Cheat Sheet

Gamestar Mechanic For Dummies

From Gamestar Mechanic For Dummies by Jacob Cordeiro

The enemies in Gamestar Mechanic always follow simple patterns determined by modifying their settings with the Edit tool. These settings let you set up enemies to work just the way you want in your game. To build all sorts of interesting challenges for players, you should understand some of the possible combinations of arrangements and settings for enemies, each of which can produce unique components. Discover how to apply each enemy movement style to its fullest extent.

The Straight Movement Style for Gamestar Mechanic Enemies

In Gamestar Mechanic, an enemy with the Straight movement style is the most predictable: It moves in a straight line until it hits a solid object, at which point it turns and continues moving. The Straight motion pattern can create several different routes, depending on the enemy's turn direction:

  • Reverse: An enemy set to Straight and Reverse moves back and forth in a straight line, turning back whenever it bumps into something. This simple motion path is popular in basic navigation games, where the avatar must run through the level while predicting and avoiding enemies.

  • Left or Right: This interesting setting makes the enemy turn counterclockwise or clockwise upon contact with a solid object. For example, if this type of enemy is placed in a rectangular room, it runs around the border of the room. If you trace the route that this enemy will take, placing blocks in its path to alter its pattern, you can send it on some interesting courses that provide a tricky challenge for the player.

  • Random: A Straight motion pattern with a Random turn direction is a strange blend. When this type of enemy hits a solid object, it has a random chance of turning left or right — or back around. This type of enemy randomly bounces between obstacles, making it an interesting foe in levels with lots of walls and nonlinear spaces.

Use the straight motion style for enemies that move in only one direction, or take special routes bordered by walls or platforms, whether back-and-forth or more complex.

The Patrol Movement Style for Gamestar Mechanic Enemies

In Gamestar Mechanic, an enemy using the Patrol movement style sticks to its territory. Rather than turn only when it collides, this enemy changes direction in order to stay inside a certain predefined area.

The Patrol Range setting appears whenever you select this movement style, allowing you to specify how far the enemy is willing to travel. If you set a patroller's turn direction to Random, it acts as though it has the straight movement style. Like enemies using the straight movement style, patrol-style enemies function differently based on their turn direction, as described in this list:

  • Reverse: When this enemy travels as far as its patrol range allows, it reverses direction and returns to its original position, only to reverse again and continue moving. The enemy then paces back and forth over a set distance, making it useful in platformer games when you don't want a non-pacer-style enemy to fall off a ledge.

  • Left or Right: Rather than patrol over a line, this enemy runs around in a square shape, with side length determined by its patrol range. For example, an upward-facing enemy with a patrol range of two moves two spaces up, two spaces to the side, two spaces down, and two spaces back to its starting position. These enemies make interesting revolving patterns that you can apply to make pinwheels or other rotating dangers for the avatar.

  • Random: This setting can lead to some weird behavior. Some sprites move randomly within a two-by-two space, others run in place, and still others abandon their patrol ranges completely. Applying patrollers with this setting can be difficult — you may want to use different settings instead.

Patrolling enemies have lots of applications, especially when you don't want to use blocks to keep their movements in line. However, if a patroller falls or is pushed off its path, it may have trouble returning to its territory. This enemy is best left to its own devices, without the nuisance of dealing with elements such as gravity or motion blocks.

The Random Movement Style for Gamestar Mechanic Enemies

Enemies with random movement styles in Gamestar Mechanic turn around whenever they feel like it. Though they generally move in a straight line, they often turn with no warning — and, sometimes, with less than a second's delay between turns. This can make a game somewhat luck-based, but some well-placed randomizers can make for an exciting experience.

You can modify these Turn Direction settings:

  • Reverse: The enemy erratically runs back and forth along a straight line, occasionally reversing direction. This setting is helpful for keeping randomized enemies under control because the Reverse setting forbids them from leaving a certain line.

  • Left or Right: The only thing keeping these enemies from behaving with total randomness is one strange little rule: They can turn only counterclockwise, or clockwise, depending on the settings. Enemies with these settings are therefore easier to predict and avoid, and they tend to stay near their starting positions because they're constantly backtracking.

  • Random: This enemy's behavior is entirely random, running about with nowhere to go. A few of these enemies can add some eccentricity to a game, though you probably don't want a whole level full of them.

Random enemies work well as energetic wanderers that make your game different each time.

Miscellaneous Movement Styles for Gamestar Mechanic Enemies

A few enemy sprites in Gamestar Mechanic are distinctive in that some miscellaneous motion styles — Guard, Follow, and Intrinsic — are specific to only them. Have a look:

  • Guard: This enemy waits in place until an avatar passes within its line of sight. (The avatar must be in front of the enemy, and the game must be the top-down style.) If the enemy sees its target, it begins to follow the avatar; however, if it loses sight of the avatar for too long, it becomes confused and returns to its post.

    Though the Turn Direction setting is unimportant here, the start direction is vitally important — it determines which way the guard faces, and thus determines what the guard can see.

  • Follow: Similarly, this style makes the enemy wait for an avatar to draw near, at which point the enemy starts to follow it. This basic style is reserved for VIP sprites, which stay close to the avatar for protection from more malicious enemies.

  • Intrinsic styles: Some Gamestar Mechanic enemies actually abandon their patterns to pursue their own goals. For example, Naviron grazers always run away from gnashers and grab nearby food, whereas undead chasers hunt down the avatar when it gets close. For these enemies, the motion pattern you set for them just has to point them in the correct general direction — after the enemy finds its goal, it handles the rest.

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