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speciesUnknown

Combat system - my plans, feedback please.

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speciesUnknown    527
Hi, his is one of many "help me plan my game content" threads I'll be running. Here is my idea for the combat system in my game. Please give me feedback! There are a variety of different classes of weapons, including projectile, but here I'll be focusing on the melee weapons. They have either one or two of these methods of use: slash swing stab e.g. a sword can be used so slash or stab. A dagger is similar, but smaller. A spear is solely a jabbing weapon. The idea is, that in third person view, you will do the default slash / fire from the hip. However, there is the option to switch to first person view. You can then aim down the barrel of guns, or go into aiming mode for melee weapons. e.g, the sword. Hold down the fire button and move the mouse, and the character looks around. However, the sword moves in the same direction, but faster. This way you can control your sword slashing, and cut limbs off the monsters. The sword is limited to pointing a certain angle. To stab, use the secondary attack. The spear: moving the mouse looks around, and again the spear moves in the same direction but faster. You can click fire to jab, impaling your enemies. Enemies will know that there is a spear between you and them and won't charge unless they are stupid (or I didn't do the AI right...) Punching: Same again, you press fire to jab, and can aim at specific body parts. e.g. punch your enemy on the nose, etc. Guns: simple really, you just shoot from the hip or aim down the sight. I've got all the technology figured out, for example a slashing weapon creates a polygon arc of a certain size, and anything contacting that polygon is cut. A spear tip is sharp and will damage something if it is moving towards it. I think that if I keep it simple and do it right, we could have a nice new system for melee weapons, rather than the current system of click once to slash. Does anybody have some thoughts on this, feedback, opinions, severed horse heads? Thanks.

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boolean    1829
So what advantage does the ability to punch someone in the nose give over circle strafing around an enemy in third person while spamming the fire button?

Secondly, if I am in third person mode and firing a gun, will the game only let me get headshots if I specifically zoom into first person?

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speciesUnknown    527
Quote:
Original post by boolean
So what advantage does the ability to punch someone in the nose give over circle strafing around an enemy in third person while spamming the fire button?

Secondly, if I am in third person mode and firing a gun, will the game only let me get headshots if I specifically zoom into first person?


My thoughts are that, in third person mode, you aim guns with the crosshair (think GTA Vice City on the pc), but melee attacks are aimed forwards.

In first person mode, there is some skill in actually aiming your mele attacks rather than spamming the fire button. The advantage is that you can cut limbs off of the zombies in first person mode more easily, as it gives greater control.

I'm not so sure the advantage carries over to fist fighting, but this game is designed around picking up physics objects and whacking zombies with those. Fists would be a last resort.

[edited for clarity]

[Edited by - speciesUnknown on March 1, 2008 2:30:54 AM]

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boolean    1829
Quote:
Original post by speciesUnknown
The advantage is that you can cut limbs off of the zombies in first person mode more easily, as it gives greater control.


That's kinda my confusion though. As a player in a zombie game my main two concerns are:

1) Keeping mobile and not getting cornered
2) Keeping distance between me and zombies (assuming for the most part they are melee only).

Therefore as a player the idea of going into first person and sacrificing the mobility of third person movement (since the camera is now used to swing the sword) just to lop one limb off just one zombie out of a pack of maybe 10 seems like a very silly thing to do. I would be much more inclined to stay in third person and run around like a madman rather than focus on trying to stab Zombie #12451 in the left eye socket.

Secondly, zombies are trying to hit me with melee attacks, therefore the worst situation I can be in is out of ammo and need to melee. My goal then is to hit the zombie and backpedal as quick as I can before he can hit me. In the case of multiple zombies, movement becomes very important. Now if I walk up to a zombie, go into first person, hit the zombie by swinging the camera about, then go back into third person, see if there are any zombies behind me now, then backpedal...well the advantage of taking off his arm suddenly seems pointless.

What I'm trying to get at is that slowly cutting limbs off zombies seems pointless, especially since they are zombies...the only important limb is the head! The only way I could see this working is if:

A) Fighting is rare
B) There is a direct need to incapacitate zombies by chopping off limbs as opposed to just hitting them in third person until they die (For example a rare type of zombie attacks as a single boss, but you need his arm which contains a security chip for the scanner. Therefore the goal is to kill the zombie without hitting his right arm).

As it stands at the moment I see no reason to use first person, but this only going off the information I have. Come on, prove me wrong! [smile]

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speciesUnknown    527
Your right about zombies, but they aren't the only monsters in this game. Plus, chopping zombie arms off is fun. Remember the house of the dead games, with the light gun?

I think I'll save the First person view for "aiming down the sight", so guns can be aimed in FPS mode, and certain ones will zoom.

The purpose of chopping off zombie limbs is that I can learn how to develop the ability to chop limbs off zombies, and possibly develop a system for fighting games to use.

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boolean    1829
Quote:
Original post by speciesUnknown
Remember the house of the dead games, with the light gun?


Shooting a limb off is easy enough, many games do that. Stabbing or clubbing a limb off is also easy enough if you just have to aim a crosshair and click to attack, just like any other FPS around. The problems stem from this system of trying to swing a sword, ala Die By The Sword, which is very very hard to get to work (let alone in a zombie game).

So yeah if you just want to have a good hit box system like Soldier of Fortune, by all means go for it.

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Wrath    122
Doesnt sound bad, I like games where melee fighting isnt just button pressing and it seems that good systems are rare. I would say that the switching between views is bit of an annoyance and doesnt fit to fast paced combat situations too well, though it might be necessary as you have ranged weapons too.

First game that comes to mind is Elder Scrolls: Morrowind which had first person melee combat. It had some good feeling of intensity to it, like sometimes really getting power behind the blow and effects like if you get hit hard the character would get knocked down to knees, but still I felt that it mostly just mattered how hard you hit (the standard hold button longer for more power system) but not the aiming so much.

Actually aiming melee attacks seems harder from first person perspective because it is hard to tell exactly when the enemy is at optimal range. This problem I have noticed when playing Mount&Blade where you can switch between perspectives and atleast in my opinion the 3th person generally works better. Also if swinging and slashing attacks include somekind of swinging motion with mouse the first person camera tends to move with it to the side which is annoying.

Well another game comes to mind that in my opinion suffered from this problem, Half-life 2 mod called Pirates, Vikings and Knights II (no ninjas or zombies though). It was pretty fun but still the combat felt much like knife combat in counter-strike.

From the more exotic systems I remember Determinance, it had sword combat (while flying) where you had to control the sword completely with mouse, block attacks by turning it against the blow and swing to attack etc. I think it was bit much with all the rotating along different axles and controlling your characters movement at the same time.

Well there was some opinions about different combat systems, my favourite is definately Mount&Blade's system.

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The_Pope    122
Seems pretty interesting to me. I like how your wanting to make it so your able to slash the limbs off the monsters. The main problem I'm seeing that could happen would be that the timing between switching between Third-Person and First-Person would be slow making it annoying to switch back and forth and even making the player stay in one perspective which your not wanting.

My advise is to figure out a good timing scheme (meaning find out how fast you can switch perspectives) and plan out how your going to make them switch, whether it be a button or whatever you decide.

Good Luck!

-Pope

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