[WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

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[WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby TerminusEst13 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:34 am

Hi.

One thing I've been experimenting with for a while is how to make melee fun in an FPS. This is an experiment I'd like to share with other people and see if I've succeeded.
You are a dude with a sword and a shield. No real concept, no real story, no custom graphics really yet since this is just an experiment.
Hell, no real other weapon replacements yet, so really you'd just march around the first level.

Primary fire swings your sword. Clicking it at different times results in a different combo, much like Devil May Cry, and there are three different combos. Holding it down charges up your sword for a lunge. Alternate fire uses your ranged attack, hucking a spiked alchemical grenade. Just in case an enemy is too far for your sword.
There are also two custom buttons. One hefts up a shield, which slows you down and protects you from all ranged attacks and most melee attacks. Enemies straight up in your face will be able to work through the shield anyway. Another button is a kick, which knocks enemies back because I still think that is the best feature in Brutal Doom and am intent on ripping it off in everything I make. You're able to use the buttons in different scenarios, like blocking an attack mid combo and then finishing it off later, or "kicking" while blocking to do a vicious shield bash.

Here is a screenshot of a shield. It pretty much demonstrates nothing about the system, but it is a pretty shield. Neoworm did a good job on it.
Image

Here's a download. Sorry, Mediafire link for now, I'll find another host later.
http://www.mediafire.com/?02hrw9ajakyqe0r

Please enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Spoiler: CREDITS
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Matt » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:58 am

First impression:

Everything seems to be based on rhythm of clicks + some random element. It got frustrating fast not knowing whether I was starting from scratch, continuing from a combo, or clicking too soon and having the game deem that I'm holding and charging up for a lunge, making it very difficult to time an attack.

I think it would be vastly improved if the different sword functions could be switched between fire and altfire - or even better, if just holding an attack button could let you repeatedly attack (perhaps fire=cut, shorter time between attacks but harder to hit and does less damage, altfire=thrust, longer time between attacks and you're always stepping forwards but you do more damage (at least to living targets) and the first hit lands as soon or if not sooner) and the direction and other nuances of the attack could be determined by what direction keys you're pressing, which way you're turning, etc.?

EDIT: Also /r/ shield bash while shielding. A purely defensive mechanism that must be actively used that negatively affects your ability to get away and maneuver into a better fighting position seems pretty useless if you're not also drawing aggro on behalf of everyone else on a team.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Zombieguy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:44 pm

Where the heck did you get those sword sprites?
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Enjay » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:49 pm

Probably exactly where he said he got them in the spoiler in his post. :P
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Zombieguy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:12 pm

T__________T

Fail.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby TerminusEst13 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:33 pm

Also /r/ shield bash while shielding.


At the moment, hitting the kick button while shielding should do a bash. Stuns the enemy for a short bit.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby twinkieman93 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:51 pm

This would probably be more fun if the sword was faster in general, because it's not worth finessing it to me so I just wail on the mouse button. Gets the job done just fine.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Crudux Cruo » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:19 pm

its definitely got a lot of potential but it seems like there is a lot of button mashing to this, rather than skill. i would like the controls to feel more intuitive when i play, and having 6 hit combos in my opinion is a TAD excessive. just a tad.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Matt » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:29 am

6-hit combos can be very useful if you need 6 hits and the alternative is a 5-hit combo and a pause followed by one more swing. (And ideally there should be no real theoretical limit :P )

Yeah, button-mashing is a bit of a pain, and I think it's unavoidable if your comboing depends exclusively on specific timing of when you press and/or release a single attack button.

I can think of alternatives:

Daggerfall method: You hold the attack button and move your mouse in the direction you want to swing. I remember it actually worked very well, was intuitive and didn't hurt my hand, though I also remember only using the high-power overhead swing for nearly everything.

Rune method: The nature of your swing depends on the movement direction you're inputting at the time, whether you're on the ground during the attack, if you're off the ground whether you're going up or going down, and what your last attack was if you're in a combo. Still has "hit the button on time" stuff but it was reasonably forgiving.
Brutal Doom does this to a very small extent, namely in deciding which fatality to use if a monster has more than one.

DBTS method: Mouse directly controls the weapon. I mention this only because it exists.

WoW method: You've got a bunch of preset moves and you can explicitly select them. Might actually be worth a try... you can even use weapon slots if you have a bunch of weapons that do an attack sequence immediately on select.


