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turn based fighting game?

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I was just thinking of an idea for a fighting game which i spose is a bit more of a simulator than anything. Ok, so its like a kung-fu type game, with locks, moves, breaks, rolls etc. Heaps of them. But the trick is that the game moves in turn based mode, allowing the player to select what attack they would like to use next. The moves work on a paper-rock-scissors approch, and everything has a trade off. Once the fight is over, the player can go back and watch the whole thing in real time, and see the characters in fights that would normally be so fast paced it would be impossible to play. I suppose instead of turnbased the game could also be super-slow-mo, and as the game progresses it gets faster and faster. Just my 2c.

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Sounds good, though a bit too simple, system-wise. RPS can only offer so many possibilities, and the fact it doesn''t require any player-based skills (precognition?) makes it a major turn-off to the target audience of most combat games.

Fast reflexes and good strategies are what people are after, for the most part. Not sheer luck.

Perhaps a setup at slightly less-than-average speed where character control is much greater (ie, moving individual limbs, maybe; therefore, more complex and requiring faster and better reaction) could work well, IMHO. You could move your left arm in an arc to knock your opponent''s punch out of the way while coming in with your other arm to deliver a punch of your own, for instance.

Perhaps the whole fight could be reanimated at full speed when it''s over. Sounds like a good idea that needs a bit of fleshing out, though.

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You could also make it so this is not so much as a "game" but a fight designer. You create the fight move by move, then play it in real time and see 2 people kick the crap outa eachother. That would also be very fun and have almost unlimited replay value.

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The problem with a rock-paper-scissor game mechanic is that it boils down to arbitrary decisions. A game that does not require decisions (even decisions that are un-informed) has no real player interaction. A rock-paper-scissors game is effectively not even a game. How interesting would a game be if you decided your player''s moves by flipping a coin? It''s the same premise.

I like the idea of a turn-based fighting system, but the decision-making is non-existant. The sum of the gameplay in a turn-based game in which no SKILL is required (by which I mean no dependency on the player''s ability to press buttons or create patterns on a physical input device) is entirely made up of the choices that the player makes. Relying on those choices to be dictated by a random occurance outside of the realm of the player''s control is no more of a game than picking a prize between door number 1, 2, and 3.

Perhaps a decision-making pattern that is influenced by the previous move. For example;

Player 1 and player 2 begin with the R-P-S format. If a player wins the first "event" by hitting player 2 (one event is equivalent to each player picking one attack/defend option), the player has new options to choose from. Instead of being able to low punch, high punch, block, low kick, etc. - the player can now followup, duck, sidestep, etc. Player 2 is now given a new set of options: attempt to block again, counter -attack, etc.

If player 1 tries to "followup" and player 2 "counterattacks", player 2 wins the event and in turn receives a number of points.

This adds interaction between the two players (or a player and a computer) and forces the players to pay attention to the opposing players'' style.

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Haha, that''s a unique challege! Love it.

I could see this game as something like an RPG/Fighting game. The game would play like an fighting game focusing on grappling, when the characters come into a grappling range, slow-mo (bullet-time) activates, and a more intricate system of controller button combinations, similar to fireball in streetfighter2, but more quirky, where slight changes equal different moves. The game could build up slowly, where the player goes through training with masters, until thier skills are ready to enter small street fights,building your way up to tournaments. There could be random fights, where the player is strong enough to defeat parties (2-6) opponents at once. In fact, I''d enjoy playing a game that let me be a bad-ass fighter and selectively rip through a group of fighters, snapping necks, etc. :þ
You could have a lot of secret moves taken from classic kung-fu films, walking on blades, flying guillotine, flying?! :D

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Ever heard of Spellcast? It''s a similar premise, but with a much greater degree of planning and strategy.


