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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Monday, July 31, 2006
 
Banshee
Well, I broke down and added another monster to the menagerie. I'm going to have to be careful not to overload the system with too many different types. Otherwise, the players are going to spend their whole game shooting at blank gray panels while the multitudinous monster images download. But, I needed at least one more fiend to fill out the medium difficulty (2 point) monsters, so I went ahead and snuck in one more.

This time, it's a Banshee. (Thanks go out to Chrestomanci for the idea.) It's not terribly strong or fast, but its wail can be devastating at close range. Fortunately, after the groundwork on the Ankle Biter and the Old Soldier, this one came together fairly easily. Basically, it has the Soldier's movement routines (close to an arbitrary radius and orbit), with somewhat modified firing routines. Instead of using a physical carrier for the damage (i.e. a bullet), it uses the chat channel damage routines. As you may remember, when a monster "punches," it actually sends out a damage amount and the key of the recipient. So it was easy to generate a similar damage call with a longer range sensor.

As for damage, it reduces by range. I suppose it would have been more physically correct to drop damage off by inverse-square law, but in practice this left everything but point-blank screams at one point of damage. So, I settled for a simpler linear reduction. On average, screams do two to three points of damage.


The avatar isn't anything too fancy. Basically, it's a female avatar (yes, I now have token female representation in the ghoul parade) with pitch black skin, black robe, and glowing red eyes. Simple, but it seems to work. The blue aura was originally a screw-up in my color mask settings. I inadvertently left a bit of my makeshift Chroma Key stage around the edges in the first image attempt, and didn't notice it until after I had uploaded. But the effect added a little interest to the plain black silhouette, so I decided to enhance it instead of fixing it in the second version.

The picture above catches a Banshee in mid-scream. Unfortunately, I was experiencing a bit of lag at the time the picture was taken, so the particle effects didn't fully develop. Still, you get the idea: a cone of concentric rings expanding outward from the Banshee's mouth. The sound effects are, as you might expect, an assortment of screams. I went ahead and cut the volume on them a bit, mostly because they got on my nerves during development. Still, the incessant screeching provides plenty of incentive to mow them down with a volley or two of monster gun fire.
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