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Realistic First Person Shooter Reloading Idea: 2 reload buttons

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I was thinking about how in most gun games like modern warfare 2, black ops, left 4 dead 2, and many others, they go through great pains to realistically model the physics of the projectiles while totally ignoring the bullet magazines/clips. I think battlefield 1942 did this, so that if you reloaded with 15/30 bullets in the mag, you'd drop 15 bullets from your total when you put in a new 30/30 mag. Also I think it would be neat to see some more custom gun building tools, possibly even map-modding like tools that allow users to create more guns, or a realistic version of gunsmithing/forging/tooling/carving/assembling, but anyways,,,

I was thinking that since most games have 'reload' on 'r', a good way to model magazines might be to have two reload buttons, on r and t. One is the fast reload button, it drops the magazine and puts in a new one quickly, then works the action if the gun was already empty or not if it was still loaded. (note that pumping the gun after loading is only necessary if the gun is totally empty prior to reloading or is fired once during reloading) The slow reload button does the same thing, except it keeps the half-empty mag and puts it on the bottom of the reload stack, so that when the player starts to run out they can then load a partially empty clip at normal speed. The slow reload animation takes longer and also includes storing the old clip/mag.

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Check out some of the more tactical games. Rainbow 6, Swat4, etc. They tend to have reload features similar to that. Swat4 definatly has the clip cycle, where reloading just puts the clip in your bag. If it has bullets left, you'll eventually reload to it again.

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I remember that in Rainbow Six. I thought I'd found a glitch, since manually reloading with a few shots left would give me a full magazine, but my HUD would still report four mags in inventory. Doing it a few more times, though, I eventually cycled around and found four rounds in my weapon after a reload.

I liked that, and I've always been a big fan of faithfully recreating the experience of operating a firearm in a shooter. I want to have to play a little minigame that shoves shells into my shotgun, or to have to fumble around sliding each cartridge into my revolver, maybe dropping one or having to close the cylinder and re-engage without getting it filled all the way up, so there are clicks mixed in with the bangs. Even if it was automated, but reflected a character skill, that would be cool. When your SWAT ninja guy reloads his smg it's a couple quick clicking noises and the muzzle stays on target the whole time. When you're a desk-jockeying bureaucrat who has to shake the dust bunnies out of his snubnose, he's dropping ammo and swearing and taking all week to get it into action. Get a speedloader, practice with it a little, spend some more time at the range, you'll be battle-ready.

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Yeah swat had the fast/slow realod feature, but it was the same button.

If you clip was empty, they'd do a fast reload (drop the clip on the floor). If the clip still had bullets in it, it would go to the bottom of your stack (and eventually you'd reload a half-empty clip).

Not sure about swat4, but number 3 had no hud to show you how many bullets were left inside the clip -- they encouraged you to fire in two round bursts (15 bursts for a 30 round clip), and to keep count and reload after 8 bursts (so you don't get caught with an empty clip).

The ArmA2 realism mod also removed the ammo-counter hud, and instead you got feedback on how heavy a clip felt as you put it into the gun (so you could tell when you'd just reloaded with a half-empty clip).

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There should be two reloads.
The fast reload will drop your clip even if it still has bullets in it.
The slow reload will put the clip into the bottom of your stack even if the clip is empty.
The player should be responsible for the ammo count to be realistic.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
...have magazines cost a lot of money and make the player buy new ones if he leaves them behind.


Ah! Perfect, so when the player forgets to buy magazines before entering a match, he/she just runs around!

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The problem with this type of reload feature - especially for a game meant to be played online like (as the OP said) MW2 or L4D2 - is that it's extremely frustrating. It works for games like Rainbow 6 or SWAT because they cater to a niche group of hardcore enthusiasts. I remember Mafia 1 also included a mechanic whereby unused bullets in a clip were lost upon reload (and it seemed totally out of place.)

Unfortunately, while it's more realistic, it's just not very fun. It's like having to eat and go to the bathroom in a game - who wants to do that? The more sophisticated and realistic you make a game, the less you appeal to more casual players who are just out to have a good time - which is generally speaking a good portion of the online FPS crowd.

That being said, I think the two-button reload idea would be a good implementation for a sophisticated game like Rainbow Six. It forces the player to make a decision about inventory management. Players might reload quickly to battle an oncoming threat, or take a few hits to ensure no bullet is wasted.

The thing that bugs me though is when you drop a half-empty magazine, it's not like you can't just pick it back up again after the firefight is over in real life :P

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Quote:
Original post by isometrixk
Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
...have magazines cost a lot of money and make the player buy new ones if he leaves them behind.


Ah! Perfect, so when the player forgets to buy magazines before entering a match, he/she just runs around!

Better still, he gets to drop individual rounds into his gun's chamber, reloading after each shot!

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I think this is a good idea.

With the quick swap, we're pretending to throw away the partially loaded clip, yes?

You could go the extra mile and have it actually thrown on the ground so you can recover it later if you get the chance.

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If I recall correctly, Firearms (an ancient mod for Half-Life 1) did something about the magazine problem you mentioned. Your spare ammo was not listed in bullets, but in magazines. When you reloaded a half-used mag it was kept on your person, and you could use a command later on to merge any half-used mags you were carrying.

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Some players, myself included, might think of the quick reload button as the "wrong" way to reload, though. I remember in Metro 2033 there were two kinds of ammo: The cheap ammo did less damage, but good ammo was the currency of the shops and the exchange rate was something like one good shell for three crummy ones. You could switch to better ammo any time, and get more damage per shot, but I never did that, because it felt like a weakness, like I had to turn on easy mode and buy my way through a tough fight. So I'd die and retry a dozen times until I got all headshots with the crappy bullets in order to conserve my "money". It could be that players will be disinclined to use the quick reload, and instead try time and again to manage their fights such that they're always counting rounds and timing reloads to maximize efficiency of inventory.

Adding in the "clean up" method that JoeCooper describes and the mag consolidation system MartyrOfKharak mentioned could help alleviate that problem. Knowing that you can go back and retroactively undo the harm you've done with the faster move would free up my conscience when the fighting's hairy, and I'd be able to take full advantage of the system. On the other hand, it would add some down time and scavenger hunting to the game's pace, since we OCD gamers would have a few minutes of sweeping and combining after each victory.

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Quote:
Original post by MartyrOfKharak
If I recall correctly, Firearms (an ancient mod for Half-Life 1) did something about the magazine problem you mentioned. Your spare ammo was not listed in bullets, but in magazines. When you reloaded a half-used mag it was kept on your person, and you could use a command later on to merge any half-used mags you were carrying.


This consolidation could also happen automatically: at least between stages, possibly in known lulls within a stage.
In this case a command for manual magazine consolidation might be a bad use of a button.

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