"Sneftel is correct, if rather vulgar." --Flarelocke

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quote:
Original post by dgaf
The problem with a rock-paper-scissor game mechanic is that it boils down to arbitrary decisions. A game that does not require decisions (even decisions that are un-informed) has no real player interaction. A rock-paper-scissors game is effectively not even a game. How interesting would a game be if you decided your player''s moves by flipping a coin? It''s the same premise.



Almost every fighter has a rock-paper-scissor aspect to it. Even with rock-paper-scissor you can anticipate to beat your opponent.

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quote:
Original post by tieTYT
Almost every fighter has a rock-paper-scissor aspect to it. Even with rock-paper-scissor you can anticipate to beat your opponent.

But not every fighter is fundamentally a rock-paper-scissors game.

There''s a level of uncertainty inherent in a fighting game (or combat, for generalization purposes), but the core play cannot revolve strictly around the roll of a dice or the flipping of a coin. Such activities are anti-interactive.

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quote:
Original post by Smirnoffka
You could also make it so this is not so much as a "game" but a fight designer. You create the fight move by move, then play it in real time and see 2 people kick the crap outa eachother. That would also be very fun and have almost unlimited replay value.


There are plenty of games out there that award points for finesse and style rather than victory or domination. Think of a hybrid between a fighting game and Tony Hawk, with a little bit of Hooper(Burt Reynolds movie) thrown in. You''re a stuntman, or an action star, or a professional wrestler, but instead of actually trying to win a fight, you''re trying to meet certain goals (break the plate-glass window, fall down the stairs, crash through the bannister, and then get kicked of the ledge by the "hero") with style, finesse and minimal injury. You smash props without damaging the more expensive set pieces or film equipment, and you get paid based on great moves, complex combos, and safety.

That could be turn-based, or you could even use a choreographic system, where you plot out all the moves and the characters'' skills or the placement of objects decides whether it fails or succeeds. Harder scenes take longer to get right, but are worth more to the movie''s producer, and so you, as the choreographer, get paid more. Better casting choices, better training programs, and better fights would be the meat of this system, and when it works well you could watch the little movie and be proud, and maybe put it online for peer review.

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quote:
Original post by dgaf
quote:
Original post by tieTYT
Almost every fighter has a rock-paper-scissor aspect to it. Even with rock-paper-scissor you can anticipate to beat your opponent.

But not every fighter is fundamentally a rock-paper-scissors game.

There''s a level of uncertainty inherent in a fighting game (or combat, for generalization purposes), but the core play cannot revolve strictly around the roll of a dice or the flipping of a coin. Such activities are anti-interactive.



But a rock paper scissor game is not that way either. I''m sure it is the first time, but if you end up playing long enough you will be able to anticipate your opponent.

I think we may be thinking of different things. The rock paper scissor aspect in Soul calibur 2 is that mids hit people ducking and lows hit people standing. And you have that horizontals track, but verticals can break through horizontals, and that B''s break A''s, but you can avoid them by stepping.

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Personally, I've always loved the Samurai Shodown series. Particularly III and IV (though is it just me or was IV ridiculously easy compared to III?)

What makes the game system unique in this series (starting at SS III) is how you can dodge attacks by leaning to the side rapidly. This can be used against ANY attack, but requires very good timing. Someone with enough skills and reflexes could counter virtually any attack by dodging the instant the opponent moves and countering with something while they recover from their attack. This, of course, requires an unparalleled amount of skill.

An other good series by SNK with a similare system is Last Blade. I've only played LB II, though the first one has a similare system: you can smack your opponent's weapon out of the way if you time it right. This doesn't work against every attack, but it certainly keeps you on your toes and beats the heck out of cheap blocks.

The point here being that neither of these series boil down to a rock-paper-scissors system at all.

Edit: You can't predict your opponent's moves in rock-paper-scissors. ESPECIALLY when your opponent is a computer. It's pure luck because any and all figures have an equal chance of being displayed with no bias (though, with RNGs being what they are, that's highly debatable Seeing as we can't possibly hope to make even an educated guess as to what'll come out next, though, I think calling it random is right). Against someone, they might subconsciously favor, say, paper, but there's still no way you can put the odds in your favor even slightly significantly. Unless your opponent is really stupid.

