Your Gamestar Mechanic Game Enemies and Their Possibilities - dummies

Your Gamestar Mechanic Game Enemies and Their Possibilities

Enemies are often the most complex sprites in the game because you (the designer) must edit them on Gamestar Mechanic to function as effectively as possible, without the player’s control. Before choosing your enemies, you need to understand the qualities exhibited by enemies in general, as described in this list:

  • Only top-down enemies have the Turn Direction trait. This trait lets you modify how the enemy reacts to a solid object. The Turn Direction trait always contains the Reverse, Left, and Right options, allowing the enemy to turn backward, left, or right (respectively) on contact. Some sprites have the Random option for this trait, so that they randomly select a direction when turning.

  • Most enemies have a set amount of health, damage dealt, and speed. These three statistics define the power of the enemy; its movement pattern defines its style. Different enemies have different boundaries for these values.

  • All moving enemies have a Start Direction trait. Top-down enemies can start the game facing Up, Down, Left, or Right. Platformer enemies can only start the game facing Left or Right.

  • Most enemies have a Movement Style trait. You can choose from several options for an enemy’s Movement Style; however, a single enemy generally has only two or three of these options available. A few sprites, such as zombies or dinosaurs, may ignore their movement styles if they find something to follow.

    Currently, here are the different movement styles, as follows:

    • Straight: This is the default motion for all enemies, including those that do not have the Movement Style setting available. With this setting, the enemy moves in a straight line, changing direction only upon contact with solid objects.

    • Patrol: Many enemies have this option available. When selected, the enemy sets boundaries for its own movement: one boundary in its starting space, and another boundary some distance away. You can choose this distance with a slider in the Enemy Settings, which appears when you select the Patrol style. The enemy then moves in a straight line, pacing back and forth between these two boundaries.

      This allows you to restrict enemy movement without solid objects, causing them to stay confined to a certain area or avoid walking off platforms. Note that the boundaries of a patrol are static, so if a patrolling enemy is jostled, it may start behaving oddly in order to stay within its bounds.

    • Random: This movement style is a variation on Straight motion. If an enemy is set to this option, it changes direction (as if it hit a solid object) at random times. If you set the sprite’s Turn Direction to Random as well, the enemy wanders aimlessly around the level.

    • Guard: This movement style is reserved for Naviron lancers and Naviron sentries. They stay in one spot until they catch sight of the avatar, at which point they begin to chase it. However, they can be deceived: If you stay out of their line of sight for too long, they get confused and retreat to their starting space.

    • Follow: This movement style is reserved for VIP sprites. Enemies with this option stay in place until the avatar approaches, at which point the enemy begins following the avatar around.

      There are other sprites that follow the avatar, such as zombies, but those sprites do not have the Follow option. This is because those enemies try to follow the avatar regardless of their settings and can break out of their normal movement styles if the avatar draws near.

    The start direction determines which way the enemy is facing when it appears. The movement style allows the selection of certain specialized patterns, from straight lines to random motion to following and guarding. You can change both of these attributes with the Edit tool.

Understanding general guidelines for enemies

Given the sheer number of enemies available to you, you should understand some of the patterns that different groups of enemies follow, as described in this list:

  • League enemies: Have up to 5 health, 3 damage, and 10 speed.

    The same numbers apply to many sprites outside the main schools (Naviron, Altair, Acheron, and Karakuri), such as Underwater.

  • Acheron enemies: Have up to 10 health, 7 damage, and 6 speed.

  • Altair enemies: Have up to 5 health, 5 damage, and 15 speed.

  • Karakuri and Naviron enemies: Have up to 5 health, 5 damage, and 9 speed.

    The Karakuri Pacer is an exception, having statistics equivalent to League enemies.

  • Karakuri and Acheron blasters: Can fire up to superfast speed, whereas Altair can fire only at medium speed or lower.

  • Naviron enemies: Are quite unconventional and have special abilities, geared for specific situations.

    These abilities are either energy-themed (consumption and hunger) or medieval-based (spears and shields).

Using enemy motion patterns

You should be familiar with the basics of how enemies are able to move. However, there are a lot more possibilities you can discover by tweaking the parameters of your enemy sprites.

For example, if a sprite has a straight movement style but a random turn direction, the sprite moves in a straight line and turns in a random direction whenever it hits an obstacle. However, if the sprite has a random movement style and a turn direction of reverse, it shuffles back and forth erratically.

If a sprite has a patrol range and a random turn direction, it can lead to some strange behavior that you may not find very useful.