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Do You Need To Jump

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by vegasanx, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. vegasanx

    vegasanx

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    Hi guys, I've been going back and forth with this in my mind for a while and I thought I'd just ask for your opinions since I'm just spinning my wheels at this point.

    Should I add a button for jumping in my game?

    My game is not a platformer. It's not necessary. It would take up an input that could be used for something else. Yet somehow I feel it's kind of strange to not be able to jump in a 3D game (it's both 1st and 3rd person as you can change the camera).

    Now, I guess there are some 3D games out there where you can't jump. But when I play them, sometimes I feel like I want to jump anyway, just for the heck of it. Or for a more practical use - say there is a small box or ledge in front of you and you want to just jump over it but you can't and you have to instead walk around it. That's kind of frustrating.

    It's a more stylized cartoony game, not a gritty horror or anything so there's no huge mood break if the player decides to start hopping around for no reason. The game is also going to be either open world or semi-open world.

    I could do the LOZ thing where you auto jump across gaps and stuff but that seems like a lot of work to get right.
     
  2. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    @vegasanx
    I think having a jump ability is a good idea.
    It will make the character in the game, feel more complete too.
     
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  3. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    I agree. It's the same thing I always say.
     
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  4. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I would ask myself if the jump matters. Plenty of games have jump that has absolutely no use. Doom 3 comes to mind, you had the ability to jump but because of how slow you were and how weak your jump was, I never used it. Doom 2016 however, the jump is extremely necessary because it’s as much a parkour game as shooting.

    Ask: does the player need agility?

    You could make a hidden mechanic in your jump. I’ve noticed that in literally every game where there is a good jump, I tend to twist as I jump. This is muscle memory from playing Quake where twist jumping made you move really really fast.
     
  5. SparrowsNest

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    I say get some play testers and see, don't tell them anything, see if they say anything about jumping.
    personally I think if they character should be able to jump you should have that feature, in cases like the horror bunny hopping example you gave, you could have a bit of logic detecting it and blocking it, you could make it lower (non-regenetive) stamina so the player won't waste it for no reason, lots of thing to do.
    But if he wants to hop around, i say let him - F*** it.

    BTW, i'm not talking about "actual" play testers / QA to stress the game, just the average gamer, I just hunt them on the streets, haha
     
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  6. vegasanx

    vegasanx

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    Yeah, a part of me wants to just add it because it's so expected and it would feel better to the player to have it, even if they never use it.

    Right now, not really. If I do add it in I could add some shortcuts or places where you need to jump and it could make the levels more interesting but it will never be essential to the gameplay. It's just not that type of game

    Again, I think the older 3D LOZ games are a good example. You could auto jump but jumping wasn't necessary for the core gameplay of fighting enemies and solving puzzles. The levels / dungeons / temples and some puzzles would probably be less interesting without the jumps though. A part of me wants to do as you say and trim the fat.

    It might make getting around easier. The player also might want to run for their lives instead of fighting an enemy so it might save their lives if there's something in the way that they can jump over but I don't really see myself adding a bunch of small ledges or such obstacles in the areas where enemies spawn anyway.

    I bring up the horror example because I noticed that you can't jump in a lot of horror games. It makes sense (especially if jumping increases your running speed or lets you dodges attacks or at least if the player feels like it does).

    I think playtesting may be the best option but I don't plan on getting people to playtest my game for a while. I want to have the core gameplay done, plenty of things to do in the game, and I want to replace all the placeholder models before I show it to anyone (it's embarrassing otherwise :oops:).

    But since jumping is not really going to be essential to the game I could always add it in later. I could redesign an area or two if I need to. It's just that if I add jumping, I'm going to have to make another character controller (the one I have right now uses NavMesh to get around (although it's typical WASD control, not click to move) since it made sense at the time and if I never add jumping it would work fine and allow me to avoid adding a bunch of colliers to restrict player movement and prevent the player from ever falling through the world.

    Replacing the player's controller later on in development makes me antsy (which is why I created this thread instead of putting it off). Maybe I'm just paranoid and it'll be no big deal.
     
  7. SparrowsNest

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    Get over it, get someone who knows the concept of greyboxing.
     
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  8. Serinx

    Serinx

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    I vote don't add jumping unless it adds some value to your game. As you pointed out, it's 1 wasted input, it's also potentially 3 animations (jump, mid air/falling, landing), it means your players might be able to get to places you dont want them, they could get stuck, you have to add the jump code, the list goes on!

    Basically, it's a lot of work to add something just because you feel weird that it's not there.
     
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  9. vegasanx

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    You make some very good points - thank you.
     
