Core Dump - Work In Progress
August 20, 1997: Promo online, we would love to hear your opinion!
And now the promo has been online for ... two days. Now you can understand, ofcourse, that I would like to get some feedback!
The promo manual explains most things, but I must add that there is a secret item (a weapon) to be found, that is not mentioned in the manual! See if you can find it.
Click here to send me some feedback(E-mail) on the CoreDump promo! Your findings can help us improve the game. Too quick? Too slow? Did you complete the promo?
A little technical bit once again. In platform games, most enemies just trundle left and right or follow some set pattern. As you can see in the promo, enemies in CoreDump can also jump over or onto obstacles, decide if they should fall into gaps, and run over rolling hills etc., thus chasing the player much more efficiently.
It is not too difficult to design really smart enemies, but the problem is that your design must result in very fast code, or it's just not interesting anymore. Example. The "walkers" in the Argonoid Passage (get the promo!) only test 0,1 or 2 map blocks per frame. Checking the exact contents of a map-block (to decide whether it can walked on, or if it's water, or spikes...) is quite a costly operation (because e.g. coordinates have to be transformed into a map-address - multiplication is costly on a Z80..). So you would try to avoid that.
The walkers need only this little bit of information because they "remember" blocks they've already scanned in their behavioral-states. And they scan 2 blocks per frame when "judging" the height of an obstacle in from of them. All this results in fast execution times for each enemy per frame, and that is obviously a good thing.
I will shortly explain more about "how to code enemies". Bye for now.