Examples of when fighting is fun in action-adventure games

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Post: #1
I'm at a crucial decision point in the design of my vampire game Hunter. I'm about to start implementing the player's fighting moves and I'm looking for some inspiration. If anyone has played any games where there has been hand-to-hand and non-missile based weapons combat which they have thought was fun could you please post here. Although the game will not be an all-out fight-fest I want the fighting that is in there to remain fun throughout. I find that in action-adventure games I have played I often get bored of the fighting in the game and prefer to try to run past enemies if I can.

Any inspiration is welcome.
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Luminary
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Post: #2
Lugaru!!!!
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Post: #3
Yeah well, obviously I don't want to have to compete with David! ;P

Actually my design has always been leaning towards something a bit different. As I said, combat is not the focus of the game, but it is one of the crucial elements. I'm hoping for something with quite simple controls.
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Ice Cream Joe
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Post: #4
What kind of controls will your game have? Will players use the mouse at all, or just the keyboard?

I would take a look at Devil May Cry for inspiration. For those who haven't heard of it, DMC uses button combos for special moves, which also have to be learned ("bought" with red orbs) before the combo does anything.

Now, when you are distributing whoop-ass to the enemies, the game keeps track of how many attacks you chain together. Using special moves helps increase your chain, and the longer your chain, the more red orbs you get after a kill.

If you have a PS2 it's definitely worth the money. For research purposes, of course.
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Post: #5
Check out Enter The Matrix (PC, PS2, XBOX). It has the most entertaining hand-to-hand combat that I have ever come across, so entertaining that I found myself running TO the enemies for a challenge.

The main reason why fighting in Enter The Matrix is so fun is because of the simple controls and varied attacks. A beginner can pick up the game and be running along walls and kungfu-ing their way past enemies in no time. Basic fighting can be played with just 3 keys: punch, kick, and focus. Focus allows the player to do funky Matrix style moves; hold down focus and kick while running forwards, and the player will perform a flashy lookin' flykick. Of course, the player has a limited amount of 'focus' to prevent blitzing the competition. So perhaps think about implementing a special power mode, such as focus in Enter The Matrix, or even like the special meter in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series (perform a few successful hits in a row, and the next move will automatically be a cool K.O. hit).

Another simple way to keep fighting entertaining is to make lots of animations for one particular move, and just have your game choose a random animation each time. So the punch key could have the player performing a swing, uppercut, jab, or even a poke in the eyes Sneaky This keeps the key-combos down, but the fighting still appears to be varied and entertaining.
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Post: #6
Any fighting game that starts you with ALL the moves is stupid in my book. Not to mention that ETM crashes on a regular basis; it was rushed and sloppy.

---Kelvin--
15.4" MacBook Pro revA
1.83GHz/2GB/250GB
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Post: #7
Quote:Any fighting game that starts you with ALL the moves is stupid in my book.

To quote OSC, 'Lugaru!!!'.
In some cases I would agree with this comment. If the game is purely hand-to-hand combat then yeah, you would need to slowly introduce new moves otherwise the game would become very boring very quickly. But if the game involves weapons etc, and hand-to-hand combat is not the main focus, then I tend to disagree.
Quote:Not to mention that ETM crashes on a regular basis; it was rushed and sloppy.

I was only referring to the actual fighting in the game, not the overall quality. It hasn't crashed once on my PS 2, but I agree, some parts are sloppy and a bit glitchy. I wouldn't reccomend anyone go out and purchase it (not worth the AU$80), but it is worth a $5 hire fee to check it out.
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Post: #8
ETM has a fun fighting system, and that's the only reason I will be buying it rather soon(I've seen some price drops so...).
And the all moves thing I certainly disagree too, sometimes its fun to get new moves when you've conquered a boss or something but its much more satisfying to be able to master the fighting system so you can make mad moves becouse then you have truly learnt new moves.

