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Shylock

Text-based Combat systems

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Shylock    122
There seem to be quite a few posts that talk about combat, but text baised combat is never mentioned. Presuming that there is a graphical area which shows perhaps an isometric view (therefor meaning there is little need for the player to be told their distace from the enemy), can you think of any good ways to fight combat with text?

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RTF    127
I remember that my dad wrote ages ago, perhaps around 1990 or so, a little program that was entirely text combat(and I highly doubt it was ever released or shown to the public - he''s a business programmer, runs his own development company, and did fun weekend coding projects around that time) in a sort of gladiatorial setting. It was simple, there being no controls other than picking characters from general types like "Fighter" or "Ninja" to fight each other automatically, but I found it engaging as a 5 or 6-year-old simply because it described the events well.

Description is probably one of the major advantages of textual combat. As an interface, it also has some things to offer, too. One thing I thought of is to start hyperlinking the commentary; you could click the hyperlinked area in something like, say:

"Goblin meets ally''s attack and *exposes his left flank*"

and you''d bring up a pop-up of options, for example:
Rush
Slash
Thrust

If the player waited too long, the link would disappear and the fight would go on with something new. Similarly, you would have time to choose a defense against attacks.

And, assuming that the player''s character is trained with weapons, it would work more naturally than most real-time methods of control, because performing the attack should be as simple as deciding to do it.

You could then make the obvious step of linking this text interface with the graphical one, by letting the player direct movements, ranged attacks, engaging in melee etc. with the graphical view.

Ranged conflict would not be so interesting as melee with this system, for certain, and the adrenalane rush of pounding buttons doesn''t exist, but those seem like the only major caveats to me.

In a MMORPG game, this system would integrate quite well with the existing chat window. More "eye time" would be spent seeing what is actually going on in gameplay terms, how your group is doing and what they''re planning, than watching your animated barbarian or spellslinger make the same slash or thrust 30 times in a row(I exaggerate there, I know it can be better than that).

Making the world furry one post at a time

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cgoat    132
A long time ago I made a program that was hand-to-hand text combat. It displayed yours and the enemy''s body as different parts (head, torso, left/right arm, left/right leg). As you attacked, damage would be done to different parts. Too much damage would cause that part to fail. Like you could attempt to punch your opponent in the face. If you succeed, head damage, if he blocks, a little arm damage, if you miss, no damage. If you took too much damage to your arm, you can''t punch any more. If you take too much leg damage, you can''t kick, too much more and you fall over and can''t fight anymore (both legs). It was kind of fun to play with, though there wasn''t much to it. The diagram would change (normal, yellow, red) as different parts got injured.

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Mark Sheeky    134
Real time text based combat would naturally depend on typing speed surely? I suppose this is some measure of the reaction speed of the player

Battle tip: Just keep typing "Kick him in the nuts"

Mark

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irbrian    130
An interesting exercise. Shylock''s scenario, where a graphical overview is supplemented by the detail of text-based combat, sounds intriguing.

Others are mentioning one-on-one combat, and I thought RTF''s fathers little game sounded like a very cool solution to your question. But I''m also imagining something like Civilization or a wargame, where whole units meet each other on the battlefield, and then achieve victory or defeat based on random and pre-determined factors. Could this text interface allow the player to direct the movements of an entire unit against an opposing unit? If so, how?

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