  10. Shiro_Rin

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    I want to cite one of my favorite games of all time. Fable. You have no jump button yet its a fully 3d game that works perfectly fine without one. Make your vision the way you see it. If you believe jumping isn't needed to fully enjoy your game, don't include it.
     
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  11. vegasanx

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    Fable is great. You can't jump in that game? I didn't even notice. :eek:
     
  12. Murgilod

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    You can jump in either 2 or 3, however. Possibly both. One of the sequels, at least.
     
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  13. angrypenguin

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    Do consider the amount of work jumping adds to your game.

    Sure, adding the jump feature itself is pretty simple, not a lot of work at all. But now all of your levels need to be designed, built and tested with that feature in mind, and that is a bunch of extra work. You also need to take it into account when designing, implementing and testing the other features in your game.

    This is a part of how scope blows out for many developers. Being simple to implement does not mean something is easy to add to your game. When you look at the big picture even "simple" stuff has a big impact. Adding the wrong "simple" thing can seriously blow out your workload.

    Unless you specifically need it or it's a part of your intended experience, leave it out.

    Also this. Get stuff playtested early and often.

    My ideas always seem great to me. I have no idea whether or not other people like them until I get the game in front of real people to get real impressions. If they don't like it then that is not a bad thing. It means I can either modify or ditch the project sooner, rather than spending time polishing something that people might not even want.

    If people criticize your execution then great, the underlying idea is probably ok. If people criticize the underlying idea then you've got issues that no amount of polish will fix. No worries, move onto the next idea, I'm sure you've got plenty and some of them are probably good.

    Don't trick yourself into polishing a turd.
     
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  14. angrypenguin

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    For clarity's sake, I'm not saying that your current game is a turd. I have no idea. I'm just in agreement that you should test it with other people early and often.
     
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  15. Shiro_Rin

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    You still can't jump, only vault over objects or "jump" down a hole. But none of the time can you actively jump to a higher location without it being some kind of event based action.
     
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  16. vegasanx

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    I want the content in there so people can see the whole picture before they judge it. It's kind of like if a dev was making a fighting game with only one character who is a cube (for example). If people played that game they might not be able to see the fun and unique aspects about it until the dev puts in cool art, animation, any plenty of different combos and characters to play with.

    I want to have the art be close to the final look and all the major systems in place with different enemies (because a large part of the fun is tactical and without different enemy types and items you won't be able to experience that) and at least a level or two with two different kinds of boss fights. Then people can play it and say, "Okay, I get what you're trying to do." It's kind of a complicated system so I want people to be able to play around with a good chunk of it before judging it.

    After taking everyone's advice into account, I'm going to test out auto-jumping or button prompts / sequences like this. I think this will allow me to make some more interesting levels and not have the player feel like their character is stuck to the ground the entire game without having to account for them being able to hop around wherever they please. I don't think this will add too much work since I'd have complete control over where the player can jump.
     
  17. Volcanicus

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    I see a lot of replies that do not address the physics problems of jumping.
    If you jump, you need to address several incoming pros and cons of jumping, notably physics.
    If the player is stuck kind of like in the original dragon age and jumping is not an option, then you don't have to work around jumping to close off areas.
    If jump is enabled, you have to consider this:
    - fall damage (in banjo and kazooie, ground pounding and then falling doesn't count as a "jump" or "walk off" so no fall damage)
    - anti-climb boundaries (in vanilla WoW, the jump was there for no reason and many people abused colliders to climb stuff)
    - when to make the jump part of the game (in doom, you can jump but it gets you nothing at all)
    - synergies with other controls (in Metroid prime, scan jumping is a bugged state where you long-jump and can skip stuff)
    - getting stuck (so many games need an unstuck option because you can get stuck in small areas)

    So if you can address these pros/cons, then put a jump in it. Otherwise, consider it a limitation.
    Also, always have a reason ready to talk about why or why not there is a jump. FXIV got a lot of flak for never addressing it.
     
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  18. vegasanx

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    Thanks, yeah, I was of the mindset that adding a jump would be easy but you guys bring up some very good points.
     
  19. angrypenguin

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    All I can say is to stop worrying about being "judged". It doesn't matter if people don't like your unfinished thing. What does matter is why they don't like it.

    If they don't like it because it's unfinished then you might be onto something good. If they don't like it because it's not an interesting idea then great, you found out before you completed a bunch of major systems and made a whole bunch of polished art and so on and so forth. The time you saved can now be put into your next idea, which might be a winner.

    Over investing before you've checked if people like something is usually a mistake. The exception is if you've already decided you don't care what other people think (ie: you're making the game for you, not for an audience), in which case we wouldn't be talking about being judged. ;)

    How do you know what "final" is without getting feedback from players?

