I'm building a game akin to Fire Emblem or XCOM:EU atm, and I'm trying to determine the best way for the team I'm working with to move forward with movement controls. Assuming that we are using a keyboard and/or a mouse, I've already come up with a few configurations. Please offer any comments or suggestions you may have...
- (Assuming the player has already selected the character they intend to move...)
- (A highlighted set of positions the character can move to are displayed...)
Method 1: Uses Mouse (XCOM:EU)
Player selects a final destination position. The computer then calculates the shortest path to that location, taking into account the viewable obstacles, and moves the character along the path to that destination position.
- It is likely that the player would only be able to move once or twice (similar to XCOM's movements). Decisions made about where to go would be lasting.
- The player cannot specify a path to take. The alternative would be to present the player with a set of possible paths to that final destination, but I get the feeling that would feel slow and clunky to a player that just wants to be able to say "go here" and the game is intelligent enough to make the player go to that position without issue.
- My only issue with this is that I'm wanting to leave open the ability to lay traps in an environment or have environmental dangers that can trigger in mid-player-movement, i.e. character steps on a bomb, etc. If the computer auto-calculates the path and moves the character, then it would hit/miss automatically, either eradicating the possibility of a trap triggering or causing the player to blame the game for it doing so.
Method 2: Uses Mouse (XCOM:EU * Grid-based MOBA)
Player selects individual positions to move to using the mouse, but the characters can move as many times as the player wants, so long as they haven't begun any combat actions yet.
- Same as the first method, but requires multiple button presses to achieve the same movement.
- May tire the player / cause irritation at having to "micro-manage" the movement. Player may simply think, "Why can't I just select where I want to get to?"
- Solves the problem of increasing control over the exact path to take.
Method 3: Uses Keyboard (Advance Wars)
Player simply maneuvers the game's grid-based cursor using directional movement keys (such as WASD), and specifies, step by step, the path they intend for the character to take.
- From experience playing TBS games on handheld systems, I know these don't cause an overwhelming feeling of clunkiness; however, I am unsure of whether players may feel that an awkwardness still exists because they COULD be using a mouse on the PC.
Any thoughts about the pros/cons of each of these? Any alternative suggestions or maybe recommendations on why to use one of these + justifications?