Jetboard Joust Devlog #26 – Pistols At Dawn

So – with the AI now looking respectable it’s time to get the first basic weapon in there!

I should add that before doing this I did improve the AI a bit since the last post – instead of just charging ‘through’ the player when moving to a safe distance it now makes an attempt to fly over or under instead. This looks a lot better, particularly when going ‘face to face’ on the ground and between obstacles.

The most basic weapon, other than the jetboard jump, is the pistol (has to be). Implementing a simple pistol shot should be easy but it took me rather a long time as, as ever, I started obsessing over the details. I started with a simple two pixel square as the bullet (that’s all the room I have to play with really) but wasn’t very happy with it so began using a simple particle effect to create a type of trail instead. This looked much better but when the entire trail disappeared at the end of the bullet’s range it looked rather odd so I had to implement a way to have the trail carry on moving and disappear at the same place as the ‘main’ bullet. Doing this in an efficient manner (ie not by creating loads of separate sprite objects) was a bit of a pain in the arse – I also had to think about what would happen when the bullet collided with an obstacle too.

Got there in the end though – and added a simple particle effect for when the bullet disappears or explodes. When everything slotted together it looked quite satisfying – like fireworks.

I also added a bunch of generic parameters that will apply to every weapon and affect the speed at which a weapon can be fired – these are:

Automatic
Whether the weapon auto-fires when FIRE is held.

Repeat Rate
The quickest speed at which a weapon can be fired in succession.

Clip Size
The amount of ammo that can be fired before the weapon needs reloading.

Reload Time
The time the weapon takes to reload (doh)!

I think that should give me enough configurations to play with – reloading will happen automatically if enough time is left between shots.

Once all this was sorted getting the enemy AI to fire was pretty straightforward as all the board/weapon code is the same for both player and enemies. At the moment it just pumps FIRE when within a certain range of the player so I need to add some kind of reaction time parameters but it’s pretty effective.

Maybe rather too effective – an unexpected accident was the way the enemy keeps pumping the player full of bullets even after they’re dead ‘just to make sure’. I actually think this is pretty funny so will probably leave it in there – makes the enemies seem ultra vindictive and evil!

I need to tweak this a bit and iron out some other bugs that are annoying me next – then it’ll be on to creating ‘cash’ pickups when enemies are destroyed.

Dev Time: 1.5 days
Total Dev Time: approx 29 days

previous | next

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Improved AI To Circumnavigate Player More Effectively

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Shock And Awe? The Final Bullet Anim


A Very Vindictive AI – I’ve Created A Monster!!

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Pistols At Dawn – Proof That Violence Solves Nothing
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