This post is mostly about the design of the Drone AI, but there’s a fairly big contextual section first: that ends at the horizontal line break.
Neon Arena isn’t just a parkour game: I also wanted the player to be attacked, or have some light combat element. My thoughts on this went as such:
- Mirror’s Edge just locks you in a room with it’s enemies until you’ve beaten all of them. This sucks.
- Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst has enemies constantly jumping out just in front of you, and if you run away it spawns a helicopter to chase you. This doesn’t suck, but the helicopter chases always felt a bit abstract, just asking you to run out of an area on the minimap.
- What would be best would be AI enemies that could chase you. However, programming AI to use all the clever walljumps etc that the players can do sounds hard (Even Mirror’s Edge’s jumpy-chasey enemies do only minimal actions).
- So, the solution: flying drones.