Gauntlet mode: Updated scrap drop system

Gauntlet tasks to do before initial release

Get local games fully working
Object for holding game state in Gauntlet mode
Auto-repair system + vehicle swap ability
Gauntlet game flow from menu to end
Score system
Level generation tweaks
Update scrap drop system
– Item unlock system
– Update How To Play screens
– Test and balance gameplay
– Music?

Sorry for the long gap between updates, the end of the year was a busy time. Having said that I actually forgot that I’d put “Update scrap drop system” on the Gauntlet TODO list as a separate line item and I finished that a while ago. I’m working on “Item unlock system” now, plus some other bits that weren’t big enough to get on the list.

Updating the wreckage drop calculations

The reason I needed to update this is that the amount of scrap you’d get to collect from destroying a vehicle in total could vary a lot depending on how it was destroyed. This was OK in the old Melee mode but kinda lame in Gauntlet, where I’d prefer to have a decent idea of how much scrap I’m going to be supplying per level.

The main issue was the reliant part system. In the current Steam version (and older versions), the rules work like this:

  1. Look at the part that was destroyed. Are there any parts connected to the chassis ONLY through that part?
  2. If so, add them to the list of destroyed parts (so you don’t get parts floating in space).
  3. Sort the destroyed parts from most to least valuable.
  4. Pay out 100% of the scrap value of the most expensive part, then 77.5% value for the next, then (77.5^2)% and so on.
  5. If the value multiplier gets below 10%, stop paying out.

For example say I built this thing:

And the outer 1×2 block got destroyed:

Then the wreckage would pay out in value like this:

I did it that way originally because it felt more fair, since it takes less effort to shoot off one part that takes out a whole lot, then it would to destroy them all individually. I also tried to be fair by paying out the more expensive parts at the highest percentages.

But maybe it’s nice to reward skill for the shooter’s aim and punish bad vehicle design too. Either way this wouldn’t work so well in Gauntlet because it means vehicle scrap payouts can vary hugely depending on how the parts of a vehicle are destroyed, even when the vehicle design itself doesn’t change.

So I changed it to just give an X% change to pay out 100% of the wreckage value for each part destroyed. So the payout is either 0% or 100% for each part.

And actually it feels fine, even in melee mode. If payouts end up too high or low, the percent chance can be tweaked. If it really doesn’t work after I release it like this, I can roll back melee mode to the old version and keep the new one for Gauntlet. It ends up giving bigger payouts for destroying the final cockpit or chassis on a vehicle and less for destroying individual parts. Obviously this still results in variation in payouts since there’s still randomness involved, but it’s a sort of randomness now that averages out over time, which works better for Gauntlet mode.

 

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