A Cow's GD Roadmap: Tuning the AI
in Apocalypse Cow DevBlog, posted on September 12, 2014
While developing a game I have the habit of recording gameplay to watch it at the end of the day. It is a way to see if the game is shaping up according to vision, because it's easy to lose focus.
I just found some older footage and it might be the nostalgia factor but here is Apocalypse Cow in the second month of development. Having just written the basis of the AI, experimenting with bullet speeds, AI attributes and controls.
As you can see mobs already avoid bullets and predict when to shoot to kill you, even mid-air. Mobs' dexterity determines if it can avoid a bullet. The goal is to make enemies I can barely defeat but without feeling the game is cheating me. We are also constantly tweaking the physics of Penny to match the gameplay. Let me tell you, a ton of blood was spilled on this battleground, testing again and again and again an... okay you get the point!
Mobs ended up being a bit too effective. We are making a skill demanding game but this was too much; we needed to even up the odds. So we moved the player from a one-hit death to a hit point system. This gave us wonderful versatility. The player can level up the stats to withstand more punishment. Skirmishes turn into wars. Some mobs can still one-hit kill you and since they are not the norm, they stand out and make for really fierce enemies.
This gave us wonderful versatility. The player can level up Penny's stats to withstand more punishment. Skirmishes turn into wars. Some mobs can still one-hit kill you and since they are not the norm, they stand out and make for really fierce enemies.
It took countless tweaks but the battles in Apocalypse Cow are challenging, interesting, full of surprises and above all, they are fair.
What would you like us to talk about next time? Particles, graphics, level design? Let us know in the comments or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to vote for us on Greenlight if you haven't done so already!Scroll to Comments Return to List