The Indie Shooter Roundtable: Mak, Cho, And Omega Fire At Will
July 28, 2008 Page 3 of 4
Would you consider your enemy attack formations to be AI or set scripts?
KC: I have interest in writing some kind of AI that controls enemies, that are called boids, that control bullets.
O: Boid is a nice algorithm.
KC: Yeah, it can create very complicated interesting patterns, but it's very difficult to control the moving pattern of the enemies.
JM: I'm always too lazy to learn. I'm a very lazy programmer so I'm just like, whatever's easier, right? So is the algorithm difficult to use? I mean, is the algorithm itself difficult, or is it just hard to control?
KC: I think it's not that complicated and very easy to write down in code, but controlling its behavior is very difficult.
JM: I find that even the simplest rules are enough to create very interesting patterns. Like here, let me show you. [pulls out laptop]
JM: Okay, so on the plane to Japan I wrote this little thing, it's just a little [demo in]... Processing, have you used Processing?
KC: What's Processing?
JM: Processing's awesome. Very easy. So like, five hours. So, can you see the red? So, see - it's very simple behavior. They follow you but then they move away, but it makes it so that, you know, it's still really easy to dodge, but still difficult enough that you have to concentrate.
KC: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Very interesting.
JM: So just very simple rules, and you already get this complex interaction.
Do they just follow for a set period of time?
JM: Well, random.
JM: Well that's what I learned from [Kenta's game] PARSEC47.
ABA Games' PARSEC47
JM: Random is your friend.
KC: Yeah, random is a friend.
JM: So in the end when you collect eight, you eat them.
KC: (laughs) Sometimes the range of enemy movement...
JM: Yeah, so if you go out of range then they stop moving, so it's very simple, but, I don't know, I think that, simple rules, complex behavior.
[To Jon Mak] Do you have any questions for Kenta Cho or Omega?
JM: No, I just have praise.
Well, that's good too.
JM: What do you think about... I have this theory that - okay, so a lot of modern games now have set piece gaming, you know, like Heavenly Sword or something. Scripted events happen, so my theory is that you can have scripted events, but you inject... some sort of randomness, and then every time you play that scripted event again it's always new. So that's, I don't know, have you ever thought of creating sort of randomized scripted events? Cause I notice all your games are completely random.
KC: I think randomness is very important. Especially since I write all the games by myself and I test play my games continuously, I like randomness. Also because the developer can't know how my game... the behavior of the game changes dynamically every time.
JM: That's good, because I really like random, but have you thought of a scripted event that is random? You know what I mean? So like, on the last level it's like there were those spinning things and they go away and the boss comes, but it's still random. What do you think about that?
KC: I tend to write the pattern or script in my games myself, so I try to have minimum sets of script in the minimum sets of algorithm in my game, and another sequence generated from my program. Also, I'm not good at writing scripts or events in my games, so I try to write simple games with random dynamic patterns, but also can be enjoyed by the player; those kinds of random sequences.
Do you have scripts for your game Omega-san? Could you help me explain?
KC: Do you make types of games where you insert randomness into a script, or games where you don't create scripts, or keep scripts to a minimum?
O: I only used scripts for Map, the platforming action game I made in the beginning of the year, and the game I made right before Every Extend, Marunage. Everything else is done by program with numbers to determine properties of the characters.
Yeah, he didn't use scripts before Every Extend.
JM: Did he get money for Every Extend?
O: (laughs and nods)
But not for E4 (Every Extend Extra Extreme for Xbox Live Arcade), right?
KC: You don't know? Is it a secret?
O: It's probably better not to say (laughs).
KC: It's a secret.
O: But I'm happy that a new game under the same series came out.
Q Entertainment's Every Extend Extra Extreme
But you're not working with Q Entertainment now right?
O: I'm working at a different company now.
What kind of company?
O: At a network company.
Is that so? Do it relate to games?
O: It's close to games, but not games.
Have you made games up until now?
O: I guess (laughs). Sometimes I slack off or drop the ball halfway. Yeah. I make them, and I don't make them... on and off.
KC: I also have many games that stop at prototype (laughs).
O: Many prototypes.
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