Define Aliens for your game.
This is probably the most arduous task facing the prospective game designer, as it requires
the most data to be input.
Select ALIENS -> DEFINE ALIEN STATS.
You will be shown a list of aliens to define. To change their name, click on the existing name
and type the new one. You can copy an aliens name and characteristics by clicking on the
appropriate 'COPY' button and clicking on the target space.
You can also change the scale of an alien by clicking on the button near the bottom of the
screen, then clicking on the alien in question, then typing the percentage by which you wish
to scale the alien.
NOTE: The game DOES NOT REMEMBER any previous sizes you have defined for aliens, so if you
scale an alien up by 200%, you CANNOT scale it down again by scaling it by 100% later on.
You must scale it by 50% to reduce it to the first size you gave it.
Clicking on DEFINE CHARACTERISTICS of an alien brings up the following menu:
1. GRAPHIC TYPE:
This can be one of three main types:
The alien will use standard bitmap graphics converted by the OBJECTCONVERTOR
program. The alien will only be lightsourced so far as to be made brighter in
bright rooms and dimmer in dark rooms. This option is the one used in all other
games of this sort.
If you have designed animation frames for a vector alien, you can specify that
you wish to use them by selecting this option.
LIGHTSOURCED PALETTE 1/2/3/4
These options can be selected, but you won't be able to use them because the
support programs for producing lightsourced graphics were not included in this
package. Look out for a coverdisk with tutorials and support programs soon! For
now, you'll have to be content with the options above.
2. [ DEFINE ANIMATION FRAMES ]
If you are designing a BITMAP alien, consult the file
otherwise check out
AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE REST OF THIS FILE!!!
3. Default Behaviour
Aliens can either walk, or fly. This can be indicated by either
WALK RANDOMLY or FLY RANDOMLY
being selected (click to toggle)
4. Reaction time
This is the amount of time the alien must see you for (uninterrupted) before it will notice
you and take appropriate action. If you shoot it and it doesn't die, it will immediately
spot you. This value is measured in 50ths of a second. If your aliens are too easy, try
decreasing this value rather than increasing hit points or whatever.
5. Default Movement Speed
This is the speed which the alien wanders around at when it can't see you and is not attacking.
5 is an average sort of speed, 10 is zippy and more than 10 is ludicrous.
6. Response Behaviour
This is what the alien will do when it notices you; either:
CHARGE Run straight at player, biting and munching him when close enough.
CHARGE TO SIDE Run towards player, keeping out of line of fire, biting when close enough.
ATTACK WITH GUN Execute the 'attacking frames' animation, with each 'action star'
corresponding to a bullet being fired.
There are three more options, identical to the above but for flying aliens.
7. Response Movement Speed
Only used in charging aliens, this governs how quickly the alien will charge.
8. Response Timeout
You can make the alien 'get bored' and stop charging after a certain amount of time. IF you don't
want this to happen, type in a nice big number like 10000, representing over three minutes!
Value is measured in 50ths of a second.
9. Damage Taken Limit -> Retrest
NOT IMPLEMENTED IN THIS VERSION
10. Damage Inflicted Limit -> Followup
NOT IMPLEMENTED IN THIS VERSION
11. Followup Behaviour
Once the alien has executed its attack animation, or has timed out of its response counter,
it will 'followup'. In this mode it can:
Stop dead for a moment, watching you
Move straight towards player (but inflicts no damage when it reaches him).
Approach To Side
Same as above, but keeping out of line of fire.
Same as above but flying
Approach to side flying
Do I really need to explain?
12. Followup Movement Speed
The speed at which the alien will approach you (if at all)
13. Followup Timeout
Assuming the alien can still see you once this timer expires, it will attack again.
This value is measured in 50ths of a second.
14. RETREAT BEHAVIOUR/RETREAT MOVEMENT SPEED/RETREAT TIMEOUT
NOT IMPLEMENTED IN THIS VERSION.
15. NUMBER OF HIT POINTS
The 'toughness' of the alien. Think about how tough you want the alien to be relative to
each of your guns. Do you want it to keel over after a single shotgun blast? Then make its
hit points less than the damage done by your shotgun rounds. Want it to soak up rockets and
laugh chestily? Then make its hit points HUGE, so that the damage of the rocket PLUS its
explosive force (the maximum amount of damage it can do to an alien or yourself) is much
16. Physical Height
How tall is your alien? To make it walk on the ground, a good height to use is TWICE the SH
(Scaled Height) of the animation frames you are using. Notice that aliens CANNOT WALK into
rooms whose floor-ceiling height is LESS than this value, and CANNOT MOVE in rooms which
are too short if you plonk them in there to begin with.
17. Minimum distance to walls
Small or thin aliens can get quite close to walls, so a value of 0 will suffice. But if it's
a fat beasty, a value of 1 or 2 will prevent it squeezing unrealisically into narrow tunnels.
18. Projectiles Ejected Upon Death
Clicking on this will bring up a list of projectiles (bullets) which the alien can splurt out
when it dies. Interestingly, you can make it spit out actual bullets (as long as they are
VISIBLE ones) when it dies, thus allowing sneaky aliens to hemmorhage grenades as their innards
rupture, which makes the player's situation just a little dicey...
Alternatively, you can choose to click on 'Select Alien to spawn instead' and pick a type of
alien. Upon death, the alien will spawn FOUR of the aliens you selected. Please don't be silly
and make aliens spawn themselves, or make them spawn other aliens which in turn spawn them back.
You'll only get annoyed playing the game as hordes of replicating aliens engulf you mercilessly.
19. Auxilliary Object Type:
Click on this and select an object whose frames have been set up correctly.
By 'correctly', what do I mean? Well, if you define a DECORATION object, and make it
look like an animation of a gun barrel flash, you can use it as an AUXILLIARY OBJECT.
At any point in any animation sequence for the alien, you can make the game paste a frame
from the auxilliary object somewhere over the top of the alien graphic. This is how the
muzzle flashes and glaring lights of the various alien guards were produced. Auxilliary objects
may be BITMAP or GLARE/SHADOW, but not VECTOR. If you are not using any auxilliary graphics
on the alien, you don't have to define this value at all.
20. Torch Brightness
Aliens can carry 'torches', illuminating the level in front of them. A value of 30 is a reasonable
torch brightness, whilst a value of 0 indicates no torch.
21. Bullet Source X and Y offsets.
These value indicate how far from the centre of the alien its bullets should originate. This is
largely a matter of trial and error, but remember that negative values mean the bullet comes from
the left or the top, whilst positive values mean the right or the bottom.
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