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Thoughts on Vs. AI and Co-op

vs. AI co-op single player

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#1
Skeletonbane

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All in all, loving the new bot AIs. Admittedly they're a bit on the dumber end of bots in descent games, but those are some high standards to compare to. They're really quite clever as far as videogame AI's go (and boy have I seen some dumb ones), and they make playing co-op and vs. AI really fun modes to play.

 

Anyways, here are some of my thoughts on the two modes, the upcoming single player, and the AI in general.

 

So first off, some issues I see. Number one: they can pick up everything. This is okay for the guns, but when they can spin around and surprise you with a mega or smart missile to the face it gets a little annoying because that's a one-hit kill. They're on the same power level as players, which is a bit high for a single-player mode where you're accustomed to mowing through dozens of bots. Second: and this is an aesthetic problem, bots don't spin out and explode. They explode instantly. Or at least, that's how it was, and now they spin-out. It's not the biggest problem, but again, when you guys get to single player they should explode instantly so that it can get out of the way for you to kill more bots. And last but certainly not least, the bots spawn points. It's a tad annoying when they spawn directly behind to and began shooting your rear (I may be understating the amount of annoyance).

 

Once the different bots for single player are made, I think the co-op and vs. AI modes could benefit from using them as differing levels of difficulty for the waves instead of the bots that can pick up weapons like players. I'd love to have bosses in a co-op horde mode kind of thing. Maybe even a map that you work through the different sections as you progress through waves, with multiple bosses and many waves for those players who want a really long and difficult experience for them and their friends.

 

But that's considering bots for single-player, co-op, and vs. AI. When considering them for being stand-ins for players in a multiplayer match, some slightly different changes need to be made.

 

Obviously you realize that you'd need to allow the bots to use player classes, and that the spin-out and full access to weapons are required to make them more like players, but there's one major detail that would also need to be addressed before they'd be able to put into a multiplayer match. Searching. Right now, they mostly stay in one place, but players don't do that. They speed around the map looking for things to kill. It would make sense for bot-players to do the same.

 

Now, most of that was probably stuff you already knew and didn't need me to tell you about. Also it was mostly problems and issues, which hold negative connotation. So how about telling you something you don't know that is a bit more positive?

 

Your bots are awesome (wait, do you know that?). I've always been more of a single-player and co-op kind of guy (not big on competition), so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I like the co-op. But I really like the co-op. It just has a very positive feeling as you can loop around your drone prey with your comrades, sneakily working your way behind and above them from the cover of a column while your ally keeps it's attention long enough for you to get into the perfect flanking position. Communication is minimal, but teamwork abounds. and when you're killing a dozen more drones than you're dying, it's a little bit of a power trip (like almost every single-player experience ever other than dark souls). The whole thing is great fun and I can't wait until it makes it's way to the production build so there's more people to play with. It makes me really excited for whenever the single player is coming.


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#2
Kamikaze_Wombat

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Skeletonbane, I'm not a dev but I'm pretty sure everything you said is planned. Most of it various devs have specifically mentioned. Coop will be so much fun once they get more variety in the bots and the AI :D
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Cat, get off the keyboard!

#3
Skeletonbane

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Skeletonbane, I'm not a dev but I'm pretty sure everything you said is planned. Most of it various devs have specifically mentioned. Coop will be so much fun once they get more variety in the bots and the AI biggrin.png

 

Yeah, I know. But I felt a need to get my thoughts out.

 

Also, yes, it'll be awesome. smile.png


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#4
Swingarm1032

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On the explosions:

I have to agree with Skeletonbane here, but I also have an interesting idea:

 

In Descent 3, the game engine had implemented a "Variable Death Types" system.  What it did was instead of one given type of robot always exploding the same, the robot would given a random probability, would have a hard programmed death sequence that would be chosen (D3 supported up to 4 different sequences per robot)  

I could see in D:U the same kind of system used, where sometimes the robot could do things burst into flames, have its parts fly off at a high velocity, other ways that could be specified.

I also liked in D3 that sometimes things were delayed in the process, like for instance a robot could burst into flames briefly, and then a short time later,  it could explode in a big fireball, ejecting a few smoldering/flaming parts as it does so. 


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My Claws must need sharpening...

#5
Skeletonbane

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On the explosions:like for instance a robot could burst into flames briefly, and then a short time later,  it could explode in a big fireball, ejecting a few smoldering/flaming parts as it does so. 

 

That's pretty close to what they do now.


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#6
defcon_x

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Yes, I am a bit torn.

 

Immersiveness-wise, the varying bot deaths from D3 were astounding for the time. They put so much effort into the fun of blowing things up.

 

Playability-wise, however, I don't think the effort paid off. I would too often bump into bots that should have been "taken care of" seconds earlier, and I strongly agree with skeletonbane's point that they should explode and GTFO of the way.

 

It's a bit like when the D:U exploding debris animations prevent you from pushing through the debris in a fun and immersive manner.

 

In D:U, I think the bots should either go for D1/D2 style clear-the-way explosions or improve on the D3 ones by making it interesting but not interrupt game play. Maybe different color ka-splodies, splosion rings, various kinda sparks, chosen at random. All that nice hypno-stuff.

 

I have to say the present default explosions are beautiful and perfect the way they are in color, brightness, saturation and everything (minus unnecessary death throes because they are robots not players). But if there were going to be more to it, I would go that direction.


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