Be the Idea-Guy! Combat

I really need to work on the combat of the game a lot.. Including actually adventuring a dungeon, combat is the single most important aspect of Waldir. I need to make it so it actually feels good to hit stuff and more importantly, to sometimes get hit. Getting hit and dying should be in a sense, satisfying. Well you shouldn’t be happy about it, but it shouldn’t drive you away from the game either. A good sign of bad design (thihi) is if losing a battle doesn’t make you want to beat it more. If you have no idea why you died or what you could’ve done better, is a sign of bad design.

So, what would I like to get done ? Well, let’s start off with what is in the game at the moment.

Right now, Waldir has two moves he can perform. Attacking and “dash/dodge”. Both currently feel great even without sound effects. They also look pretty compelling, right?

Well. Aside from sound effects, I really need to add a few more attack animations in to the ordinary attack. Doing a 2-attack combo constantly will get tiring.

As far as Combos go, I’d really like to end up with a two type system. Where 1 button performs this current ‘light’ attack and the secondary button performs a heavier attack that requires energy. Energy could be refilled by attacking with the lighter attack once in a while. Comboing these off of each other could create more interesting gameplay, still a lot of programming/drawing to do but we’ll see.

There’s also a problem I haven’t addressed yet, attacking requires the current attack to be over. It’s hard to explain, but if you’re mashing the attack button really really fast, he sometimes stops because you pressed the key on the last frame of the last attack, so you need to press it again. This wastes everyones time and is annoying.

To fix this, I need to program in an Action buffer, basically if I smash the action button while an attack is finishing up, it will queue another action and perform it when you are free to do so. It should smoothen out the attacking by a ton if tinkered to the right time intervals.

Old gif but it’ll do (love the old enemy-sprite’s death animation)

As you can see the enemy AI is a bit short on the intelligence. It starts attacking immediately when it’s in range and is also completely stunned when you attack him back. So basically they are chasing target dummies. That’s not fun at all. It does feel great for the first few times you kill enemies but get’s old really quickly because there’s no strategy involved. I shouldalso add in a little screenshake to shake things up a bit.

So, the AI needs a lot of work. I also would like to program in a system where the light attacks from both parties can ‘parry’ eachother. So you have to vary up your attacks a bit. And make some heavier attacks impossible to parry, so you have to dodge too.

Praise the sun!

There’s also a problem with my new monster, it’s that his death animation has no great feedback. It whimpers off and dies slowly. It needs to be instant from the last sword slash. Blood spurting everywhere and lightning strikes coming through the ceiling. Yeah, that would be great.

He also has that shitty looking hammer on him and I would like to turn it in to a sub-weapon for Waldir. So when you kill off one of these dudes, they drop the hammer down and you can pick it up. I’m not entirely sure on the details of sub-weapons and how you’ll end up utilizing them in the meta-game, but it’s something I’m constantly trying to come up ideas with. Maybe it has a super slow attack but hits the ground so hard it stuns enemies for a short while? Dunno.

This is all fun and games, it’s easy being the idea guy, but when you’re the one who has to program all this stuff too it can be a bit daunting. Well, I’ll be back to tell the tale (hopefully)! See you next time

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