"Gameplay Uber Alles. And if you can make it psychedelic too, great!" - Jeff Minter
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #9
I know this may seem weird but check out Zelda: The Wind Wakers. It has an L-trigger lock-on system that automatically focuses you in on the enemy and allows you to perform maneuvers like sideflips, rolls, backflips, and of course different attacks. I also suggest a multistate based combo system for your game, like in Devil May Cry and Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution. DEFINITELY check that out. Or, go here to learn about how the move system in DMC works.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/ps2/game/30418.html
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Member
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Post: #10
I liked Oni's fighting system. I don't care how much potential the game originally had, but the fighting system is soooooo good. Add some moves like climbing up walls, kicking off walls, and other Jackie-Chan-stunts, and you'll have a perfect system. The missle-weapons in Oni were just simple pistols, a Uzi-style gun, and some sci-fi guns, but they didn't have any real use if you were skilled like me and can kick butt easily in Oni.

AJ's suggestion of using something like Zelda: The Wind Waker would work if you want a simple fighting system and not so deep.
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Post: #11
I'll add another vote for Oni. I don't particularly like beat-em-ups so only bought Oni on the basis that Bungie hadn't let me down yet (this was before they sold out) and I was really pleasantly surprised. The hand to hand combat is a lot more simple to do than in your average beat em up, without being too easy, and it's a lot of fun Smile
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #12
Oh and Super Saiyan characters are a must! Smile

Usaully, it's good to also give the player a special mode in which he looks different (glowing, flashing, burning, Super Sai-jin 4. etc.) and inflicts more damage than he usaully does. DMC has a mode like this called Devil Trigger mode, and so do most beat em ups or action-fighting games.

Another possibly helpful suggestion are multiple control states. IE: Your attack will be different if you just recovered from a hit, if your in water, if your in a ducking/crawling position, if you successfully blocked a hit, if you are strafing, ietc. I know it's not a fighting game but the Tony Hawk games are a good example of a similar system (and so are games like Super Smash Bros. & DMC).

As for a good weapon based systems check out the SNES fighting gmae Gundam Wing Endless Duel (actually, the rom would be easier to find than the actual cartridge) and, uh, Soul Calibur 2.
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Founder
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Post: #13
Not sure if this will help you, but the best fighting game I have ever played to this date was Golden Axe (Genesis/MegaDrive). It had the right balance, was fun, and when played with a friend, the best. Check it out.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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jamie
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Post: #14
I'll add another vote for the fighting system in Oni, that was awesome. It made a mediocre game worth playing several times over.
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Post: #15
Oni.

Max Payne with the Kung Fu mod.

Deus Ex.

Something the first two games have in common is that the moves are slick and varied. Both have/require combos (training levels are important.) And the results are impressive-looking even early in the game.

If you are worried about difficulty, maybe have a difficulty setting (or cheat codes) so that casual/lazy/old fogey players like me can whup a**. Or have enough low-level opponents to wade through that the player is willing to sweat through the occasional boss encounters.

Another fun thing is when formidable opponents/bosses early in the game who used to be difficult can be walked over later in the game, either because of new weapons or skills, or simply because the player has had more practice. Don't make the game uniformly more difficult as you go; reward the player's diligence and let them have some fun.

I don't really know what makes fighting fun in some games and not others, for most people. For me, it's mostly about not getting too frustrated. One way to do this is to make the encounters are "fair"; a friend of mine calls it "survivability". Even when the encounters are difficult, the player can survive many of them through skill, not because they've been through the level already and died a lot until they learned the tricks. Tricks are okay, particularly if they are optional or help you past difficult combat, but they shouldn't be the only way to get past most encounters. That's why Deus Ex was so good; there were LOTS of tricks, and most of them were optional because there were so many alternate paths, and sneaking and combat could get you by even if you didn't have the right weapon or find the secret panel or talk to the right person to get a secret door combination or...

But a game doesn't have to have multiple paths to be good. That's just one way to give the player survivability. Mostly it's about playing fair. If you trick the player, do it in such a way that they will be kicking themselves for missing the clues or reacting too slow, NOT kicking the computer or the game box.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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