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Kest

Slice, stab, pierce, smack

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I'm having trouble coming up with damage types. I want the damage types to be generic in their name and description, and not specific to any type of weapon or ammo. This is a lot more difficult than I expected :) Here are some damage types that I believe are very unique. Either as to how they apply damage to objects or how armor can deflect them:
  • Blunt
  • Blade-slice
  • Blade-stab
  • Arrows / bolts / darts / shurikens
  • Bullets / Frag-Grenade-like fragments
  • Energy (lasors)
  • Plasma
  • Explosive
  • Heat (fire)
  • Cold
  • Optics (flashbang)
  • Hearing (sound waves)
  • Respiratory (poison or gas grenades)
There are a two issues I need to overcome. First, I don't want the player to be aware of any damage types unless they pertain to the situation. In other words, I want to let my player know what his armor abilities give him/her, but without showing them every attribute every time armor status is viewed. Sounds impossible? Obviously some armor that's made to stop blade stabbing is going to be somewhat effect against bullets - or at least better than others. But I don't want my player to be aware of every type of damage in the game world after equipping one item that might slightly protect them against everything a small bit. One possibility would be to prevent displaying any damage type until the player is attacked with an element. This way the player actually learns damage types as they are inflicted. Any other ideas? The second issue is the naming / describing of some of these damage types to prevent associating them with any specific weapons. The specific two I'm currently stuck on are arrow type projectiles versus bullet type projectiles. How can I name and describe the differences between arrow damage and bullet damage? Obviously, a wooden shield is not going to defend as well against bullets as it does against arrows or darts. I would prefer to avoid naming one low velocity projectiles and one high velocity. But if anyone is clever enough to come up with better names meaning the same things, that would be pretty sweet. Anyway, that's it. Sorry for such bulky wording. And thanks for any suggestions.

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Hay, this game sounds gory :) I like that...

Quote:
I want to let my player know what his armor abilities give him/her, but without showing them every attribute every time armor status is viewed. Sounds impossible? Obviously some armor that's made to stop blade stabbing is going to be somewhat effect against bullets - or at least better than others.

A lot of the time this might come down to common sense, most players will know the benefits of a flack jacket V's a bullet, or a suit of armor V's a club. Come to think of it, how many types of armor can you have? If your making up types than make it clear through their names, example: Teflon vest clearly good against heat, but crap against bullets :)
Quote:
The second issue is the naming / describing of some of these damage types to prevent associating them with any specific weapons. The specific two I'm currently stuck on are arrow type projectiles versus bullet type projectiles.

Thats a tricky one, I can't figure out what your games about but the biggest difference here seems to be the age of the weapon.. so how about an age class for all your weapons like: 'Ancient' / 'modern' etc so An arrow would become an Ancient Piercing, and a bullet - modern piercing...

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Flak jackets aren't effective against bullets, they're made for catching shrapnel, and even in that respect they aren't very good. Kevlar is crap against stabbing weapons, unless you've got the plates underneath.

I think you could simplify your equations a bit (for kinetic energy weapons at least) just by using two elements, that is the force being applied, and the area being applied. So like a bullet hits a guy with level 3 Kevlar (tm?) armor, the energy is converted from a piercing energy to a blunt force trauma type injury. You're still being hit by the same amount of force, but this way your character can absorb a certain threshold of energy without suffering injury. So you figure the mass of the victim and the energy of the round to determine the total amount of damage done (I suppose you could use HP as a quickie substitution for body mass)

As for the arrow vs. the bullet, you figure that the only difference is the energy being delivered, so I would just group it in Kinetic Kill Weapons or something.

Also, the British and Americans use a special ceramic armor to defend against various plasma injector warheads (Shape Charges) so that's something you might add in, and I think the British are also working on some kind of new armor that uses huge amounts of electricity to deflect plasma.

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Mmm tough actually, there are many ways you could split it. Define all the major categories then think of names for all the combinations.

