Thoughts on the End of Wave.
Since my aliens don't "advance" to cover the screen, I'm concerned about the game-play during the time near the end of the wave of aliens. I don't want the situation where the payer can rest to the side with impunity, while a handful of aliens drop bombs impotently in the other corner.
Other games of this genre (ah... "alien shooting"), typically have a "Hurry Up" alien, like the small saucer in Asteroids or the "Baiter" in Defender, and even that stupid little bouncy smiley face in Berzerk... Anyway the purpose of all these entities was to produce a fear in the player that they better get rid of the "easy" aliens quickly, before the much-more-deadly aliens came along.
So I'm toying with the idea of having the aliens do "bombing runs" when there's less than 10 remaining. Maybe there's a random 10% change of a bombing run per remaining alien. I wanted an interesting pattern for the flight-path, and have been playing with logarithmic spirals, just because they're pretty. So far I've hacked-up a demo in python which shows the movement points.
I'm hoping this will look good, but also provide a flight-path for the alien that makes it a little more difficult for the player. Also the player must react, as the alien is on a collision-course.
One problem with this path, is that it's not feasible to pre-generate points for every alien position per player position, so they'll have to be generated on the fly. The maths is reasonably hefty with calls to
pow() and trig'
cos() functions. But I think so as long as it's not called too much, performance will be OK.
What do you think - is the spiral stupid? I really like its curves though.
 Honestly, who's idea was the smiley-face-of-doom??! It really doesn't fit the game world-theme at all. I'd wager it was hacked-in (or badly tweaked) at the last minute to ensure a better rate-of-return per hour with no concern for the gameplay. And it looks crap.
It's really fast, can walk through walls, and you can't shoot it.