Had my meeting on Friday with the team. All was well, more or less. Then they wanted to talk to me about the combat system. The general agreement was that it isn’t very good and the basic blocking mechanics are lacking and too defensive in nature. After doing my best to not take it all personally, we set out to try to figure out what kinds of things we could do. They varied in scope from adding more attacks, adding more enemies and making the Thief character do more stuff.
So, taking notes and suggestions is something a designer does. The real trick is then condensing it all down and creating a workable, enjoyable system out of the parts.
The basic concept that I’m taking as the basis for the new combat is mobility. The Thief and the enemies need to move. Not just up to each other, but while they are fighting. I want the enemies to move backwards, jump in and be able to block when the player attacks them. Further, I’ll still get enemies to attack in chains based on how good they are.
To make up for that, the player needs to move and be forced to. Since I feel the high/low blocking system still works on a fundamental level, I’m keeping that, but I’m pulling that mechanic out of the front. Now, it’s just how the blocking system works in a more robust combat system. To match that, the player is going to get to attack more frequently at their own discretion, with a high/low attack based on what the enemy is doing.
Finally, I’m adding an uncommon 3rd kind of attack – an attack you have to Dash Dodge to avoid. The Dash Dodge is a feature that nobody but me uses. Since I already tried mixing a 3rd attack and found the results sub-par, I think this attack can be used if it is really slow and has a crazy tell on the front. Then, stop the attack sequence if the player dodges correctly and give a huge payoff for doing it.
Plus, I still like the Dizzy hit move. I will continue to like it until the prototype proves otherwise.
I think with these, I’m going to use the word “changes” the combat will be way opened up. It may be a little less skill based, but I think it could be a lot more fun and looser.
-Speaking of things the team brought up, I think we may be making an iPhone game next. I don’t know why, but at least one member of the team thinks it’s a good idea. The issue I’m having is that I’ve never thought about making an iPhone game before and what kind of features it brings to the table from a design standpoint. I’ve always considered the Jesus Phone to be just that – a phone. Given enough minutes to think about it, I think I can think of something. Or we’ll do the Knight project.