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ExploringTheTimes

Action combat without accurate, visceral animations?

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When I think of the term 'action combat' I think of the player's focus being on the play space and not the UI. The player is focused on positioning and finding moments of vulnerability in their opponents' attack or defense cycle. Decision quality is provided to the player through high calibre animations which often include just enough fuzziness to allow room for mastery. 

I know that action combat without visceral animations is like choosing to a dull blade for a sword fight but how would you go about compensating for that decision quality and fuzziness without heavy reliance on animations and without shifting player focus to a UI? What might be the most pragmatic way to provide information to the player without 'removing' their focus from the play space?

 

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7 hours ago, Anthony Serrano said:

I think a good place to start would be defining exactly what you mean by "accurate, visceral animations".

Exactly; and also what it is meant by "fuzziness": differences between sprites and hitboxes? deliberately unclear animations? Expensive details?

Animations need to be accurate enough to support the desired kind of interaction and tactics: for the kind of "action combat" you describe the exact shape and position of the body of fighters needs to be visible and unobstructed, inaccurate animations would lead to inaccurate playing.

Consider the difference between fine-grained movement (e.g. most popular 2D and 3D fighting games allow creeping back, forward and possibly sideways very slowly) in which distances need to be measured exactly and coarse movement (e.g. on a grid, like in roguelike games or Bomberman) in which the player only needs to distinguish which places in a small set are empty or occupied and therefore graphics are allowed to be symbolic and less realistic.

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On 05/07/2018 at 12:39 PM, LorenzoGatti said:

Exactly; and also what it is meant by "fuzziness": differences between sprites and hitboxes? deliberately unclear animations? Expensive details?

Animations need to be accurate enough to support the desired kind of interaction and tactics: for the kind of "action combat" you describe the exact shape and position of the body of fighters needs to be visible and unobstructed, inaccurate animations would lead to inaccurate playing.

Consider the difference between fine-grained movement (e.g. most popular 2D and 3D fighting games allow creeping back, forward and possibly sideways very slowly) in which distances need to be measured exactly and coarse movement (e.g. on a grid, like in roguelike games or Bomberman) in which the player only needs to distinguish which places in a small set are empty or occupied and therefore graphics are allowed to be symbolic and less realistic.

Agreed, quote:"interaction and tactics" Thos being combos to corospond to the fighting dynamics of a predefined style/s, thos also corolate to techniques, manuvers the visual representation will output based on animations, especialy quoted here: "fined-grained movement", I geuss that counts as extra bonus animations like dives, rolls, flips and spins.

Movement being crutial to angles and possitions, cameras actions comes to mind, you want to see a clear adjust picture, so not to obscure hidden views when they do some back side roll or perform some grapling or tossing.

Spaces, surely space between combatans should be well balanced, agree with above comments, you would have textures overlapping and weak execution in that or any combat scene/s.

In simple terms.

And you dont want to over do animation or have unballanced animations like out of sync, that will surely cause distractions most of all.

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On 5/7/2018 at 12:50 AM, ExploringTheTimes said:

When I think of the term 'action combat' I think of the player's focus being on the play space and not the UI. The player is focused on positioning and finding moments of vulnerability in their opponents' attack or defense cycle. Decision quality is provided to the player through high calibre animations which often include just enough fuzziness to allow room for mastery. 

I know that action combat without visceral animations is like choosing to a dull blade for a sword fight but how would you go about compensating for that decision quality and fuzziness without heavy reliance on animations and without shifting player focus to a UI? What might be the most pragmatic way to provide information to the player without 'removing' their focus from the play space?

 

I'm assuming that you mean action combat between two human (or otherwise articulated) characters?

Action combat between two space ships, battleships, tanks, blood cells, etc work too, and they don't need visceral animations. All you need is an indicator that contact has been made.

First person games don't have visceral animations (or any animation really) to indicate that the player is struck, often you just get a directional bloodspot or even just an arrow...

I'm not sure what counts as a 'UI focus'... If I had a sword swing create a yellow arc, for example, that flashed red when it struck a character, would that be considered a UI focus? Or if I just made the enemy flash? Or if I just made the enemy grunt? If I'm focusing on the space when I make the attack, I should know where I was when my attack successfully connected...

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