Combat System – NPC (The Helping Hand)

As part of the combat system, I have to think about the main character and the Helping Hand that you have with you in the Dungeons. How will they attack? Using what buttons? The list goes on…

After looking at my research of combat systems in other games, the NPC will have one base attack and one special attack as this means that it’s not too complicated but still helps you out in the Dungeons.

Attack Needs for NPC:

  • They have a main attack 
  • They have a special attack that does more damage
  • Every time that the NPC makes an attack and hits the enemy, their special attack has points added to it. After the NPC has hit 10 enemies, their special will be ready to use.
  • You won’t be controlling them in terms of direction etc. The only thing you will control is when they use their special. You will be notified as to when it is ready to use and then you can press a key or button in order to set it off.
  • Depending on what Dungeon area you need to visit, you need to choose the appropriate Helping Hand as they all work best in certain environments. If they aren’t used in the right environment then they will die easily etc. For instance, you couldn’t have a Fire Helping Hand in a Water Dungeon as they wouldn’t work or survive.

The Helping Hand will have an array/radius surrounding it so when an enemy is in its circle, they start attacking enemies in their circle. 

Millie is working on the Helping Hand NPCs, however, I gave her some preliminary examples of how they could work based off of their combat that I very quickly drew up to show the sorts of attacks that I had in mind that they could do. She can then use this within her designs for the actual NPCs but this will be likely something we develop next semester. (See Sketchbook 3, purple tab labelled NPC Combat, page 148-149).

Four types of Helping Hand:

  • Rock
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Fire


Base attack – Use a large rock club/hammer in order to bash enemies.
There will be a mixture of animations for this. As you don’t control the Helping Hand, they will instinctively attack with their base attack.

Special attack – ‘Rock Roll’ into the enemies. The Helping Hand gets into a ball formation, a hardened material covers them and then they roll at speed at the enemies causing them to be stunned or killed.

You, the player, control their special and when they use it. You’ll be notified and then you can press a button in order for them to use it.

Controller: LB
PC: Right Click of the mouse (Left Click will be for YOUR attack)

I felt that these would be the easiest buttons as they wouldn’t interfere with the Players buttons for their attack. It’s also not too complicated either which I felt may be good to help the younger target audiences.



Base attack – they have a staff with spikes at the top. They stab and swipe at enemies causing cuts and burns.

Special attack – The spikes retract, they then smash the end of the staff into the ground causing a ring of fire to spark up around them. They then turn into a whirlwind of fury and fire for five seconds where if an enemy gets caught in it, they die or get severe hp damage.


Base attack – shoots out a projectile of water either through their palms or through a weapon.

Special attack – ‘The Parting of the Red Sea’ sort of thing. They send a jet of water out and then split it into two large waves that can stun enemies.


Base attack – they have two pickaxes which, when they strike the enemy, it can freeze them for three seconds.

Special attack – the Helping Hand has shoulder pads that are made up of icicles. They break off two from each shoulder and press the tips of the icicles together causing a spark. This will summon an icicle shower that will spread over the enemies in a certain radius causing them to be impaled or be stunned/frozen for a few seconds.

I chose to make the Helping Hands this way as it means that you, the player, aren’t having to try and focus on playing as two characters – they’re supposed to help you, not hinder!
The only responsibility the player would have would be to activate their special attack by pressing LB on a controller or Click on the Right Mouse Click. This means that you can power through the Dungeon, focusing on yourself with your Helping Hand helping to protect you from enemies.

Next steps: Move on to the actual player combat. How will you control their movements? How will they attack? What buttons will you press? Etc


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