Training Day

Bloody hells I hate the level that I’m building. It’s just not working. I keep throwing ideas and assets at the thing, but for some reason it simply refuses to come together in a way that I’m happy with at the point in the game that the level is. I’m talking, by the way, about the stupid Train level that I’ve been putting together.
The thing is, I spent a bit of time to code the trains. Usually, I’m happy to throw out stuff that doesn’t work, but the trains do work, and in the right circumstances they can work pretty well. The thing is that where I have them doesn’t want to be anything but ruthlessly fuggin hard.
What I came up with was the idea that since trains by themselves aren’t terribly interesting, it would be better if I combined them with something else. Hence I had an idea about a sequence involving a cave and the train. Like the end of Mission Impossible, except swap out the helicopter for a zeppelin, and put guns all over the train. Also get rid of Tom Cruise.
Anyhow, the first couple versions that I built were way too damn hard. Turrets trigger based on proximity. So turrets in the open are pretty tame. Odds are they won’t even shoot at you, and if they do you have a crap load of space to dodge in.Enclosed though and are the work leader in widow making. No place to dodge and usually, you’re well within their range to they fire an imperial shitload of bullets.
So I thought I would combine the tricks that I made into something cool. You see, destructible ground triggers from pretty much everything. Stuff crashes, and the destructible ground goes away. Player bullets? Yep. Enemy bullets? Also yep. So I made some cover just above the gun bedazzled train all out of destructible ground. First of all, it was intense. Too much so. A train covered with guns quickly shreds destructible ground, which leave you with nowhere to hide, and you consequently get shot to bloody, flaming pieces.
So that was right out. Instead I tried to go in and make the middle sammich pieces out of normal ground. That didn’t work either since the core parts ended up too small to cover all the angles that the guns were shooting at. While that would be kind of cool in a cover based shooter, it seems to have a bad case of Fail in a shooter.
What I finally ended up with in my tunnel, is a kind of bridge with holes in it. The train runs underneath this “bridge” type structure, and can fire through the holes. “But,” I thought to myself, ” I can’t really shoot down on the train from here.” So hanging above the bridge holes are some gravity ground, that you can shoot to drop onto the cars. Is it tricky? Yes, possibly too much for an easy track level. Yet at the same time there is an alternate route that avoids the train (and the Bomb natch) altogether. For now though, the level works well enough and I’m happy enough with its rough hewn shapes to move my happy ass along to the next hopefully easier level.

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