Combat Systems Research

After deciding to take Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, I decided to make sure that I had made a start on researching for the Combat System for Belljar before hand. Therefore, I binged games that I found on the Xbox with simple combat for some inspiration and a chance to see what worked and what didn’t. Below, I made a video of clips of research I grabbed from the games. There is some commentary via subtitles:

As well as being fun to actually play some games, it was useful to play them too as it meant that I got some experience of playing simple combat systems which helped me think about the possibilities I could design. After playing these games, it’s hard to see how I could make the system any different or any better to the ones I played. They all seemed to incorporate either two different weapons with different outcomes (Fable II) or they had a simple attack with one with a bigger attack (every other game, ever). 
I can see why there is only one small and one large attack in these games as it isn’t too over complicated and yet still gets the job done. As Belljar will be an Isometric game, I thought about what combat would or could be suitable in those parameters. Luckily, I found a game called Superdungeon Bros which is an Isometric dungeon crawler and so looked into what combat system they had as it’s similar to Belljar with its parameters.
As you’ll see in the video above, they had a light attack, a heavy attack and also an ultimate attack, all of which function under different buttons. I personally found it hard to switch to Y to make the ultimate attack but pressing RT and RB for a light and a heavy attack was easy. Maybe if the ultimate button was switched to X instead, it may have made more sense as it’s an easier movement for your thumb than stretching up to Y. 
We’re building Belljar for PC so I’ll need to look more into the controls for this as I’m not a big PC player and so don’t have this knowledge. Currently, I’m thinking of either having WASD keys, arrow keys or mouse in order to move the player around. We were considering Belljar to be more of a point and click but this will probably change when in combat unless we’re trying to do a sort of WOW experience. If we have a mouse to move the player around, then it leaves them their left hand to control the attacks etc which could be useful. 

Next, I will be using the research I’ve looked into to play around with concepts as to how our combat system could behave. I will need to think about the sorts of attacks the main character and NPCs could have as well as specials and how they deal with enemies. I will be doing sketches and button mapping in order to see if ideas will be possible all ready for next semester to be tested. 


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