Over the last few weeks, we've been developing Aelizia's first antagonist, the guards that keep the order inside Theo's residence. Her first main goal, to escape from the place that is holding her captive, will only be possible if she manages to either stun or avoid the guards that stand in her path.
After revealing the guards' concept design, it's now time to explain how they're being developed in Unreal Engine. As you might have already realised, the guards are non-playable characters whose actions are controlled through Artificial Intelligence. In short, the AI’s Behaviour Tree is divided into two parts: "Patrol" (each guard follows its own circuit around certain areas of the castle) and "Spotted player" (when they see Aelizia, they stop patrolling and focus on her instead).
The guards' "default" mode is the "Patrol" action. To be able to keep order inside Theo’s residence (and later Mirstone itself), and make sure that everything is as it should be, they are spread out throughout several areas of the castle, making short patrol cycles.
When the guards spot Aelizia, there are two possible scenarios: they can spot her from a long or short distance. If she is spotted from a long distance, players will have about three seconds to move away from the guard's line of sight before the perception widget becomes full. If players are unable to get out of the guard's line of sight in time, the guard will run that room's exit to warn the other guards, and players lose the game and have to restart from the nearest checkpoint.
If she is seen at a short distance, that guard’s perception widget will be filled instantly. Then, the guard will start chasing Aelizia to catch her. If he gets close enough to her, players lose the game and have to restart from the nearest checkpoint.
If there’s a guard following Aelizia and players hide behind an object or barrier of sorts, although the guard loses sight of her, he will continue to follow players for the next 5 seconds, and then he gives up and returns to his designated patrol circuit.
Last, but not least, we also had to consider what happens when the guards are attacked by Aelizia. As we've mentioned when we explained Aelizia's Light Ability, players can use this ability to shoot light rays at the guards to stun them and let Aelizia keep moving forward. Therefore, when guards are attacked by Aelizia, there are two possible scenarios: they can be hit in the head or in another part of the body. If they are hit straight in the head, they will be immediately stunned:
However, hitting another area means that more light rays will be needed to knock out the guards:
Next, we'll be moving on to Eclipsed's User Interface design. UX flowchart, prototype and tests, UI screens, HUD concept and icons, logo studies... there are many things in the oven, all to be revealed soon!