Why didn’t I like Perfect Dark (as much as goldeneye)

Hi gang, I think it’s time to do a write up that continues from an older article I wrote regarding why I love goldeneye. But now I think it’s time to talk about it’s spiritual successor for the n64, Perfect Dark.

so edgy, so mysterious

So I played through Perfect Dark on Perfect Agent at the same glorious 60fps with mouse and keyboard and it worked great. the shooting works well, the controls were fine, the music overall is good…but why do I not like it that much? Why isn’t it clicking for me? Surely if it’s made by the same developers who made the previous shooter and it pretty much uses goldeneye as it’s base, I’d at least like it just as much? Below I went ahead and really tried to break down my thoughts as to why it didn’t really “click” for me like Golden guy.

The reality is that I’m pretty biased to like goldeneye. Because it was the first one I played, I got used to a lot of it’s quirks, enemies sometimes being hilariously dumb and taking longer to shoot, “simpler” objectives, less vertical layout in levels, more close quarters level design. I really do wonder how my opinion would be if I grew up with perfect dark first, then played goldeneye? would I have liked perfect more? Well, it’s kind of a waste of time to speculate on what my alternate universe self would have thought, but hey let’s break down what I like and didn’t like from playing perfect dark.

Features

We’ll start off with an objectively obvious one, perfect dark has more features like co-op, target shooting and bot ai, it wins in this department, the end. next.

The Story

This is a tricky one for me, the cutscenes and the way in which they presented them felt kind of sudden. The overall pace of the game in terms of how levels are connected sometimes felt like too much of a jump. First we’d be in a crashed airplane area then abruptly at a sea base where every corridor looks the same (more on that), suddenly we’re in an alien ship. I feel that the designers made a bunch of levels that looked impressive visually (at the time), but then the writers had to awkwardly try and connect them somehow.

But here’s the thing, I decided to do the unthinkable, I wandered around in the game at Carrington Institute (the hub world of the game) and read lore and info about the characters, vehicles, even the whole story. Oddly enough, what I read was pretty good, like, if someone presented to me a write-up of what I saw, as a director I actually probably would have approved (mostly, though the alien stuff maybe not?).

I did the unthinkable, I actually read the in-game logs.

When I look back on when I played the game for the first time, I got weirded out by how there were aliens and spaceships and so on, I mostly just expected a futuristic goldeneye with just humans. But instead got a sudden mishmash of aliens and area 51 and so on. I felt this conglomeration of ideas made the game lose its seriousness and felt like a bizarre cartoon. (It also probably didn’t help that “Elvis” the “Maian” Alien talked like Yoda from Star Wars.)

But I think the biggest reason I felt this way was because of the execution on the cut-scenes wasn’t too great from a story/character development standpoint. The way they presented the characters felt kind of thrown in suddenly and it resulted in making them feel a bit bare. I will say though that I’m definitely not jealous of whoever had to do the cinematography for those moments because you have so little time to work with in order to try and explain the story.

I don’t have much else to say. It’s a bit unfortunate (for me), because there’s some interesting character lore in the carrington institute computers

(and clearly I’m not the kind of person that was able to appreciate the story execution (unlike the reviewers who gave the game 95% scores)).

(of course goldeneye’s story is not too great either if you don’t know the movie it’s based on, call of duty)

Gameplay

I like goldeneye better, haha.

But let’s be real, it controls pretty much the same, they even added some secondary fire for some weapons which sometimes can be pretty cool (though honestly several have pointless primary/secondary options that hardly have any use and you just end up only using one or the other).

Other than my subjective taste with liking the slower and dumber enemies from goldeneye, or how they had simpler gadgets (or that there’s no aliens). I think really what this all boils down to for me is the level design.

Level Design

There weren’t many levels that really sung to me when I had recently played through perfect dark. A big problem I had was how they’d overly emphasize how vertical the game was. The first level has you fiddling with elevators that move and stop at multiple floors. Some levels like Pelagic II are just…terrible, because of how the corridors look the same and their excuse to try and make it easy to navigate is by changing just the color, yikes.