EDIT: On that note it occurs to me that we've now got four weapon keys, fire, altfire, reload and the other one. I really don't see why a single binary input needs to bear the entire burden of simulating fine manipulation of a stick in 3-dimensional space.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby DoomRater » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:01 am

Let me be honest: I'm tired of people having shields and those shields being useless when they're not being used. I'm also sick of delays to ready the shield. I didn't have any readying of my block in any decent fighting game I was aware of. Anyway, if the shield isn't at the ready, why isn't it defending the side that the shield would logically be on? Basically I should be able to turn 45-90 degrees to the right and block with the shield that's on my left arm assuming a right handed character.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Matt » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:55 am

The main reason I see in Doom-engine mods is that it would be a spectacular pain in the ass to code. :P
Sod that:
Code: Select allExpand view
ready:
   TNT1 A 0 A_FireCustomMissile("TestingSwordShield",0,0,-10,-10,false,0)
   TNT1 A 1 A_WeaponReady(WRF_ALLOWRELOAD)
   loop


EDIT: Sure takes a while to get the numbers right for a big flat shield though, and sure does give you a lot of spaghetti in your firing states (esp. if you're stupid like me and trying to do both sword+buckler and sword+targe in a single weapon)!
Last edited by Matt on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby DoomRater » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:00 pm

ZACTLY. And if that's how the code's being done it's not much different than the blast shield I did on my one turret style gun in Greaser Enhanced.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Triple S » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:30 pm

Vaecrius wrote:6-hit combos can be very useful if you need 6 hits and the alternative is a 5-hit combo and a pause followed by one more swing. (And ideally there should be no real theoretical limit :P )

Yeah, button-mashing is a bit of a pain, and I think it's unavoidable if your comboing depends exclusively on specific timing of when you press and/or release a single attack button.

I can think of alternatives:

Daggerfall method: You hold the attack button and move your mouse in the direction you want to swing. I remember it actually worked very well, was intuitive and didn't hurt my hand, though I also remember only using the high-power overhead swing for nearly everything.

Rune method: The nature of your swing depends on the movement direction you're inputting at the time, whether you're on the ground during the attack, if you're off the ground whether you're going up or going down, and what your last attack was if you're in a combo. Still has "hit the button on time" stuff but it was reasonably forgiving.
Brutal Doom does this to a very small extent, namely in deciding which fatality to use if a monster has more than one.

DBTS method: Mouse directly controls the weapon. I mention this only because it exists.

WoW method: You've got a bunch of preset moves and you can explicitly select them. Might actually be worth a try... you can even use weapon slots if you have a bunch of weapons that do an attack sequence immediately on select.


EDIT: On that note it occurs to me that we've now got four weapon keys, fire, altfire, reload and the other one. I really don't see why a single binary input needs to bear the entire burden of simulating fine manipulation of a stick in 3-dimensional space.


I HATE all of these methods (not so much the WoW one but that has absolutely no place in this). I've played a fair bit of Mount and Blade: Warband (has all of those methods aside from the hotkey one) and I cannot stand those methods. They're very unwieldy, especially if you're playing something fast-paced like a Doom game.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby Matt » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:37 pm

What, if anything, is left? Click and attack, same as Doom fist?

...which can work just fine, given the complexity can arise elsewhere. :D

Right now my own testing project (for which I had the above code) just randomly gives you one of four possible swings (with altfire being a lunge). Two of these swings take longer and one switches to the last if you have a shield equipped (which can be toggled during play). The shield gives asymmetrical passive protection, leaving your front right exposed, and slows you down significantly. If your strike is too close, you do a pommel attack for much lower damage. An enemy can get past your shield, but generally only if they're massive and overpowering you or you're charging towards them, but you can knock them back with a shield bash. Both the shield and the sword blade can deflect projectiles, but it takes a lot of precision to hit with the sword. All attacks temporarily change the position of your shield thus affecting how and where you are protected.

As yet there are no combos or any way to select a particular direction of swing, so the attack itself is basically just click-hold-attack-to-cut-people with a random damage/protection factor. It's all about measure/timing and angle of attack.

I think the most important thing to let fencing and blocking work is to make sure that, unless you're doing a very basic forward thrust, everyone is using a projectile attack (including fastprojectiles for attacks that shouldn't work as well at "bad touch" range). That way you get around some of the weirdness the perfectly-accurate hitscan effects tend to generate.
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Re: [WIP - Heretic] Melee system experiment

Postby DoomRater » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:43 pm

I think a system I'd explore myself is fire to direct attack, altfire to radial attack, reload and fire to directly shove, reload and altfire to radial shove. However, no moving once an attack starts, unless the attack itself moves the player.
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