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Jiia

Real-time fighting styles

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Fighting in 3-Deminsions really limits the types of moves that fighters can execute. You can't do dragon punch (F,D,DF,F) type motions. You're limited to holding directions and pressing or holding certain buttons. This means the number of attack types will be pretty limited compared to what I want. The only solution I could come up with is fighting styles. I could run pretty far with the fighting styles idea in the RPG sense as well. The last thing I want is to require entering a menu and selecting a style. I want it to work very quickly. At least something you could do within a second or two, in between combos or enemies bouncing off of you. I want it to be part of the fight. With a keyboard, this isn't much of a problem; there are tons of keys. But I'm also designing it to fit onto a PS2 controller (or just any 8 button controller), and it's very easy to run out of buttons. Here are the primary combat controls so far:
  • Combat mode - Enter or exit combat mode and toggle weapons
  • Block - Also performs a counter if it's tapped quickly
  • Jump - Lots of different jumps, IE Block + Jump performs defensive hop
  • High Left - High swing-left type attacks
  • High Right - High swing-right type attacks
  • Low Left - Low swing-left
  • Low Right - Low swing-right
  • Shift - Alternates other buttons. IE, Shift + High Left could drop weapons
There are several more, such as dropping, throwing, and picking up stuff. But that's what the shift is for. There are also more actions for players who want to move with keys or buttons, as they need to have a method to toggle movement speeds if they want that. The controls are completely configurable. The above are really just actions that need mapped to something. For example, you could map High Left to the left mouse button, then low left to shift + the left mouse button. Players can also use the 4 D-pad (or POV) directions on a PS2 type controller for non-intensive actions (like dropping stuff and changing fighting styles). I'm thinking at least around 8 to 16 styles. I wouldn't expect anyone but munchkins to actually learn enough to use all of them, but they are there and there's no reason someone couldn't use them all in one fight - other than lack of controls to toggle between them. It seems like a nightmare. Does anyone have any ideas? If your rating is maxed out, I'll at least kiss the ground you walk on :)

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Honestly, there can't be any practical solutions to your problem without limiting the real time quality of gameplay.

As of now, games can only use their controllers to interface with the players, you can't go beyond that.

For using a PS2 or similar controller, you should have some seldom used button to scroll through fighting styles while also having a button that can pause combat while you switch. (this was the solution for a couple of games, the most recent I can remember being jade empire)

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Jila, would your design work if you mapped the "attack high/low left/right" to either a second controller stick, or to the primary controller stick while an attack button is pressed? That way you only need five buttons (Attack, Jump, Block, Combat Mode, Shift). I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be too hard to reduce this further with some minor gameplay tweaks (could you have automatic combat mode if you are close to an enemy?)

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Quote:
Original post by Jiia
If your rating is maxed out, I'll at least kiss the ground you walk on :)


[attention]

Back on topic: I don't think you mentioned this, but you can press different buttons in different sequences in order to trigger attacks. For example in ninja gaiden (wasn't a fighting game) or one of the newer mortal kombat games you could do x x y y y x or A B A A. Not as nice as directional button modifiers but it should work in a 3d setting (although the mortal kombat gameplay was essentially 2d).

As for the concept of different styles, a fairly recent xbox game "Jade Empire" employed this concept. I haven't actually played it, but here's what I've read: The player gets a few attack buttons, something like weak and strong buttons and depending on what style is currently equipped a different attack gets executed. The styles could be weapon based or hand to hand based or magic based, with these types of attacks executed when that style was equipped. I think certain styles were mapped to directions on the d-pad so the player could toggle between them on the fly. You'll probably want to check some previews/reviews/FAQs on Jade Empire in order to get a better idea.

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You guys gave me a pretty decent idea. What about specifying sequences on the D-Pad or POV? For example, one could switch to boxing by pressing up,up. Then switch to karate with left, right. I might as well let the player map the styles to whatever sequence they want, since I'm not trying to make it difficult to switch, I'm just trying to make it possible.

But then there's the problem with the keyboard. I don't want to make keyboard users perform sequences when they have so many buttons. I guess I'll need to have the same sequence-setting menu allow single buttons to be set as well.

I think this is a pretty nice solution. I might even let them re-use the D-Pad for other actions by allowing them to set a certain button that must be held down while they execute the sequence.

I have a lot to think about. I really appreciate the help :)
Argg, rating maxed ... *wiping dirt from face*

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Quote:
Original post by Jiia
Fighting in 3-Deminsions really limits the types of moves that fighters can execute. You can't do dragon punch (F,D,DF,F) type motions. You're limited to holding directions and pressing or holding certain buttons.

You can use 'modifier' button -- while pressed, the directional keys function as 'combo' input executed in direction character is currently facing. So e.g. the draagon punch you mention would be something like: hold down Shift, F D DF F, release Shift (the attack already is being executed by then) Shouldn't take the user too long to get used to ^^;;

(the keyboard does have many buttons, but when i play i rather watch the action on screen, with my fingers on the exact buttons i need to control game play... instead of being forced to look down on the keyboard every few second in search of that special button that happens to do what i currently want to do)

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I've been thinking more about ways to increase the complexity of combat without straining input controls too much, and I think I've got some pretty nice ideas.

All attacks initiate from a fighting state, and require very simple sequences to execute. There will be some hard-coded fighting states, such as air-born, running, standing, blocking, and moving. Then there will be custom fighting states that are defined for each weapon type. For example, an unarmed player could be moving forward, then press [Back and High Left] to perform a rough boxing-like uppercut. An animation event near the end of that uppercut would start the "Right Side High" fighting state. Another move, such as a right backhand, could be intiated from the Right Side High state. The uppercut move could also choose to go into an entire looped state at the end, where there is no time limit to execute the next move, effectively changing the stance. This means it would be possible to use that Right Side High state to execute a certain move that changes into a completely different style of fighting. So instead of stopping between combos to change styles, you could change styles during the combo :)

Still some rough edges to think about. Any opinions?

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Idea:
Combat controls
primary action
secondary action
shift
block

Movement controls
jump
crouch
wasd walk/run

Directions
attacks are done forward(normal height)
low attacks are done while crouching
high attacks are done with shift+attack
crouching+shift gives a normal/high attack while crouching

Weapons
Unarmed:
primaray attack - punch
secondary attack - kick

Sword:
primary attack - slash
secondary attack - puch/kick
etc.

Combos
Combos result in two things, based on the current stance doing a certain combo you can change(and doing another results in dealing damage or increasing your "whatever" (hp, stamina, block power etc) ).
ie in the non-defensive "crazy tiger"-stance doing a backroll(doubletapping back perhaps) changes the stance to the more defensive "tired horse"-stance.

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Quote:
Original post by Jiia
Fighting in 3-Deminsions really limits the types of moves that fighters can execute. You can't do dragon punch (F,D,DF,F) type motions. You're limited to holding directions and pressing or holding certain buttons.


I don't really see why 3D really has to make this design impossible.. in 2D there is more than one situation for Dragon Punch.. if you are on the left side of your enemy you'd hit F,D,DF,F which would be the same as doing a Quarter-Clockwise Down motion.. but if your enemy is on your left side, you'd still hit what is considered F,D,DF,F but in this instance it will be a Quarter-CounterClockwise Down motion. This has been used in every fighter I've ever played. My question is, why can't this concept be translated to (full on) 3D? If an attack requires F,F+X then the player would know to motion twice Towards the enemy and then press X, no matter where the enemy is standing this combination would issue the attack.

[Edited by - ferr on August 1, 2005 11:59:54 AM]

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