Author Topic: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?  (Read 4067 times)

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« on: January 28, 2013, 04:43:58 PM »
Something I've noticed is that the platforming and combat sort side of the game is pretty ordinary.
This isn't really a bad thing, but a lot of other platformers these days have some sort of odd mechanic to spice up the moment-to-moment gameplay a bit and it makes AVWW 2 feel a bit too "platformer/shooter played straight" by comparison. I feel like there could be room for such a thing in AVWW 2 that doesn't interfere with everything else too much.

More specifically I thought it would be nice if there was some mechanic that gave the player room to refine and gain an advantage by becoming better at using it, but at the same time wouldn't stop them from proceeding if they didn't pay too much attention to it.

Thoughts?

Offline x4000

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 04:50:55 PM »
You do realize the 1.0 of the game is coming out in about three weeks, right?  We're not really looking to overhaul massive parts of the game right before going to release. ;)
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 04:53:47 PM »
You do realize the 1.0 of the game is coming out in about three weeks, right?  We're not really looking to overhaul massive parts of the game right before going to release. ;)

It's pretty close to release yea, but I wasn't thinking of a massive overhaul or anything like that.

More something rather minor which would have only a tiny impact on gameplay would be rather small, but would scratch the "I must do 100% well" OCD itch.

Offline x4000

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 04:55:07 PM »
Okay, just checking.  Something along those lines I'm certainly open to, but I don't have any idea what that would be.  For me what makes the combat/platforming of this game is the fact that it's difficult and tense and varied.
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 05:06:10 PM »
I guess to use a "large" example (anything else would likely be smaller than this):

One thing I can sort of see working could be having a number that would affect a penalty to your spell damage (I guess we could call it "composure" for now). It could be justified in the game as the idea that spells need concentration to cast well. Normally you'd have composure at 100% and you'd do your normal spell damage. However, if you take damage in any way then you'll take a hit to composure as well as your health, and having composure at less than 100% would temporarily reduce spell damage (maybe 0% would mean you do 75% of your normal damage). If you kill enemies you recover composure.
Perhaps if you used an ammo spell, it would automatically max composure, which could get more use out of the ammo spell and fit with the idea of it as a "bomb" or "panic button".

I guess that would be at the bigger side of things, it probably wouldn't need to be as involved to accomplish the same thing.

Basically it would be something that wouldn't really kill you for ignoring it, but at the same time plays off the idea that gamers tend to like the idea of refining their play in little ways, especially if there's a small benefit to it.

Offline madcow

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 05:50:43 PM »
Eh, I'm not sure I really like the idea of losing damage as you take health. If anything like this were to be done, I would rather it be the other way around - a bonus of extra damage if you pick up health drops while already at full health. Rather than losing power when you take damage.

This wouldn't really impact balance, because you would need to be -very- skilled to manage not taking damage long enough to build up a decent combo meter. On the flip side, it would be hard enough to build up a combo meter that it might not be worth implementing, heh.


What would be interesting is optional difficulty settings. Though again, now that we've more enemies, the game is hard enough that I'm not sure how much use they would get. Just imagine a hardcore mode where enemies don't drop any health/ammo. I was going to say one-shot one-kill mode where everything (including you!) die in one hit, but that would be both horribly masochistic and game-breaking.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 06:29:59 PM »
Quote
More specifically I thought it would be nice if there was some mechanic that gave the player room to refine and gain an advantage by becoming better at using it, but at the same time wouldn't stop them from proceeding if they didn't pay too much attention to it.

Actually, I think that something like this is already in place -- the caliber system. You can try to get used to the various spell calibers and become more adept at countering projectiles, or you can just run around spamming bullets oblivious, it's up to you. For example, I've only recently started learning to time using Explosive Crescent defensively; it feels nice to ninja incoming projectiles out of the air like this, and does give you some sense that you are mastering the game. The other spells have different things to master, ultra-defensive spells like Entropic Touch or the recently improved mine attacks for example.

Having said that, I do actually agree with you that the platforming does to some extent seem "ordinary", especially when you just dive in. Maybe the player is not being tempted to experiment with these spell/caliber mechanics enough. Or maybe the caliber system is not as integral to the combat as it should be. I think improvements to the caliber system and how the enemies are balanced around it would be a good thing to work on in the 3 weeks remaining or so. I really need to think more intensely on what exactly is not quite right with the system at the moment, though. 

