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Enemy AI Mechanic?

10 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/22/2013

Hello All,

First let me say what a great source of info this forum is. I have gained a ton of knowledge from the various topics on this forum.

I have been working on an idea I had for a co-op game based on the falling skies series. essentially its a race against time. The aliens have put up a grid that would wipe out humanity in 30 days unless it is destroyed.

Currently I have the aliens starting out with a set number of aliens and robots on the board with reinforcements coming at certain rounds in the game.

After the players take their turns the aliens move then they attack.

The issue I am having is that right now it feels like a zombie survival game.

are there any enemy AI mechanic other than move and attack?

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
Hold and defend

If the aliens are defending their grid, then the AI should be to stay close to the installation and defend. Maybe they will spread as far as they can maintain a perimeter and fallback to seal any perimeter gaps.

Joined: 01/22/2013
The aliens are not defending

The aliens are not defending the grid. The grid is more like a shield placed over the earth that sucks the life out of human. The aliens forces are on a search and destroy mission for earths last defense a group of soldiers and civilians who are developing a weapon to destroy the shields power source.

JackBurton's picture
Joined: 04/16/2013
I think that the first

I think that the first question you have to answer is: what is the target of alien minions?
If they only want to kill all the players, you'll have something very similar to a zombie game...

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
You might want to take a look

You might want to take a look at my starcraft solo variant:

I this game, the AI and player can "Attack", "Build", or "Research".

Joined: 11/05/2009
Have a look at the AI in

Have a look at the AI in Gears of War board game for a simple example.

1) Different aliens do different things.
2) Aliens do different things in different situations

If alien is A, and situation is B, do C. Else do D
If alien is E and sitation is...

To see how simple rules can mimic complex behaviour, check this out:

Different AI actions?
Move X, move y, move z, attack, retreat, group, regroup, scatter, heal, spawn, kamikaze, surrender

Different situations?
If aliens is X distance from PC.
If alien is alone
If alien group is at least x units
If alien group is less than x units
If alien group is stronger than PC group
If alien group is weaker than PC group

Joined: 07/12/2013
You mention that more aliens

You mention that more aliens are added during particular rounds. Could you have them spawn when 2 or more are contiguous? Could there be emergent properties when 2 or more are together? Maybe there movement changes? Maybe they harm each other if they are too close to each other (a negative property)?

Joined: 01/22/2013
larienna wrote:You might want

larienna wrote:
You might want to take a look at my starcraft solo variant:

I this game, the AI and player can "Attack", "Build", or "Research".

Thanks I will take a look at the link.

I've hit a wall with this. Right now it feels a lot like zombicide with aliens which is not what I was going for. Currently working on a couple other ideas as well, may table this one for now and get back to it later with a fresh perspective.

Thanks for the feedback. Like I said before this site has been a great source of info.

Joined: 12/25/2012
AI Mechanics

What I'm doing for my game is using Monster Combat Dice (MCD), since monsters will generally be ran by AI. Monster cards list attacks, spells, or tactics (ie Defend, Run Away from enemies, heal, etc), and players roll the MCD to determine what the monster does.

In my game, each attack, spell, or tactic will dictate who they attack (such as a minotaur may charge the furthest character, or the lich will paralyze the closest character and then move towards the further enemy, setting up his next attack).

Likewise, in the case of my game, I could have set the MCD to also determine the target, as well as the attack/action, but this could result in obviously dumb decisions and would require design complications.

Abilities your aliens could have may include healing, defending, reproducing/summoning/fusing, or applying some status to enemies (as opposed to just damage) such as slowing or weakening.

Hope this helps,
Twenty Percent

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

You've all probably noted this month's GDS includes an A.I. element. This thread already offers great ideas for some AI.

The GDS:

Joined: 08/19/2013
if then variable

Have you ever tried an if then variable? I'll make my example in drawing an AI card, but you can apply this to other AI mechanics.
Ex: the combat card you draw dictates a situation like, if wounded, if on base, if healthy.
You could randomize the effect like:
If wounded then: heal self, return to base, self destruct.
If on base then: reinforce self, move to nearest unoccupied area, repair robot.
If healthy then: charge nearest player, move to adjacent player hex, go and guard base.

I hope this helps, but you have to decide what mechanics you would like to implement first, then you could program the percentage of how seldom a unit take an action based on the status they are in. Thus create a personality of each unit (so they won't be as dumb as a zombie).

Hope this helps.

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