Good morning! This is in danger of becoming a regularity but don’t worry! I’m away for the next 2 weeks so there is no danger of this becoming a regular feature just yet.
Lets start with the video:
The most notable addition this week is a new enemy called a “Bumble”. Bumbles are so named because they bumble around the arena in a pseudo random fashion bumping into each other and occasionally the player. I wanted an enemy that would be unpredictable and serve to reduce the amount of empty space in the arena which would make it more difficult to just kite the “Grunt” enemies.
The wandering behaviour is based on this article although since I don’t have an infinite playing field to work with I added in some code that pushes the steering force back towards the middle of the arena the closer to the edge they get (although it’s not so strong that they don’t sometimes just bounce off the arena wall).
I’m learning some things about shoot-em-ups that I never realised before but which tie in with Deathmatch style level design.
For example – Power-ups exist not to make the player more powerful but as a way to get the player to move somewhere specific rather than just moving into the space with the least enemies. As enemies often spawn a Power-Up when they die; and this is often in the middle of other enemies, this forces the player to make a risk-reward decision. This is exactly the same as placing Power-up in a Deathmatch level where the best weapons get put in the most exposed and least defensible places.
Finally if you want to read about the more technical work that went on this week (most of my time was spent refactoring code rather than adding new features) then check out this post on the UDK forums where I talk about Actor pools, memory fragmentation and Pawns being overweight.