Author Topic: Enjoyable Combat, wherefore art thou?  (Read 3996 times)

Mythics

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Enjoyable Combat, wherefore art thou?
« on: December 02, 2011, 09:15:51 PM »
Hello all,

I just joined up here with a specific question in mind, but from the looks of things, I might be coming around quite often for assistance if there are those here able to give it.

I've been looking into combat in most roguelikes as I develop something close to one of my own, and combat came up as quite a tricky thing. As it is going to be quite the foundation of my game, so too will items/spells/movement/visual range/etc all follow.

So, my question to this community, what styles of combat are most enjoyable?

I've been considering a system where all actions are placed into phases and each cost a set number of points (so you could move 2 tiles over, cast a spell, then get into a defensive position all in one round where each action cost a number of points to balance the lot of them).

I've also been considering a more simple version where every action uses up your turn, but add complexity to your actions (even for regular physical combat, so that piercing weapons do more damage to well armored opponents and cause bleeding, but heavy weapons might cause knockdown/knockback/armor damage).

I've even been considering making this with a skillbar for the player, where depending on the weapon, you may have different abilities to select from.


The game is intended to be more based on player skill rather than on character skill/level. I certainly prefer claiming to have defeated something on my own due to my intellect/preparation rather than because I grinded goblins for 3 hours prior to killing the giant dragon of doom and hope others do too. So, with these things in mind, anyone have any suggestions for a total newb game designer?

NON

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Re: Enjoyable Combat, wherefore art thou?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2011, 09:57:05 PM »
It's hard to answer these questions without any idea what your game is about. I hope you have a better concept of this than a list of combat mechanics and an intent to not reward grinding.

What makes the game fun? What is special about it?
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Darren Grey

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Re: Enjoyable Combat, wherefore art thou?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 03:35:44 PM »
I suggest checking out combat moves in PrincessRL - some really fun and interesting stuff in there.

Pueo

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Re: Enjoyable Combat, wherefore art thou?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 06:04:43 AM »
/*Sorry for the wall of text, but I've also given this a lot of thought. Enjoy!*/

I've been looking into combat in most roguelikes as I develop something close to one of my own, and combat came up as quite a tricky thing. As it is going to be quite the foundation of my game, so too will items/spells/movement/visual range/etc all follow.

Items are very important.  While a good cloak of Acid Damage protection may seem like a good idea on a level with slimes or some other corrosive substance, it'll be useless on that one Dragon boss level.  A variety of damage types, such as acid, fire, cold, electricity, etc will be very important.  Gonna fight with your fists? Better get a variety of gloves, because you do not want to touch a live wire monster with your bare skin, just as you don't want to smack a living ball of fire with your measly unprotected fists. Let people throw potions, scrolls, and daggers, let them do unusual things. Don't limit people.

Magic is tricky. On one hand, it is a very important aspect of a game, on the other, it can be very unbalanced if not done right.  I'm not to sharp on all the ideas, but a few things you definitely need are: Limits on how much you can cast (Don't make it too free or restrictive), define how you learn and cast spells, and make the spells varied. Don't limit it to combat, you want everyone to sample your magic. The best thing you can do is balance everything. Play test ALOT.

Something you are going to need to do eventually is decide on a time system. Is it real-time or turn based?  Does everyone move at the same speed (not recommended for you, from what I think you want) or do certain creatures move faster or slower? Also consider, for added realism, how long it takes for projectiles to hit.  Maybe magic is faster than the speed of light, so it takes 0 time(or turns, depending on what you want) to get to the target.  Maybe arrows are faster than darts, so while a dart may travel 5 squares in 1 turn/second, an arrow will travel 10 squares in 1 turn/second. That kind of stuff is pretty important in tactical fighting.

After you have that figured out, think about Field of View (FOV).  If ranged combat is a large part of your game, use something like Permissive FOV (Brogue uses it). Basically what that does is if a square isn't obstructed by walls (or large ferns, if your game has that kinda thing) you can see it. You can use FOV's like Shadowcasting (DoomRL uses it?), but that won't help at all with tactical combat. It's a-symmetric, meaning that anyone approaching you from the sides will be invisible until they're just a few squares away, while anyone approaching from above or below is visible for miles.  Try playing some different games until you see one you like.

One thing about combat is, if you do everything to code, or to book, it won't be fun.  Add something sufficiently awesome that people will never have seen before. For example, I'm adding something to my project (which I won't tell you) that I have personally never seen before playing rogue-likes or googling around. So play lots, and google more!  ;)

« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 06:06:48 AM by Pueo »
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