Creating a New Enemy in Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

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Creating a New Enemy in Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

One of the most important components in the Geometry Wars games is the enemies. The new update for Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved has a range of new enemies, so I thought it might be interesting to give you an insight on the process on how we implement them into our game.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

First up we have to have a reason why we want to bring an enemy into the game. There are a variety of reasons; sometimes they can help us explore a new level concept, other times they can be to provide a new strategy for the player to learn in the battle. In the case of this new enemy, which we’ve nicknamed Battenberg (after the cake), we wanted to create a scenario where the player would have to consider where they are shooting, as it could increase their current level of jeopardy.

Next up is the behavior. Geometry Wars is a very intense shooter, and we can have a lot of enemies on screen at any time. So when we consider enemy behavior, it has to be clearly defined and strong so that the player can anticipate how things will develop in the game once it appears. We devised that this enemy should be two stage as the player will recognize its docile state and will clearly see its active state.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions EvolvedGeometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

Once we have sketched out a few more details on the enemy we start to prototype it in the game. We have an internal way in which we can quickly implement the basic enemy design. We then test that enemy, or waves of that enemy, on a plain level against the player ship. This gives us a good idea if it is achieving what we want.

Initially we had this enemy working functionally — it would meander around the screen and if you hit it with a bullet it would rapidly charge at your ship. But after a short while we found some exploits in its behavior. Once you shot it, you could keep charging at it and avoid it. Here we needed to decide if it was worth pursuing or just cutting; we all agreed that the overall concept for the enemy was sound, we just needed to refine this implementation.

After more iteration we devised an enemy that would actually split into four sections, two of which would charge towards you, the other two would move in a fixed blocking pattern. This solved the player being able to charge out of the way, and also allowed us to channel the player’s movement as they avoided the other two parts that chased towards the player on different paths.

Things were looking good so we then got our artist to create the aesthetic look for the enemy. They are first modeled in Maya, and then when they come into the game we actually create the unique neon glow look with the game’s internal graphics shaders.

Here you can see the stages from wireframe, then the polygon surfaces and finally the in-game object with the glowing surfaces.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions EvolvedGeometry Wars 3: Dimensions EvolvedGeometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

The yellow circle objects are the blockers and the pointy purple objects are the deadly tracking darts that race towards you.

So even at this stage an enemy is not guaranteed to go into the final game. The final step involves us placing the enemy in other levels with a range of enemies. Here we can see if the behavior and look of the enemy stands out and compliments the current cast of bad guys.

After many hours of playing and a few tweaks we were really happy with this new enemy. It has a presence when it appears and it does make you consider where to spray your bullets, but its behavior is clear enough that players can still take it out when they focus on it. I’m sure many of you will enjoy destroying this new foe, and discovering the other new enemies that are lurking in the ultimate adventure mode in Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved.

And for those waiting on Geometry Wars PS Vita news: yes, it is coming! I don’t have any more info to share right now, but keep an eye on PlayStation.Blog for more updates.

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4 Author Replies

  • Bring stereoscopic 3D and I will buy this immediately!

    • We are not looking at supporting stereoscopic 3D, hopefully the variety of levels and gameplay will be more than enough to help you consider a purchase.

  • Loving the update. Couple of things. Please update the buttons on remote play so we can use the triggers for the supers/bombs instead of the touchscreen at least until the Vita version comes out.

    Also, please make sure the Vita version supports cross save with the PS4. I don’t want to have to make all of the progress again and don’t need a separate leaderboard.

    Love the game

  • Good to hear the Vita version is still in the works. Also hoping for Cross Save, but I’d actually like separate Leaderboards to chase and defend as well!

  • Hi Craig. Thanks for the post and I love this game; however, I find in Adventure Mode earning enough stars to progress is incredibly difficult to the point where I’ve given up on the game. Is there any chance that the number of stars needed to continue to the next set of stages could get reduced (as Driveclub did in a recent update)?

    Thanks, I’d really like to see the rest of the game you and your team have spent so much time and energy working on!

    • We took the star progression gates out of the game. It’s much easier to progress now, you only have to earn 1 star to open the next level.

  • @4 @hdcase wait… Driveclub did that? :O
    Thanks for the headsup, i completely gave up on Driveclub after a few weeks.

    Geometry wars tho… i havent given up and yes, i know what you mean, it’s super HARD to get enough starts… i managed it though but it required a lot of sweating and swearing!

  • @4 I believe they removed the star progression. I had them all unlocked so I can’t confirm, I read it was removed.

  • Great to see post-release support! I picked it up during a sale some weeks ago.

    Any word on stereo 3D support for 3DTVs? I’m playing more Super Stardust Ultra just because it supports 3DTV.

  • hdcase, you will be pleased to know (as I was) that you no longer need to earn a certain number of stars to progress. Instead when you “beat” a level by earning the minimum one-star score, it unlocks the next level. I like this much better than unlocking a group of levels and forcing you to earn a certain number of stars among them. It was my number one complaint with the game. I also gave up, but started playing again with this update.

  • Please update the Adventure and Classic modes to have the translucent grid like on the new Ultimate and Hardcore modes. The constellations or whatever showing through the grid is beautiful and it altogether makes the game more colorful. One of my biggest complaints with GW3 was that it felt drab with the solid black grid in comparison to the fireworks show-like experience of GW2.

    Also, another suggestion I have is to lessen the amount of tilt/camera movement of the grid — at least in the classic modes. My favorite mode is Co-op because, due to their being two players, the grid/camera doesn’t move around.

    I doubt you guys will even see this but I think the game could be so much better with some additional tweaks.

    Regardless, thanks for the update and keep up the good work!

  • Edit: I understand you might not be able to add translucent grids to Adventure mode due as some of them are 3D shapes, but PLEASE add them to Classic mode. Honestly, the Classic grids look ugly in comparison to the new grids in Ultimate and Hardcore.

  • @1 SmokeAdellic : LOL! What’s up with you and stereoscopic 3D, man??

    Desperately trying to justify the new, useless 3D TV you just bought, huh? =P

    Reality check: 3D IS DEAD. Sony killed it. But they will gladly offer you VR soon…until they introduce multiscopic 4D! xD

  • Had the 3D since ps3 days and loved it but don’t dig vr…3D is only dead if we let it be but I just got zombie army trilogy and the 3D is amazing so I’m craving more!

  • This, Resogun, and The Binding of Isaac are three games that I will play for years! Thanks for the free update that you could have easily sold as DLC. Free and quality? Wow.

  • This is one of my favorite games of all time, and I’ve been playing on a console from every generation going back to the NES. I LOVE how challenging this game is. I’m currently working on my PlayStation 4 Platinum trophy, and only have 3 trophies to go. This game is so awesome, that I also bought it for Xbox One so that I can get all of the achievements on that platform. Every time I get a trophy, the feeling of accomplishment that I get is far greater than just about any other game’s trophies. I’ve spent MANY hours with this game just on working on getting trophies (after I beat Adventure mode of course). Today, I FINALLY managed to get the “Beat Andy” trophy and I feel like the greatest gamer ever! Haha. I’ve seen some comments from people here complaining about the difficulty, but that is exactly what makes beating this game so rewarding. Please don’t cater to them and make future releases any easier. There are a lot of us that think the crazy level of difficulty is just right! I look forward to GW 4, 5, 6, 7…..

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