Gregor Smith - Game Designer

Bannochburn

Bannochburn (formerly Petrichor) started as a simple UX/UI experiment I made alone in Unity to create an FPS controller evocative of games like Halo and Metroid Prime. I am now in the process of turning Bannochburn into a fully fledged project.

The player takes the role of a disgruntled scavenger tasked with boarding an abandoned space ship and acquiring its blackbox data. While on the ship they find security systems still online and have to eliminate and avoid them while they search the environment for clues regarding what happened to the ship.

The game has heavy emphasis on a scanning system where the player can examine the environment through a scanner screen and identify terminals, computers, and machines that hold relevant information. This system acts as a puzzle mechanic as well as a way to deliver the narrative.

Combat is intended to build tension with an Alien style motion tracker. The player’s weapons were to include a thunder shotgun and laser rifle, each with in-combat and out-of-combat uses.

As of December 2018 much of the weapons and combat has been changed to better fit the time I had to work on the project. The laser rifle was modified into a purely out-of-combat tool and the thunder shotgun had its out-of-combat uses removed. The motion tracker, while still capable of building tension, became a guidance tool more than anything else. Indicating scannable objects as well as enemies.

I am currently in the process of preparing Bannochburn for a Steam release!

This project is in process so check back later if you want to read more!

The Enemy A. I.

One of my main goals with Bannochburn was to get more experience with A.I. design and implementation. I decided to try something simple with two types of enemies. Static turrets and mobile drones.

The turrets work simply by identifying the player in a radius in front of them, sound an alarm, and begin firing. The alarm and charge up to begin firing was an important process to inform the player and give them time to respond. Once they start firing the damage and fire-rate mean the player is very likely to die (or at least take significant damage). This means they function great as a way to threaten the player and keep them out of areas. Their placement can further enhance this effect. Placing a turret behind a door that opens slowly provides and opportunity for tension and a slight scare that works great for the mood of the game.

The drones work as a far more active threat. They use Unity’s Navmesh system to work their way toward the player after they have identified the player’s location. Prior to finding the player they will patrol a simple path. Once they have the player’s location they will pursue them between rooms (up to a tether range) and seek out their last known location if they lose them.