My problem with this level is that it’s basically a giant maze with the majority of the level being made up of these corridor assets…

Their excuse to try and make this navigable is by changing only the color.

Can you imagine being colorblind and playing this level? Yikes…

I don’t think this really is entirely my own bias anymore with me liking goldeneye’s level design better than perfect dark:

  • Most of the levels in goldeneye avoid having too many elevators to use mid level (In fact there are none! as they’re only at the beginning and end of levels), as a result there is far less waiting time with having to traverse around waiting for an elevator to get you someplace.
  • Goldeneye likely had to work with size limitations so the levels are mostly smaller and focus on close quarters design (which I actually think was to its benefit because there’s more deliberate placement to rooms)
  • The visual design of most levels generally avoids being distracting so you can just notice important things like doors, switches, computers etc.
  • In my opinion, big opens maps from both games are the least enjoyable levels. (unless we’re talking surface 1, with that glorious stealth sniping (though really I do remember getting lost when I played that one as a kid)
  • Generally most of the levels in goldeneye are simply more intuitive to navigate, the layouts have easier to remember shapes that make it easier to landmark where you were. (Basically if you are designing a level, you don’t need to put statues, crazy pillars or props in a room to make it memorable navigation-wise, you can change it’s shape to have a L,T,X,+,O,etc. shape and people can recognize that spatially)

If I HAD to pick missions that I did like from Perfect dark, they’d probably be Villa, Science Lab (mission 2) and uh…hmm….

Mission Objectives

If you read my previous article, you’d know that I didn’t really enjoy the objectives aspect from goldeneye, and the same goes for perfect dark.

I’d probably say Perfect Dark at least handles the intuitiveness a bit better because it at least explains how to do the objective…

At least they provided us with this.

Plus Goldeneye is guilty for the terrible gameplay extending egypt level, where you just had to keep trying to guess the correct path until you memorized it. I’m not kidding, there are no visual queues, no audio queues, nothing, if you guessed a tile wrong, you had to keep redoing it.

Yeah I’m not really a fan of the objectives from either game.

(Also you have to keep in mind that I have an IQ of -400 and am only capable of doing things like hold ‘e’ to plant a bomb, kill certain enemy, find some pickups or destroy computers.)

Enemy AI

I prefer Goldeneye’s slower and dumber AI. At times perfect dark’s enemies would shoot too fast for you to take cover.

(But at least they don’t instantly shoot at you and you pray to the RNG gods like in call of duty 4 veteran difficulty *shudders*)

Final Verdict

Frankly…I’m biased as all hell, I just like goldeneye for the simplicity and (to me) better level design. The fact of the matter is that the game features much more intuitive level layouts and I felt that was the biggest deciding factor for me. You just can’t beat the wonderfully designed layouts of levels like Facility, Bunker 1 & 2, Depot, Caverns, etc.. (though frigate starts to veer close to that Perfect Dark esq. layout with too many doors and too many floors to choose from (I still like Frigate don’t get me wrong)).

They’re both great games, but the golden boy takes it home for me.

(unless you ask me to play with you to do some co-op or go against some bots then oof, yeah see ya golden guy.)

Thanks for reading,

-Brandon

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Ato Progress Report October 2019

Hey guys, let’s give a quick rundown of things done this month.

I’ve been cranking away at endgame areas, I finished the environments and rooms. In fact I even got the final boss done including the ending cut-scenes and credits. The finale was pretty tedious to code in, lots of trial and error, changing values, bugs left and right. Generally boss fights are not very fun when you implement them for the first time.

Of course, game development usually involves making you think you’re done when in fact there is still plenty of work left (side bosses, menus and so on). But overall finishing this aspect of the game will be a good benchmark.

I WISH I could share the work I’ve done for it, but it would probably be best to not spoil too much. (Until I eventually reach the point to have public beta play-testing)

I’ll be making some minor tweaks to the UI, hopefully these little additions will spice things up a bit.

HP UI Animation

Here’s another music sample for another encounter…what kind of opponent could this be for?

