Trending Games | World of Warcraft | Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn | EverQuest | Guild Wars 2

  Network:  FPSguru RTSguru
Login:  Password:   Remember?  
Show Quick Gamelist Jump to Random Game
Members:2,905,818 Users Online:0
Games:757  Posts:6,296,588

Show Blog

Link to this blogs RSS feed

Message From the King

Glen "Famine" Swan from Funcom's Age of Conan answers questions, and discusses the game, life, and the industry. Let us know what you would like to hear about.

Author: FC-Famine

The Evolution of Combat in Age of Conan Part 2

Posted by Athelan Wednesday April 16 2008 at 2:45PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

Last time we talked a little bit about my history with the project, the very beginning if you will and the influences we used in designing the combat for Age of Conan.

We had our most basic elements, directional combat, combo’s, no auto attack. But we needed to identify the elements that made up the combat in the games that inspired us. Here are my personal assessments as I remember them.

Dynasty Warriors

  • Seamless combo system, essentially no activating of abilities primarily (except musou of course)
  • Wide variety of characters and weapons
  • Feeling of Heroism in epic proportions
  • Movement in attacks
  • Collision between friend and foe
  •  Cone Targeting

Ninja Gaiden (the Xbox 3d one)

  • Seamless combo system, allowed for a lot of free flowing chains of your own design
  • Movement in attacks to the extreme
  •  Weapon based targeting

Soul Calibur (Good old Dreamcast)

  • The pinnacle example of a weapon based fighting game of anything to aspire to this would be it

Rune

  • Fast paced and furious, one of the best examples of taking the action/fighting type game successfully onto the PC.
  • The control aspects here were the key elements we were looking at     

Mount & Blade

  • Fun and tactical feeling combat, especially mounted combat and archery

At E3 2005 we had combo’s and directional attacks in and were demoing in one area called Eiglophian Mountains. We had some Picts riding a Mammoth, and a large NPC vs NPC battle we could start to show off the engine’s ability to handle a lot of enemies. But we were still missing something, so we went back to our inspirations and dissected them like I did before but in even more detail. We looked for common traits and ways we could incorporate them. One of the big things that we noticed was movement in attacks. 90% of all fighting games the feet do not stay planted during attacks as balance must be maintained and often momentum and weight transfer are applied as well.

And so began the first of many major revisions of the Combat in Age of Conan, to add in movement to attacks. This meant more motion capture work, and implementation. It also meant code changes would be necessary to handle things like what happens when you can’t move but still need to attack etc. At first this was solved by having pushback on impacts which created a tug of war type appearance. The issue was that mobs could then be pushed around and cornered, and that interrupting the animations all the time made it hard to have both attacks and impacts happening and look good.

Animation prioritization would be an ongoing challenge in bringing combat to the table at the level we desired. Eventually we lost the pushback on all attacks and instead incorporated the ability to stop the forward movement but maintain the sideways movement allowing the character to slide if impeded, which looked much better than simply allowing the character to slide completely and removing all movement.

Obviously we knew that some things might be technically unobtainable when it came to meeting the standards of our inspirations but that was all part of the challenge and the fun part when it came to the design, and getting to attack such a lofty goal. What we realized through this first major iteration was that combat was going to be a dynamic thing and that for the rest of the project it would be changing and growing and polishing all the way through the development process on our way to launch.

Stay tuned for the next part as we focus on the changes to the combo system and its interface on the road to release.

Athelan writes:

hmm the alignment did not translate well into the blog page =/

Wed Apr 16 2008 2:46PM Report
Psiho246 writes:

You sure you are not basing this on Gothic?

I thought AoC and Gothic had similarities.

Wed Apr 16 2008 6:12PM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

"instead incorporated the ability to stop the forward movement but maintain the sideways movement allowing the character to slide if impeded, which looked much better than simply allowing the character to slide completely and removing all movement."

I think this was a good call, looking forward to the next part. Have fun at comicon :)

Wed Apr 16 2008 10:04PM Report
Chavo writes:

"instead incorporated the ability to stop the forward movement but maintain the sideways movement allowing the character to slide if impeded, which looked much better than simply allowing the character to slide completely and removing all movement."

Maybe I'm confused, but does this mean that melee cannot move while swinging weapons? If so, doesn't that mean that ranged classes can simply double tap to dodge away from melee attacks and kite them forever? I'm just confused probably  :)

Wed Apr 16 2008 10:25PM Report
Athelan writes:

The forward movement is only halted when you collide while maintaining the side to side movement in the particular animation.

Wed Apr 16 2008 11:43PM Report
Athelan writes:

You can draw similarities to many other games I did not mention but Gothic was not one of the games we looked at specifically.

Wed Apr 16 2008 11:44PM Report
caracarn writes:

Athelan, you guys need to send someone into the tech beta forum at least once a day.

Fri Apr 18 2008 1:55AM Report
Athelan writes:

There are QA people and Customer Service on the forums regularly. Just because people do not post responses internally does not mean people are not present however.

Sat Apr 19 2008 6:18PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
Login or Register to post a comment