Combat System – First Prototype

A quick note about the Unity prototype I said I’ve been working on – I ditched it. Didn’t like the results and where it was going. It was very movement-centric, while I want something much more combat-centric, our character having a sword and all. So, today, using Love2D (a cool free 2D engine), I quickly wrote the first prototype of the combat system for ‘The Game’ (no name yet).

Combat Prototype

The system is based on interchanging strikes and parries. Three arrow buttons – Up, Right, and Down, represent High, Middle and Low areas respectively. If you press Up when you’re attacking, it will be a High attack, and when you’re parrying – a High parry. You have to watch the enemy hand movement to know where to parry (a bit tricky, since High attack swing starts from the low area, while the Low attack swing from the upper area). Right now you can’t move or die, just accumulate hits. And tune the speed up or down using buttons 1 and 2.

I’m asking for one thing: please get the .exe file from the download link below and play it for a few minutes, try to hit the enemy more times than he gets to hit you. Tell me if it’s fun and enjoyable, and if not – why? Since it’s the core of the combat mechanic, I need to decide if I should continue building upon this prototype, making the system deeper, or change the core itself. Also, play around with increasing/decreasing speed and tell me at what value you find the combat to be most enjoyable and/or challenging. Thank you very much.


Posted on April 11, 2012, in Blog, Game Design. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I downloaded it played it. Well i ended it and the score was 76 me. 175 enemy. This is really easy… at battle speed 0.7. maybe i’m just slow but it was just too hard to tell where the enemy was gonna hit at speed 0.4 even 0.5 and below. the easiest to spot was the middle attack but still very hard to react too but the up and down attacks very hard to differ at a quicker pace. You could sometimes tell where he was gonna hit but just not enough time to react. when attacking the enemy it was more like hit him where ever and hope he doesn’t parry but i guess that’s what you were going for. Im not saying this is a problem with it im just telling you how i felt when playing it. I know its a prototype and this wouldn’t be final Maybe this is what your going for to make it challenging and id say that’s great just add some more frames, make it smoother to make it a bit easier to spot and react and it would play quite good. Did i have fun… meh. Would i have fun if worked on a bit more, sure.

  2. Agree with Habib’s comments. At speeds where you can react to the ‘tell’, the gameplay is very sluggish and not fun. Would suggest doubling or tripling the tell frames so players can anticipate and feel better about it. Also, improve player response speed (give the player a speed advantage). Nice little prototype.

  3. Thanks for the feedback, I agree that there needs to be more frames in the animation to make better use of the reaction time required. I’ll implement it once I get my laptop back from repairs.

    I’m also planning to add a bit of a mini-AI. Right now I’m thinking of something in the veins of if you vary attacks than the enemy’s mistake chance increases… or something along those lines, because right now there’s absolutely no difference between hitting continuously in one area or hitting in varied areas.

    … Hm, maybe use it something as a ‘cheat tactic’, you know – the enemy may remember what area your previous attacks targeted, so the next time it’s time for him to parry, if you were hitting him in one area he’ll be expecting you to do the same thing….

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