[edited by - RuneLancer on April 12, 2004 10:28:38 PM]

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First, I agree that rocks-paper-scissors (RPS) isn''t the way to go. Number one, because as mentioned, it boils down to a guessing game.

Secondly, it''s just not how fighting works. One of the better roleplaying systems I''ve seen (which is turn based) is a indie game called The Riddle of Steel. You can download intro rules from their website at www.theriddleofsteel.net.

In a nutshell, each player decides secretly whether they will attack or defend. They represent their choice by throwing a red die for an attack, OR a white die for defense. When the GM calls out, each player throws their die.

If both players choose to attack, then the character with the highest reflex rating goes first. This is bad news for the slower guy, because damage applied is immediate. In other words, if the slower player takes damage, he must attack with any penalties associated for being wounded.

If both players choose to defend, then they circle each other like hawks.

If they differ, then the attacker and defender secretly decide again how many dice they wish to use in the upcoming exchange (TROS uses a combat pool which is a number of d10 based on your skill proficiency, attributes and other modifers). SO for example, Player A might have a combat pool of 12, and player B might have 14. Player A decided to attack, while player B decided to defend. Player A commits 7 of his dice to attack, while player B commits 8 dice to defense. During the declaration, the attacker must state not only how many dice he is committing, but also the mode of attack and where he is aiming (they use a fencer''s quadrant position).

Now each player rolls their dice pool against a certain target number. The target number and dice pool are also affected by what manuever each combatant chooses. For example, for a defender to attempt a counter, he subtracts 2 dice from his pool. The target numbers are determined by weapon type and type of maneuver chosen (for example a lunge or a slash with either a falchion or a rapier will have different target numbers). The dice are rolled and every die is compared against the target number. For every die that matches or beats this target number, that''s a success. Whomever has the most successes ''wins''. So if the defender rolls more successes than the attacker, he successfully blocks. The more successes an attacker achieves, the more damage he does.

Normally the order of battle is only determined in the first exchange. After that, whomever has the most successes gains the initiative.

Now, I changed the rules a little bit, and here''s how I do it. First off, there''s little incentive to defend. In attacks, multiple successes means more damage, but with few exceptions, multiple successes for defenders mean nothing. So I changed the rules to mean that every success for the defender is an extra die gained if they choose to attack in the next exchange.

I also changed the first round of combat. The player must select two dice...either both red, both white, or one of each. They also must add the numbers they roll. The highest tally goes first. If the defender wins the initiative, he may chose to pre-empt the attack by sacrificing half his dice, but switching to attack mode instead, or he may switch to using a counter. Another thing I changed was if both players attacked, if the margin between both for initiative was 5 or less, then they attacked each other simultaneously (I didn''t buy the designers excuse that there was no such thing as simultaneous attacks...the Japanese coined a term for this very act, Ai Nuke, ''mutual desctruction'')

A system like this would be fairly easy to implement on a computer system. The Riddle of Steel is very much oriented around fencing, but you can figure out your own manuevers.

One thing to remember. Attacks and defense aren''t inherently balanced. Just think of all the factors that go into a manuever:

Speed: How quickly can you execute the technique?
Accuracy: How accurate can this technique be applied?
Power: How much force over time can be exerted?
Openness: Will executing this technique leave you vulnerable?

Also remember, there really are no ''counters''. What are called counters can be applied to many varieties of techniques, not just one or two. So there really is no such thing as Rocks-Papers-Scissors. If you watch anime or hear fencing stories, ("Aha, I see that you are using the Agrippa style...I will easily counter that with my Ballistrade-Fenestra!!") that''s really just fantasy stuff. Also many maneuvers change depending on how they are executed. For example, most people think that the karate ''chop'' is a strike. It''s really meant to be a block that hits the attacker right at a golgi tendon, causing the reflex to be activated. But in a pinch, it works as an offensive strike too.