Area of Effect
--------------
Blunt/Sharp -> extreme blunt covers large area, extreme sharp covers tiny area so Blast = affects everywhere, Bash = medium sized region e.g. head, Slash = long narrow region e.g. across chest, Stab/Pierce = tiny region e.g. heart, eye etc

Method of Delivery
------------------
Chaotic (e.g. expanding gas - explosion), Projectile (e.g. bullet, laser), Long range tethered (e.g. morning star?), hand-held (e.g sword)

Method of Damage
----------------
Thermal (Hot/Cold), Optical (Light), Nuclear Radiation (alpha, beta, gamma), Other Radiation (microwave, x-ray etc), physical/kinetic, acoustic (sound), pressure (air), Chemical


e.g. a bomb would be Blast+Chaotic+Thermal/Optical/Pressure
a bullet would be Pierce+Projective+Kinetic
a sword would be Stab/Slash+Hand-Held+Physical
a laser would be AnyArea+Projectile+Optical/Other Radiation
a flash band would be Blast+Chaotic+Optical+Acoustic+Pressure

This is the system I'm using for a game :D

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Kevlar is effective against light munitions e.g. pistols, machine pistols etc. When you're shot you'll still get knocked for six.

A flak jacket is effective against high caliber riffles - it is for stopping bullets. It's not commonly deployed because it's too heavy to use in the field and resticts movement too much.

New materials are being developed which harden instantly when an electric current is passed through them. You can use this to have a flexible jacket that stiffens to stop the impact of a bullet when it touches the surface.

Plasma based weapons?? Not really heard about this but flamethrowers would fall in to this category. I can't see you feasibly deflecting the heat away.

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Quote:
Original post by DogCity
A lot of the time this might come down to common sense, most players will know the benefits of a flack jacket V's a bullet, or a suit of armor V's a club. Come to think of it, how many types of armor can you have? If your making up types than make it clear through their names, example: Teflon vest clearly good against heat, but crap against bullets :)

I'm slightly worried that I might end up with too many types of armor for descriptive names to work. Some equipment also uses made-up materials, so players will not be able to use common sense in those situations.

I also don't want the player to have to compare all of these values for every change of equipment, so I still like the idea of hiding the data. Perhaps some other way to convert it into a format that's easier to read quickly. Maybe by grouping categories together. Like displaying arrows and bullets as a "projectiles" category. Simply add them together. The same with other types, such as slice + stab, and explosive + fire. I could narrow it down to about five displayed types, I think. The only problem would be that the player is losing details. If their armor protects heavily against slicing but not much at all against stabbing, they'll have no idea.

Quote:
Thats a tricky one, I can't figure out what your games about

It's set very far into the future. But technology is set back to the dark age style of living. So brand new types of medieval weapons (automatic crossbows, arrow-head bolting pistols), as well as classics (only so many ways to invent a long metal blade thingo), and there are rare modern and futuristic equipment scattered around in bunkers and the like.

Quote:
Original post by Horatius83
I think you could simplify your equations a bit (for kinetic energy weapons at least) just by using two elements, that is the force being applied, and the area being applied.

As for the arrow vs. the bullet, you figure that the only difference is the energy being delivered, so I would just group it in Kinetic Kill Weapons or something.

It's not quite that simple. Consider a chainmail type that deflects arrows well. Bullets could fly right into the holes (Although I obviously can't calculate whether or not they really go into the holes). So the chainmail would have a very low rating against bullets - practically worthless. With perhaps an accasional random deflection.

Quote:
Also, the British and Americans use a special ceramic armor to defend against various plasma injector warheads (Shape Charges) so that's something you might add in, and I think the British are also working on some kind of new armor that uses huge amounts of electricity to deflect plasma.

That's pretty interesting. Thanks for the information :)

Quote:
Original post by Metorical
Mmm tough actually, there are many ways you could split it. Define all the major categories then think of names for all the combinations.

That was how I started it. But I wanted to allow very specific behaviors for specific types of damage.

