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Get to Know Your Enemies: Twerps


Hello Mothergunship fans!

Today I would like to introduce a new series of blog-posts named "Get to know your enemies", where I demonstrate various NPCs that players will face in Mothergunship.

In addition to the Hugbots, a few other familiar faces will be returning from Tower of Guns...however, not all of them are quite the same. The Twerp enemy is a good example of where we can improve on Tower of Guns.

In Tower of Guns, this flying mob was fast, erratic, fired quickly, and always flocked to the player in swarms. They flew in close, and hit the player with volleys of light damage energy blasts. Although they did not do much in the way of damage, the fact that there were always so many of them, and that they were always so hard to hit, constantly pulled the player’s attention away from the things they should have been paying attention to, like the tanks I often spawned them with.
ToG_Twerp I really like this sort of intangible design element. It’s straightforward (although not easy) to adjust numerical relationships like damage, enemy health, and player weapon damage. It’s not so easy to put your finger on just how far away from the player an enemy should try and move to. You can retroactively evaluate why something was or wasn’t successful, but at least initially you must plot down some tests and find something that feels “right”. I thought the Twerp in Tower of Guns felt “right”. I was wrong. The enemy flew too close to the player, moved too fast, and too erratically. The result was a mob that felt “annoying” because even skilled players would have difficulty predicting where the mob would move.
MGS_Twerp_concept_1 So, in Mothergunship I have the chance to correct that. Twerps in Mothergunship are entirely new mobs that only partially share the role with their predecessor. They’ll still spawn in large numbers. They’ll still be a lighter class of enemy and do only light damage to the player, but it’s the intangible stuff we hope to get better feeling this time. Now that I’m no longer a sole developer working pretty much in isolation, we have a much better chance of nailing it. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about game design, it’s that “nailing it” is entirely subjective, and sometimes the rough edges can be smoothed significantly simply by having another voice in the room with you. My hope is that the Twerp will be a good example of this.
MGS_Twerp_animation MGS_Twerps Anyway, I look forward to sharing more info with you in the future about Mothergunship’s development and other enemies you will be facing in the game. In the meantime, if you want to hangout with other hug-bot lovers and chat about the game, you can join our Discord server!

Until then, here’s that list of action items I post in every blog.
1: Wishlist the game on steam
2: Sign up for the Mothergunship mailing list
3: Follow @Mothergunship on twitter
4: “Like” the Mothergunship Facebook page
5: Join us on Discord
6: Or join us on our Forum

Thank you for reading!
Joe Mirabello @blankslatejoe

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