Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gather Up - Dodging System

I've been doing some work on the dodging in Gather Up today. In fact I have the code window up right now, I've just decided to do this blog post as a quick breather.

I've got a couple of small issues with dodging. I'm modelling the combat after Zelda's Z-Locking system. Only I have the issue that I have a LOT less buttons to play with and am reluctant to add more. Too many buttons normally adds needless complexity.

During combat the player needs to be able to do quite a few things. They need to be able to shoot, either on Auto, or one shot. They need to be able to move. They should be able to dodge. They should be able to switch to another target. They should be able to switch weapons. Now consider I'm mapping this to Arrow Keys and X+C. Not an easy task.

Here's how it breaks down right now. Lots of contextual stuff going on.

X - Lock on/Shoot when you have target
C - Menu (pauses so you can switch guns, considering making a quick switch menu by holding C rather than tapping it)
LEFT - Hold to run, Tap to dodge. Dodging toward an enemy is a roll, away is a backflip.
RIGHT - As Above
DOWN - Cycle next target, hold to exit combat stance.
UP - Cycle weapon (perhaps I don't need this with a menu though) OR another dodge

I'm already coming up with issues doing this. Targeting feels clumsy against multiple opponents. I want something more like the simple 'Holding Z locks on to the nearest thing' system.

So perhaps I should add another key.

My OTHER consideration is that I want to add another dodge to make the game more...unique from the Zelda system. I've been thinking some kind of grappling hook type system. So you tap up and the hero fires a piton into the roof and pulls himself a couple of tiles off the ground so you can shoot from a slightly greater height and dodge ground based attacks. It would probably be a bit of work to prototype, and seems like a big risk to take on already complex controls.

1 comment:

  1. This is exciting. I like your decision of sticking to a two-button control scheme.
    Maybe you could setup another functionality for the C button while on combat stance, but maybe it could confuse the player... :/

    I was thinking about the backflip. When I've played the alpha I was expecting that I'd have to use it to reach somewhere later. You could use the dodging motions on puzzles. Maybe adding the grappling hook or a slide could even add to this. The grappling hook sounds like a good idea by the way. ;D

    Good luck!