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Are Game Creators Creating Enemies They Cannot Control?

I recently watched a concept video made by a game programmer who explained how there are two very important parts to the type of game he makes (Solo Combat). The Player and the Player’s point of view and then there are the Enemies.

The Enemy in such a game relies almost exclusively on AI (artificial intelligence) to know how to behave. The essential behaviour associated with an enemy is it’s ability to challenge the player. They force the player to think, strategise and execute that strategy. Also a programmer will introduce new behaviours along the way to keep the game fresh for the player.

Once the player works out how to understand and beat the behaviours of an enemy then new strategies are introduced to keep the player engaged.
Players are often given an ‘evade’ mechanic ie. the ability to avoid the challenge of an enemy. So an enemy needs to be given a mechanic that will challenge that evade mechanic. An example of this is to have a number of enemies swarm or surround the player to force him to escape or have enemies that are able to launch projectiles at the player forcing him to dodge.

Having a variety of behaviours being instigated by enemies gives the player the need to decide which enemies to deal to first and which to avoid altogether.
Very often there are two basic types of ‘minions’ created as enemies. The first are Melee minions who will attack as soon as the see the player and then there are the ranged minions called ‘Bosses’ who wait and watch the player for an opportunity to attack. These Bosses are often bigger than the Melee minions and when they attack they have a wide variety of abilities that will surprise the player.

The programmer creates some code called an ‘AI controller class’. This is basically the brain which runs other classes like ‘the behaviour trees’. These are fundamentally decision trees that make decisions depending on the information that is gathered and stored in the program. This logic is executed in random or structured behaviours and speeds. These executed behaviours are also called abilities and some abilities may even include strategies against fellow enemies, even the ability to damage each other.

The programmer needs to be aware that it is possible to fall into the trap of continually creating new enemy archetypes and behaviours. This can be an infinite loop of AI abilities that is a pit ready to capture and contain the unwary who chose to travel the path of game creation.

You can watch the complete video.. Here

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