Scott, a friend of mine, was kind enough to give me a great deal on some AI development work.
While I have been working on some new art work, tweaking and bugfixing some gameplay stuff and overhauling some game design concepts…the most exciting thing to talk about right now is Scott’s work on AI. We have bots, folks!
Here’s a video of the AI completely kicking my butt. And this has made me realize we have a pretty major game design problem. Shields suck. Currently you can raise your shield to block an incoming projectile. But it’s better than that: not only do you block it, it becomes yours. So you can reflect an enemy spell back at them. Using shields consumes mana at a high rate. But observe how the AI has exploited this. They raise shields for such a fractional amount of time that the effective mana consumption is near zero. This makes them essentially invincible. If they run themselves out of mana firing spells they are vulnerable but only for a tiny window of time.
A core goal for Wishard is that it be playable by a range of ages and skill levels. Advanced players will be able to exploit this similar to the computer, requiring major “cheats” as handicaps to level the field for new players. To me, that means it is a broken mechanic. There will be major changes to shields in the future. Maybe even the entire mana system.