MichaelKeay

Looking for feedback on a concept

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MichaelKeay    0

Hello, I am Michael and I have a concept for a game.

I would like to think it is a unique but simple idea, therefore I would like to hear some feeback off of someone else to see if they think it could work both in terms of being a success and being possible for as a future first project.

I would also like to specify that I am not looking for any partners in designing the concept and will not be pursuing the idea until I have the time, resources and ability.

Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear your feedback.

If you would like to give feedback, please do using private messages. Use replies only to discuss my post itself and not the concept that I am speaking of.

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jbadams    25674

Please don't cross post (that is, posting the same topic in multiple forums) - just choose one forum that you feel is most appropriate and a moderator will move your topic if necessary.

Please also see the note in your other topic about the forums being for discussion, not the place to solicit a private chat.

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      Hi there,
      it's been a while since my last post. I was creating a bunch of games but there was always something missing. Something which makes the game (maybe unique)... After a few tries I decided to start a side project for a combat system which should be used for fighting games.
      I did a lot of research and programming to finally get something that makes actually fun to play. Well... it is only a prototype and I do not want to share it (yet). Now I decided to share my ideas of the basics of a combat system for fighting games.
      Don't get me wrong... This is only my way of doing stuff and I want as many feedback as possible and maybe it will help people with their games.
      I will provide a few code snippets. It will be some sort of OOP pseudo code and may have typos.
      Content
      1. Introduction
      2. Ways of dealing damage
      1. Introduction
      What makes a combat system a combat system?
      I guess it could be easy to explain. You need ways of dealing damage and ways of avoiding damage. At least you need something for the player to know how to beat the opponent or the game. As i mentioned before, I will focus on fighting games. As it has ever been there is some sort of health and different ways to reduce health. Most of the times you actually have possibilities to avoid getting damage. 
      I will focus on these points later on.
      2. Ways of dealing damage
      How do we deal damage by the way?
      A common way to do so, is by pressing one or more buttons at one time in order to perform an attack. An attack is an animation with a few phases. In my opinion, an attack consists of at least four phases.
      1. Perception
      2. Action
      3. Sustain
      4. Release
      Here is an example animation I made for showing all phases with four frames:

      Every one of those has its own reason. One tipp for our designers out there is to have at least one image per phase. Now we should take a closer look at the phases itself.
      2.1. Perception
      The perception phase should include everything to the point, the damage is done. Lets say, it is some sort of preparing the actual attack.
      Example: Before you would punch something, you would get in position before doing the actual action, right?
      Important note: the longer the perception phase is, the more time the opponent has to prepare a counter or think about ways to avoid the attack. Like having light and heavy attacks. The heavy attacks mostly have longer perception phases than the light ones. This means, that the damage dealt is likely greater compared to the light attacks. You would like to avoid getting hit by the heavy ones, right?
      2.2. Action
      The action phase is the actual phase where damage is dealt. Depending on the attack type itself the phase will last longer or shorter. Using my previous example, heavy attacks might have a longer action phase than light attacks. In my opinion, the action phase should be as short as possible.
      One great way to get the most out of the attack animation itself is by using smears. They are often used for showing motion. There's ton of reference material for that. I like using decent smears with a small tip at the starting point and a wide end point (where the damage should be dealt). This depends on the artist and the attack.
      2.3. Sustain
      At first sight, the sustain phase may be irrelevant. It is directly after the attack. My way of showing the sustain phase is by using the same image for the action phase just without any motion going on. The sustain phase should be some sort of a stun time. The images during the sustain phase should show no movement - kind of a rigid state.
      Why is this phase so important?
      It adds a nice feel to the attack animation. Additionally, if you want to include combos to your game, this is the phase, where the next attack should be chained. This means, while the character is in this phase of the attack, the player could press another attack button to do the next attack. The next attack will start at the perception phase.
      2.4. Release
      The release phase is the last phase of the attack. This phase is used to reset the animation to the usual stance (like idle stance).
      2.5. Dealing damage
      Dealing damage should be only possible during the action phase.
      How do we know, if we land a hit? I like using hit-boxes and damage-boxes.
      2.5.1. Hit-boxes
      A hit box is an invisible box the character has. It shows it's vulnerable spot. By saying "Hit-box" we do not mean a box itself. It could be any shape (even multiple boxes together - like head, torso, arms, ...). 
      You should always know the coordinates of your hit-box(es).
      Here is an example of a hit-box for my character:

      I am using Game Maker Studio, which is automatically creating a collision box for every sprite. If you change the sprite from Idle to Move, you may have a different hit-box. Depending on how you deal with the collisions, you may want to have a static hit-box.
      Hit-boxes could look something like this:
      class HitBox { /* offsetX = the left position of you hit-box relative to the players x coordinate offsetY = the top position of you hit-box relative to the players y coordinate width = the width of the hit-box height = the height of the hit-box */ int offsetX, offsetY, width, height; /* Having the players coordinates is important. You will have to update to player coordinates every frame. */ int playerX, playerY; //initialize the hit-box HitBox(offsetX, offsetY, width, height) { this.offsetX = offsetX; this.offsetY = offsetY; this.width = width; this.height = height; } //Update (will be called every frame) void update(playerX, playerY) { //you can also update the player coordinates by using setter methods this.playerX = playerX; this.playerY = playerY; } //Getter and Setter ... //Helper methods int getLeft() { return playerX + offsetX; } int getRight() { return playerX + offsetX + width; } int getTop() { return playerY + offsetY; } int getBottom() { return playerY + offsetY + height; } } When using multiple hit-boxes it would be a nice idea to have a list (or array) of boxes.
      Now one great thing to implement is a collision function like this:
      //check if a point is within the hit-box boolean isColliding(x, y) { return x > getLeft() && x < getRight() && y > getTop() && y < getBottom(); } //check if a box is within the hit-box boolean isColliding(left, right, top, bottom) { return (right > getLeft() || left < getRight()) && (bottom > getTop() || top < getBottom()); } 2.5.2. Damage-boxes
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      The damage box does look exactly like the hit-box.
      The hit-box differs a bit to the actual damage-box. A damage-box can have absolute x and y coordinates, because there is (most of the times) no need to update the position of the damage-box.
      If there is a need to update the damage-box, you can do it through the setter methods.
      class DamageBox { /* x = absolute x coordinate (if you do not want to update the coordinates of the damage-box) y = absolute y coordinate (if you do not want to update the coordinates of the damage-box) width = the width of the damage-box height = the height of the damage-box */ int x, y, width, height; /* The damage the box will do after colliding */ int damage; //initialize the damage-box DamageBox(x, y, width, height, damage) { this.x = x; this.y = y; this.width = width; this.height = height; this.damage = damage; } //Getter and Setter ... //Helper methods int getLeft() { return x; } int getRight() { return x + width; } int getTop() { return y; } int getBottom() { return y + height; } } 2.5.3. Check for collision
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      Now we want to check, if the damage box collides with a hit-box.
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      Keep in mind, the character can get hit at phases 1, 3 and 4. This may lead to cancel the attack and go into a stun phase (which i will cover later).
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      If the enemy does an attack from the right side, we should not get damage. On the other side, if the enemy hits the character in the back, we should get damage.
      A simple way to check for damage is by comparing the x coordinates.
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      Every Dark Souls player should be familiar with the term dodging. Now what is dodging?
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      3.3. Shields
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      The biggest difference in my opinion is, jumping or ducking should have no invulnerable frames.
       
       
      I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe it is useful to you. Later on, I want to update the post more and more (maybe with your help).
      If you have any questions or feedback for me, feel free to answer this topic.
       
      Until next time,
      Lukas
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