    My current project has some pretty fundamental differences from its early design because we put it in front of players, learned what they liked and what they didn't, and deliberately modified the design accordingly. There's plenty of ways to cook an egg, and that's just one of them, but overall I'd definitely say that if you're developing for an audience and you're not getting feedback from them during development then you're building blind and just hoping it all works out in the end.

    Coming back to the topic... if you don't need jump as a part of your core experience, I'd make a prototype that doesn't have jumping, then I'd get a bunch of people who are into your type of game to play it, and I'd ask for feedback. If "there's no jump button" comes up a lot then I'd consider adding one. If it doesn't come up much or at all, save yourself the effort and work on the things that do come up.
     
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  20. vegasanx

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    I'd say it's half and half. This is a project that I've wanted to create for a long time so half of me is creating it for myself. But the other half of me also wants as many people as possible to enjoy what I made. As such, I am willing to change even the core mechanics if people simply don't like it. (The only thing I'm married to is the genre, which is very flexible with it's mechanics).

    The art style is something that I'm not as willing to budge on. I'm going to have a lot of different enemies (100+) and NPCs (30-50) not to mention items and backgrounds in this game and from the very beginning, I wanted to be able to do the entirety of the programming and art myself (I want to work with a team later on, but if something happens I don't want development to come to a complete stop).

    So I tried out different art styles and settled on one that I could see myself comfortably completing the entire game with (even if it takes time). I simply wouldn't be able to create the game with a more realistic or simpler style (it's low / mid poly - around 20k tris for each character). Any more detail and I'd get burned out creating all these characters. Any less and I wouldn't be satisfied with how it looks.

    But you do make a good point - what people think about my game is very important to me. Making this game is fun for me but most of all I would enjoy it if other people had fun playing my game.

    Okay, I'm convinced. All of my core mechanics are basically done and I have a few NPCs and enemies done and some almost done so I'll wrap that up and get some play-testers as soon as possible! If I show them what I have now and explain the extra features and content I'm planning on adding in the future, I think they'll have a good idea of what the final game will look like and be able to give me some valuable feedback.
     
  21. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Don't spend one second doing something that is not critically important... unless all the critically important priorities are finalized.

    Personally, in 2019, I think jumping in games is stupid unless its like, a jumping based game. Nobody jumps in real life, Climb, vault, slide, dive... sure. These things look cool and they make sense. But if it ain't NBA2k whatever or Mario clone, why jump?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  22. Ryiah

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    We don't go around killing monsters for score or experience either. :p
     
  23. Shiro_Rin

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    That's what the street cats are for.
    *Proceeds outside with Zweihänder*
     
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  24. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    Because games doesn't have to be realistic. People tend to forget that over past years.

    There's a lot of things that can be done with jumping available, and a lot of things that can be done to bypass limitation of missing jump.

    Like teleports, lift up pads, dodge rolling etc.

    Personally, I like jumping mechanics.

    Jumping adds a simple and accessable way to add verticality to the game.
    I'd say yes, add it. Just make sure you've got a place where you can jump to, not a completely flat plane.
     
  25. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Keep in mind that since locomotion in video games is necessarily simplified, the "jump" button is often also the analog for climbing, vaulting, clambering, hitching your legs over low obstacles, stepping onto things too high for a normal step, so on and so forth.

    It's kind of like how we also rarely "strafe" in the real world, but it's pretty common to be looking in a different direction to where you're walking.
     
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  26. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Jumping is stupid and I hate it! :)


    No, I get the point of it, but if the game has already been designed to work without jumping it, why retroactively add in such a fundamental change?
     
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  27. vegasanx

    vegasanx

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    Well, initially I was thinking that it wasn't a very big change. The levels would still be designed so that you never have to jump to complete the game but the option is there for people if they feel like hopping around for the heck of it or jumping over something as a shortcut.

    I know in some games I would jump around after beating a boss just to express myself. It feels good.

    Edit: Rather than jumping feeling though, I'm more interested in avoiding the player feeling bad or that there's something off about not being able to jump.

    In order to do that, I definitely have to make sure to keep obstacles out of the player's way so that they don't feel inclined to do it then realize, "wait that's right you can't jump in this game".
     
  28. Antypodish

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    Flappy Birds has jump and it works :D
     
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  29. Gor-Sky

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    I am doing sort of a rpg and also planned to implement jumping. After doing it, i realized was really a pain in the a**. The character got stuck and reached places he shouldnt. It was so time consuming to make the level designs so that the jump works correctly and i decided to abandon it.
    I think the player wont even notice because i dont have an live battle system like Skyrim or Dark Souls but one teleporting to other maps and it is round based. Also my world is small and the focus of the game is not exploration.

