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Bobin_Hood

Character Movement Systems

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Hey Hey, I'm currently designing an adventure/rpg hybrid game in which you must solve a seris of puzzles to follow the story through. given that the view will be isometric, how would you (as a gamer) like to control your character through their environment? i'm trying to keep the control system as simple as possible, thus i am resorting to a point and click movement system. the only problem with this is when the character comes to a jump, should the character make the jump on their own (given the mouse was pressed at the other side of the jump) or would you prefer a jump key? i see advantages for both systems, but overall i am in favour of the character doing it by themselves. the main advantage is this will allow the player to focus more on the puzzle at hand, and less about whether they can press the jump key at the right time (which i don't see as a puzzle) on the other hand a jump key would allow the player that little extra control. so thats my dilemma, any feedback would be appreciated.

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If the character will jump automatically, you have to ask why the character is jumping at all.

If it's to add some atmosphere to a mountain top, I can see having the character jump automatically be fine. But if the jumps are added for no reason at all, they really aren't part of the character's interaction with the game, unless there is a jump key to press.

So, if you have the jumps being done automatically, I can't imagine why you'd place them more than a few crevaces in the entire game.

Just my thoughts.

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Maybe you could have the player stop once they reach the edge. Then to jump, the player has to press the jump button while facing the right direction, and the character will jump over a tile, or up a level if there are elevated tiles, or something like that. This reminds me of Mystic Towers, but that game uses keyboard control and there's not as much freedom of movement.

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You might want to bear in mind that, since point and click adds a level of indirection between the player and the movements of his character, tricky jumping puzzles are not likely to win you very many friends. Even in games where control of the character is 'immediate' (ie, FPSes) jumping puzzles are tricky and widely despised. Now, take a game where the player can click to determine the final destination of the character, but not the _exact_ path taken to get there, and you have frustration waiting to happen.

The kind of people looking for a point-n-click isometric style puzzle or adventure game (ie, me ;) ) are likely _not_ the kind of people looking for tricky jump puzzles requiring a high level of mouse dexterity, where a slight mis-aim of the mouse or mis-time of the jump button can screw up progress.

Now, I personally wouldn't mind at all if the jumping were automatic as you suggest, perhaps in a manner similar to Zelda:A Link to the Past, where jumping is automatic within the conditions of a jump (walking off a ledge) and not reliant on timing or tricky maneuvering on my part; it adds an interesting twist to some puzzles, but does not require a high degree of mouse coordination.

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I think the player should jump directly to the location he points with the mouse cursor, not in the general direction he faces as it could get very annoying trying to evalueate the correct angle, much more difficult than in real life.

Also, I think having jumps in the game could give the player an option whether to jump over a pit, or descend into the pit. Jumping from a roof of a building into another or jumping on the sidewalk and so on.

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thanks for the feedback peeps!

Quote:
If the character will jump automatically, you have to ask why the character is jumping at all.


the main reason my game will feature jumping is to differentiate between the two main characters. one will be able to jump longer/higher than the other, while the other will be able to mix more complex items together providing two seperate routes through the same level. (this of course wont be the only difference!)

Quote:
Maybe you could have the player stop once they reach the edge. Then to jump, the player has to press the jump button while facing the right direction, and the character will jump over a tile, or up a level if there are elevated tiles


hmm this gives me an idea! if the charater stops as they reach the jump, you can have several options depending where the mouse is pressed:
if the mouse is pressed on the bottom of a crevise, the character would climb down
if the mouse is pressed on the other side, the character would jump across

this could be made more clear to the player by providing visual hints as to the options

Quote:
Also, I think having jumps in the game could give the player an option whether to jump over a pit, or descend into the pit. Jumping from a roof of a building into another or jumping on the sidewalk and so on


this was another reason i want jumps in my game :D

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Personally, if jumps etc. are involved and the character doesn't find his/her route around obstacles automatically, I'd prefer to use the keyboard or joystick rather than a mouse.

However, I realise that some people would prefer to use a mouse regardless, so i would suggest taking a look at how Best Friends handles jumps using mouse control. The demo is free to download and the system must be simple to use, as I know several 8 to 10 year olds that play it.

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Okay, me and VertexNormal are going to have to step outside for a bit. [grin]

I love jumping puzzles and environmental jungle-gym style gameplay. Baldur's Gate on the console had some interesting puzzles in the Thieves Guild, but you couldn't do enough of it and they were all deadly. I understand why some people don't, so what if you compromised:

Have an in-game option to automatically jump based on the mouse cursor if and only if the player is standing on an area where you want them to be able to jump. For the RPers you could make jumping a skill which gives you a chance for success if failing a jump didn't equal automatic death, and either allow automatic success or automatically disallow them (whichever you choose) on deadly jumps.

For the more action oriented crowd that likes a bit of timing to spice up their adventuring I'd like to see a jump key and control of my character's forward / backward movement with the keyboard as an option. I got tired of click moving in the PC Baldurs and Diablo, though it shouldn't be killer to allow that kind of movement as an option as well. Allowing me to move and turn my character (particularly sidestepping) would give more of an action-adventure feel, sort of like Zena or Indiana Jones.

With a jump key, when I succeed at a puzzle I know I did it, rather than the game helping me. But if you want your focus to be more on character skills than player skills then you may want to strictly stick with the mouse based approach.

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Has anyone played Nox? in it you focus on the mouse at all times and use the keyboard to control the movement. Up/Down will move towards/Away from the mouse and left/right will circle around the mouse. You then used the jump key to jump in the direction of the mouse, but the jump would be of a set distance each time. (unlike diablo which can jump to any valid point of the screen)

I personally liked these controls but found them tricky for judging jumps. Also you had to be in range of an item before your character could pick it up meaning you were trying to press something beneth the characters feet which i felt was a bit clumsy

Quote:
Allowing me to move and turn my character (particularly sidestepping) would give more of an action-adventure feel, sort of like Zena or Indiana Jones.


sidestepping would be more of an asthetic effect in my game as combat will be turn based.

OK how about if you press the mouse close to the edge of a jump the character will automatically stop and give you the option to jump or climb as before

however also have a jump key so that while the character is running towards the mouse you can choose to time the jump. this will be how to do a running jump (jumps further) allowing more ways around the same maze.

what do u guys think?

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