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quote:
Original post by tieTYT
quote:
Original post by dgaf
quote:
Original post by tieTYT
Almost every fighter has a rock-paper-scissor aspect to it. Even with rock-paper-scissor you can anticipate to beat your opponent.

But not every fighter is fundamentally a rock-paper-scissors game.

There''s a level of uncertainty inherent in a fighting game (or combat, for generalization purposes), but the core play cannot revolve strictly around the roll of a dice or the flipping of a coin. Such activities are anti-interactive.



But a rock paper scissor game is not that way either. I''m sure it is the first time, but if you end up playing long enough you will be able to anticipate your opponent.

I think we may be thinking of different things. The rock paper scissor aspect in Soul calibur 2 is that mids hit people ducking and lows hit people standing. And you have that horizontals track, but verticals can break through horizontals, and that B''s break A''s, but you can avoid them by stepping.


Yeh, that was the way I was thinking about it.

Let it be known that I in no way think that the paper-rock-scissors method is the best simply because I chose it, and it was just a random thought at the time.

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Perhaps one of the biggest problems with the RPS system is that it invariably puts the characters on equal footing. No matter what the other guy does, you''ve got a 33% chance of victory, a 33% chance of defeat, and a 33% chance of a draw. Take a look at the simplified little fighting system in the InuYasha flash game at Adult Swim''s webpage for a slightly modified approach. Not only do you get to fool around with distance and position for evasion, etc., but you can choose to invest more or less in the individual moves you execute. It''s a neat system, and worth a look. The downside is that it''s highly turn-based, but the action queue makes it go pretty quickly, and forces you to anticipate far enough ahead that some real strategy comes into play.

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Every fighting game works off of a rock paper scissor system. Sometimes it may have multiple RPS''s in the same fighting game and almost always one is weighted more heavily than another (it''s better to use rock than the other two for example).

For example, in any 3D fighting game, as soon as i''m in reach, i would theoretically be as likely to go for a mid attack as a low. But since mids are weighted so heavily in favor of lows in every 3D fighter i''ve ever seen, the game does not boil down to random guesses. This adds depth.

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If every fighting game were to come down to RPS, then every fighting game would be random.

You can structure the fighting system to work off of the idea that no one path is greater than "all others", but to base the entire experience on RPS (including chosing actions) negates any skill that a player may posses. He is no more likely to beat anyone that he plays.

RPS means randomness. A structure in which no one way is "always" the best way is not the same as randomness. RPS is based on that idea of an "always" condition in result, but the actual act of picking your path is as random as flipping a coin.

There are two elements to RPS: the choice and the result.

The result is based off of "no one way is greater than all others". It is evenly balanced - 33/33/33%. No one option is more enticing.

The act of picking my move is a random choice. You may be able to anticipate someone''s move, but you cannot know until it''s over.

Just because I have two options of punching and one is "more favorable in reward", it does not mean that I will choose that punch. I could choose the less effective punch because I ancitipate that you expect me to punch you in the more effective way.

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It''s worth re-iterating that in a R/P/S system, AI opponents can be absolutely infuriating, since they have neither strategies nor habitual actions. When a buddy and I play MK:DA (which 0wz0rz Soul Calibur II), we eventually reach a synchronized state, where our opening attacks can be anticipated with some regularity, and our fight get longer and more intricate. When a third person gets involved, we either win or lose in a big hurry.

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Just one more reason that although an RPS system is "easy to implement", you get what you pay for

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quote:
Original post by dgaf
If every fighting game were to come down to RPS, then every fighting game would be random.



I didn't mean literally RPS, my last reply clearly explains that. But the concept of RPS that all 3D fighters implement is the RPS concept of A beats B, B beats C, C beats A. Please keep in mind that this is the RPS aspect that fighters use, not the random factor.