I don’t have much else to share, but here are just a few of the many hundreds of particle effects that have been put into the game. enjoy!

ato particle effect example tiny warrior games dot com cool

ato particle effect example tiny warrior games dot com cool

ato particle effect example tiny warrior games dot com cool

ato particle effect example tiny warrior games dot com cool

(TLDR) Comprehensive list of things completed:

  • 4 combat encounters added
  • finale is done
  • ending cut-scenes added
  • credits added
  • bug fixes

Thanks for reading! (and Happy Hallows Eve!)

-Brandon

Nameless 1st Anniversary quick post

I’m kind of ashamed to even talk about Nameless. I don’t want to delve too much into my thoughts on it because honestly there’s not really much to say that’s positive. Please understand that I rushed development because it wasn’t worth investing more time into it because people were not interested at all in it. I know it’s disappointing to anyone who was eager to play an incredible game, as was I. But I just lost all morale when it became clear that people were not interested when I tried to crowdfund it in the past (it didn’t reach it’s goal).

I will still try and put it on sale when appropriate and just hope that people understand that it is inherently risky for them to play a game like it as I don’t think many will really enjoy it. You might think that I should just “fix” the game and all of the problems will go away. But to “fix” the game would basically involve throwing out 2 years of work and redoing everything.

I feel that in today’s day and age of highly polished, high expectation software development, a lot of those highly awarded games start to become a bit “artificial” and “factory made”. I say this in how you can compare a real painting to a digital painting. One is very real and tangible and has mistakes, while the other is robotic and cleaned up. I say this because, Nameless is like a real painting, it was not made to be perfect and is a very “human” game.

I just want to say I’m sorry to the people that were eager to play this game, hoping that it would have been the next best crowdfunded game but were disappointed by the final result. I feel that development was extremely mentally draining and morale was pretty low (albeit similar though a bit worse than Frog Hop’s development).

I feel that Nameless truly suffered from comparing itself too much and didn’t really have a clear identity (which is funny because the main character kind of represents this). It simply tried too hard to be like Earthbound, Undertale, Hotline Miami, but in actuality achieved a result that did not represent any of those. In some ways, Nameless resulted in a reflection of myself (More so by the feelings that are felt in the game were what I was experiencing). I wish I didn’t try to outshine those games. Undertale was obsessed with itself to the point where it knew it had a huge following coming and would hide secrets knowing people would find them. In Nameless I worked hard to try and implement easter eggs and all sorts of endings to try and match it. But frankly it ended up being pointless because there wasn’t really anyone there to play it and explore it all. But, uh…I’m not gonna talk much more about that.

A sequel would be incredibly unlikely, so unlikely that it will never happen ever. But because it’s fun to come up with game ideas, if it ever did make a sequel, I probably would make it:

  • Drastically more focused on being consistently light hearted and funny, no more edgy, weird sensitive topics.
  • Removal of moral decisions (because frankly killing and sparing was not interesting at all, period).
  • Just make a shooter with deeper mechanics and abilities, maybe upgrades.
  • Remove gimmicks like the mini-games, money system and store.
  • No more 4th wall breaking gimmick nonsense, that stuff gets old fast and wasn’t at all interesting.
  • Would probably be shorter, arcadier, bite sized fun game without all the pointless dialogue (but would keep the funny dialogue).
  • Much less story focused, but still have some kind of simplified narrative.

Thank you for reading through this, I know it was a bit heavy and depressing. I sometimes feel anxious with my current game Ato , but at the same time I feel I’ve learned a lot from the past to make my current project Ato at least a little bit better than last time.

I know I’m not one of those people in the web articles where I’m a legendary 5 year old game developer who makes his 1st game that looks like ori and the blind forest that sells millions of copies and gets all sorts of awards. Nameless is not perfect, please understand that it is very much like a real painting, presented as it is in its flawed and real state by a human being who is still learning to get better at creating games…

…Just know that Ato would never have existed if Nameless never got fully completed.

I am not going to promise anything with Ato, I can’t even guarantee anything until it’s done. Just know that when it reaches beta, I will need all the help I can get.