    So ask yourself this questions:
    -Do you have an action/live combat/battle?
    -Is exploration an very important part of your game?
    -Should the player be able to die when fall to make the levels harder?
    When the answer to all questions is "No" i would not implement the jump because it wont make your game better.
     
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  30. Not_Sure

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    I personally like jump buttons because its an easy way to kill boredom.
     
  31. SparrowsNest

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    Then the games not good enough.

    you should solve that by making it interesting everywhere, not by bunny hopping across the map.
     
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  32. neoshaman

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    That's basically the core of the issue, why jumping in game that don't have jump? well you have a level design problem.

    This

    but also this

    The first step is to identify the problem, and it's not jumping, it is that whenever jumping is present, it fulfill many function that aren't simply navigation. The real question is how can you fulfill these needs, and it's not necessarily by shoving jumping into the game.

    Problem number 1:
    In movie there is this concept of ellipsis, that is you don't show a character travelling, you cut away to signify time passed, ie cut the boring part. In game we often use big map that need to be traverse multiple times, in which there is much to do. This has seen many solution over the year:
    - in adventure game, traversal is made short by having smaller place,
    - in old rpg, you had the overworld map, that basically have the world scale shrunk to make travel faster,
    - and they had random battle that basically abstract space,
    - in early 3d games you had small zone separated by exit that teleport you only to the relevant part of a map,
    - modern game (and zelda oot) have transport to shrink time between point of interest.
    - skyrim keep you interesting in a big world, because there is always something to discover or fight nearby.
    All these techniques make sure the frequency of interesting things to do or to see (to experience) are close to each other. My observation is that best game have a frequency of new interesting poping event every two seconds.

    Problem number 2:
    In Halo, crouching is not the most pressing move you need to do in the games, it has less functional frequency use that any other button, and serve very literal stakes. Yet it gave birth to Teabagging, the offensive gesture to mock your adversaries, it's has been repurposed into a communication emote. Player like to express themselves, and sometimes they use existing mechanic to do so. In zelda twilight princess, if you sheath your weapon just after a killing blow, link make a useless fancy sheathing, my cousins don't miss a beat to do it after any hard battle. Jumping (or any move really) is often use by the player to inject it's own personality, to customize the experience, to mark important moment, to participated in climax, to manifest their own feeling, to communicate with other player, or to relieve stress or boredom. In zelda Oot you don't have jumping, instead player are abusing the rolling actions, and the game recognize that, roll bumping into tree for example might reveal things!

    So the question is not should I add jumping in my game, it is how can I give player the thing that jumping allow them to access. Why do they need jumping for, how do they use ot, this should point to deficiency in your design. If the player have to get around a stack of box, it's not jumping they want, they want to avoid teh hassle of doing unnecessary travel, maybe you should consider moving or removing that stack, or offer another way to bypass them, etc ... If your player feel the need to jump when moving from place to place where jump serve no function, maybe you need more stimulation in that area to make travel less boring... etc ...
     
  33. Not_Sure

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    Oh, please. Lots of great games still have down time. Jumping around and making my own fun does not mean that the game is bad.

    I jump around at the start of matches in Tram Fortress and Smite.

    Then I love jumping around maps that have a sprawling world like elder scrolls.

    Jumping is fun. Period.

    Saying the game isn’t good enough if you jump around for fun is like saying “Have fun! But not like that! Have fun how I want you to have fun!”

    That’s the worst kind of game.
     
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  34. Kurt-Dekker

    Kurt-Dekker

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    Van Halen's advice on this subject is unambiguous:

    "Might as well jump!"
     
  35. angrypenguin

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    They're not talking about doing it by design for fun, they're talking about doing it to, in your words, "kill boredom". If your game allows people to get bored then I tend to agree that there's probably a fundamental design issue.

    There are entire genres of games where jumping is deliberately designed in as a part of the entertainment. Nobody's arguing against that.

    Your example of TF2 kind of highlights the point. You're jumping around before the match starts, right? If your game is only as interesting as a multiplayer game that hasn't started then... well, yeah, you have issues!

    Thankfully that's not what's being suggested. They're not saying that anyone should dictate how palyers have fun, because this is talking about the design of the game. If your game has jumping then yes, if players want to have fun with just that then cool, go for it. As designers, however, we should think further than just "hey, people like mashing space bar, lets let them do that".

    Even if I do like just bunny hopping around, if your game is otherwise boring then I'm going to go bunny hop in a game that is also otherwise interesting.
     
