Voodudes Encounter Notes
A critical goal for the Voodudes team was to make the game's enemy encounters fun and interesting to players. Factors such as introducing encounters, combining enemy types and balancing were carefully considered by the level design department.
Different Enemy Types
Voodudes had a total of 8 different enemy types, each with their own unique appearance and ability. Each enemy type forced players to develop different strategies to combat it effectively. Player's strategies would evolve in more complex ways as they went up against multiple enemy types at the same time.
We had created 8 enemy types to use throughout the game, but each level designer was limited to using only 4 in their level. The Creep and Witchdoctor enemies, which are introduced in the tutorial, was standard enemy types used in every level. The level designers then chose which other two enemies to introduce and use in their level. The Market District introduced players to the Firemouth and Bomber enemy types.
The level designers found creative ways of spawning enemies into their levels to make the introduction of an encounter interesting. Some encounters felt more like ambushes, where the enemy spawned around the player while other encounters felt more like strategic attacks. Encounters in the Market District had Bombers surprising players in alleyways or running into four Creeps while avoiding a Firemouth.
Balancing Enemy Encounters
The initial balancing of the enemies abilities, speed, health and damage was done by the team's lead level designer and game designer. As the numbers began to balance out, the level designer balanced the encounters within each level with the right number and combination of enemies.
The Market District was to be the first full level players had to play through in order to progress further in the game. Because of this I balanced my level to accommodate players unfamiliar with Voodudes. Many hours were spent balancing the Market District to be easy for beginners but still challenging enough to keep players engaged.
The early enemy encounters in the Market District were designed to familiarize players with the Creep and Witchdoctor enemies. Players were then introduced to the Firemouth and Bomber enemy types within easy encounters. After these initial encounters players saw the combat's difficulty and complexity increase gradually.