Quote:
Plasma based weapons?? Not really heard about this but flamethrowers would fall in to this category. I can't see you feasibly deflecting the heat away.

A large steel shield would deflect the heat pretty well (dragon fight!). The damage types are also not exclusive to weapons. For example, the heat and cold types are used for weather effects.

Thanks a lot for all of the suggestions.
I wish I could make up my mind.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
I also don't want the player to have to compare all of these values for every change of equipment, so I still like the idea of hiding the data.


Who is your target audience? If it's hardcore number crunchers, then lots of permutations in weapon and defensive effects will probably be pleasing. But if its a wider audience, it's going to be pretty annoying to search through more than a few combinations. A player often simply wants to know what the bad guys are packing so that he can dress appropriately. If you create too many permutations, there's a strong chance that the amount of armor required (not to mention weapons to attack with) will balloon and that you'll need to segregate your enemies into less interesting packs (or risk the player constantly being unable to defend an irresistible attack).


Quote:

It's set very far into the future. But technology is set back to the dark age style of living. So brand new types of medieval weapons (automatic crossbows, arrow-head bolting pistols), as well as classics (only so many ways to invent a long metal blade thingo), and there are rare modern and futuristic equipment scattered around in bunkers and the like.


[evil] Don't take this personally, but in the name of all of humanity's unborn generations I beg of you to be more inventive than this! Please, whatever you do don't resort to the lazy a** "it's the future but really the past" creative bankruptcy that serves as the foundation for:


  • Traveller / Megatraveller
  • Noble Armada
  • Emperor of the Fading Suns
  • Space: 1889
  • Warhammer
  • Star Wars
  • Several of the Final Fantasy games
  • etc. etc.


Sci-fi RPGs are rare enough as they are. Putting automatic crossbows (and "lazer swords" too, presummably????) is like giving a starving man ripe, delicious looking apple made of wax. Biotech, nanotech and cybernetics offer acres of creative freedom. If you MUST go the route of "it's the future but the past" at least vary the shape of weapons (like the Klingon Ba'tleth) and give us nifty stuff like heat-seeking glaves or genetic signature swords (which would explain Excalibur, by the way).

(PS: I'm not anti-medieval so much as just tired of the lack of creativity)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_jacket
Flak jackets are not meant, nor are they effective against bullets of any sort.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HEAT
It doesn't state it as being plasma, but it is high velocity jet of molten metal.

As for the chain-mail, a bullet will pierce through plate-armor, so chain-mail would be no problem. This is why you didn't see many knights after handheld firearms got popular. I think the whole purpose of chain mail was defence against cutting weapons like swords and axes, I'm not sure if they were much help against any sort of piercing weapon.

I guess to expand my previous post you could divide it this way:
Weapons that operate off of kinetic energy (bullets, KE-Warheads, the Rod's from God concept)

Weapons that operate off of oxidization or vaporization (changes at the molecular level) you've got your LASERs, Particle weapons, HEAT might apply

NBC's of various sorts, weapons harmful to life but which have little effect on machinery

EMP, Computational, jammers, electronic weapons designed for the purpose of altering and or destroying communication networks, command and control structures. This could be anything from small bits of tin-foil and graphite streamers to a small yield nuclear device detonated in the upper atmosphere

Psy Ops(which is really hard to do well) initiatives designed to reduce the enemies willingness, or capability to fight.

I'd be very interested in seeing a game with an in depth combat system (as opposed to Tanks vs. Infantry vs. Aircraft type stuff) good luck on your project!

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I think that "damage types" come down to some relatively basic (used liberally) physics equations [see math board]. While I have no idea what these equations are, I know that while we oral conversers like to have fancy names for everything, really a sword is just causing a wound with X amounts of force over Y amount of area. If you slash, you have less amount of force, but perhaps the razor's-edge of the blade lets it cut easily through anything(see Lightsaber). However, a good thrust, utilizing only the very tip of the blade(small size) focuses the force of the impact in such a way that you can ram your blade through your opponent to the hilt, cutting your swath of destruction right through their lower intestines.

