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mengha

Modernising Old Game Controls

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Im currently just learning DX but at some point I would love to rewrite some of the old games from Atari ST (Dungeon Master, BSS Jane Seymour) into 3D and DirectX. I wont be able to do this anytime soon but Im still thinking about it. One thing that nags me is the controls they use to use. Here is a screenshot of dungeon master: http://img296.echo.cx/img296/141/dungeon4gb.jpg In dungeon master you navigate around using the mouse or arrow keys that move you to the next tile, turn 90 degrees on that tile etc. I like this style of gameplay and movement but nearly everybody else i've asked says its boring. I think being able to move around properly anywhere within the confines of the dungeon would be cool and more fun. Monsters also move tile by tile. You would spot a mummy, it would move forward a tile, you would hit it, you move backwards a tile, it moves forwards a tile etc. I think that if the mummy sauntered towards you slowly it be be more fun, scary mabye. To use weapons you would click its icon on the right and then choose an action e.g. Chop. What im thinking is that if at some point it was rewritten it to use freedom of movement what would be good ways of changing how the game plays but still keep it fun and managable? You can have 1-4 characters, its up to you. If you played first person or third person you could only control one at a time, how should the others behave? Should they be controlled by ai while your not that charater or should they just wait till you control them? How could weapons be implemented? You would have to keep switching characters to swing the sword, then shoot the bow, then cast the spell etc. Here is a screenshot of BSS Jane Seymour: http://img296.echo.cx/img296/7947/bss2mg.png this game is very similer to dungeon master but is set in the future with only one character to control and various weapons (pistols etc.) so first person would be ideal for it. What im thinking though how to change the shooting system it uses. In the original game when you are confronted by an enemy you start to get stressed, scared etc. This is represented when you try to fire a weapon. When you hover the mouse over te world view it would shake, the more scared you were the more it would shake making it harder to hit enemys. How could this be implemented in a FPS? Would it just annoy users? Just looking for other peoples opinions etc. p.s. How do you enbed images directly into a post?

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I'd go for a 3rd person isometric view for multiple characters. Then you could simply click to select a person and click where you want them to move to (much like a RTS).

You could display the inventory for all characters (in 4 seperate areas, likely along the bottom of hte screen) so you could choose the bow/axe/whatever. Clicking one of these would automatically select the person (maybe with a little glowy animation to indicate this) so you wouldn't have to worry about manually changing characters all the time.

This inventory might get a little cramped, but you could probably shorten it to only the relevant items (ie weapons & usable items) rather than include all the junk they just happen to have in their pockets.



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I think an isometric view will change the feeling of the game a bit too much. Have you tried the old "Ravenloft" games or "Menzoberranzan"? They allowed you to move all the characters around using first person view with the option of locking the movement to the tiles or being able to move smoothly around. The attacks were handled either by clicking each characters weapon icon or clicking on the enemy to attack (this would cycle through all the characters attacks one at a time per click).

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By changing presentation and movement, you're not really "modernizing" the game; you're changing the very nature of it. So, with that in mind, decide whether you want to copy the game with modernized graphics, or make a new game altogether. There are a lot of Dungeon Master clones out there. You can find several of them at http://dmweb.free.fr.

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I agree with Tom. If you want to do a Dungeon Master clone, stick with the movement used in the original. And, in my opinion, the user interface was more or less perfect. I LOVE THAT GAME ;)
I´d think about what Dungeon Master was all about and what made it THAT good: a single large dungeon, simple controls and no confusing stuff. I would at least stick with the single large dungeon design and keep the controls simple. Otherwise it wouldn´t be a dungeon crawl.
If you want to do a dungeon crawl game I would stick with moving all the characters in the party at once. Moving 4 characters one by one through a dungeon would only annoy me, at least. But: the ability to switch between single character and party movement _could_ be a nice thing. Also couldn´t work out, don´t know... I myself at least would probably often forget to switch to the proper mode and be pissed that my damn party stands at the other end of that hallway with those nasty traps while my main character already has made it across safely.
I´d also stick with the first person view for a dungeon crawl.

Oh yes, and who would say Dungeon Master is boring?? Ignorance!! Burn the heathens! :)

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Ok so if it was done to be 3D first person would the tile system be kept?

I kind of like the idea of free movement > tile movement. It could allow alot such as mummys slowing getting closer but the worms sliding about quickly.

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I was just playing Eye of the Beholder, with its tile-based movement and I quite like it. One thing you could do, though, without hurting the original game concept is animate the transitions. Click forward and move forward one tile, but don't jump forward, slide forward. Same for rotations. The 7th Guest springs to mind when it comes to this kind of movement. Although, obviously, it should be a bit faster than that.

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What annoyed me about this type of game was that I never knew the actual position of the characters. For example: you're in a party of four so you want your fighters up front and your spellcasters behind out of reach. The Wizardry series (or atleast Wizardry 8) allowed you to place your characters like you wanted.

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Seraphim: Dungeon Master allows that, too ;) But I think there are some dungeon crawls that don´t, which sucks.
Kippesoep: Ever played Stonekeep? Was a dungeon crawl back in late MS-DOS times, which did just that 'transition between tiles' thing. Good game, gorgeous graphics for that time. The transitions worked well, when you kept moving it even managed to give the impression of running through the halls. And, as you stated: They didn´t destroy the tile-system, which I really like.
Thinking about it, I would even buy a game like Stonekeep again :)

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Yes, I think the biggest advantage of moving to real 3-D would be the smooth transitions for both movement and rotation. Demise: Rise of the Ku'tan is a reasonably good example of this.

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