I certainly have some work ahead of me if I wish to have this project finished by Monday, and sleep deprivation is beginning to take its toll. I’m weak, I know.Today I have focused on completing the code for unit generation, and have written the code for generating art for Unit Attachments utilising a system similar to that used to change unit component dimensions in relation to a unit’s specifications.
To recap, a Unit Attachment is basically the weapon attached to the unit. The attachment defines the abilities of the unit (allowing the unit to attack with, for example, rockets or machine gun fire), as well as specifies a number of rules which the unit must respect.
Attachments play a major role determining the way units interact with each other. The number of different attachment types has been limited to four, ensuring the player can easily learn the function of each attachment, retain this knowledge, and be able to use this information during gameplay to determine and predict how units will interact.
The following is a breakdown of each attachment, with an image displaying a typical unit with attachment.
The units shown have values of 3 for the speed, armour and range Unit Specifications. For those just joining us, Unit Specifications were discussed in yesterday’s post.
Despite being the strongest direct attack, units with the rocket launcher attachment are prone to becoming “committed” to a target. If a unit with a rocket launcher engages an enemy, the unit becomes unable to take additional commands or resume pathing until either itself, or the enemy is destroyed. This has strategic implications and players must be careful how they deploy their rocket launcher units, or risk having them become unwillingly committed to a target, unable to pursue other goals.
A rocket launcher unit will automatically engage enemies within range, and will automatically counter-attack an enemy (moving within range, if required).
Increasing the unit types attachment level improves the rocket launcher’s rate of fire.
The zapper is the only attachment capable of attacking multiple enemies simultaneously. While an enemy is within range, the zapper will target it with a sustained attack inflicting damage over time. If additional enemies enter the units range, the zapper will also engage those, spreading it’s damage load evenly between the targets.
The zapper attachment excels at defensive roles, and can be used by a player to engage and commit multiple enemies. When the zapper engages enemies, it is also committed, unable to path.
By upgrading the unit’s attachment level, the shield is projected further from the unit and wider, deflecting weapon fire from a wider range.
As each attachment has it’s own sets of rules, units with different attachments can be used to handle a situation in various ways, allowing the player to experiment with and develop their own strategies. Coupled with the Unit Specification system, the player (and enemy formations) will have freedom in creating and deploying units with varied abilities, while maintaining a core understanding of the rules dictating unit interaction.
Unit Demonstration Application
The following link will download a vary simple application that I have been using to develop and test the unit visual design system. The application will allow you to adjust a unit’s specifications and view the affect they have on the unit’s visual profile.