A bullet would work the same way, only the force is much greater(over a certain range) and the impact area is much smaller, allowing it to pierce just about anything(see FMJ-AP munitions). So, we take the example of a billy club, large and heavy, so we can only apply so much force and the impact is distributed over a large area, allowing for a more "concussive" attack rather than actually penetrating the victim(hypothetically).

Where does this all get us? Well, if you armor has a "toughness" of 5, and we assume that after some quick equations a thrust from a dagger only does 4 units of "attack force" then we can assume that the thrust is bounced off of your armor, though some slight chinking/denting/general wear and tear may occur to your armor as a result.

Another important factor in this model I believe, would be to target specific body parts and allow them to become disabled, giving each body part an "HP" if you will. Once a limb is damaged to a certain degree, it becomes useless. This allows for further depth to the system as well as instant kill shots if the damage is applied locally to the head/neck/heart region(Instant-Kill Zone). It's a lot of numbers that need to be stored on armor types and weapon types, however, they're all for the most part, integers and so not all-together very consuming on resources in the long-haul.

As for... damage "types". We would need to track what the armor is made of and have a hash-table of the proportional weaknesses to certain types of damage. For example, player X has "The Uber Fire Sword" but player Y has "Armor of the Ice God". Player X's sword has the special flag/value of "Fire" "15". Meaning on our sliding scale, every impact X makes does 15 "points" of fire damage to whatever it strikes. Player Y's armor has the special flag/value of "Ice" "12". Since Fire and Ice would be polar opposites on the grand scale of things then we can logically assume that Player Y has 12 points of resistance to "Fire" type damage, but since Player X has 15 points of fire damage, he sneaks through 3 points, doing damage perhaps to Player Y's armor or person. Or we can go the alternate route and trace material types to the extent of (steel, wood, leather, etc...) and use the real-world(or pseudo-real) values that would be applicable in such situations. For example, we know that wood reacts(catches fire) at X degrees, while steel reacts(melts) at Y degrees. This could be the easy enough difference between not only what happens to the player's armor or person, but whether or not elemental type damage is effective or not.

Then again, we must also logically consider what would happen to Player Y if he were hit with a flamethrower, regardless of his armor, how would his body react? I don't know, but I'm sure the research is out there for the looking. If you're going for depth there's no better place to start than with the truth and build up from there. After you know the Real-World statistics for your established weapons, you will have a good basis with which to judge your fictional damage/weapon/armor types upon.

Anyway, good luck, that's my two cents.

Vopisk

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Are you sure you need all those damage types? I'm very much in the school of designing games first from the point of being fun, then trying to make them make sense later. I'd only include all these different damage types if it adds to the enjoyment of your game.

For example, both Freedom Force and Pokemon have complex system of damage based on elemental types, but that's because it adds to the strategy. If your hero is made of metal, you know that you will be good against bullets, but weak against electricity, and so on. However, in a generic RPG setting, it probably isn't a good idea to have more than a couple of damage types. If I need a degree in inorganic chemistry just to understand the defensive part of combat in your game, then it's unlikely that I'll enjoy your game.

I'd definitely report the defensive qualities of armour to the players, however. There has to be some information for them to base their decisions on. You can simplify the descriptions to generalities such as "Plate Mail Armour: Very good against piercing weapons, good against blunt, weak against electricity" for example, but the info. should be there.

Plus I also agree a little bit with Wavinator's miniture rant against the "future dark age" issues with your weaponry [smile]. I'm not really against it if you can make it work, but it seems a bit to me like you want to like RPGs with both swords and guns, and have warped the game world to include both. I don't mind using melee weapons in a sci-fi game if there's a reason for it, but for some reason most games make melee weapons better than guns, which confuses me (why doesnt the army just issue every soldier with a broadsword then?).

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