Saturday, June 9, 2012

Infiltrator Part 24 - Fighting Fighters

This session was actually finished a few days ago, but I wanted to add a few extra features before I wrote about it. I then found out that said features were quite a bit more complex than I thought, and I ended up moving it to the list of long term features. Anyway, I have some interesting new bells and whistles to show you all.

Yep. The fighters are primed and ready to well... fight. They not only use pathfinding to chase your ship, they also try to avoid being inside of your firing line, which can lead to some really organic looking behavior. They fire green laser shots at you in short two round volleys(a total of four shots) which deal heavy damage if you absorb an entire one. Spreading some fighters and drones around my demo level and trying to clear all the enemies from it without losing proved that the AI is at least smart enough to pose a challenge... albeit a small one.

See, I originally wanted a game with severe enemy spamming. You could get an adrenaline rush as you mercilessly plow through hordes and hordes of enemies, performing at the top of your game because you know that one little slip can mean your doom. The enemy AI being existent but not very smart ends up forcing a hand of enemy spamming level design if you want to pose a challenge to the player. This is an example of game design success, when you have two systems or goals that complement each other. In this case, the difficulty level of a single enemy complements the crazy level design which tends to spill a ton of them on you at the drop of a hair. Ed trigger. Or something snarky and humorous that means "on whim."

Anyway, the mechanics aren't perfect. I still haven't decided if enemies will be able to shoot each other(which may imply the need for AI that tried not to), if their shots will go through each other, if their shots will be absorbed by each other but do no damage, or what. That's one of the choices left on my list to make. Also, I need to balance the flying saw of doom somehow. As it stands you can still exploit its use and brake the game mechanics really easily, something I found out thanks to one of my play testers :P.

Infiltrator is currently at version 0.0.56. Version 0.0.1 will be the official first alpha  version, and I'm considering porting it to Windows as well as Linux(it's current platform) and releasing it for public demo and feedback. Many of you are probably asking my the version number is so far below 1.0 now and why it will be come the official alpha. The reason is very simple: Infiltrator is not just designed to be a shooter. If I carried this project all the way to its ideal completion, there would be  multiple ships, a leveling system with upgrades, stat boosters, and XP, inventory, puzzles, conversations, story, and a ton of other stuff. That's why I don't genuinely expect to finish this project, especially not in the short term. I may just keep it around as a pet project I spend my spare time on rather than dumping it when the cards are down, but that's not even a guarantee. But you all know I don't care, I'm here for the fun.


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