Canned Spam / The End is the Beginning is the End

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First things first (as opposed to second), I’ve finished the design of the new combat system. The last issues were : Getting the “Staggered” enemy state to work correctly and how an enemy’s attacks would be created. So here’s what I got.
The Staggered Enemy state can happen after a new Thief attack – the Charge Attack. Just like it sounds, you hold the button, the character goes into a charging looking stance (for high or low) and attacks on release. If said attack hits, then the enemy gets staggered, allowing for free hits until they fall down. If they are already staggered, the Charging Hit will look different and deal extra damage – very similar to how the enemies will attack The Thief if he is dizzy. If The Thief is hit, or he releases his attack after the enemy has begun theirs, the Charge will not hit. So it’s a high risk, high reward kind of mechanic.
Speaking of falling down, if the enemy receives a number of quick hits (based on their type) they will be knocked down. When they get up, they will be temporarily invincible. The trick is that their invincible state will last long enough for them to launch an attack if the player is close enough. This will encourage players to not rush.
Right then, the other bit is how the enemy attacks would work. The new concept deals with shorter strings, but more advanced AI. So having a 9 hit string isn’t really feasible. 4 will probably be the upper limit for attack strings. I considered having them be purely randomized like in the original system, but now I think that giving each enemy a set of Strings will work better. This will allow me to speed up the combat since the player can learn to anticipate certain behaviors. I can also have canned combo animations. The colors, will still be used though. I do not want the player to learn by memorization and the colors give the player a chance to use their reflexes to stay safe.
The strings will be designed to be used up close. Close being a relative term. The current AI distancing system works quite well and the new AI will have a modified version of that. Different length weapons works even better in a more mobile combat system. Anyway, the enemy AI will be set up to have 2 movement attacks – like a lunge, run in or jumping attack to get up close. Then chain into the strings.
So, the enemies need attack sequences and animations, and they’re all different and have different values and numbers and blah. This sounds tricky. This sounds hard, this sounds…just like the Object system that I built. My Kung Fu is Strong. I’ll set up some arrays and get it dancing, probably this weekend.

– Right, the second bit of the title. I turned in my final graduation paperwork today. It’ll be official shortly. I’ve found that since I took so many classes in so many different subjects I’ve fulfilled requirements for 3 different kinds of recognition. I’ve an AA, my Game Art Certificate and a CSU Transfer Certificate. In effect, I’ve got 4 years worth of schooling already. Now with that and my CSU Acceptance (hopefuly) I should be able to get the career that I want. Either way, it’s taken me forever, but now, on the other side of it and looking back, I’m glad I did it, and would do it all over again. Probably not the same way, but I think the process and the effort and the kinds of small benefits that I gained (like being able to fashion prose at the level that I do) well worth it.
Looking in the other direction, I’m not out of the river yet. But now, I know I’m at least past the middle. Going forward will be much easier than going back.