When this originally came up I wasn't provoked enough to write about it. There was one particular encounter early in the first Mass Effect Game that I had a load of trouble with. At the time I figured that I just hadn't built up my character enough, had put my XP into the wrong skills, chose to bring the wrong squad with me, or was just plain new enough to the game to have difficulty with something easy. I eventually learned that almost every Mass Effect player who chose the character class that I did died more times than they bothered to count at this encounter, not for any fault of their own, but because this encounter was almost perfectly tailored to a different class.
So... swarmers. It turned out to be a ridiculous pain to get the swarmers to even home in on a target, but I got through it. The resulting swarmers will now launch and home in on enemies. But which enemies?
Unfortunately, not the most intelligently chosen ones yet. Currently they just target the onscreen enemy spawned longest ago, which is pretty arbitrary and exists only because it was the quickest and easiest to add. I have a few different target choosing algorithms in mind. I'll have to try and weigh each of them in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, and that will be fun.
That's actually it. The swarmer art, as you can see, is basically placeholder. The final swarmers will also be tiny, but they will have a glowing contrail so it will be easy to see them and where they are going. I put so much into working out the simple things that I didn't have time for details.
Aside from the hustle and bustle of the other parts of my life this session has also gone slowly because it was mostly design work. There are some changes that can be expressed via screenshot though, and there is plenty to talk about.
NOTE: I have indeed noticed that some of my older image heavy posts have lost many of their images. This will not happen with any more posts, as I will now be downloading the images and then uploading them to this site instead of linking them. As long as this site is here, so will the images be.
I often talk about aesthetics and visual style. I'll say that a game makes good use of old graphics technology to create a gorgeous universe with an interesting and unique aesthetic, but you'll have no idea what that means or how a level designer would go about creating such a beautiful universe in the first place. Allow me to explain some of that by going over some of the basic ideas surrounding one of the most important aesthetic elements: color. The only way to gain an artistic ability with color is through experimentation and expression, so I will focus on the technical aspects involved to get you started.
There are four important concepts to understand when you are coloring a space: complements, contrast, range, and coordination. This is not a standardized set of technical terms or concepts. I have spent ten long seconds making them up based on what I have read and studied.
There are some things that are love or hate for gamers. Half of the gamers really love to go back through an old area of a game and pick up the things they missed, refill their health with a medkit they left just in case, or hunt for secrets that they previously could not access. On the other hand, many simply cannot stand the way it can break flow or impede on the time they want to be shooting things. While this example uses action games, the idea of backtracking applies to many genres and is looked upon similarly in most of them.