How I design enemies

Hey everyone, Conash here! First, I’d like to remind everyone that the public devstream is this Saturday! Now normally here’s where I’d talk about my current scripting project, but NoMoshing already gave you all the cliff-notes and there’s not anything more that I can add on the matter. While I do have a few ideas of some other scripting stuff that I’d like to squeeze into this update I can’t guarantee I’ll have time to do those so I’ll save that talk for another time, which leaves me really with talking about the newest task that I’ve taken up, enemy design.

While I’m far from an expert, I thought you all might still appreciate hearing how I go about it. In regard to common enemies I try to think in terms of the various ‘roles’ that the player characters come in (damage, tank, debuffer, and support) and since we’re a fair amount into the game I feel pretty comfortable assuming the player is properly equipped to handle a ‘full deck’ of enemies. I make sure to talk about what types of enemies we’d be fighting with NoMoshing and try to figure out a good range to fill those various roles. On top of that I also like to fit in little tidbits about the enemies in their design (surprised no one’s pointed out yet that the Devout Clerics have a bit of a surprising magic selection). Beyond that there’s not a whole much too it, I make sure that their various strengths/weaknesses both make sense and are consistent with that type of enemy among other things.

Bosses however get a bit more thought put into them. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I personally like my bosses to have a unique feeling to them, they should be a boss in more than just numbers. With the last quest, I had to play around a bit including changing enemy behavior in the entire game to be able to pull it off that the main boss would switch between an offensive spell and then a support spell with his two actions, throw in that the offensive spell goes from single target to an AoE once he drops below 50% health and you’ve got a very good incentive for players to take out the other bosses first. It might be a bit light in terms of being unique behavior, but with four boss enemies you can’t really go too over the top, whereas the upcoming boss for the Cannibal Corps finale I’m probably getting a bit too hands on with them…. Let’s just say, I’m not exactly a fan when bosses become RNG-dumb.

Though, another thing about these sorta boss gimmicks that I feel is important is that the player shouldn’t be caught completely unaware of it, whether you can figure it out if you pay attention to the story of the quest, by seeing some minors have a weaker version of the behavior, or maybe even I bug NoMoshing to throw some dialogue in somewhere hinting at it, I feel that a player should be able to get a good idea of what to expect from the boss’ behavior before it’s risked wiping out their entire party. I might give up on this particular little practice later on so that bosses aren’t easy to predict, but I imagine many of the less observant players may have a few surprises in store for them.

Anyway, that’s probably more than enough rambling about enemy design for you all, see ya later!


2 Replies to “How I design enemies”

    1. I used the Clerics to give a little taste of the boss in advance, they have almost the exact same move set as the “Imperalist Wizard” except they only have a single target buff while the Wizard has a full party version of the same buff, aside from that their magic pool is completely identical even if their behaviors are slightly different.

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