This week has been an interesting one for us as we have started to set up AI behaviour and Split Screen multiplayer gamemodes. The feel of the game is starting to come through now that the player has an unpredictable threat to evade, so we will soon move on to creating the greyboxes of the story mode environments and begin fine tuning how the game will play.
During the last week we began working on basic enemy AI using the Guard Dog that was set up the week before. The AI will patrol an area, detect and chase the player and return to it’s patrol route if they cannot find the player. We will be constantly expanding on the AI as we want a broad spectrum of behaviours that will make the enemies feel like actual humans/drones.
It is also possible to hack and possess these Guard Dogs (as shown last week). This can be used to attack enemies or pass through a hostile area without attracting suspicion. The Quadcopter remains static when hacking, so it is vulnerable to detection if you left it in a bad spot. As well as this, if the Guard Dog is too far from the player they will lose connection to the Guard Dog.
Split Screen Mode
Replayability is something we are aiming to make the most of, so modes like split screen allow us to provide a lot of replay value relatively simply. At the moment we have a competitive split screen mode, which is a variant of the single player time trial mode. In the current mode players compete to collect the most pickups in a short time period. Whoever collects the most wins. If a player is spotted or killed, they immediately lose all their points, usually winning the game for the other player (unless the other player has no points either, then it’s a draw).
Over the next few weeks we will be adding new competitive and cooperative modes. Players won’t just be playing as drones in these modes either, we aim to have Quadcopter/Guard Dog modes where one player (as a Guard Dog) protects or hunts the other (who controls a Quadcopter).
Another new enemy type is the auto turret. These are fixed machine guns that scan an area in a similar vein to the security cameras, however instead of raising an alarm when a player is detected, the open fire with lethal accuracy.
Turrets can be hacked but not possessed (yet at least). Whilst they do not raise an alarm themselves, the noise of gunfire will attract attention unless no one is nearby.
That’s all for this week!
Next SitRep is on the 15th August, with hopefully plenty of new things to show! Thanks for reading!
This week has been a busy time for us as we prepared the game for it’s first showing at Gamebridge in Middlesbrough on Wednesday. It was a great event, met a load of people I’ve never met before and caught up with a few familiar faces. Also caught a glimpse of some really cool games I’d never seen before, and saw the progress of some I’ve already played (such as the brilliant Gang Beasts).
The reception to the Daedalus build we had was really positive, so thanks to all who dropped by and gave it a go, and a big thanks to Olly Bennet and Bruce Slater for organising the event!
As far as Daedalus progress is concerned we have been working on the following:
Time Trial Mode
This was created for the Gamebridge build as a way to demonstrate the core gameplay components in a short space of time. It will also appear in the finished game as a challenge mode, and it allows us to start evaluating different ways in which the game will play (speedrunning, for example). The mode takes place on a new level that is more akin to what we want to construct, in terms of level design. The level features a network of vents, natural caverns and security measures that the player must avoid while finding all the objectives in the allotted time.
The .gif below shows the player collecting a node in the time trial map. We’ve also experimented more with the areas in this map, so in addition to the corridors of an underground bunker the player can find ways to get into the natural rocky areas surrounding the base.
New Enemy Type – Automated Guard Dog
At the moment I’m working on setting up our first mobile enemy, a robotic “guard dog” inspired by Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog. These machines will patrol areas that may be unsafe for humans and carry a high caliber machine gun that will make short work of the player if they are detected. In times of high alert, they will be called in to assist human search parties in tracking the player.
They are not without their weaknesses however, the player will be able to hack them and take command of them for a short period. This will allow the player to either deal a lot of damage (but alert a lot of enemies in the process) or access areas without attracting much suspicion.
This will also appear as a playable class in the challenge modes, with some challenge modes that are unique to the guard dog.
More of a behind the scenes update, the Alert System has been expanded to include regional alerts (so the entire base will not be alerted until the alert has reached a high enough level) as well as multiple stages of alert.
The player can avoid triggering an alert if they are quick enough, as there is a very brief window to escape a cameras view cone. If the player is spotted multiple times, then doors and objectives can become locked until the alert level has diminished.
Main Menu and HUD
We’ve started to expand and tidy up the HUD, moving away from debug text and visuals and test a few nicer looking assets out. As I posted on Tuesday, we have a basic Main Menu which has since been tweaked a little. We intend for the menus to expand the game world a bit, so that even if you haven’t started to play the game you are finding out more about the narrative through the backgrounds etc.
The next SitRep will be on Friday 8th August, but I aim to add some more info during the week. Thanks for checking out the game!
The weekly SitRep will be a bit later this week as we’ll be demoing our game at Gamebridge (https://www.facebook.com/gamebridge) in Middlesbrough tomorrow. This will be one of the first times we’ve shown the game to anyone so we are pretty excited!
I’m moving the SitReps to Fridays from now on as it will be easier to include updates of events that happen in weekdays, such as this one. This Friday we will have a few new cool things to show from Daedalus as well as plenty of stuff from Gamebridge.
In the mean time, here’s an (almost) looping gif of the current main menu that just missed inclusion the last SitRep: