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JY

Thoughts on aliens

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Hi, me again! The game is coming on quite nicely - I have the ship moving around, shooting bullets and rockets, and have structures for waves of aliens that one can shoot and kill. However, I''m thinking about how the game should be structured and my question is this: Should the aliens always come in the same formations from the same direction and position or should they be random? I think that keeping it consistent will give the user greater aim because they know which waves they have beaten and will want to beat the next wave. However, I also think that the random element would provide more of a challenge. Any thought appreciated...

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yours was the r-type-like game where you aim with the mouse, right?
while different formations that the aliens can fly in are neat, it should at least be somewhat random, since the player can shoot in 360 degrees.

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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that''s the one, I need to come up with a name other than "that one like R-Type"

It definitely makes sense to maximise the effect of being able to shoot in 360 degrees. However, I am wondering whether to make it more level based (the kind of game where you have a ''boss'' at the end of each level) or just to have a continuous game. It''s so hard having to make all these decisions!

I like the idea of levels and a kind of fixed format because it does give the idea of progress. I just remember when we used to play games and there would be a competition going to see who got to the highest level - not the same as just a high score.

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99% of most "modern" shooters are the same each time you play them, with no random enemy appearances. If it''s a game where you progress through levels, I think pre-set enemy locations are fine. It''s pretty much the standard. Randomizing enemy locations could add to replay value, but probably some key formations should be "trademark" to certain levels - don''t randomize EVERYTHING.

Or you could make a game with no levels where you''re just going for score. If I made a game like this (like Asteroids), I would randomize enemy appearances, probably.

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Perhaps you could have two different modes, a "campaign" mode, where enemy locations are fixed, and a "random" mode, where you just get wave after wave of random enemies and you''re just trying for the highest score. I don''t think it''d be that difficult to add the random mode in once you''re done with the fixed mode.


codeka.com - Just click it.

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What kind of intelligence would your aliens have? If their intelligence is low enough, you could have them fly mostly out of control, which would be random enough. Have them frequently run into the player by accident, and also sometimes crash into friendly ships.

If you were to have it a bit higher, you could have them always come in formations, not being smart enough to break out.

Higher still and they''ll approach in formations, but break out into a random kind of attack.

If you go higher, then the aliens are smart enough to know to attack randomly. They''ll attack from different sides, their exact position based somewhat on random-ness, somewhat on past experiences. But having attacks based on past experience is hard to program.

So it depends on what the player is up against. Heck, if you want, you could use all the types, and fight different races. But I''ll leave that decision up to you.

Control ... the storm...
Danny (Array Master)

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In your main menu, have an extra option, Blitzkrieg . If selected this should take the player to a settings page for a level that sends random enemies in waves. The settings could comprise number of ships per wave, frequency of waves, type of ship in each wave. Or even better, have up to ten slots to select ship types and have the choice reflect one 'wave' and then choose the frequency of the waves.

Or you could arrange to have a 1-on-1 against a special custom enemy, who uses advanced AI and has an arsenal similar to your own (call it duel )

Name?
Four Point Star
Subsequently, the campaign could describe a progression of four armies going against each other. Then, you could have your player have three concurrent series of missions. Depending on which missions have been completed, different weapons should be available to the player as part of his/her armoury.

EDIT: content

George D. Filiotis
Are you in support of the ban of Dihydrogen Monoxide? You should be!


Edited by - symphonic on November 16, 2001 2:42:54 AM

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Wow, thanks guys - plenty to think about there!

I very much like the idea of campaign/quickplay option. I think that would work really well. I sat in bed last night thinking about how I could control the game from files so this would fit in nicely with one game file for the campaign and other for one-off levels.

To be honest, initially the aliens aren''t going to be that intelligent. They will shoot straight at the player to ensure that he/she doesn''t just sit in the same spot but they will simply move in formation, to start with.
I would like to develop the intelligence further once the game is complete - I like the idea of them breaking formation too. I could almost add some RPG elements and have the aliens gaining experience points, and coming back in future waves (bit ambitious to start with though )

Thanks for the name Symphonic! I had never really thought of developing this as a campaign based game but the more I think of it, the more I like it. For the first instance I just want to concentrate on getting a nice tight game that''s easy to change and update and has a nice programming model. Then I can really start having fun with it.

Thanks guys, appreciated.

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