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Read January 20, 2012, 10:54:08 PM #0

Handling complex bullet patterns in ActionScript

Hey folks!

I'm actually developing a shmup with Flash, using the Flixel game library, for now it's going pretty well but for sure a challenge to come is the creation of boss's bullet patterns, i'd like to make it quite complex but i'm not sure my coding skills will be good enough to handle that complexity if i must "hardcode" each patterns.

I've searched the forum for it, unfortunately topics i found on the subject were several years old and didn't offers any alternatives for my problem, so i kind of up the subject to know if there's something new!

So i wander if there's any BulletML parser for actionscript 3 or any likewise tool that could help me dig in bullet patterns.

Thanks in advance,

Read January 22, 2012, 12:04:40 PM #1

Re: Handling complex bullet patterns in ActionScript

Threads might be several years old, but so is Actionscript 3.
Flixel isn't likely to help with bullet patterns proper, but only with storing, updating, displaying and colliding bullets. If you are (rightly) scared of hardcoding bullet patterns, you should decompose them into a palette of elementary and easily combined objects or functions: "cannons" which disperse shots of an arbitrary type in more or less random patterns around a reference orientation, swinging motions for cannons, generic combinations and modifications of behaviours (delay, sequence, simultaneous, repeat until a condition is met...), transform an object into another or destroy it, apply predetermined time-varying forces (or speeds) to bullets, guide bullets towards the player etc. with a "smart" controller, tests like distance from the player or entering screen regions, and so on.

Everything you can express in BulletML can be expressed, with the same difficulty, in code.
Read January 23, 2012, 12:51:35 AM #2

Re: Handling complex bullet patterns in ActionScript

Thanks for those nice orientations Lorenzo, it seems more doable now as i already got a part of the features you talk for my "little" enemies behavior i'll just have to find a smart way to combine them my search was mainly motivated by the time saving this tools could bring, but hardcode will be a nice school for me anyway  Wink

I'm still open to everybody's advices and techniques.

Read February 06, 2012, 05:45:26 PM #3

Re: Handling complex bullet patterns in ActionScript

You can check out cannonML.
The project is here:

and there's a demo here:

I was looking into hooking it into Flash Punk last night, but I might go with my own solution based off how the bullet patterns can be defined with cannon ML.

Hope that helps!

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