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 06:35:04 PM »
for me, right now the mechanics seem to be just about where they should be. I am a casual player though, so maybe my 'optimal' space is different from other players, notably the hard core gamers that are really, really good at things, anyway, with that being said, i still think that the tweaks needed at this point are minimal. I would say just mostly polish and adding in the last of the art and running through each of the systems and double checking them.  :)

-T


Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 06:46:15 PM »
I haven't played more than thirty minutes of V2, so feel free to ignore this, but one issue I've always had with platformers (and roguelikes) is the lack of a sense of habitat and world. It's like all these baddies are just waiting around for me to show up, and if I didn't, they'd go on their patrol routes, never eating, never sleeping, mating, creating homes, never dying on their own, never fighting each other, etc.

I'm not suggesting that V2 simulate an entire ecosystem, but maybe there are ways to fake it some. Like have a mama enemy spring out of a filthy habitat, apparently protecting kidlings inside. You crack it open and see a usual arrangement of scattered bones and fur (belonging to other creatures that you meet and kill off), and a bunch of scampering ferocious things nipping at your boots.

Examining the habitat, you see some telltale signs of black muck on the walls, and later on when you start seeing this black muck, you know there must be a similar habit nearby. Oh, this one is empty. You exit it and see the same creature, but now it is eating something it has caught. It doesn't see you yet, and you have a chance to attack.

Or maybe you stumble upon a gang rumble between two larger groups of baddies, some infighting between the main lieutenants of the game.

The original Knytt did this in a subtle way, and it was part of the game to just view little mini-stories of scattered life in its world, almost like reading a child's picture book. Here's a place where a group of little pixel creatures are sitting near a bridge. One of them is running back and forth, apparently playing. In this other area, there is some lava on the screen, so it must be hot, and here are some different creatures you don't see anywhere else, so they must like the heat. And so on.

It's one thing to have a cool looking enemy floating around and shooting at you when you get near. It's another thing entirely to see it 'living' in its world.

Again, feel free to ignore me because I really don't have a leg to stand on as I haven't played the game very much yet. This sort of thing might even be unreasonable to demand from V2. But it seems to me to suffer from the same sort of lifelessness as your average platformer or dungeon crawler: the baddies are just waiting around for you and their entire life purpose is to shoot at you and be shot at. It just produces an empty feeling.

Offline madcow

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 07:35:22 PM »
While that's a cool idea doctorfrog. I don't think it would really work in randomly generated levels. Would need to be handcrafted ones.

Offline Misery

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 07:44:57 PM »
To be honest, I dont think you really need to add any more mechanics to the platforming sections.    You've got the different spellsets for the player, complete with powerful ammo spells, you've got the super-varied selection of enemies, and you've got the caliber system and the randomly-generated areas..... all of these things together already produce some really amazing stuff.  Adding more in there just because seems kinda silly to me.

Like the older Mario games on the NES;  those are pretty simple about platforming, and they dont try to do too much that's "new and interesting".... they're just good, solid platformers, and that's one of the things that makes them as darned good as they are.   Too many developers these days try way too hard to stick gimmicks into places that never needed them to begin with, which can actually lower the quality of the finished game.  Happens OFTEN these days.


The careful, tactical combat, high difficulty, and lots and lots of enemies that all present individual threats will already produce a very different feel from many other platformers, which these days tend to be either run and gun like Gunstar Heroes, or attempts at copying Super Meat Boy with the "die 2405824398534 times per level" style, or weird gimmicky ones. 


Definitely already got a good thing going here, I think.   It's certainly possible to add more to it later on, but.... maybe best done with an expansion or something later?

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 07:46:31 PM »
While that's a cool idea doctorfrog. I don't think it would really work in randomly generated levels. Would need to be handcrafted ones.

Even if we could do it with procedurally generated levels, we couldn't do it in the three weeks that we have to finish the game.

Offline Panopticon

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 07:52:02 PM »
Aside from some enemies that can take an awful lot of damage and fine tuning how they work together in a chunk I think there is plenty of good stuff going on in the action side of the game.

It's starting to feel like it is polish time and not really a time to focus on adding new mechanics.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 08:05:00 PM »
Aside from some enemies that can take an awful lot of damage and fine tuning how they work together in a chunk I think there is plenty of good stuff going on in the action side of the game.

It's starting to feel like it is polish time and not really a time to focus on adding new mechanics.

Aside from new monsters and some art (which is really just polish anyway), I don't think we have a lot more to add. We really are doing a lot of focus on the polish part of the game.

I can't speak for Chris and the rest of the staff, but personally, I'm really excited about where the game is right now. No, we aren't done, but, it's becoming easier to see the end every day. :)

Offline x4000

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Re: Does the platforming/combat side need something else?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 08:08:12 PM »
Ditto Josh. :)
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