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Tolerance for character attributes in FPS game?


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#1 Azaral   Members   -  Reputation: 467

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:26 AM

I have been designing a FPS game for fun in spare time that I want to really emphasize tactics and strategy over twitch FPS skill. The game would have a big strategic emphasis as well as tactical in terms of travel and logistics. There would be no classes in the game. What a player can do is determined by what they are carrying with them. An example would be, a player cannot remove a bolt unless they have a wrench (crude and not really relevant, but gets the idea across I think).

 

In real life combat, a soldier experiences a plethora of things that simply do not happen (most of the time) in a video game. For instance, fearing for your life and this fear affecting your combat performance. A player may experience fear, but it is no where on the same level as what a real soldier in real combat would experience. I want to try and simulate these sort of things in the character and translate this into having an affect on the battlefield. The only way I can think of is to have character attributes such as you would find in an RPG.

 

I would also take into account a characters strength and endurance, which would affect how much and for how long they can carry gear. I would also have psychological attributes like mental fortitude or courage that would determine how they react to things like coming under heavy fire or seeing a lot of their squad  get gunned down.

 

If a player, for example, is taking heavy fire I want their character's performance to suffer from it in a psychological sense. I would apply a modifier to their actions such as shooting or reloading to represent the psychological stress of fear or what have you. Or have a modifier if the player witnesses a lot of friendlies being killed. It would also go the other way, if the battle is going well the player would receive slight bonuses either to performance or to their attributes which would allow them to deal with the negatives better. None of it would take control away from the player, it would simply modify their performance in various ways.

 

The player would still be aiming the weapon and what not, there wouldn't be any RNG that is solely determining hits or misses, but these would be affecting things like handling recoil, reload speed, would make aiming shaky, make the player able to run faster for longer (adrenaline rush caused by extreme fear of death).

 

My question is, do you think this sort of thing would be tolerated, assuming the overall experience is well handled on the design end?


Edited by Azaral, 01 May 2013 - 10:29 AM.


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#2 Happygamer   Members   -  Reputation: 146

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:25 PM

I would tolerate this a little were it a FPS combat sim but not if there are lot of unpredictable RPG factors that would get me killed or slow me down. A turn based tactical shooter seems more ideal for simulating combat stress and can have RPG stats. Otherwise it feels too much like an arbitray restriction on a player because they happen to be in a paniced situation. In several FPS games they already do emulate such effects with blurred vision, ringing sounds, and inaccuracy under fire but not to the point where the player feels out of control with the character.

Will the player feel more paniced and connected to the character in that way? Or will it cause players to behave differently to avoid the penalities? (keep from getting under too much suppressing fire, don't stand near or look at the characters that die, etc)


Edited by Happygamer, 01 May 2013 - 01:27 PM.


#3 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2332

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

uestion is, do you think this sort of thing would be tolerated, assuming the overall experience is well handled on the design end?

 

it depends on your target audience.

 

i personally would love a more in-depth simulation such as this. i model many of the things you mention in the fps/rpg/person sim i'm working on.

 

more casual gamers might be more like "whatever dude - i just wanna blow stuff up!"

 

might i recommend altered FOV and modeling of player's angular acceleration and velocity (which i use for intoxication effects) as good effects for battle fatigue and fog of war.


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#4 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2332

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:16 PM

In several FPS games they already do emulate such effects with blurred vision, ringing sounds, and inaccuracy under fire but not to the point where the player feels out of control with the character.

 

this is the sort of thing i'd do.

 

Will the player feel more panicked and connected to the character in that way?

 

i find that limited healing capabilities go a long way towards making the player more panicked when their character is truly threatened.   the game i'm working on has more realistic healing rates. no hiding behind a rock for five seconds while the blood smears clear from your screen. try 6 months of game time (while avoiding badguys) to heal from zero to 100%. and no potions or powerups or medkits or other fakey BS. taking a hit actually MEANS something.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#5 Azaral   Members   -  Reputation: 467

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:36 PM

I would tolerate this a little were it a FPS combat sim but not if there are lot of unpredictable RPG factors that would get me killed or slow me down. A turn based tactical shooter seems more ideal for simulating combat stress and can have RPG stats. Otherwise it feels too much like an arbitray restriction on a player because they happen to be in a paniced situation. In several FPS games they already do emulate such effects with blurred vision, ringing sounds, and inaccuracy under fire but not to the point where the player feels out of control with the character.

