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Author Topic: Combat  (Read 9093 times)

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Moonknight

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Combat
« on: April 01, 2013, 07:09:26 AM »

Having finally taken the time to play throught he demo, I have to admit that your implementation if the combat is already quite impressive. Specially taking into account how difficult it is to implement a good combat system directly into an adventure interface, but I also think that, despite your good efforts, it is still suffering from that, and I hope that you can find some ways to make it better.

Some possible thoughts from me: (in prioritized order)
1. Improve on the current system, with audiovisual markers and control mechanisms, so that it really can feel like combat and not clicking frenzy.
2. Small separation of combat mode from adventure mode (think HOMM or Final Fantasy) where combat can be fought out either real-time or turn based, could keep in place a lot of the existing combat system, but with a limited/clear battlefield.
3. Use current combat system but introduce turn-based or paused real-time.

Seeing what you have already done, I am quite sure you will make the best out of it and make a totally awesome game. The other parts of the demo really gave me the magical adventure feel and that means full score for you!
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hamjam

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Re: Combat
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 04:45:44 PM »

First off, wanted to say I'm a huuuuuuge fan of all the games AGD/Himalaya has put out thus far. Played the demo and would just like to reiterate the same points about combat:

a turn based combat would do wonders for the game. Could even be realtime but with slowed animation (think Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic), players load up spells and possibly target opponents (rather than click click click all over the screen) and then wait for spells to queue.

Also: wondered if there would be any hand to hand combat available? Weapons (staff, dagger, etc?) would be helpful for those times when you're mana is out and you have no potions on you. Probably not huge battle axes, more like a mages staff that can help you cast spells as well as be used to strike down an opponent.

Keep up the good work!
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antipus

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Re: Combat
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 05:07:21 PM »

Morgan the combat engine engineer speaking!

I really appreciate the positive feedback, as well as the specific suggestions as to where we can improve. We've gotten a lot of feedback about the pacing and the difficulty of the combat, and will be trying out several suggestions. At this point, I'm not ready to throw in the towel on real-time combat, but we have already made some improvements to make it easier to navigate, with more coming down the pipe.

As for hand-to-hand combat, that's against the Mages' Code. =) No weapons allowed. We'll have to see about allowing punching or pushing once we get all the spells implemented and the enemies designed. That will need to be a balance issue. The number one priority is to make it fun, not punishing!
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Nidoking

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Re: Combat
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 07:01:12 PM »

I think you could solve all of those problems quite simply by having a free or cheap-as-free melee-range spell in each school, which D'Arc will learn before he has to engage in any combat. Now the player has an option for when he's out of mana or when he just wants to conserve for a while. It's garbage, but it's an alternative to running and trying to dodge, and could even kill an enemy if they're that weak. Melee combat without the weapons.
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hamjam

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Re: Combat
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 11:00:15 AM »

One other thought I had re: combat: is there a way to pause game play while in a battle? Maybe there's already a hotkey that does this (sorry, I am new/n00b)? It would be helpful for if/when things get a little hairy. I also can see that in the real game you could  always run off screen (like I normally do in QFG, especially the AGD remake) and escape a particularly gnarly situation (damn lizard men).

Now that I think about it, I know others have expressed issues with the goblin bodies piling up and therefore becoming an obstacle, but I kinda like it. Not in a morbid sort of way, but as a real-life representation of these enemy sprites now rendered inactive and therefore take up space on the screen. I think it's rare to find that in any other game (enemies have a habit of magically dissolving / disappearing) and might be an interesting departure point for combat in this game as opposed to other video games. Also: you can potentially have a barrier between yourself and other attacking enemies with a strategically placed wall of bodies between you and them. Sorry, this is getting a bit morbid...

And last, the mages spells. So far I love them, but someone else brought up the "fire mine" (sorry, can't remember the proper name of this spell) and mentioned it might be useful as a delayed / triggered magic spell, which is how I was using it in the game - or at least I thought I was - and was part of why I drained all my mana so easily the first two times around (to date I've played the demo 6 times and love every minute of it). When I think of mines I think of something you strategically place in the ground to be activated later. After the third time playing through I realized that I had to place the mine directly over the enemy in order to make it effective (I thought I was simply clicking too often or doing something wrong to set it off before it had a chance to do it's job). Maybe this spell could be a bit of a higher drain on mana, but because of it's strategic nature it would pay off amazingly. Another thought would be with a fire mine, maybe there wouldn't be a visible marker of it's location on the gameplay screen, so potentially you could forget where you laid down your mine to make it a bit of a surprise when it gets triggered? Would be useful for situations where you know that you're about to enter into combat and the enemy either isn't on screen at the moment (but soon...) or is up at the top of the screen giving you time to set up a clever gauntlet of fire bomb mine things (sorry, I really should have replayed again before writing to re-jog the memory on what that spell is called).

