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Zarathorne

Tactical FPS

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What makes a good Tactical FPS? I've been thinking of a design for quite some time now on a great FPS and how implementing some real-life statistics into it would help. I'd like to make more of a real-life combat simulation, rather than just a "point-and-click" game. I enjoy the WASD movement along with a mouse for looking around and aiming. What I want to see done though is have your gun just sort of loosely carried, and to shoot you have to draw it or at least aim it by holding the right mouse button or maybe the shift key or something. There's some simple things that could really make a great Tactical FPS, especially one which would lead to some awesome gun battles and shoot-outs. First: No health bar. This should be basic on all tactical FPS's. A few hit boxes, say arms, legs, chest, and head. Head obviously being a fatal head shot, chest being 2 shots, legs can make sure you can't run anymore, and right arm or left arm will make it hard to aim. I'd also like you to be able to choose if you're lefty or righty at the beginning of the game. Also, the effects from being shot should not fade or anything, they should remain with you for the duration of that life. Stamina bar. You can't climb a ladder quickly, then run, crouch and roll, run some more, and climb a couple ladders. (without a couple redbulls) There should definitely be a limit to how much you can run, and then you have to walk a little ways, or rest up behind some crates, in a small corner or crawlspace. Climbing ladders, jumping, and even being shot, should all affect your stamina. Missions & Objectives. Every game scenario should have a mission with a couple objectives. These can be very short and simple if wanted, but it adds to the reality of everything because most people don't go shoot around at others and risk being shot at for no reason. Hostage situations, checkpoints, ambushes, these should all be available. No floating player names. Even if you aim directly over another, you shouldn't see their name floating above their head or anything. There should actually be absolutely no indication that you're aimed at a player at all. No hyper-saturated clothing or levels. Keeping textures of levels and characters scaled properly together, and keeping color palettes related, you can make sure that your camouflage jacket texture actually serves as camouflage! Players should also be able to use some guillee-weed,(sp?) and when you design the guillee-weed use textures and model parts from plant surroundings in actual levels. This way, the guillee-weed actually works in game. High death penalties. In specific, I liked Socom originally and how if you die, you have to wait for the next game to start before you'd be able to start playing again. Respawns and such make it really difficult to keep tactics going in a game, when all people want to do is reach a high kill tally, and will run-and-gun abandoning all tactics and strategy to do so. I believe that scores should be shown at the end of each mission, and even if the mission is incomplete you get score for that. If you die, your kill count is shown as zero, even if you killed 6 people. No stats should count once you have died. That about sums up everything I really wanted to show. Most of this can be implemented in even a pretty simple FPS engine. Ideas? Criticism?

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Sounds fun. Sounds like some nice changes that can be made to the gameplay of Battlefield 2 and make it even better. I especially liked the no respawns, and the loss of stats during death. The only addition I can think of right now is that there should be penalties for unrealistic things used to "cheapen" gameplay such as the famous jump-and-go-prone shots in Battlefield. This makes you a human missile essentially which is near impossible to shoot while you, the missile, are free to shoot your opponent with little fear of death. While a good tactic, what actual human would jump up in the air and lay completely flat out and land on their stomach/chest? That would definitely cause pain if not a bruised/broken rib depending on terrain.

The only other thing of interest is that for such a game to work, you would easily need more than 64 players (the current high for most multiplayer games that aren't MMOs) to make it interesting or at least to separate it from a glorified Counterstrike. Without respawns, too few people in a match would result in both a short and unfulfilling game. If you could get, say, 100 people in a match together, you would have a very intense battle where teamwork would be essential in ensuring that you and your team mates didn't die and achieved your goal. Hopefully 100 person FPS games will be possible in the near future, but I don't think the average person has the proper internet connectivity for it without lots of LAG.

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You'll want to play some games in the Rainbow Six series (perhaps some of the ealier ones). Also, while camouflage is a neat idea, you always end up with two major problems with 3D games:

1) It's very hard/impossible to make an AI that "sees" on a games CPU budget, and so the AI ends up feeling very unhuman (it will seem to randomly switch between blind as a bat and hi-res thermal imaging)

2) Current 3D graphics do not do that great a job of accurately reflecting layers: typically a model is a bunch of flat 1 pixel thick surfaces covered in equally flat textures. While this does a good job most of the time, camouflage relies a lot on shadow and depth; environments simplified for 3D graphics, like grass billboards, don't work well for camouflage.

More pressing is graphical settings: Camouflage does nothing if another player is running at the minimum settings where everything looks flat and plastic like (the exact opposite of that shadow and depth), making you stand out like a sore thumb.

On the other hand I have seen camouflage work in 2D games since the angle you view depth is fixed. One example is Soldat, where while it is not a key gameplay mechanic, it is possible to "hide" around maps, often requiring the player to hold their gun at a specific angle to prevent it from poking out. As it comes in a free version, you might download Soldat and try it out in realistic mode playing capture the flag or base defense, both of which might give you inspiration for your game.

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