Sprint 5 Review - Big Gameplay Update!
Enemy Behavior Revamp
In previous versions of Pathos, we pushed to give the player much more precise control over the behaviors of enemies. After several iterations of testing the new mechanics, we realized that passing control of the enemies’ actions over to the user interrupted the gameplay and lead to a somewhat choppy experience.
Our solution was to remove the direct control completely. There is no longer a long list of well-defined actions that a player can load into a dart. A dart can now be filled with one specific emotion: Anger, Sadness, Fear, or Joy. Injecting a guard with one of these emotions forces him to behave in a chaotic, yet predictable way. A guard will stay in their modified behavior until the chemicals wear off.
Anger is used to kill other guards and break objects.
When injected with rage, the guard runs to attack the nearest object. His vision cone narrows and gets further to represent his tunnel vision, and if the player or another guard happens to be in his path, he will go out of his way to try and attack them.
Sadness is used to distract guards. It is more of a non-violent way to accomplish your goal.
When injected with sadness, the guard will immediately start sobbing and his vision cone will shrink into himself. This will gather the attention of nearby guards and they will stare at him until he stops crying. This is a great way to control the direction of the guards’ vision cones and will help you sneak passed.
Fear is primarily used to force guards to move to directed areas.
When injected with fear, the guard will run away from anyone close to him, and that includes other guards. His vision cone will widen to the point where it’s an area 360 degrees around him to show his heightened senses. If nobody is near him, he will cower in a ball. This makes it easy for the player to fear a guard, and then lead him to a preferred location.
This new system is meant to make our gameplay feel a lot smoother. It’s a much more refined, simple system that allows the player to pick up the gameplay immediately. Although these behaviors are fairly basic at their core, there is still a lot of room for creativity, chaos, and fun!
Updated Vision Cones
The vision cone is our primary way of representing the emotions of an enemy:
- Pulses show their heart rate.
- Color change corresponding to the emotion they are in.
- Angle/Radius change to match with their emotion to show heightened or lowered senses. e.g. Anger narrows and increases the range of the vision cone to represent rage-induced tunnel vision.
Oh, and the vision cones now project out of their head instead of their knees.
Not all of it is in-game yet, but we have some really great art assets in the making! Below is the model of the guard, and what he looks like in the scene with some environment assets.
We finally started to mess around with some animations. This added a lot to Pathos because it’s hard to convey emotions without the proper animations. There is a lot more polish that has to be done, but here are some examples of our first tests:
Other Random Things
- Yup… literal camera heads! You probably saw them above but I thought I would point it out anyways.
- Backpack that displays the changing values of your resources.
- Crouch functionality that we may or may not use.
- Breakable boxes.
Overall, our team is very happy with how this mini-pivot has turned out. We are super excited to start polishing out all of these new mechanics and to start building some creative levels with them. There is a lot more in the works for this next sprint, so stay tuned!