I've seen this suggested here and there, but I don't know if an actual thread was made about it. Can I suggest adding a path movement in a later version of Construct?
Right now, I am making a shoot em up (i.e. Gradius, R-Type) and it's a real pain to get enemy movement patterns to work right.
One thing I tried is making the enemy sprites as a ball movement and then using waypoints which tell the sprite where to go, but they never work right, sometimes the sprite will end up missing the way point and flying into something its not supposed to.
It's also very hard to make curved movements with way points. Not only that, but since a shoot em up takes place in a single non scrolling frame (your character is always in the same scroll position, despite the illusion of the background moving), you tend to end up with a lot of way points in the same place and, well, all over the place.
Anyway, one thing I'd desperately like to see is a path movement. A path movement would work wonders for this kind of purpose. The only thing is, I'd suggest is doing it a lot different than say the path movement in TGF/MMF/etc, which IMHO had the right idea but could be done a lot better.
There are a few things I'd add or do differently.
First of all, a huge problem with path movements is that they're limited by how precise you can draw the path. There should be an option to draw not only straight lines, but curved ones as well, and even circles (kind of like the tools used in a paint program) so that the accuracy of how well you can draw the path is not an issue.
You should also be able to cut/copy and paste certain parts of the path and then be able to paste them and then flip or rotate them. That way, making even looking zig zag or inverted "s" like movements would be a lot easier to do.
Second, you should be able to assign names to certain nodes for use in triggering an action. In the event sheet, there could be a condition such as "Enemy reaches node [node name]" in which you could then use trigger an action to shoot an object at the player.
I also think that the path movement should have a "wait command" in which you can make the object stop for a certain amount of milliseconds before moving to the next node.
This would make it easy to make "attack patterns" for boss characters in shoot em ups.
You could have it set up so that
"Enemy" reaches node "node 1" (or whatever you'd name it)
- Wait at node for 20 ms
- Spawn object bullet at "Enemy"
Or something to that effect. But that would form the basis of a shoot em up boss attack pattern.
A third idea I've thought about, is "optional" paths. At a node, you could be able to draw 2 or more additional paths (each with their own number) displayed as dotted lines, which eventually connect back to the main path.
You could then have it so that, when the object reaches a certain node, depending on the conditions (say, the player is towards the left of the screen or the right) you could make the object move to that path instead of the path it originally was supposed to.
X of player is greater than X of enemy
Enemy reaches node [node name]
- Move to optional path 2
This would be useful in making enemies that can change their position or method of attack based on certain conditions.
And... I can't think of any other ideas besides that. Anyway, I think this would be very helpful not only in shoot em ups but in most games in general that require free floating objects that follow a predetermined path.
For example, I remember in certain Mario games, there were levels where you rode a platform throughout the whole level. Not any ordinary platform, but one that moved up, down, and even loops and curved motions. With the path movement, you could easily create a similar effect.
There are probably other uses for it as well. But most of all, this would be a godsend for making side scrolling shoot em ups