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Dumptruck

Ranged weapons in online games

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I'm looking for some good game design examples of guns in an online game, closer to the RPG model as opposed to FPS. Additional rules follow: *Player aiming should not be a factor to allow people with poor motor skills to compete. *Must work well for PvP. *Realtime combat calculation but no real collision calculations or physics. Range degradation could be considered. If you have any other thoughts on handling guns in online game post away, I'd love to hear them.

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Make the "guns" require ammunition, and make the ammunition not easily accessible (ie. the spider I just shot crapped out a new magazine for my pistol, how convenient!).

Also, making the amount of ammunition that a character can carry realistic, as in 5 30-round magazines for a rifle, 2 rockets for a rocket launcher, etc.

I'm not sure exactly the mechanics of your system, but giving ranged weapons more realistic attributes seems to balance them out and not make them super-weapons.

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I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but Gunz online is sort of an MMORPG with Third person shooting elements. You level up your character, but swords, guns, snieprs, grenade launchers, etc and then face off against people in arena style combat. I played the beta version that is up now and it's pretty fun.

http://www.gunzonline.com

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Wow that's exactly the kind of example I was looking for, thank you EvilBean. I'm downloading now.

Sir Sapo : I'm thinking realistically too, just wonder how much range there is between guns when it comes to the ability to kill. The difference in a fantasy game between a wood stick and the Sword of Elemental Might +15 is huge and acceptable. How do you get a wider range between a 22 rifle and a Dragunov when they can both kill at good range, in regards to game space.

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One important factor is the need for terrain to affect accuracy of bullets. For other attacks this isn't as much realistic as just giving people reason to use advantageous terrain, but for guns and bullets, trees, building, and other obstacles should make a difference. Perhaps you could also have "aiming" where the longer you stand still before you shoot, and the less the opponent is moving, the more accurate the shot.

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Quote:
Original post by Dumptruck
*Realtime combat calculation but no real collision calculations or physics. Range degradation could be considered.


If this is the case, the position of the combatants should affect the battle. Otherwise, there is no point in making it real time. Here are some of the things that I think sould be taken into account:
Distance modifier - far away targets should be harder to hit.

Height modifier - it should be easier to hit lower targets.

Cover modifiers. You should give every tree and rock a cover multiplier. Then, when a player shoots another player, you check for objects between them. If you found any object, you calculate the distance between the object and the shooter and the distance between the shooter and the target. The cover bonus will be [distance between shooter and object]/[distance between shooter and target]*[cover multiplier of the object]. The cover bonus will be added to the target.

So, lets say A and B are 40 meters from each other, and there is a rock 2 meters from A and 38 meters from b, and the rock's cover modifier is 50. If B shoots A, A gets a cover bonus of 38/40*50=47.5. If A shoots B, B gets a cover bonus of 2/40*50=2.5. A is the one enjoying from the cover of the rock, since he is closer to it, and we can say he is hiding behind it.

This gives a tactical elements to your battles.

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Silent Storm had a nice array of factors in gunfighting. For instance, your sniper's second shot was more accurate than his first, since he's been "on target" longer and drawn a better bead. Shooting positions (Standing, kneeling, sitting, prone) that every boy scout knows will affect your marksmanship (more with a long gun than a handgun).

One thing that I haven't seen to my satisfaction is proper use of cover. If you're peeking around a corner or over a rock, you should get a big evade bonus, since much of your body is unavailable. Also, using a tree or the hood of a car to anchor your weapon improves accuracy completely, but it takes time to get into position.

Gunfighting is a very complex and interesting discipline, and there are many schools on the subject. If you approach it as a martial art, you'll have no shortage of interesting considerations to include in your design.

And please don't make your shotguns fie three-foot patterns at ten yards. The rule of thumb for a combat shotgun is one inch of spread per yard of flight. You have to use the sights.

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Thank you for all the excellent ideas.

I just want to avoid any systems that require the player to aim, but are still engaging enough.

I really like the cover ideas and changing stance. Detecting if the player is obscured shouldn't be too bad as long as there aren't projectiles.

Maybe crouching players get a defense bonus while in that stance? While firing on the move would affect accuracy, but you would stay locked onto the target.

I also really like the concept of first shot - should give some kind of attack bonus.

Just need to find a balance between simulating the gun play, clear rules for the players and depicting the whole event fairly.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:

I just want to avoid any systems that require the player to aim, but are still engaging enough


This is one of the most common complaints I hear from RPG gamers. Purhaps not all your players lack all physical coordnation. For some reason creators of RPGs want to cut out all control and have it be an interactive sotry. I say games are fun because they do give you control.

My point is this: I recommend that you dont completely cut out the shooting system for a replaced number system. You can still give a level of control for hitting your target that increases interactivity and hence the fun level. Look at sports games that have meters that determine your accuracy. I would say that this sytem would be far more fun then a simple dried up plain percentage/stats system.

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I've downloaded a ton of these games in past few days, Neocron 2 has a sort of combo system. When holding the crosshair over the target, the accuracy increases the longer you hold your aim. The higher your weapon skill, the faster the crosshair narrows.

I think those games use a non-FPS method to eliviate bandwidth problems as well because it gets tricky when there are 20 people around.

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