Single Status Update
Remember in Human Opponents vs. CPU Opponents thread where I mentioned that my ideal game would make the Singleplayer/Coop portion of the game harder or at least equally as hard as deathmatch with Human players?
Well I got an experimental idea for how the player handles his weapons that is different than what FPS after FPS has inherited from previous games. I got this idea from fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken. Even though I don't play them much, I still admire them for what they are. Anyway:
Imagine a game in which the player movement style is very fast. You can run and jump in different directions really quickly, like Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament or even Doom. Now, in Unreal and Quake and Doom, you run around collecting weapons and then switch to which one is best suited for the encounter you expect to have from your enemies. The way I would set this game up, is instead of running around collecting weapons and using one at a time, you start off with all the guns the game offers. You never actually wield one weapon at a time, so you never get a single weapon displayed on your HUD.
(Imagine this game being played from an Xbox controller or something.)
Instead, each button on the controller represents a different weapon. Like tapping A on the controller will have the player whip out a pistol and fire for every time A is tapped. Once the player stops pressing A the weapon is then holstered or discarded or whatever. Each weapon has slightly stronger secondary fire that uses a different button press sequence. like double tapping A and then holding it will have the pistol fire in slightly faster bursts. To use stronger weapons, a sequence of buttons most be pressed. Like holding A + X together will have the player throw a grenade. Double tapping Y and then holding B in sequence would have the player use a flame thrower or machinegun or something. Practicing different attacks and quick switches would make for some very unpredictable gun combat.
In this game, you would be able to carry over your general knowledge of what guns special qualities are (i.e. flamethrowers are high in damage but short ranged, rocket launchers are long range but the projectiles are slow, etc.) and learn the sequence of buttons you need to press in order to handle each encounter you have with an opponent the best way, without being caught in situations where you don't have any good guns. When players first start the game, they will be expected to only use their most basic weapons until they learn to use combos that utilize their better weapons. Of course, the developers of the game (hopefully me) would be able to predict that people would get the hang of using special combos real quick, which would be the excuse to make the single player/coop portion of the game impossibly hard.
I haven't quite thought of how to handle this on a keyboard yet, I'm still working on it.
What do you think?
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rely more on the button combinations you execute and less on precision
Heh, that's quite a contradiction right there. Combos require far greater precision of any kind than normal FPS games do, and that's only one of the problems. Well, lets say you want to make the analogy to fighting games. You need to keep in mind that those are, most of the time, 1on1 games where you can see the whole game area at the same time, in other words you've got only one enemy to follow and there are no blind spots. In such a situation it's easier to move some of your attention into more complicated control systems (of course, at some point you'll start comboing from muscle memory, but lets ignore hard core gamers for a moment :P). Now lets look at FPS games: Multiple enemies at the same time, coming at you from different angles. FPS view also limits your vision greatly, meaning that you have a lot of blind spots which you need to keep eying. Just the amount of attention you need to pay to keep yourself up to date on the game area is higher than in a fighting game, so you don't want to waste extra effort on overly complicated controls.
Anyway, it wouldn't speed up gameplay at all, again, quite the contrary since getting through the combos takes time and you'd need to leave margin for execution errors in your design.
If your main idea is just to allow the player use different weapons quickly, let the player pick, say four weapons (two "A weapons" and two "B weapons"), then have left trigger shoot an A weapon and right trigger shoot a B weapon, and the buttons above triggers to switch between the two respective weapons without delay (left trigger switches A weapons, etc). :P
Ughh. Are you guys even reading my posts?
Anyway what you propose won't work for real-time combat: sooner or later people will find out that it's best to use the weapons with the least complex activation sequences (preferably those that shoot as soon as you press ONE key) rather than trying to pull off combos. The end result? None will use the more powerful weapons because they'll die a 1000 deaths before they even fire a single shot, compared to someone who uses weaker weapons which are however FASTER and EASIER to use.
Have you even anticipated how long it takes to press X X Y on an xbox controller? That was the combo i proposed for a flamethrower, which is a pretty damn deadly weapon, as opposed to repeatedly pressing a single button which just fires the pistol.
Heh, that's quite a contradiction right there.
Of course it is when you cut off the rest of the sentence. The way I see it, is that the interactivity of of FPS games lets you control every individual movement action, which is an assortment of absurdly long key combinations in itself. What I'm suggesting (while I'm not completely sure how I would execute this yet) is developing a method in which a simple sway of the mouse or something of that nature will meander the player around a room and so something similar to autoaiming toward the closest target, while the long key combinations that the player will have to learn are reserved to the actual gun fights.
Have you even anticipated how long it takes to press X X Y on an xbox controller?
All I know is that pressing ONE button for the BRIEF lapse of time where you get to see your opponent in a typical FPS will work in 99.999% of cases, while trying to pull anything more complex in the same glimpse of time will fail miserably, you opponent will escape and scrub the floor with you.
Less is better. Faster is better. Faster reflexes and the one who pulls the trigger first wins in most -if not all- FPS, unless of course the fastest/easiest weapons are ridicolously underpowered, movements are restricted (so you have more time to retaliate) or combat is slowed down to bullet/VATS time. And then the effects of latency will further bitch any sort of delayed/complex attack that has more stringent activation requirements, so no, just no.