[edited by - tieTYT on April 13, 2004 9:52:23 PM]

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Ever hear of BattleMail? Was fhe first email based turn-based fighting game, which spawned a million clones. It was effectively paper-scissor-stone, Kung Fu, Turkey Deathmatch, and the last and most in-depth game we did; Joust. The latter had MMPORG style progression and weapon upgrades, plus a few community based story events.

We had over a million players in the 3 years it ran for, with millions upon millions of matches played out and an extremely active online community. All in the past now though...

[edited by - Starboy on April 14, 2004 6:28:21 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think I can see this game working...

Rather than strictly turn based, I imagine it as being in a kind of slow motion...like this:

Player A punches at Player B''s face. The punch is moving in slow motion, and Player B has about 3 seconds to identify the attack and execute an appropriate block and counter. In this case, he decides to perform a high-block with his right hand, and then leans towards the opponent to knee him in the stomach.

Player A has a few seconds to recognize the shifting of Player B''s body, the lifting of the leg, to know that a knee is going to be coming in. So he steps back, and executes another punch towards Player B''s face.

Player B''s knee comes up short, but unfortunately his momentem doesn''t allow him sufficent room to block the punch, and so he''s carried straight into it...

Basically, when it''s your turn, you get a few seconds to analyze the fighters'' positions, their movements, etc. and issue an attack or movement. As the fight progresses, the time you are given to plan your turn gets slightly shorter. When the fight is all done, you can watch it again at full speed.

I like the ideas of fighting multiple opponents as well. Throw in random locations and weapons.

I visualize this as being extremely realistic, keeping with the laws of physics and anatomy. Various fighting styles are used by different fighters so that one will use movements from Kung Fu, another from Karate, etc. (A Kung Fu fighter might be able to execute a block, grab, and counterjab maneuver, and a Karate fighter might execute a dodge, grab, and bone-break maneuver, etc...)

The best players are the ones to recognize quickly what attacks his enemy is executing by watching the shifting weight of his opponent, the movement of their limbs, etc. to know what is going to happen, and then be able to counter it effectively.

What will make the game so interesting is that instead of just being given standard blocks and attacks, you have a library of various attacks, grabs, blocks, and counters. You could block high, inside, outside, each motion carries each players limbs and momentum in different directions. Block out to open them up, follow through with a jab to the throat, punch to the abdomen, etc.

In some martial art styles, this kind of game is played in real life. Two opponents ''spar'' in slow motion, giving themselves time to watch their opponents movements and motions and execute a counter, and it just goes back and forth. After some time in training, the sparring gets faster and faster as their reaction times speed up.

The interface would have to be interesting as you would need to be able to choose from many, many possible actions in a very short amount of time...perhaps a relative menu kind of system where you first select the limb you want to use, how to use it, (block, attack...) and where. So you might issue an attack like Left Hand - Chop - Throat.

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Try move trees.

Each move links to other moves, has a cirtain type, attack value, and defencive weaknesses. (for each move)

EG. A block which blocks 20, weaknesses; Heigh jab.

B-------- (sorry the lines of |'s got chopped off)
| \ -
A N -
|\ / \ -
D A D --
| | -
N D -
| | -
---------

BA = (ATP - AV) * MW
MW = movement weekness (in decimals)
ATP = The power of the attack
AV = Attack value- 20 in this case
... only a few generic functions to determine the attack powers for each type of move.

The player will have to anticipate which moves their opponant is going to use, then figure out which part of the tree would be better off to use it. (and an AI would be easy... Minimax anyone?)

[edited by - Nice coder on April 16, 2004 7:56:43 AM]

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Just watching the adds for "Fight Night", the new boxing game from EA, I think it will either have some interesting ideas implemented in it or be a really lousy game. Since it got such fantastic reviews, maybe it''s worth a look.

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It''s from EA; it will be lousy.....or taken from someone else

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