Will the player feel more paniced and connected to the character in that way? Or will it cause players to behave differently to avoid the penalities? (keep from getting under too much suppressing fire, don't stand near or look at the characters that die, etc)

 

Well, the avoiding suppressing fire would actually be a good side effect because it would reinforce good decisions. Who wants to not avoid that sort of stuff lol. Also, not looking at the dead allies makes sense as well and I find it a perfectly acceptable way to avoid the penalties. If they do something odd like look straight up or down to avoid it, then they don't have eyes on the enemy which is a bad thing. The player would also be more fragile than other games, similar to what Norman describes. 

 

The setting would also be a multiplayer setting, such as an MMO or a large scale battle.

 

Feeling out of control is exactly what I'm after really, but not actually being out of control. That is pretty much how a person feels when they are panicked or experiencing a large amount of fear or an adrenaline rush; out of control. They aren't actually out of control, they just feel like it and don't act.

 

...but not if there are lot of unpredictable RPG factors that would get me killed or slow me down.

 

Can you be more specific in what you mean here?



#6 Happygamer   Members   -  Reputation: 146

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

I would tolerate this a little were it a FPS combat sim but not if there are lot of unpredictable RPG factors that would get me killed or slow me down. A turn based tactical shooter seems more ideal for simulating combat stress and can have RPG stats. Otherwise it feels too much like an arbitray restriction on a player because they happen to be in a paniced situation. In several FPS games they already do emulate such effects with blurred vision, ringing sounds, and inaccuracy under fire but not to the point where the player feels out of control with the character.

Will the player feel more paniced and connected to the character in that way? Or will it cause players to behave differently to avoid the penalities? (keep from getting under too much suppressing fire, don't stand near or look at the characters that die, etc)

 

Well, the avoiding suppressing fire would actually be a good side effect because it would reinforce good decisions. Who wants to not avoid that sort of stuff lol. Also, not looking at the dead allies makes sense as well and I find it a perfectly acceptable way to avoid the penalties. If they do something odd like look straight up or down to avoid it, then they don't have eyes on the enemy which is a bad thing. The player would also be more fragile than other games, similar to what Norman describes. 

 

The setting would also be a multiplayer setting, such as an MMO or a large scale battle.

 

Feeling out of control is exactly what I'm after really, but not actually being out of control. That is pretty much how a person feels when they are panicked or experiencing a large amount of fear or an adrenaline rush; out of control. They aren't actually out of control, they just feel like it and don't act.

 

 

>...but not if there are lot of unpredictable RPG factors that would get me killed or slow me down.

 

Can you be more specific in what you mean here?

 

 

I know you said no RNG from RPGs but I'm not sure what exactly you had in mind. If a medium explosion goes off from 10m away, what happens? If you have 20 courage, does that give you a 60% chance to be paniced and suffer -15% to _ stats or do you always have a X amount of temporary loss to aiming and movement with stats mitigating the penalty. If that explosion goes off I don't know if I will be combat effective or not...maybe I should go hide in a corner until the war is over.

 

I was also going to suggest instead of simply penalties to stat, but other visual impairments. Such as when reloading, you may fumble the magazine, have to pick it back up ,and then reload. Or hallucinations (false enemies or gun fire, seeing an ally as an enemy, explosions, etc) but that is probably taking it too far and more of something you would expect in a sim and not an RPG.



#7 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3684

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:53 PM

If a player, for example, is taking heavy fire I want their character's performance to suffer from it in a psychological sense. I would apply a modifier to their actions such as shooting or reloading to represent the psychological stress of fear or what have you. Or have a modifier if the player witnesses a lot of friendlies being killed. It would also go the other way, if the battle is going well the player would receive slight bonuses either to performance or to their attributes which would allow them to deal with the negatives better. None of it would take control away from the player, it would simply modify their performance in various ways.

 

The danger in this is introducing a death spiral of punishments to the player. It sounds like you are making their performance worse as a penalty for doing badly, which only makes the game harder for them, which means they'll probably keep doing bad and get penalized even more.

 

I think you could do some interesting things with those concepts, but I think you should be careful about being too true to life, because life can suck, and games shouldn't.