Thanks for reading,

-Brandon

 

Why I like Goldeneye (and the veil of nostalgia)

Hello gang, today I’d like to talk about my experience with goldeneye and why it’s one of my favorite games of all time.

Goldeneye is an old and outright janky shooter that when played on the n64 controls weird and gets really laggy. However…I found out a way to play it with mouse and keyboard at 60 fps and it’s such an incredible experience. In fact, it was so incredible that I almost felt like I was playing a mod of half-life.

goldeneye’s source material is based off of a well known movie and book franchise – call of duty.

But why DO I like goldeneye? What is it that makes this golden boy game so good to me? As a whole with nostalgia aside it’s pretty mediocre, there aren’t really any new mechanics or engaging gameplay features that are added to keep it interesting. The enemies are pretty much the same and the guns are honestly pretty stale in variety. With that out of the way, I will say that the funnest aspect for me would have to be the level design and the enemy AI.

Level design

Most of the level design in golden guy is really good, like it starts of linear, but opens up *just* enough to let you at least explore a bit and shoot stuff and find equipment. (Although I would say some other shooters like half life or doom do it better because there are more actual pickup types to obtain)

Enemy AI

Now the enemy AI, is a fine example of good shooter AI. Unlike most shooters of today, they actually animate a startup and recover animation to their attacks. basically, the enemy will see you and bring his gun up, THEN start the random hit scan shooting, THEN they start to put their gun down.

(“Hit Scan” is a special type of “bullet” in video games where they instantly reach the point of contact when shot, meaning there’s no travel time. Usually this is balanced out in games with bullet scatter randomness and other features.)

tldr:

  1. Start Aiming their gun at you
  2. Shoot
  3. Put the weapon down to then repeat the process.

or rather the better version is

  1. start aiming their gun at you
  2. ???
  3. Profit

This is SO good, because you have time to react and it’s completely fair if you get shot since they are telegraphing their movements. As derpy as the enemies can be in golden boy, this design is honestly something I wish more shooters would go back to and stop doing the cheap instant shooting RNG hitscan nonsense.

(Of course goldeneye enemies sometimes also do cheap/questionable things though like that one animation where they’re walking and shooting their gun towards you and somehow have an absurdly large ammo clip during that attack.)

Another thing to point out is that frankly the enemies in goldeneye are pretty stale, in terms of depth and variety. I think what barely keeps this game going is the fact that there are so many different animations for when enemies get hit that it’s compelling enough.

Basically…if you’re in development crunch time, just have one basic enemy with a lot of different animations and uh…I suppose it’s enough?

Random thing to point out, in my opinion death animations of shooters like modern warfare 2 feel better to me because they have a quicker “pop” to them and instantly respond to your shot vs goldeneye having to startup it’s animation. (not really a problem but I find the pop feels better in games like mw2)

The weapons

The guns, the guns are okay, though there is a weird delay for some guns and honestly, the pistols of modern shooters like Cod4 feel so much better than goldeneye. But that aside, the hit impact sound and fx feel good enough and work well for making the gunshots feel responsive in goldeneye.

Objectives

Probably the aspect that is least interesting to me are the objectives, especially the ones related to escorting/protecting AI or having to trial and error my way to get the goldengun, etc.. I think objectives in games are a tricky aspect to keep compelling, the best example I’ve seen for objectives would have to be Starcraft 2’s campaign levels. they do an excellent job of providing a base line goal to complete, but also provide side challenges that motivate you to accomplish more to get better rewards. I feel that if I played goldeneye now the objectives probably would have frustrated me and I wouldn’t have felt as compelled by them vs when I was younger and was way more graceful/patient with games.

The only reason I might sometimes have the bias to say “oh yeah the objectives feature in goldeneye were awesome” is because I already know how to do them.

Conclusion/Final Verdict/Final Destination

Now it is one of my favorite games of all time yes, but the veil of nostalgia only lasts for so long with this golden guy.

