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Battle / Fighting System

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I''m trying to come up with a good multiplayer battle system. Right Now There are many areas for this.
  • There''s Space combat (which I think I can handle... it''s straight forward dogfighting)
  • There''s land gun battles (probably just similar to fps)
  • But also close combat... probably fist fighting. I think the last one is what I need help on. This is for a MMORPG but I could also be for just a regular multiplayer game. I''ve played a few games where the fighting "locks" on to the target and you sidestep around the guy always facing them. YOu have keys meant for kick / punch. You could even do combo. I think even the recent "street fighter" type games have this kind of look. The best fighting system I liked was Omiron the Nomad Soul... It had many combo''s and moves. It locked on to the other figher so you didn''t have to worry about aiming at the wrong direction. Any flaws to this design or could it be improved? Any other special ideas?

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    For close combat ideas, take a look into Soul Calibur II. Awesome fighting game with loads of combos for each of the characters. Playing this should give you some enlightenment on what makes a good fighting system.

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    But tournament fighteres monopolize the controls for the actual combat. If you''re going to be engaging multiple targets or maybe interrupting a fight to run away or interact with something else in the environment, a straight-up fighting engine is a formula for disaster. What you need is a way to do all of these things with the same controller/keyboard, and that generally means game states.

    Game states are like "modes" that your game can be in. Take Halo for instance. You spend the vast majority of that (excellent) game in FPS "mode". Sometimes, though, things change. You get into the warthog vehicle, and the game shifts modes. Your controls change and your camera changes. Same thing with other vehicles, and to a lesse extent the sniper rifle. That''s what you need.

    If you are going to have a real-time multiplayer game with multiple "modes", you''ll have to design them all carefully. The hand-to-hand fisticuffs is the one that hasn''t been done well in the past. Even in games like Mark of Kri, that use an innovative system to engage multiple targets simultaneously and incorporate combos or special moves, the game is designed around the engine. Deep, intricate hand-to-hand combat is extraordinarily difficult to represent through a game controller. Enter the Matrix tried to blend kung-fu style fighting with gunfighting and running and what-have-you, but if you played that game you know it didn''t do a great job of it. A lot of flailing, and a lot of missing with simple attacks.

    The fact of the matter is that if you are going to push the button for "punch" and expect your guy to actually punch the bad guy, the computer will have to help you out at least a little bit. That leads to the computer helping too much, and targetting or mistargetting autonomously, which makes you say, "For crying out loud, you idiot! Punch the guy with the GUN!!"

    Your best bet here is to integrate the brawling and shooting into one system. You could do it Halo-style, and just have a "melee attack" button that executes a close-range attack, with no chance to block or do any kind of combos. That''s not what you''re looking for. Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid have systems that are worth looking at, but stealth games have notoriously crappy hand-to-hand, preferring to make you whack an unsuspecting baddy than actually duke it out with him.

    For a really entertaining example of a good system, look at Oni, from Bungie. It was mostly a fighting game, but it had guns. The guns were balanced to be damn near useless, except maybe to cut down one or two bad guys before kung-fuing the rest. If you made the guns more effective, and maybe even included a few melee weapons, you could make for a sophisticated game that allowed for gunfights and fistfights to be equally deep and fun. The catch is that it was a 3rd person game, but if you just make the "draw weapon" button switch you to a 1st person view, you could get that FPS feel to the gunning while keeping the kung-foolery we all love so much in 3rd person.

    As to spaceflight, you can just shift the game mode for that. No sweat. "Press PUNCH to Enter Space Craft", and then flight controls apply.

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    The space combat I have no problem with... I''m thinking the fighting will be restricted to certain areas.

    Face it. You''re in the middle of a desert or some other planetscape. You''re about 200 meters away from someone else. You begin to run at them yelling and screaming. He has a gun. Who do you think would win? Him obviously.

    I''m going to keep it that way. But to make it safe for those who don''t want to risk gun fights, the city is a safe (or safer) area to be in. Guns are outlawed and only The Authorities are allowed to have them. Smugglers might get a gun in every now and then but it won''t last long. So the only type of fighting in the city is maybe melee weapons but definitely Kung-fu. Not to mention I plan on having boxing rings or mini arena''s where you can watch organized fights between 2 or more people. That doesn''t mean that fights are only restricted to there either, game engine wise.

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