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Professional references?

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Where would be a good place to find professional references for computer games? I know the common response is google.com but there is so much information there to parse though and for someone who does not know a lot about the fields of interest, it can be hard to separate the valid out of every thing else some times. What I'm specifically talking about is references for the medical and military fields. I'm working on a future based MMORPG and am interested in getting as much reality in first before paring it back to make the game more fun only where necessary. Also the game is text based (allowing for graphics in the future if the game by some miracle is successful) and I want to make the combat (which is a combination of ranged (laser and gunpowder) and melee weapons (due to a dune type personal shielding)) read as real as possible. While I can probably find excellent material on modern combat tatics for firearms, melee combat with swords may be more difficult. Pardon the general ignorance but with the heavy push with the project at work I don't have the time or energy to do the research I would like. I hope I can do more detailed searches myself in the future but I was wondering if anyone might know some groups that would be good for such discussion. Thanks!

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If you're after realistic melee combat, about the best thing you can do is talk to re-enactors or live roleplayers who use the things in a manner fairly close to authentic. These guys will often be able to tell you about various fighting styles with weapons (rather than swing and hack) that may be appropriate to your setting. The SCA in the states have branches all over the place - they're probably a good source of information.

One thing that will be difficult to get into a game is the reliance on footwork and tactical movement in a fight. To get this to *look* right, you effectively need to remove fine movement control from characters engaged in melee (which can be a bit limiting) in order to correctly synchronise your animations (parry to strike to parry or riposte). Go along to a local fencing club (or martial arts centre that do sword or weapon work), you'll rapidly get an idea for what I mean.

If I recall correctly, Palladium books have some source material on medieval weapons that include diagrams of strikes and blocks with halberds, and various types of sword. I wish I could remember what the book was called, but I'd borrowed it off a friend and don't have it to hand. Some 'teach yourself judo' books have appropriate unarmed responses illustrated against armed attackers.

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