After looking at all of the research, I began thinking about button allocation and what exactly you, the player, would be doing as part of the combat/gathering system. The system will be used in the Dungeoneering section of the game where the player and the Helping Hand will fight enemies to loot and gather ingredients from the dark depths of the dungeons. They’ll pick up ingredients which will be used in the Crafting System in order to make the dream potions for the shop.
I started this in my sketchbook if you’d like to see that too (see Sketchbook 3, purple tab Player Combat Controls, pages 160-163)
What do we need from the Player Combat System:
- How do you move?
- How do you aim?
- How do you attack?
- How do you switch your weapons?
- How do you defend yourself?
- How do you gather/pick up ingredients and loot?
By using my prior knowledge and research, I started developing what sorts of buttons would be allocated to each area in terms of the Controller and then went on to map out the key bindings for the Keyboard and Mouse controls. I did it this way, as once allocated, it would be easier to see if there was anything missing or if there were any other buttons that could be used instead etc. These settings I’ve come up with would be the default button settings but, as mentioned before, I want to make sure that people are able to map which actions to which keys they’d like if it’s more comfortable for them (Keyboard and Mouse mainly). This means players are likely to play it and pick it back up if they leave the game for a while as it will be keys and buttons that are familiar to them.
How to Move:
Controller: Left analogue stick
Keyboard and Mouse: WASD keys
How to Aim:
Controller: Right analogue stick
Keyboard and Mouse: Use Mouse to direct the aim
How to Attack:
Controller: Press X once for light attack, hold X for heavy attack and press RT for Special attack
Keyboard and Mouse: Left click once for light attack, hold Left click for heavy and for special attack, press the Space key
How to Switch Weapon:
Controller: Y button
Keyboard and Mouse: Number 1 and Number 2 keys
What do you do to Defend Yourself:
Controller: B button to block enemy attack when in your radius
Keyboard and Mouse: C key will block enemy attack when in your radius
How do you Gather Ingredients:
Controller: A button to gather/loot
Keyboard and Mouse: E key to gather/loot
Below are the controls visually:
I chose these buttons and keys for the actions from what is stereotypically used in games already. I did this instead of creating completely new controls as it means that when the player picks up the controller or plays with the keyboard, their prior knowledge of gaming will help them to get into the game quickly and it won’t seem so new and daunting to younger audiences.
How does the System work?
The way that the combat system would work for the Player, is that when you go into the Dungeon, you will be on the lookout for ingredients that you’re needing for your Potion Recipe/Contract. In order to get these, you will need to search the Dungeons where you also come up against some foes that will try to stop you.
What you have to do, is to defend yourself and your helping hand and attack the enemies to stop them from killing you.
The Player will have an array around them where when an enemy enters your ‘personal space’ and you press the attack buttons/keys, the Player’s attack animations will play corresponding to what action you’ve chosen and you will attack the enemy. Similarly, when defending yourself, if an enemy attacks you when they’re in your ‘personal space’ then you can press the block button or key and the animations will play if pressed in time to combat the attack. If you block too late, you will take damage yet if you block anyway, you will get damaged but slightly.
The attacks are of varying intensity. A light attack will take off a small margin of enemy HP, a heavy attack will take off a considerable amount and the special will take off a large chunk of HP or will One Hit KO them depending on the ‘chance’. These numbers and measurements will be decided next Semester when we test how much should come off the enemies etc.
If you are hit by an enemy there will be a chance that you may drop an item or few depending on how hard they’ve hit you. This makes the game more realistic and gives the Player more of an incentive to not take damage as they risk dropping the rare ingredients. The probability ratio would be worked out next semester and tested as to whether this is a fair thing to do to the Player or whether it’s too much.
If and when the Player is killed in combat, any ingredients that you’ve collected are dropped in the spot where you were slain. In order to get them back, you have to fight back to where the place was and defeat the enemies there. I felt that it would be good to do it this way as it makes the player think more strategically about how they need to defeat the enemy that just killed them. You see this in the Dark Souls games as when killed, your souls are dropped where you were killed and in order to collect them all again, you have to go back to that spot to collect them – but obviously you’ve got to deal with the bitches that killed you. Having this element will give the Dungeon a more challenging feel and give a bigger sense of accomplishment to those who complete Dungeon quests. The aim for Dungeoneering is to look for rare ingredients yet they may not spawn every time you enter the Dungeon so you may have to make the decision of “Okay, none of the things I picked up was the right stuff anyway, should I just leave it? But then if I do that, will I miss out on any rare ingredients that could have spawned?”. It will give the Player something to think about and to plan strategically whilst fighting through the Dungeon.
How does the Gathering System work?
Above is some video games I looked at into what buttons they use to gather/loot. There were a few similarities in Skyrim and Diablo III yet Far Cry had a different button. I think this was to do with the style of game but it still made me think of the sorts of possibilities I could potentially have or be inspired by.
In terms of the Gathering System, I feel that it would be really simple as the main aim is to locate the ingredients and pick them up/gather them into your inventory to then take them back. The ingredients are rare and don’t get generated in the Dungeons every time so sometimes you may go farming and get some ingredients that could be needed for other contracts but not the one you specifically need right now. We were thinking about this Proc-Gen however, it will depend on how rare or often this is which we will be testing out next Semester.
Ingredients could be found along the way or can be found in areas of the Dungeon that are guarded by enemies. I feel that as the Dungeons will not be lit brilliantly, having hints such as maybe a noise or glint could help the Player know that an ingredient is near. This way, it could offer a challenge and get the Player to hunt around for it without necessarily highlighting the ingredient like YES I AM HERE, COME GET ME. Maybe this could be an option to turn on and off depending on your ability or preference – some younger ages may prefer to have a halo effect around ingredients to help them whereas some of the older audience may want a challenge so maybe they’d rather have a noise instead.
Once you’ve picked up the ingredients, they will go into your satchel (Inventory). They will stay here yet, as mentioned above, if an enemy hits you, there may be a chance that you drop some ingredients. You have to be careful and this is where the Helping Hand comes in as they will be trying to protect you whilst you scavenge.
Once you arrive back at the entrance or have finished the section of Dungeon you were gathering in, the items will stay in your inventory yet in order to keep the quality of the ingredients, you must report to the Potion room and put away your research. The longer you leave it, the worse quality they are. I felt this would be a nice extra to the game as it means you have to really think about your products.
I tried to have a think about what sort of moves could be used by the player. As I have thought about a base attack, heavy attack and a special move, I explored this briefly to see what I could come up with on my own.
It was hard to do considering I don’t know what the character would look like or what it would be capable of yet. I decided to leave it as the sketches I have done for now as we can use these as starting references for next semester.
(See sketchbook 3, purple tab Attack Moves, pages 164-182)
These ideas are not set in stone, yet they are the sort of feel that we all wanted for the Dungeons and when we are back in the studio together, the team can discuss what we do and don’t like, what’s needed, what’s too much etc so that we make sure the Systems are developed as possible to aid with next Semester.