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GodParticle

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Today we are reviewing our advanced combat features, current and planned.  Great care has been taken to avoid the "run and gun" or "spawn and die" cycle of some other shooters on the market.  We want to create a experience that rewards thoughtful strategy, not twitch reactions and bunny-hopping.  We want more than one way to win a engagement.  We want to deal consequences for damage and encourage retreat and repair/heal without instant death.  We want to make combat a fun and engaging part of the game.  Our main character is spawned in with basic power-armor, this gives us some options for damage, jump jets, strength and movement.

Currently tested and working:
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1. Crouch, prone.  Characters can go prone and crouch.  You can crouch-walk and crawl while prone.  Aside form the obvious advantage of using low cover and concealment in grass, walls, etc, you can use these features to steady your weapon, experience less recoil, and make less noise.  Lots of cover and concealment is engineered into our maps, so combat can be a fun game of hide and seek, not just shooting as fast as you can.  This is not to say you won't have these types of engagements in GearStorm.  Fast-paced, intense combat is supported and large-volume weapons are in the game, but players can have the choice to experience more strategic combat.  

2. Jump Jets.  Our player is dropped on this alien planet in wearing his basic power armor.  The armor is equipped with basic jump jets allowing short hops or mitigating long fall damage by firing them at the last minute.  Part built-in parachute, part personal jetpack, our player's powered armor can jump great heights, but there is no bunny hopping, the player has to land before initiating another jump.  We will have ways to upgrade jumping in the game to be added.

3. Destructible terrain and buildings.  This is a crossover from the building and terrain systems, but being able to shoot down a tree a player or NPC is hiding behind, being able to knock down walls and destroy cover avoids the kind of annoying stalemates we all know and hate in other games.  On the flip side, being able to dig a foxhole and trench to defend your position is invaluable.

4. Location-based damage and consequences.  Most games let you kill more quickly by shooting in the head only.  When you shoot a GearStorm zombie in the leg, it slows him down, shoot it in the arm and it can't attack and yes, shoot it in the head and it will die more quickly.  This allows our players to devise more strategies for attack and defense than they have available in the typical run-and-gun game.

5.  Dynamic weather and day/night cycle.  Our maps are simulated alien worlds with dynamic lighting, day/night and weather.  All these conditions can effect view distance and clarity, greatly impacting the battlefield.

6.  Rich NPC combat system.  Our NPCs fight each other, have preferred prey and some are not dangerous at all.  These adds a dynamic element to our world that plays into combat with additional moving things out there to identify or attack.

7.  Vehicles.  Our vehicles have weapons and armor and will play a role in combat.  We plan to limit that role so vehicles do not run the field and kill everyone without and opportunity for players to escape or attack vehicles.  Many games do try to "balance" people and vehicles with overpowered anti vehicle weapons, vehicles with annoying limitations or control schemes to deliberately make it harder to shoot or control the vehicle.  This is usually because vehicles just spawn on their maps and are free, so they have to limit them. In GearStorm we have a economy.  Things cost resources to get.  We plan to embrace the imbalance of vehicles by making them cost more to get, cost more when you lose one.
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