Presentation on theme: "Creating Satisfying Combat Experiences AtGames The Designers Dream drop in and play enemy behavior Less scripting and environment authoring Less predictability,"— Presentation transcript:
The Designers Dream drop in and play enemy behavior Less scripting and environment authoring Less predictability, more procedural surprise moments for the player
The Reality Sadly, drop in and play is: Chaotic Incomprehensible Frustrating
Solutions Establish a Front Create Layered Setups Understand Combat Focus Functional Cover Placement Attack in Waves Good Flanking Practices Know When to Re-Direct the Front Use High Priority Targets Good Ally Usage
How did Insomniac Games arrive at these concepts?
RCF: TOD and Resistance 2 Tightly directed by Insomniac veterans Design staff experienced in the franchises R2 had very linear spaces
RCF: A Crack In Time Departures and promotions Design staff noobs to the franchise Less linear spaces
Layered Setups = 2 distinct setups both requiring enemies to be present at the start Keep layers clearly separated (combat distance) Use vertical space
Layered Setups Player only truly engages the first layer – second layer is spectacle On the last 1-2 foreground enemies, pull them back, move allies up, then allow second layer to engage Player rushes the second combat-area = engage
Needs Layering Tons of enemies No separation All on same level
Cover Placement Defining each setup should BEGIN with your cover placement Use cover to define the front lines and combat focus Be conscious of facing and shape of cover Use cover to lure the player into their initial combat position Use multiple cover positions to create player choice
Cover Placement Resist the urge to randomly scatter cover for realism Ideal Combat Distance between player and enemy cover Flanking cover = 1-2 pieces of good cover (rarely more) 2+ cover positions for each shooter
Poor cover placement Front lines? Combat focus? Initial combat pos? Player choice?
Waves - Composition Enemies over time is key – waves are the way to do this First wave is the gimmee – its the second and subsequent waves that are the real combat Each wave is *about* a single – and different – class of enemy
Waves - Composition Filler enemies OK – but NOT a homogenous mixture Keep melee enemies and projectile enemies in separate waves Pacing across waves – build up to a crescendo
Waves - Intros On last 1-2 enemies in current wave Or on <40% health of single tougher enemy Intro new waves through the current combat focus – then fan out
Waves - Intros Long intro paths, perpendicular to LOS Stagger enemy spawns – temporally and spatially Dropships – intro through combat focus and loop around battlefield
Waves – pausing between ONLY when there is a story reason to do so Exposition should happen here As well as your allies repositioning themselves This is usually a rare moment, that precedes a new enemy intro or significant story event
Poorly done waves Toughest enemy first? Waves from afar? Grunts in every wave?
Flanking A solid combat focus and front lines allow for a flank 1-2 good pieces of cover and a single path define a flank (more = messy) Let the player get anchored before flanking (8s delay)
Flanking Must flank through the combat focus Must call out the flanking maneuver really well Dialog/foley First shot miss behavior Additional wave makes a good flank, BUT this is really Redirecting The Front
Bad Flanking Front lines? Flank from afar? Clear flanking pos?
Tight environments Hand script each enemy Enemies generally take a single position and stick to it Sometimes fine to just let the enemies run wild example: coming upon two easy enemies in a room with no cover these are usually quick surprise moments
Poor tight environment work Can wander off Can clump up Looks dumb