Titanfall 2 - Enemy AI, Menus, and More!
In addition to scripting single-player levels, I also did a variety of other design & scripting tasks for Titanfall 2.
Here they are!
NOTE: All screenshots and video reflect the work of the entire team (art, FX, SFX, code, design, etc).
Enemy Type: The Reaper
Early in Titanfall 2's development, I designed and prototyped the Reaper enemy type.
My goal was to develop a fun enemy to fight against by owning vision/design, prototyping and iterating.
Of course, the Reaper was a team effort with code, animation, audio, model shop, etc.
The Reaper is designed to encourage and reward player pilot mobility (double jumping, wallrunning, sliding, etc.). It is a very mobile enemy that chases the player by leaping large distances. When it loses line-of-sight, it launches Ticks out of its back that seek the player and flushes them out of their hiding spot. The Reaper fires energy projectiles which are fun to dodge with mobility mechanics. It also does a ground slam attack which knocks back enemies that get too close. During playtesting, many players felt it was the most fun AI to fight in the game.
The Ticks quickly chase after the player and detonate when near or damaged.
They can leap large distances and enter small entrances to keep the player moving.
Player & Buddy Titan Conversation System
"If you sat me down and told me that I’d be walking away from Titanfall 2 missing my new giant robot buddy, I’d have called you crazy, and yet here I am, wishing there was some way I could spend more time with BT-7274." - Inverse review of Titanfall 2
One of the themes in Titanfall 2 is "my buddy and me" but the player is only just establishing their relationship with their titan. To truly reinforce this theme, I felt it was important for players to build an emotional bond with the buddy titan by actually giving them agency in what they are saying to it. Rather than have the protagonist speak automatically (which can confuse players as to who is speaking), I pitched a system that lets them respond with an A or B dialogue choice. Neither choice affects the outcome of the story, but they allow the player to FEEL like they are immersed in the world and speaking to the titan.
Any time that we or playtestsers felt like saying something to the buddy titan, we noted it and created a conversation for it. Many times in late playtesting, players felt it was uncanny how the game knew exactly what they were thinking!
Players loved this system and claimed it really helped them feel like they formed a bond with their titan.
It's worth noting that I did not build this system, but merely pitched and advocated for the original concept which is essentially what we built.
I felt our hit feedback wasn't "juicy" and rewarding enough so with the help of FX, SFX, and animation, I added exploding Spectre heads. It was such a success that we added grunt & pilot helmets getting shot off for human headshots.
New Titan Loadout Pickups
In single-player, players acquire new titan loadouts and are then able to switch at anytime for the rest of the game. I took over the titan loadout pickups system a programmer prototyped and polished it through completion making improvements as we playtested.
Switch Titan Loadouts Menu
I designed and scripted the single-player titan loadout menu that lets players switch loadouts they have encountered whenever they wish. The primary goals of this menu are to allow for quick and easy information parsing and weapon choice. The large picture of the weapon and the basic information on the top half are enough for many players to be able to choose. Those who wish to dive deeper into the loadout's details can look at the bottom half or just experiment in game.
Pause Menu and Cooper's Logbook
I designed and scripted the single-player pause menu. I added the "Cooper's Logbook" section to enhance our narrative delivery and to help players returning from a break to remember where they are in the campaign. I also wanted a place to show how many collectable pilot helmets the player had collected that was more accessible than the main menus.