I feel the fun starts to drop off though once bunker 2 ends. For me statue and the latter start to lose momentum and there are no new mechanics, no new things to do, and it mostly relies on showing a new gun that shoots just slightly different in hopes that it still feels fresh (or some objective, but as you could probably tell the objectives didn’t really compel me that much). Most of the levels in the later half feel redundant and lack that brilliant flow that some of the earlier levels have. Of course to each their own, I do still enjoy some later levels like depot, archives and caverns, it’s just that some missions like streets/statue just feel kind of repetitive and don’t have as much of a clever layout to them IMO.

The length that the game is feels appropriate. I honestly can’t imagine it going for longer than what is already there. Most guns that are introduced aren’t really that special, like the ZMG, really it’s just a Klobb, but it shoots faster?…and does more damage…ehhh….

I feel that if shooters of today are going to make guns, please make them different instead of just “gun x” shoots faster but does less damage that “gun y”. There’s a reason I feel why arena shooters like doom and quake have much more compelling variety to them.

All in all, I still like goldeneye, it’s still one of my all time favorite video games, and I’m still willing to criticize it. I know there’s the argument of “well at the time it was revolutionary/ground breaking”, But I still can’t help but compare how some mechanics/features are funner and worse in old games compared to modern ones.

Maybe I should compare this to perfect dark one day, after all perfect dark is the spiritual successor, but why didn’t it click for me?…hmmm maybe next week I’ll write on that.

Thanks for reading,

-Brandon

p.s. Enjoy watching this clip of bond never running out of bullets

Looking at…Xenogunner by HappyFrogGames

Howdy gang, let’s take a look at another one of them videogames.

XENO GUNNER

Xenogunner is a game jam game that features boss rush elements with mouse aiming shooting mechanics. It’s has vibes reminiscent of genesis games like Gunstar heroes and Alien Soldier. …and call of duty.

You can get the game jam game here at itch.io

The game apparently is being developed further to feature more levels and fleshed out artwork. which is great because the game is pretty fun and it’s great to see fun games be developed.

Thanks for reading!

-Brandon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xenogunner apparently is still in development, I’m not really sure what the status is on the whole project but you can see some improvements that get tweeted by Pedrovin, the main artist for the game. Happy Frog Games seems to still be developing it while also cranking out smaller games on the side. I hope one day we will see this boy come to life and “xeno gun” all the baddies one day…one day.

The video below shows more of the game, it seems like they’ve been really trying to make the levels have more obstacles to them so you can’t just blitz through it all unless you know what you’re doing. Also that announcer voice…sounds so ExCiTe

I think my greatest concern is whether the shooting itself won’t be super repetitive, especially when there’s little reason to not hold the shoot button (unless there are enemies in the game that counter that or there’s some sort of other incentive). Though I will say from my own experience when I designed Drone Strike, I questioned the aspect of a fire button in shoot-em-ups so I just made it auto-fire and whenever you hold the “Shoot” button it instead is a charge attack.

In Dronestrike, the shoot button is replaced with a charge attack button and you always autofire.

Regardless, I think Happy Green Frog will do a good job with handling that and also provide new weapons to use to help with balancing and keeping the game interesting.

Thanks for reading!

-Brandon

p.s. And take a look at this, who knew games had to start from scratch in order to become what they are now!

 

p.s.s.

Happy Green Frog responded with some answers to some of my questions, huzzah:

1. The status of the upgraded version of the game is that it is nearing completion. Release date is still uncertain, but it’s been playtested a decent amount, it has cutscenes fully implemented, most if not all of the graphics are done or near-done, there’s one boss battle I want to refactor a bit but it’s not strictly necessary, and from there it’s up to my publisher.

2. To answer the question of whether there’s ever a reason to let go of fire, one of the more powerful weapons has a really low fire-rate, and, without spoiling anything, some bosses move in ways in which it is ideal to wait until you’re sure you have a shot lined up before you fire. Suffice to say, manually pressing for a bit to fire a volley of it, then letting go for a bit to wait for the next good chance to strike, is, in a few boss fights, a good idea. I’m not 100% sure that it’s a sufficient way to keep the shooting from getting repetitive, honestly, but it’s something at least.