Other than that, LOVE the game. Like with any game I've ever played, it takes time to get used to the combat, and that's just the way it is. I'm sure I'll get used to the style of combat here and look forward to unlocking many interesting new spells when I finally get to play the game!

Cheers

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J Dub QFG

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Re: Combat
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 04:15:14 PM »

I know lots of folks have chimed in, so I won't repeat much of what's already been posted.  But I'm currently going back through all my old QFG games and I'm remembering just how much of a pain the old combat iterations became after a while.  As the game play continued on through 3 and 4 I started going on auto pilot and eventually did just that for QFG 4.  When the combat is just too clunky or requires constant grinding I eventually loose interest in fighting.  By contrast I enjoyed the heck out of the Star Wars combat and I play the Modern Warfare series like it's my second job, so I do enjoy fighting games from time-to-time.

The reason I write all this, is that the combat here had (unfortunately) very much the same feel as the QFG 3 or 4 combat modules where I was either avoiding combat all together or would just let the computer handle the work so I could get back to adventuring.  I never quite felt like I was in control of the fight, and the cramped screen space made it feel like I was playing an old Atari game with supremely good graphics.  So far, the fighting goes something like this: cast spell(s) until the enemy closes the distance, run to opposite corer of the screen, cast spell(s) until the enemy closes the distance, lather, rinse, repeat..... Even with the larger group it all felt a little tedious.

I'll grant you, I'm probably part of the older generation of gamer, so I may not speak for the younger group that may not have a problem with the interface, but for my part it took away from what is otherwise a breathtakingly beautiful game.  Even so, you could keep the combat the way it is currently and I'd still feel like I'd gotten more than my money's worth out of the game.  The combat is my own little nitpick.
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Yukito

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Re: Combat
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 08:42:10 PM »

Hello, first time poster, long time fan.

I played the demo and thought it was quite impressive. The graphics were charming, the interaction was fun and the little bits of character and setting suggested by the text were suggested and tinkered with to a delightful degree. I really enjoyed everything that didn't have to do with combat.

Even if you improve the controls, I'm skeptical that it will be fun and agree that a turn-based system would be a better match. You could try the Final Fantasy approach and have either some sort of turn-deciding system that flows in real time, or make it pausable to issue commands and slow down the pace like Baldur's Gate, but I really don't think an action system works well in your current engine. Action is best when the control of the character is communicated extremely smoothly and you can feel the benefits of the action system making everything more exciting. Things like the fire ball spell bouncing off of objects or the player character ducking and flipping out of the way would make a good case for action.

I think you can implement the ideas you have better by making it turn-based, with real time and positional elements. It seems like you want movement of the player character to make things more dynamic, but I think you can accomplish that with a system that gives more time to react.

If you insist on keeping the same system, I think it would be better if there was more feedback to the player. The reason I play adventure games is because I like book-like story progression, so lots of reactions and Easter Eggs like the rest of the game could possibly make it a lot more fun. As it is, it feels like it stops being an adventure game and becomes something like a dinky low level freeware game.
 
I do like the idea that you are restricting combat just to magic. There are more than enough games with sword or pugilist combat. Mage's Initiation doesn't really need to join in if you ask me.

As it is right now in the demo, it makes me wish that in the final game, there will be an option to skip all battle scenes and it reminds me of ambitious adventure games of the past that got ruined by trying to implement action in game engines that weren't made for it. 

Forgive me if you think I am being too critical, but your other ideas and games are so good, I really think it'd be a shame if this lowered the overall quality of the full game, especially because games like this with so much love put into them are so rare.
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GameDevChris

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Re: Combat
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 06:59:17 PM »

Thanks for the feedback, Yukito. Out of curiosity, did you play our Quest for Glory 2 remake? What did you think about the combat system in that game?
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