Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Taking it up a level

Quick entry today. Found a few hours to progress Solar Wars. Nothing visual to show really so I'll describe what I added. The level loader is now present, I can write an Nx8 byte array to control the layout of each level. Clearly some levels have more objects than others hence the ragged length N. The objects that can be defined are:
  • Standard mirrors (placement, orientation, ownership, starting condition)
  • Really Big mirrors (placement, orientation, size)
  • Blockers (placement, orientation, size)
  • Splitters (placement, ownership)
  • Prisms (placement, ownership)
Yep, I added big (fixed) mirrors, I think this will make the levels more challenging (read dangerous) on later levels.

Now I need to sketch a few. This won't be a big deal as they are really just a few hurdles to provide variation for the players. I imagine in the 2P mode there will be favourite levels that will be played repeatedly. At the moment I'm not sure whether to allow the player free selection of the levels or to unlock them progressively like in Spike's Circus.

I've also been pondering the AI off-line. To respond to cNp's query: it always depends on the game and what heuristics the programmer can devise. The Joust AI was really easy to write, even the skill levels of the various CPU opponents and their personalities. On Solar Wars it's a little harder since there are literally more dimensions to consider. I have figured a few methods for the CPU AI, but first I'm going to finish the 2P version and study how real humans play against each other (to get a bit more variety in style.) At Eurocon I'll do some 2P play testing and then add the AI ready for the full release shortly afterwards.

2 comments:

Erik, WA State, USA said...

I'm trying to send an email to you but it keeps coming back. What's your email address? I have some questions about Spikes Circus. -Erik H., Washington-USA.

Erik, WA State, USA said...

I'm trying to send an email to you but it keeps coming back. What's your email address? I have some questions about Spikes Circus. -Erik H., Washington-USA.