3. The old levels have indeed been updated to have more obstacles, first level aside. Additionally though, there’s a large supply of new levels, expanding the game well beyond what the GameJam version featured. If memory serves correctly there’s a fair bit more than 15 all new bosses to fight. (I think the total number of bosses, including the old ones from the GameJam version, is around 25?)

4. Some fun trivia: The voice announcer was actually me! I recorded that voice clip myself.

5. “Xenogunner” actually refers to the main villain of the game, which does make one of the lines in your article a tiny bit odd (but still kind of works overall), mainly the “xeno gun” but.

Ato Progress Report September 2019

Hi ho gang, just want to give an end of the month update on what has been done.

Launch Animations Code

Added more variations to launch animations, nothing huge, but took the extra time to have a bit more variety when they get hit by certain attacks.

And while I’m still cranking away at the last area for endgame content, I might as well show this environment art off

(not related to endgame)…

(also not related to avengers endgame)…

(also not related to ender’s game)…

I spent a bit of time adding more frames to the run animation, perhaps if I have extra time (which I generally don’t) I’ll see if there’s any other animations that can be smoothed out.

and who knows what else i’ve been working on…

(TLDR) Comphrehensive list of things completed:

  • 3 environment art assets made (just need to actually MAKE the levels and then decorate with these assets)
  • Encounter added
  • 1 Area completed (1 more left)
  • 20 Rooms added
  • Decorated area 4 with new assets (not related to the assets mentioned earlier)
  • Footstep sounds bass levels reduced
  • Cuttable bamboo
  • More launch code animation work
  • Cornucopia of bugs fixed (and plenty more to come)

I still have 1 more main area to complete, after that, I’ll spend some time adding side encounters (including that backer boss), fixing endless amounts of bugs and important features like menus, map system, extra decoration work…and plenty more…man the work just never stops piling on does it?

Thanks for reading!

-Brandon

Old Game Maker’s Apprentice Games – Pyramid Panic

Hi gang, sorry for not posting last friday (though honestly there wasn’t really much to talk about other than that Ato is still coming along…zzz)

Although it’s not like anyone really reads these because I don’t have 1,000,000+ followers and 50 million likes on my ebaumsworld and I don’t make enough money and I don’t-…yadayadayadayada-…

Pyramid Panic!

Escape the evil tomb of Rah! Collect treasures, like magical gold scarabs and the legendary sword of Rah. Avoid the enemies and score big big big cha-ching…????…????…………………????…

Download (windows exe)

It does not contain viruses, it was made in Game Maker 8.1. (click Start to play)

Controls

Arrow Keys – Move

Z – Use Scarab, scares mummies and makes them killable

X – Activate Sword

There is only One Level. I think there’s a time limit too

Insight

GMA taught me about making something cool…

This game can essentially be considered the final culmination of everything that has been learned from The Game Maker’s Apprentice book.

The biggest thing with this game was learning to take all of the different design elements, like pickups, enemy types, special abilities and combine it all to create a more fuller game experience (even though the experience may be short).

Movement system

Some of the biggest aspects that I remember the tutorial emphasizing was the grid-based movement system, much like old school RPGs where you’re locked into a grid even though there is movement. Essentially this is achieved (at least in the tutorial way) by initiating a variable, let’s say “canmove=true”. if we’re in a part of our grid that when rounded down makes it a whole number, canmove is set to true, however when it is not, then it is false.

if x mod 32 == 0
{
___canmove = true
}

The first if statement makes sure we are in a 32 rounded position, so every 32, 64, 96, etc spot on our grid will always work no matter how big our room is. (modulo essentially is just divide, but instead gives us a remainder value (super useful!))

