Pre-Alpha Screenshot - Combat Training

It is that most shiny of days, isn't it? I have to admit I almost didn't notice. It's been a very busy time for us here at SbS, and this week was no exception. I've spent a good part of my day today reviewing some of the refinements and changes we've made to combat to see how they effect the way game feels. I want to sneak in discussing the less noticed bits of what we do, so like last week, this will be a mild diversion.

First, let me throw up a couple of screen shots of what I'm looking at today. It's not a shiny without an image to look at, right?!

OK, now I can explain my day. An incredibly large part of what makes CoE a MEOW is how it feels to play. I actually touched on it when I was speaking with the folks over at TheoryForge last week; there are two layers to any game experience: the underlying math/logic, and the user's actual experience - the presentation of all that background calculation and simulation, essentially.

We've always known that we wanted a particular feel from combat, and thanks to all the skill rework we did last year, we have a pretty good simulation of the combat's mechanics. But the job's not done there. We also have to consider how best to marry those mechanics and their sims to the feel we want, which is a little trickier than it may seem at first. There are a lot of different factors involved. Even things as simple as "where does the camera go when you're in this situation" can make a huge difference to how a game feels and, in turn, how you think about the game.

The first screen shot there is a pic of me having a go at a dummy over in the barracks' training yard. I'm deliberately backed away here so that my camera abuts a tree that's just off-frame. I was checking on how it feels to have the camera move up to give you a better view when you're backed up like that. Would it be better for the camera to move over your shoulder instead? That's what we do with archery and it seems to work pretty well there, as you can see in the second screen shot.

Of course, while that's clean and keeps your primary target in view, doing something like that feels claustrophobic and it cuts you off from the rest of the world, which would be dangerous if you weren't in a one-on-one fight. But when the camera moves up, referring back to the first screenshot, things start to feel more game-like, more like something you might find in a console action game, which isn't necessarily the feel we want.

So, long story short (I know, too late), there's an ephemeral piece of the job that often goes unspoken. Typically, when we talk about UX design (User eXperience) we tend to think of menu navigation flows and control schemes, but there's a lot more to the job. Some of it is knowing when to tune a number in systems down to fractional values, so things respond at just the right time. Other parts involve fiddling with a camera all day to make sure it never makes your game feel like some other game. Sometimes it's scrubbing your way through dozens or hundreds of combat animations to make sure that they can interact with the combat and collision systems without any hint of latency or lag. It's all tiny little things, thousands of them, but those are the tiny little things that make a good game great, and they're just as important to focus on as the big systems or the innovative mechanics.

Which is why that's what's on my mind as we work today. Even at this stage, we keep stuff like this in mind, because it can also change how we think about the game, if we're not careful. We're players too, after all.

Thanks for indulging me as I talked about it; I hope you enjoyed it!

Shine on, Elyrians!

  • Snipehunter
3/21/2019 10:48:49 PM #1


Alt text - can be left blank

3/21/2019 10:51:17 PM #2



3/21/2019 10:52:51 PM #3

Lovely indeed tnx Guru Snipehunter.

3/21/2019 10:53:11 PM #4

Love seeing the pics as well as the thought process. Keep up the good work!

Drake County

3/21/2019 10:53:50 PM #5

Thanks for the work!


"Different denotes neither bad nor good, but it certainly means not the same."

-Just a lowly beekeeper

3/21/2019 10:54:25 PM #6

Combat feels, make it smooth, yeeeeeessssss.

3/21/2019 11:08:15 PM #7

Amazing stuff!! So glad you guys are taking the care you are for the details. I have mad respect for that.

Also really good to hear about this mechanic. Feels like we're more involved in the development, and I like that.

3/21/2019 11:21:11 PM #8

Sweet hat!

Happiness is reality minus expectation

3/22/2019 12:03:18 AM #9

Now this is what I am talking about.

Thank you.


3/22/2019 12:14:58 AM #10

Interesting indeed.

Just a lonely peasant on the road looking towards a distance future with the sweat on my back and a tear of cloth in my hand a family crest it must be. A adventure will i have, I dream of dreams my destiny awakens me.

Friend Code: A48E0C

3/22/2019 3:46:58 AM #11

Thanks for the update. I can't wait to see more content and gameplay of the combat system as well as weapons we will be using.

3/22/2019 4:14:33 AM #12

Very nice stuff, thank you.

Expecting to set up as a mayor in one of the three "two town" counties in Bridgespider (Angelica server, Kingdom of Tyria). I'm hoping to end up with a city by the end of exposition for lawmaking ability, assuming I can keep the city sustainable. You will know it's me by the city name Raven's Roost

Friend code: 23F484.

3/22/2019 5:38:54 AM #13

Love it!

And just a personal reflection and question about the camera related to archery, is it not supposed to feel a bit claustrophobic? I mean, you focus all yout attention on a part of a target far away.

In other words, you give up your attantion to all other things around you (compared to not look down an araw).

3/22/2019 5:40:59 AM #14

Gif please!


Also ... WTB shiny hat in sale :)

Link to my story

3/22/2019 5:42:22 AM #15

Snipehunter you beautiful bastard, you made my day.

That martial arts training post has really caught my eye. Excited to see your work in action mate. Never trusted a dev team like I have SBS to empathise for the player experience and pursue the new age in gaming.

Go geddim' Emperor Snipes.

My friend code: 4F7B5A

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