Is now live! I'll let you guys find out all the other stuff that was put in. As I mentioned in an edit during the last post, the score converter did not make it in, however, I'd prefer if people played it fresh again. That and I know you'll all find the scores easier to get, or just much more fair this time around.
It's that time of the year again. I'll be away from the internet from Oct.8 - Oct.11 to attend GDC in Austin. (More like 10 minutes away from where I live.) I usually sit in on the design and narrative talks as they cater more to what I find most intriguing about games. Last year I didn't go to any of them as I was helping out the IGDA guys on the Expo floor for most of the time. That and mingling with others around that area, mostly a few hidden Twisted Pixel guys and those at Vigil Games. The narrative group usually meet up at a place called The Ginger Man, after hours, till around 2am in the morning. That's about all to say there.
I think I briefly touched on things like the Shrouds in DT3. That being they do not show up, but a new type of scouting enemy does make an appearance. This time, they're a small group comprised of different units. The group as a whole works almost completely procedural and constantly change up how they're engaging the player. The end goal is I'd like to have them learn and arc their behavior as the game goes on, but learning AI is way harder to do than I thought. At least effectively. That is something that may get cut in the end, but that's not important for the DT3 scouts at this time.
The unit I want to touch on today are the assist bots. Their role is... well to assist the group, and they will actively assess the situation and change what they're doing to suit the needs of the group. It's a completely non-combat unit with the main functions being healing and shielding. Healing is pretty straight forward. Shielding makes the target being shielded completely immune to damage. There are limitations on these. Only one can be used at any given time. To shield a target, it will have to float (the assist bots fly) stationary and focus to keep the shield over the target for as long as they feel the need to. If it wants to heal an ally, it will have to stop the shield. For both healing and shielding, the assist bot will need a direct unobstructed line of sight. Think back to the Aero Bot laser in DT1. Healing has a charge up time before it can be used, and a cooldown time before it can be started again. Units with an assist bot in the group can call out to be healed, which will actually be indicated on-screen. This doesn't mean the assist bot will suddenly prioritize healing that unit, but it does go pretty far up the list of things to do.
Since the assist bots work on figuring out the best way to the group as a whole, especially if I including ways of learning, I knew they would devise ways of completely screwing over the player in certain conditions. Namely, in an attrition based scenario where there are two assist bots, I didn't want them figuring out that all they had to do was point a shield at one another and watch as the player runs about helpless to do anything to them. A few other limitations on their functions were set up. That being they cannot heal or shield another assist bot. The assist bots can priorities fleeing if they feel the need to get out of danger, but they will never ever be able to target themselves or other assist bots. Assist bots do have an auto healing property, but it is slow working and can be disabled by the player.
Some time later, I'll go a bit into some of the other units in the DT3 scouting group. The testers have not been able to see them yet since I usually don't give them unfinished stuff. The scouts are currently in a fairly roughdraft state.