Putting the AI in Maim

I discussed the game’s enemy AI in Putting the AI in Pain. While I haven’t 100% decided on how exactly the AI system will work, I have been thinking about the roles that enemies will have which has lead to an idea that I haven’t fully fleshed out. Even if the idea isn’t what I eventually go for, thinking about the roles will help.

There are lots of ways to make enemies feel like they are intelligent, but I am going to pick one thing and try doing that well. My aim is to make it look like that if the enemy isn’t performing its role properly, it will change its circumstance to see if it can perform its role better.

I have worked out how to simply keep track of whether the enemy is not living up to its role.  Each enemy is assigned their own individual state card. The text on the state card for all enemies of the same role is exactly the same.

On the enemy stat block, there will be state triggers. This will tell the player to flip the card if the enemy is unsuccessful at a particular thing. If the state card is flipped twice then the enemy has its circumstances changed. The state card will tell the players how to change the circumstance of the enemy. This can be moving the alien to a new destination, targeting a different Hero etc.

To help aid the players in moving the enemies around. Certain sections on the map will have symbols on relating to certain roles. In particular, enemies with the Blocker role will need to move to places that are choke points or sections that are in the way of particular sections that the aliens wouldn’t want the Heroes to get to. Similarly, Snipers will want to move to good vantage points where they can strike without being hurt.

Even if the state card and change of circumstances idea does not work out, I will almost certainly keep the roles for the enemies. Which are as follows:

SNIPER

Will hole up in one place and try and pick Heroes off with precision weapons

THREAT: It hits regularly and does a decent amount of damage.

TOUGHNESS: Dodge – Medium; Will – High; Fortitude Low; Hit Point – Medium.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: If it has not moved since its last attack, it gets a bonus to attacks.

STATE TRIGGER

MISS AN ATTACK: Do A on state card

HIT WITH AN ATTACK: Do B on state card

STATE CARD

SIDE 1                   SIDE 2
A: Flip card to Side 2   A: Sniper destination becomes 
                            the next section that has 
                            a sniper symbol on it then
                            flip card to Side 1
B: Do nothing            B: Flip card to Side 1

 


SKIRMISHER

This enemy is designed to move, hit with a melee attack and then retreat to safety.

THREAT: It hits regularly, but doesn’t do an exceptional amount of damage.

TOUGHNESS: Dodge – High; Intelligence – Low; Fortitude Low; Hit Point – Low.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: It gets three actions compared to the two of other enemies. The third action is to be used to retreat.

STATE TRIGGER

IF THE SKIRMISHER IS HIT: Do A on state card

AT THE END OF THE ROUND: Do B on state card

STATE CARD

SIDE 1                   SIDE 2
A: Flip card to Side 2   A: Target becomes the Hero that 
                            is next Hero on the list then
                            flip card to Side 1
B: Do nothing            B: Flip card to Side 1

SOLDIER

Will draw attacks away from their allies.

THREAT: Hits regularly, but don’t do an exceptional amount of damage.

TOUGHNESS: Dodge – High; Will – High; Fortitude – High; Hit Point – Medium.

SPECIAL ABILITY: Various abilities that ensure Heroes attack soldiers rather than other enemies

STATE TRIGGER

IF THE SOLDIER IS NOT HIT BUT AN ALLY IN AN ADJACENT SECTION IS HIT:  Do A on state card

IF THE SOLDIER IS HIT: Do B on state card

STATE CARD

SIDE 1                   SIDE 2
A: Flip card to Side 2   A: Target becomes the Hero that 
                            is next Hero on the list then
                            flip card to Side 1
B: Do nothing            B: Flip card to Side 1

BLOCKER

This enemy is designed to stay in one place and block the path of Heroes. 

THREAT: It doesn’t hit often but when it does it hits hard.

TOUGHNESS: Dodge – low; Intelligence – average; Fortitude High; Hit Point – High.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Hindering the movement of Heroes in or near its section.

STATE TRIGGER

IF A HERO MOVES INTO SECTION X:  Do A on state card

IF THERE ARE NO HEROES IN SECTION X: Do B on state card

STATE CARD

SIDE 1                   SIDE 2
A: Flip card to Side 2   A: Destination becomes 
                            closest Section that 
                            has a Blocker icon on it 
                            then flip card to Side 1
B: Do nothing            B: Flip card to Side 1

CONTROLLER

This soldier uses weapons that move Heroes around the battlefield or shut down options they have.

THREAT: Hit regularly, but don’t really do damage, it is more about the movement and conditions they impose on the Heroes.

TOUGHNESS:  Dodge – High; Will – Low; Fortitude – Medium; Hit Point – Medium.

SPECIAL ABILITY: Various different abilities (depending on the actual mission) that will affect the Heroes, push them into danger, restrict their movement.

STATE TRIGGER

THE CONTROLLER DOES NOT DO X ON THEIR TURN:  Do A on state card

THE CONTROLLER DOES X ON THEIR TURN: Do B on state card

STATE CARD

SIDE 1                   SIDE 2
A: Flip card to Side 2   A: Target becomes the Hero that 
                            is next Hero on the list then
                            flip card to Side 1
B: Do nothing            B: Flip card to Side 1

 

I hope that the next blog post about AI is the last one I write as I am running out of mean words with AI to use in the blog post title 🙂

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