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Combo game idea

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1Combo game idea Empty Combo game idea on Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:19 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
So I've been spitballing about how to make a game center around combos, and still have it be useful and add to the game. I came up with the following, let me know what you guys think! If good enough I'll make some drawings for it to better explain the ideas visually.

As a baseline, imagine a title like DMC4 or Bayonetta in terms of enemies and combat system. Except with the following changes.

For starters, enemies have two values: Hit Points and Moral, that you can always see.

As you start a combo you'll see a hit counter, and with each hit done in the combo the damage of the moves you use get lower. The longer it goes on, launchers will also launch foes less high and hitstun is reduced per move each time you use it. The twist is that doing combos reduces the moral of the foe. Doing a raw Taunt outside a combo also deals very minor moral-damage, while it being done in a combo without it 'dropping' deals massive moral-damage. Doing moral-damage also deals very minor moral damage to foes around you.
When a combo is dropped enemies will do one of few actions away leading to a tech chase. If you succeed in this 'chase' you can continue the combo.
As such a dropped combo isn't the end of the world as foes will have a few 'set' replies to it (roll away, jump, stand still, block, or try to counter, on which you can play into), giving players with high reactions and 'reads' basically a way to salvage their combo. If you succesfully 'tech chase' a foe the damage-scaling on your combo resets.

When an enemy's moral is depleted, he 'breaks', which sees them change emotional state.

Rage: Enraged the foe now takes triple damage, but deals more too, gains super armor on select moves, gains a grab move (where they pummel you) and rush you down. Reward for killing a foe like this is extra money-orbs.

Sadness: Foe gets very defensive, popping shields, take less damage and tries to run away and focuses on ranged attacks. Defeating a foe like this drops a small heal.

Suicidal: enemies start hurting themselves constantly and movement speed is reduced, but when they die they explode with friendly fire. Gain money-orbs, but very little.

Lust: some foes like the hurtful words. These will kneel down and wait for you to combo them again. This is basically a stun. If you kill a foe in this emotion they give some magic-meter back.

If the moral meter is depleted which emotion is chosen is randomized. But if the final 'blow' is dealt with a taunt you can choose which one you get.
Bosses have a set emotion they get, but can still be directed to a certain emotion using taunts - making them harder but still contain the main mechanics.

The system as such gives all styles of play a purpose:
- if you want to nuke foes it is still best to rush them down and abuse highest damage moves that don't combo, to reduce damage and stagger decay.
- in groups styling around gives you more options on how to 'direct' the battle, giving combos a smart system behind it other than "style on this fool". Even efficiency based players might play with combos as a result to "Lust stun" a specific foe.
- dropping combos becomes a tactic, as it resets damage scalling. But by being random in their reaction it can be very risky, as you might drop the combo completely.

Few other notes:
- there will be no counter hits.




So, what do you guys thinks?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

2Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:40 am

Birdman


Moderator
The only game I know of with a morale system is DW, and I'm only familiar with the early titles which were very basic, where doing well like killing a lot of enemies, especially officers or other heroes, will cause regular grunts to run away.

and with each hit done in the combo the damage of the moves you use get lower.

leading to a tech chase.
These sound similar to what we see in fighting games. Action games could benefit from such recovery states for enemies too.

There are probably a few games where enemies will be 'down' and can get up with an attack or other action. Off the top of my head, Genji has a boss like this. It's a large statue with a flaming sword. Do enough damage and he'll drop to one knee and you'll get a few seconds to go nuts. Then he'll stand up with a brutal uppercut with sword, but you can anticipate this and do a Mind's Eye critical.

if you want to nuke foes it is still best to rush them down and abuse highest damage moves that don't combo, to reduce damage and stagger decay.
Wouldn't this cause a problem though, where players would bypass the whole morale mechanic?

dropping combos becomes a tactic, as it resets damage scalling. But by being random in their reaction it can be very risky, as you might drop the combo completely.
This sounds interesting.

3Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:51 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
> Wouldn't this cause a problem though, where players would bypass the whole morale mechanic?
Perhaps, but they'll also miss out on some other features. They'll get less orbs for one thanks to no foe being enraged, won't get heals from sadness and cannot stun foes.

> Fighting Games
I basically took the exact mechanics of mind-games to action-games, that's the core idea here. If you combo someone with a long but bad-damage combo, you send a message to a foe that they are nothing to you. There's a cool clip where Daigo does this. He spends all his meter to do a 600 damage hit combo that lasts 30+ hits, while he also could've done a 800 one that cost less meter. But he wanted to demoralize his foe.

The tech-chase is also part of the mind-games aspect.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

4Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:08 am

Birdman


Moderator
Can enemies get morale back? In DW the opposing army could.

Could work here for those looking to exploit dropping the combo. Eventually you'd be able to react to the tech chase options.

What can other enemies do while you're comboing?

5Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:40 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Good questions. I think they'll be stuck on that 'emotional state' until death to keep things from getting too messy. You could play with this on difficulty settings. Perhaps on the highest setting they'll only stay in it for 10 seconds for instance.

> react to the tech chase
Depends how they are made though, if they are fast enough or also contain ones that are feignts, it could be pretty interesting. You could play around with giving some foes or some emotional states a higher tendency to do a certain thing (allowing for 'hard reads').

> enemies while you combo

I was thinking about this. I'd be in favour that comboing an enemy makes other foes rush you down. You'd have to incorporate dodges in your combo. Agression is tied to difficulty level.

> moral

What about the reverse? For instance dropping a combo or getting hit 'boosting' moral of a foe, making them inspired or "motivated" as a unique status.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

6Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:07 am

Birdman


Moderator
Depends how they are made though, if they are fast enough or also contain ones that are feignts, it could be pretty interesting.
This actually ties into something I've been thinking about regarding enemies that can dodge in action games. They're mostly random dodges, guaranteed to avoid you no matter what, which lead me to the conclusion that when they don't dodge an attack, that's like the game actually letting you win. There's no timing or logic, they just bend the rules and dodge until the game is programmed to stop.

Ace Combat 7 has this issue. When I win against a tough enemy or boss, I often don't feel like I did, because they just showed how the AI can actually avoid everything you do if it wants to, but then just stops and does something dumb like fly in a straight line so you can get in a shot.

I don't see how to avoid this in a single player game.

Feints would be good, because they would start the same as the action that fully commits, though I'm sure it would still eventually lead to us reading it, or exploiting i-frames to dash INTO it and negate it altogether unless you aren't having i-frames.

I have way more to say on random dodging and blocking mechanics of enemies, but maybe that's for another topic.

I'm that one guy at the table that never stops bringing up issues so you never get to release lol.

What about the reverse? For instance dropping a combo or getting hit 'boosting' moral of a foe, making them inspired or "motivated" as a unique status.
Yeah that's what I mean, they can get it too like DW opposing armies when you side is getting decimated.

Would that mean, if you were doing badly, they could exit their emotional states?

7Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:48 am

Nadster


A-Rank
Are you making a game?

8Combo game idea Empty Re: Combo game idea on Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:48 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
@Nadster
Ha, I wish. Sometimes I just like to brainstorm ideas. It's a good way to keep your argumentating-skills sharp as well :)

@Birdman


> dodges
It's a hard subject, since it can also get really annoying. Ninja Gaiden 3 had a lot of enemies dodge, but since it contained i.frames it was merely a delay in you killing them and when you did, it felt like - as you noted - that the game let you win. But by incorporating it in the design and allowing you to follow up with it, makes it a bit more 'active'.

It is funny though, the whole concept was making juggles interesting, yet the key feature we seem to like (or discuss) the most is the tech-chase which was just an afterthought for me.

>  Would that mean, if you were doing badly, they could exit their emotional states?
No doubt about it. If you get wrecked at a constant basis they'll exit their state while those that were 'stateless' will go into Motivated.

This would also allow for fun handicaps, like a menu option that has all enemies be Motivated by default or something like that.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

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