They're Random, Baby!

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The designers were responsible for establishing battle lines, ???????????????????????

  • To do this we focused on making strategic spaces
    It's very important to make spaces that highlight the strengths of your AI
    A battle in a corridor doesn't involve much strategy
    so there are no intelligent things for the AI to do
    An interconnected space allows the AI to flank the Player, making them seem more intelligent
    It also allows the Player to flank the AI, giving him a chance to watch them react to his tactics
    One weakness of an interconnected space, however, is that it tends to be chaotic
    So we also needed to establish a Killing Zone
    an open area between two positions with good cover
    flanking is still possible in an environment with a killing zone, but the battle is much more directed
    the killing zone also allows multiple enemies to fight at once without it degenerating into chaos
  • Attacking/Defending States
    Another way the designers controlled the flow of battle was through Attacking and Defending States
    Each group of actors has an aggressive territory that it wants to occupy
    it also has retreat conditions, such as a number of casualties or the position of the Player
    the retreat conditions cause a transition to a defensive state where the Actors retreat to a more defensible location

    By carefully collapsing an encounter from a large aggressive territory to a small defensive cluster
    we were able to capture the feeling of a dynamic battle
    I should mention the AI system we developed can get much more complicated,
    especially when you layer several of these attacking/defending states on top of one another
    but we rarely used that complexity
    For a large majority of encounters, I'd say around 80%, we didn't need to get any more complicated than this example