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Operation Phantasm Devblog #5

February 7, 2017

After a lot of play tests our team has determined that a few things need to change. One major change is the mental systems outright complexity. Right now it is to complex for players to parse on the fly during our frantic engagements. We decided that removing despair was the best course of action because of its relatively weak contribution to the mental system as a whole. It was determined to be the weakest because losing accuracy on a player unit ended up being unnecessarily brutal, even after many tweaks to the amount and rate at which it happened. Players like to feel in control and low accuracy rating takes away from that feeling. It was also leading to frustration for players who where in very tight situations that needed those shots to land. A second major change was that the mental system did not feel very impactful on game play, the following changes were our first iteration on addressing this.


Save system:

  • Enables persistent negative traits from delusion gains, through saves and levels.

  • Can continue a previous game or start a new one.

  • Starting a new game clears all negative effects.

Reworked Mental system:

  • Despair has been removed from the game.

  • Fear and delusion now gate at 20/40/60/80

  • Fear rolls for a temporary negative effect when fear reaches 100.

  • Delusion rolls for a permanent negative effect when delusion 100.

  • Delusion is gained by using delusion based abilities.

Each character now has two abilities.

Added a delusion type ability that adds delusion to the character that uses it. This type of ability has a shorter cool down than regular abilities and is much more powerful.


Added abilities:

  • AoE Storm (delusion ability)

    • Does moderate damage to both enemies and friendlies.

    • Slows enemies and friendlies moderately.

  • AoE Heal (delusion ability)

    • ​​Heals friendlies greatly in an area.

  • AoE slow (delusion ability

    • ​​Slows enemies greatly in an area.

  • Rocket (delusion ability)

    • Deals high damage to enemies and low damage to friendlies in an area.

    • Fires out a rocket that explodes on impact.

Here are some examples of the bugs I fixed this week:

Ray cast ability aiming object is spawning way off of the player unit.

- The fix was to re-position the prefab then have the script re-scale the aiming box based on the size of the targeting box as set in the scriptable object.




Main menu failed to animate upon loading to the main menu scene from the level.

- The fix was to make sure the timescale was 1 when starting the main menu.


Radial fill for the ability cool down was not operating properly.

- The fix to this was an else statement that was suppose to be down one set of brackets. 


This coming week I will be working on implementing new AI and behaviors for our enemies. The one type of enemy we have now is very unsatisfying to play against and hogs a lot of performance since it is pretty much a duplicate of the player's code base with automated behavior handling on top of that. The new AI not only be more light weight but also fit the theme of our game more and create more interesting combat situations tailored to our player unit's kits.


The enemies that will begin to be implemented this coming week are as follows:


Core enemies

Fast weak, melee, attacks as a part of a group

  • Weak melee hits (swarms target)

  • High RoF

Fast weak, ranged, attacks as part of a group, or small squad

  • Low RoF low damage ranged attack

  • Casts AoE attacks on clusters of players.

Fast weak, suicide melee, attacks as a part of a group, or small squad

  • Explodes after a short time of being near a player

Special enemies

Slow strong, melee, can attack solo or as a part of a group

  • Low RoF high damage melee attack

  • Small AoE smash attack in melee range

Slow weak, ranged, alerts nearby enemies.

  • When this type detects players, it creates a large alert node.

  • Buffs nearby enemies

Slow strong, spawner, attacks as a part of a group

  • Spawns groups of fast weak, melee units.

Boss Enemies

Level 1 boss + room


Our team has really good chemistry in general. We are all perfectionists and hard workers so a lot gets done every week. This in my mind, is a requirement for the genre of game we are creating. There is so much nuance in real time strategy games that players take for granted. We are having to take this all into account while also learning what makes good balance, design, and pacing in a real time strategy game. 


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