries in its "genome" string that correspond to the defence.

For example:
This might be a 10 entry segment form a larger string with the numbers refering to the ID of the player weapon.
A,D,D,B,C,B,A,D,C,A

This would give a rating of
3 for weapon A
2 for weapon B
2 for weapon C and
3 for weapon D

These might translate over the entire string as a 30% protection for A, 20% protection brom B, 20% protection from C and a 30% protection from D.

Now, each time that an enemy replicates it copies its string to the new enemy and makes a small number of changes (picks a single "letter" and changes it to another ID).

This way any enemies that survive will adapt their defences to what ever weapon the player uses. If they over use a weapon, then the enemies will adapt their defence so that the weapon is virtually useless which forces the player to adapt too.

You could of also allow a defence to become greater than 100% wich would allow the enemy to gain more power as the player shoots it with that weapon.

Another idea for this is that you allow 2 nearby enemies (if they are ready to reproduce) to make a 3rd one (the child) by copying parts of their genome into the child's genome. If you break up the geneome randomly this would give the child's genome variable lengths. You would then need to make the length of the genome a hinderance to the enemy (it might need more power or take longer to reproduce) otherwise you would rapidly get a large genome and ity would keep growing without limit.

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rHornbek    175
Cool i like the way your thinking, however i wanted the evolution to be less about physical resistances but for about maneuvers and tactics. Regardless of what weapon your using i want most, as in 99.9%, of the enemies to be destroyed in a single hit and thus the rapid reproduction is presant.

Such as some life forms leaning to move away from incoming fire or consume other life forms to become stronger or more advanced.

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Ludi83    300
OT: What does mechen mean? I understand Das and Uber, but not mechen.

Sorry for being really, really, really OT :)

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rHornbek    175
Well the name came from a story i was writing about super villans and one of the villans was a typical giant robot from germany. Its a rought translation of The Super Robot, or The Super Machine.

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I think the genetic algorithm is right on the money. Have a large playing field, a zoomable top-down view or minimap, and just let those suckers go crazy. each generation will be based on slight variations of the previous generation, and over time the enemies should become resistance to the player's play style and strengths.

He'll shoot the big slow baddies because he loves easy points, and ignore the little erratic ones because they're too tough to hit. By level 6, they'll ALL be little erratic enemies, and he'll have to try to shoot the easiest of them if he wants to get enough points to stay in the game. On level 10, the dish will be filled with critters that are, quite literally, genetically engineered to kick the hell out of the particular guy that's playing the game.

That would be sweet. Different every time, and letting the easy targets go and focussing on the nasty ones to wipe them out asap would be a tough strategy to adhere to.

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Edtharan    607
Behaviours can also be put into a Genetic Algorithm (GA). So you might have part of the algorithm dedicated to behaviour and another part of it for the resistances. Or you could even allow those parts compeat with each other (so the amount of space used by behaviours must have a pay off with the space available for resistances).

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