When canmove is true, we can then have it check for an input, which in our case is one of the directionals.

if canmove == true //(we are still and awaiting to press a movement key)
{
___speed=0

___if keyboard_check_pressed(vk_up)
___{
______canmove=false; direction=90;
___}

}
else //(we are moving and cannot press a button until we hit a grid spot)
{
___canmove=false
___speed=1;

___if x mod 32 == 0
___{
___canmove = true
___}
}

This code might look complex, (though honestly this is a really tu-toriel (I’m sorry) way of doing this) but basically, whenever we are moving, we prevent any inputs from being read and still keep applying speed. However when we are in a rounded position, i’ll take the same code as before and make us then stop moving, allowing us ot read our next input. Obvious I cut the input section short (keyboard_check_pressed) and didn’t wright inputs for left,right and down but I think you get the idea…

I won’t go too much in depth, but there were other mechanics like the lighting system, scarab power, sword ability and (to me the most intriguing one) the mummy AI.

Lighting system

I think the lighting system was using a sprite of a circle, and we ran some fancy code to mask out a hollowed out circle, so essentially we made a cookie cutter template and instead the dough covers our screen and we made a round hole in the center. A pretty decent way to get cartoon platforming transition effects as well.

Scarab and sword power

Not gonna go super in depth here, the scarab when touched, adds +1 to a scarab counter for the global variable.

global.scarabcount += 1;

and if we use one we check to make sure we have one and just remove it from our inventory.

if keyboard_check_pressed(ord(‘z’)) && global.scarabcount > 0
{
___global.scarabcount-=1;
___alarm(0)=300; //activate our scarab ability timer!
}

The sword is actually very similar, except it tracks gold and is based on a held input state. The only different is I think it swapped a larger circle sprite for the light mask.

MUMMY AI

Hoo boy, I can’t really remember too well how the mummy AI worked, but I can still give my own insight as to how I think it was coded…

Basically the mummy object has 4 different states, “wander“, “search“, “chase“, “flee“.

When it is in wander state, it will just randomly choose a direction to move when it’s canmove==true. (see how it comes around again?). if it wanted to move into a direction but runs into a wall, it chooses a different direction. Now if we use a special command called distance_to_object(obj_player), we can grab the range from which the mummy and the player are and use this to change it’s state, which if it’s senses we’re nearby, it enters it’s search state.

When it is searching for us, I think it speeds up it’s movement slightly and will generally favor moving in a direction that could be towards us based on randomness. I believe if it happens to roll the right number when it’s canmove is true, then it’ll choose a move direction that would likely move it towards us. Which I think it also uses a direction check to then decide which way to go since it only moves in 4 directions.

Now for the mummy to enter its chase state, we need to use !collision_line(x,y,obj_player.x,obj_player.y,obj_block,0,0), this simulates vision for the AI. Don’t fret too much if this looks super complicated, all it’s trying to do is check if there’s a wall between itself and the player. obviously it wouldn’t make much sense for it to see us through the walls, so we use this function to check for that. Combine this with a distance check to the player, and if it’s close enough and there’s no wall between us and the mummy, the mummy will chase us! Oh noes!! Now it tries to choose directions that will likely move towards us Aaaah!!

uhhh…okay…

So what about the fabled flee state? how does this happen? How do? What do? How is? Why was? Who could? When should? Who what where when how?

So whenever we activate our sword ability, we run some code to tell all mummies to enter flee state and set their flee alarm to a certain value. From the player’s side this is what it might look like…

if keyboard_check_pressed(ord(‘x’)) && global.goldcount > 0
{
___global.goldcount -=1;
___if instance_exists(obj_mummy)
___{
______with(mummy)
______{
_________RUN LIKE HELL (you get the idea…)
______}
___}
}

This code snippet just simulates what it might look like (again this is just tutorial level coding and not advanced Einstein rocket science elitist code).

Anyways that was definitely super technical and anime, but I hope maybe this gave you some insight as to how some this very last Game Maker’s Apprentice game was made. As you may know, this was only the stepping stone to bigger and more challenging prospects. I hope that by sharing this, you’ll see that I came from a background where I had absolutely no clue how to program, I didn’t understand how to logically code/script games and through carefully studying tutorials and open source code, it eventually got me to where I am today…

…a guy who still makes games and isn’t making any money

A guy who can make teh vidya gabens.

I will likely continue sharing my old works, abandoned projects, test code, game projects I studied that I learned from…you name it!

Hope you enjoyed the read!

-Brandon

www.tinywarriorgames.com

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