Battlesuit Dev Diary #2Submitted by Earok on Sun, 01/22/2012 - 10:34
Time for another rambling post.
I don't really have much new to report, but for the sake of keeping momentum, I'm going to write a blog post anyway.
Still no screenshot to show. I've started a basic prototype in Blitz3D but it's still extremely rudimentary at the moment so it isn't really worth showing. So, yeah, not much progress but at least it's a start. To be honest I'm not actually sure if I can be bothered doing much more on the prototype, knowing I'm almost certainly going to throw the lot of it away when I switch engines. I might just spend the next while researching alternative platforms instead.
I've been dwelling on AI a bit. A good AI is going to be essential to immersion in the game. In my previous blog post, I mentioned how bland AI in Shogo was a real immersion killer for me, so I do want to have challenging, realistic feeling enemies. Fortunately path finding and cover isn't going to be much of an issue as most of the missions will be on open terrain or in space. The core mechanic I have in mind with the AI is some sort of 'initiative' meter where enemies with high initiative will charge into battle, medium initiative will attack or snipe from a distance, and low initiative will retreat or try to regroup. The value of the initiative meter depends on certain pre-configured elements such as pilot personality and mecha type (Lighter melee-type mechas will want to stay close to the battle, whereas heavier sniper-type mechas will want to stay as far away as possible), but will also dynamically change depending on the the tide of the battle.
Asides from feeling at least semi-realistic, I want the AI to be a decent challenge. Most first person shooters seem to let you breeze through dozens of enemies in mere seconds, but I want each and every kill in Battlesuit to feel like it was earned. I intend to have two simultaneous enemies to be a threat, four to be a menace and six to be a grueling challenge (again, like in Wing Commander). Fortunately you'll always have one or more wingmen to help you out of a tricky spot.
Currently, the official team is just me (although, as I mentioned earlier, Anthony's done some great concept sketches). I certainly don't want it to remain a solo project though - my skills in virtually everything bar programming are lackluster (and even then, my programming's not exceptional!) so I'm keen to put together a small, dedicated team with a shared vision. But I'd rather wait until I've got some basic design documents plus the second draft of my episode 1 script out before pitching the project to potential team mates.
That said, if you're interested in the project at all, even just as a playtester, let me know and I'll keep you in mind.