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I've been thinking about enemy interactions. Like, you know how in Spelunky, things in the dungeon can interact with other things in the dungeon? I was thinking about interactions I would expect, but never see. For example:

  • Triggering a spinny laser and watching it shred nearby enemies
  • Baiting a spider into jumping into a hole (Like how you can bait the spring snake into jumping off the pyramid in Q-Bert. Classic and satisfying!)
  • Side lasers killing enemies that pass through it
Which gets me thinking about a more philosophical question: is the game world designed to kill you, or does everything just... exist? Like in Donkey Kong you're being hunted, and in Frogger the world exists, somewhat indifferent to you. The nature-focused look of Tumbleseed gets me thinking it's more the latter than the former, though obviously the game exists somewhere in the middle.

Anyway! I was wondering if y'all have thought about letting enemies kill enemies. I'm almost always disappointed when it doesn't happen.

Also: Purple followers only having 1HP feels good. Was it 2HP before? Anyway: Love the new feel of that.

yea! this is something we had awhile ago. we even had a whole sort of carnivore/herbivore predator/prey system where the carnivores ate the herbivores and the herbivores ate you. even so, we've tried more general things like you're talking about and it always sort of falls apart because they kill each other and just sitting patiently until they die is nearly always more preferable to interacting with the situation. there is so much danger (holes) all around that even having enemies get killed on spikes can make it so the challenge is removed. i think that's alright some of the time and we might add spikes killing enemies eventually anyhow since they're rare enough but yea...

so right now there are sort of three "classes"

enemies - don't hurt/interact with others, other than spatially, but do hurt/track you.

vineguard - these are the preplanted and planted-by-you weapons/abilities and etc. they can be interacted with by you AND enemies and hurt/heal/help both sides.

tumbleseed - interacts with everything.


so the emergence sort of comes out when enemies and things interact with preplanted weapons/abilities. for instance, if there's a poison laying out there, then an enemy rolls over it, it'll then be infected and possibly infect others, or it could turn invisible, shoot a shotgun, fill holes up all around, cause an avalanche etc.

that's sort of where we like to see that stuff since it can also hurt you, and the vineguard itself then isn't such a part of the player's world but more the space between the tumbleseed and its enemies which we like because the control scheme itself is indirect and you're really the vineguard (the vine you actually control), not the tumbleseed.


that all said, maybe we need to up the amount/quality of preplanted things in the world to get a bit more chaos and interest in the mix. would also help preview a lot of the powers out in the world...

I dig this and tooootally see how the environment could just tear itself apart. There's got to be a good balance between an environment that interacts to certain things, and an environment that exists only to kill the tumbleseed.

The one example that reminded me of a Spelunky-esque moment where you set off a trap and evade it to let it kill enemies:

You know the enemy that hides in a hole and spins its arm around once when you're close? I expected that to hurt nearby enemies. It felt like a trap, and traps seem like they'd be indifferent to the greater world. Can't think of any other examples but that one in particular made me go "awww dang" when it *didn't* kill the enemies I'd lured close to it.

yea that would be cool since you trigger it, maybe we can style that into a vineguard like element or something! it'd be fun to lure enemies near it and set it off while getting outta the way for sur

I like this too! Rad idea :]