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  36. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Here's an idea. A game in which you can only jump. No walk. No run. Only jump. The length and height of the jump is done by pressure sensitive trigger. You gotta get across obstacles and stuff. Lava, alligator swamps, etc. You could be a cute bunny. Or a sexy one. Because people are into that, too. If all else fails, as long as there's some sexy, somebody gonna buy the game.

    Jump lovers paradise. Or hell.
     
  37. xVergilx

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    Have you ever heard of hyper-casual games? They're exactly this.
     
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  38. angrypenguin

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    Yeah, that sounds exactly like Super Mario Run, if I remember correctly.
     
  39. Antypodish

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    Let me rephrase, Flappy Birds has only jump
    And apparently is addictive as hell. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  40. neoshaman

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    It's not jump if doesn't start on ground, it's just flying with no style :p
    /flappy bird
     
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  41. Not_Sure

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    When I was still working on bravely bear this was EXACTLY my jump off point.

    I wanted to figure out how to make an addictive phone game with minimal input.

    After playtesting some concepts I arrived at the conclusion that one button games (flappy bird) are played out and two buttons gave the perfect balance of complexity and still keep it focused on raw skill.

    Also, High David was a major influence.

    Damn shame it didn't take off.
     
  42. neoshaman

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    THere is also no button (doodle jump)
     
  43. TenKHoursDev

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    You know that in reality soldiers don't jump for the same reasons a game character would. Ie. to dodge a rocket or a plasma bolt. They jump to get away from a grenade maybe or to get over on obstacle (and that's stretching things).

    In support of this there's a game by Softnyx which I played almost a decade ago now, it was an online FPS called Wolves I think, and the players couldn't jump... Same with Arma.
     
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  44. Kurt-Dekker

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    There's some really good implementations of jumping that involve a fatigue or stamina system, where running and jumping burn down your ability to do so, kind of the way you might imagine you could only hurdle over so many obstacles while carrying a battle rifle, a hundred rounds of ammo and wearing armor and headgear.

    A recent game that comes to mind is Escape From Tarkov, with gameplay closer to the ARMA "super realistic" side of things, but you actually can jump. However, if you fall more than six or eight feet, you are taking damage.
     
  45. Joe-Censored

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    Most players will expect a jump feature, even if not actually necessary to play the game. Original Doom didn't have it, and it was fine at the time, but just a couple years later when going back to play it you'd try to find the jump button in vain. And that was over 20 years ago.
     
  46. tylerguitar75

    tylerguitar75

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Posts:
    38
    I really liked what someone said about jumping allowing the player to go to places they aren't supposed to.

    If your game doesn't have jumping and you add it, your entire level design is liable to be changed. I had a similar issue in a hobby project where the whole map made no sense once jumping was added, because you could bypass basically all obstacles and interest points.

    Of course, this was an extreme change because before that the game was all navmesh and click to move.

    Just something to think about.
     
  47. Kurt-Dekker

    Kurt-Dekker

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    Mar 16, 2013
    Posts:
    4,219
    I've also seen level "repair" done where they add in sticky floors near where they don't want you to jump, but unless this makes sense, it's kinda obvious it's a band-aid.

    On Atari Lynx the "Todds Adventures In Slime World" had sticky floors in certain areas to limit your ability to leap, and that made sense, since some of the slime was clearly sticky slime, and they had other flavors of slime, like bouncy and icy.
     
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  48. SparrowsNest

    SparrowsNest

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    Apr 6, 2017
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    Really? Sticky floor? What wrong with good ol fashion invisible wall?
     
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  49. Kurt-Dekker

    Kurt-Dekker

    Joined:
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    I was not dissing good old fashion invisible walls! Good old-fashioned invisible walls have a place in video games, just like monkeys, dynamite and laser beams.

    And sticky and icy floors.
     
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  50. SparrowsNest

    SparrowsNest

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    I wasn't accusing you of anything(unless you the dev of said game) , i just find the sticky floor solution wierd.

    The sticky floor can mess with players just jumping-by, not trying to pass geometry out of play area, the invisible wall only stops you if you try and abuse something.

    If you need it so the player won't "peek" over the wall - just make it higher/ place some trees/ whatever.

    BTW, I'm not okay with invisible walls just there, there have to be someking of indication, put up some rubble, a cliff, something to tell me, the player "hey, this isn't traversable here, so don't waste your time" - obviously i won't listen and think theres an easter egg there, but when i get over there atleast i won't be angry with the game for hitting my head on pure air when I walk towards a cool looking place.

    A sticky floor can be mighty fine, just as long as the world calls for it in itsrlf, regardless of the devs desire to do whats discussed here.
     
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