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#8 Azaral   Members   -  Reputation: 467

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:39 PM

If a player, for example, is taking heavy fire I want their character's performance to suffer from it in a psychological sense. I would apply a modifier to their actions such as shooting or reloading to represent the psychological stress of fear or what have you. Or have a modifier if the player witnesses a lot of friendlies being killed. It would also go the other way, if the battle is going well the player would receive slight bonuses either to performance or to their attributes which would allow them to deal with the negatives better. None of it would take control away from the player, it would simply modify their performance in various ways.

 

The danger in this is introducing a death spiral of punishments to the player. It sounds like you are making their performance worse as a penalty for doing badly, which only makes the game harder for them, which means they'll probably keep doing bad and get penalized even more.

 

I think you could do some interesting things with those concepts, but I think you should be careful about being too true to life, because life can suck, and games shouldn't.

 

That's true. The game is in mind for multiplayer battles. Receiving suppresive fire wouldn't be because the receiver made a mistake but because the attackers made a choice. Suppressive fire is used a lot in a tactical idea called fire and maneuver. You have one unit lay down as much fire as possible on a target, not with the intention of actually hitting it but causing them to keep their heads down behind cover. While they are keeping their  heads down, another unit takes the opportunity to advance to a better position to either repeat the process or flank the target and they are the ones that take it out.

 

It would rely on teamwork to cover each other. If one group of players on team A has this happen, they will need cover from somewhere else to help them out.

 

I know you said no RNG from RPGs but I'm not sure what exactly you had in mind. If a medium explosion goes off from 10m away, what happens? If you have 20 courage, does that give you a 60% chance to be paniced and suffer -15% to _ stats or do you always have a X amount of temporary loss to aiming and movement with stats mitigating the penalty. If that explosion goes off I don't know if I will be combat effective or not...maybe I should go hide in a corner until the war is over.

 

The later. If the explosion goes off, you would receive an impulse of 'fear', which would be mitigated by your 'courage' attribute. The amount of fear received would be based on the proximity of the explosion, the power of the explosion, and what it does to you and what it did to anyone else.

 

I think you could do some interesting things with those concepts, but I think you should be careful about being too true to life, because life can suck, and games shouldn't.

 

That is one thing that I keep and mind and part of the reason for the discussion.



#9 Lailokken   Members   -  Reputation: 356

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

Some of the things I have experienced while playing games that have given me that 'panicked' feeling that you're talking about, are:

 

-penalty to load/re-load time (while enemy is not)

-penalty to ranged/melee attack time (while enemy is not)

-inability to retreat while enemy is attacking and/or advancing (movement penalty due to burden or injury)

-perma-death (need to roll up a new character if yours dies)

 

I agree with what some of the other posters have said though. I think you have the potential makings for a great game, but it's going to depend on the type of players you have. It might be a bit too in-depth for casuals, but hardcore and pvp'ers would probably eat it up.


-- A man shows who he is, by what he does, with what he has.


#10 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2779

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:40 AM

I would afflict the character only with a mild form of fatigue: with too much physical exertion (running, jumping, melee combat) in too little time, the character runs slower, jumps lower, attacks less frequently, etc. This leads to meaningful and somewhat dramatic choices between extended actions and resting, and sometimes tactical complications (finding a safe spot to rest, forced rest before a difficult jump, etc.). A fatigue gauge in the HUD should provide immediate feedback (am I too tired? Have I rested enough?).


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#11 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:15 AM

besides the matter of taking control away from the player I want to emphasize more into what Prinz Eugn is saying.

 

you mention your characters reacting in a negative way based on negative situations (becoming frightened when under heavy fire), and reacting in a positive way on positive situations (battle is going well). to me this sounds like you're giving the winning team an extra advantage just because they're winning, and punishing the losing team making it even harder for them.

from what I've played in competitive games that use this sort of game mechanic (see: Heroes of Newerth / DOTA), the result can be a match that builds up in a fair way give and take, until one player makes a good move, gets his team to lay a successful ambush or gets a lucky streak, or until one player makes a small mistake and dies. after that the match unbalances itself and from that moment on its pretty much over because it becomes more and more an uphill battle for the losing team.

and the more competitive the game is, the more slight this 'good move' or 'error' needs to be to cause the decisive inbalance.

of course there's a lot of comebacks but they require the losing team to perform MUCH better than the winning team.


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