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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: AI "hidden" mechanics in shooter? rss

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Daniel Johansson
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Hello!
I’m working on a semi-abstract shooter where you and your team mates control one guy each with a gun fighting AI enemies. Instead of having a grid there will be location cards in a row as the playing field. You may move from location to location as do the enemies.

The question is: have you seen any “invisibility” or “hidden” game mechanisms for AI enemies? Or do you have any ideas on how to implement this using an AI? I want to have a scary enemy that hides… think Predator.

Before you say “well, it all depends on your system”, let me say that I have been inspired by Gears of War, Space Hulk, Castle Ravenloft and Apocalypse Chaos. You and enemies are represented by cards that are placed next to the location where you are at. You have a hand of cards that let you move, attack or do some special actions (for example a Perception Check, maybe to find hidden enemies?). You may take cover at certain locations, you may become pinned/shaken if you get stressed e.g. if a lot of fire is coming your way.

Big thanks!
 
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Martin Heslop
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Maybe have a deck at the location, which is triggered at a certain point (movement, action, etc.), including hidden traps, or stealthy enemies, maybe also positive effects on rare occasions? However, this way the player knows that something is going to happen, but what it will be is random and therefore "hidden".
 
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Freelance Police
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Can the critters be shot while invisible?

You could do a War of the Ring mechanic. The players know the most recent unhidden position of the unit, and a tracker progresses. The further the progress, the further away the unit is. Sort of like Shroedinger's Cat, the unit could be anywhere within the range dictated by the tracker, and only once the player commits resources to a target area can they find the unit. So with an AI, the unit is reduced to a *probability*. The further away from the unhidden position, the less chance of encountering the unit on a particular space within range.

So... I would go with a probability mechanic. If I don't know where the monster is, the probability it is in any particular square is equal and small. If a card says the critter shoots at me from the north, the probability of it being behind me RIGHT NOW is zero, and in front of me is higher. But if it stops firing and I hide, there's a chance it's trying to flank me, and if I just hide for a few turns, the probability of it being to my side increase. And so on.

Not sure how I'd do it for a row of cards. Perhaps just toss dice for a skill check, with fewer dice as the creature is given more time to be invisible?
 
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David Fox
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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set has locations where the main bad guy (villain) and his henchmen 'hide' in each of the location decks (6 in a four player game) - if the Villain is encountered but not all the other locations are blocked (closed), then he escapes to fight another day.

Sounds similar.
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T. Dauphin
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Linked to Blindly into the Fog of War Guild.

 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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If it is a card game and you need your enemy to be hidden, then playing that kind of an enemy face down (special backs to define him) and having a mechanics to shuffle it back to decks after facing it up and missing a chance to kill it, ergo placing it under small piles of other cards and moving it around through deck is something that you need. Of course, that enemy must have a very 'hard hitting' event or specialty when faced up, one that will form a 'this thing is scary to face OMG help me Jesus if it escapes again' mood around it.

Think about that and how to form an AI script that will prolong the time between fights with that kind of enemy and make him 'pop out' in the most inconvenient times.

 
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Craig M
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Could you explain how you are using location cards? Are they laid in a row, so players can only move left or right? Or a grid, with 8 possible directions from each position?

 
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Manuel Ingeland
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In Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, you go hunting and hence encounter wild animals. If you fail killing them they are shuffled into another pile, a deck of events that happen in your camp at night. The bear strikes back while you're sleeping!
Also, most of the cards in the game have two parts: the event in the upper half happens right after drawing the card. Then, you must hurry up to fulfill its demands. Otherwise, the lower half will be triggered towards the end of the round.
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Daniel Johansson
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Arcuate wrote:
Could you explain how you are using location cards? Are they laid in a row, so players can only move left or right? Or a grid, with 8 possible directions from each position?

As it is now, location cards are on a single row. They connect to their neighbors, but some location cards let you move two spaces. Though limiting, I've decided to try this out in order to make the AI work better (less choices).

The idea is that most enemies will not have any stealth skills, but rather just move around and shoot at the players.
However, one of the bosses is a melee specialist and will use stealth to sneak up on the players.

Thanks for all great suggestions!
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