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[Poll] Best combat mechanics in 2d platformer?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by msh91, Nov 3, 2019.

?

What combat mechanics do you like best in 2d platformers?

  1. Melee

    33.3%
  2. Free-Aim Projectiles

    33.3%
  3. Auto aim projectiles (e.g. ori and the blind forest)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. None (e.g. puzzle only)

    33.3%
  5. Physics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. msh91

    msh91

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Posts:
    19
    Making a pole to decide what kind of combat mechanic I want in my game.

    So what combat mechanics do you guys like best? I'm talking specifically about the ones in 2d platformers.

    Feel free to share your feelings about specific games that you felt were really good with a combat mechanics, or other options you might have seen liked or perhaps wanted to see

    p.s.
    I'm not entirely sure this is the best forum to post this poll in. Let me know if I should post it in another forum
     
  2. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    2,697
    Combat in games like that usually feels tacked on and a bit annoying someti.es to me. Usually it means back peddle to draw enemy into last choke.point. even if you design around that, it's hard to.prevent player from doing it. Doom 2016 supposedly was very clever in encouraging push forward combat. But anytime it gets hard what do you do? Cheese the enemies like every other game ever.

    For that reason, I always.attracted to.game that is purely focused on movement. Challenge can then be about timing, rhythm, patience, or simple puzzling. Something about simplicity in design like that really speaks to me as a gamer too. "You got one trick, now here's ten thousand challenges. Go." I like that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    msh91 likes this.
  3. Serinx

    Serinx

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Posts:
    537
    It all depends on the playstyle you're going for.
    Obviously having a melee-focused combat system wouldn't make much sense if your protagonist only used a bow and arrow.

    Generally speaking, I like to have a range of different options for different situations.
    A great example of this is Trine.
    If you haven't heard of it, it's a 2.5D sidescroller where you switch between playing a Warrior, a Wizard and an Archer seamlessly during gameplay.
    Each character has unique abilities and playstyles. This allows the player to choose their favourite playstyle or swap between the characters for different situations e.g. swing across the level with the assassin, switch to the warrior to block some spears, then use the wizard to telekinetically pull a boulder off a cliff to crush some goblins.

    Ooo that reminds me. Another "combat type" you're missing is physics; manipulating objects in the world combined with combat can be a lot of fun.
     
    msh91 and JoeStrout like this.
  4. msh91

    msh91

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Posts:
    19
    Thank you both for your inputs!

    BIGTIMEMASTER - Do you have any example of games that are focused purely on movement, without any combat mechanics, or at least somewhat close to it ?

    Serinx - I did hear about Trine, and I like it a lot; it's a great game! I'd love to hear about more examples if you know any, hopefully some I also don't know.

    And I added physics as an answer as well.
     
  5. Volcanicus

    Volcanicus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Posts:
    163
    Sonic.

    I'll give you the run down on all those styles:
    Melee: sucks, it always feels like I have to get close and then attack. Very monotonous at times or just plain feels like a chore.
    Free-Aim Projectiles: can be fun, like metroid but only if the controls are good. Have 2 separate pads for movement and attack or a lock on aim. Implementation of good controls is key here.
    Auto-Aim Projectiles: can be fun, but can also feel forced. You have to make it feel good for the player, like in Ori.
    None: Sometimes, like in Portal, it's ok to not have combat and use the puzzle mechanics. Then it would be devoid of action, which some people may like.
    Physics: not sure what that is.
     
  6. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    2,697
    Been a minute since I played any 2d games. I played a few bad ones not too long ago, which is only reason the idea about the melee/projectile shooting bring a nuisance was in my head.

    Obviously classic Mario is movement only. Technically you got melee but it does not stop movement and is designed in a way that doesn't have you back peddle cheesing most enemies. At least from what I remember.

    Sonic has been mentioned.

    I think okami can sort of fit the bill, but maybe it's a stretch. You do combat, but more in the same way as mario. You move into enoes a certain way.

    I think I have to go back and research more to find better examples. But in the end, it's just a question of what kind of movement you are forcing player to make. Usually projectile plus enemy results in "back peddle to last funnel or aggro range" or it has you leaping frantically on platforms that were designed for forward momentum, so it just ends up feeling kind of janky and annoying. These are both patterns any seasoned gamer knows very well. For me at least, it's dull because of too much familiarity.

    I think if I were making that genre, I'd try an idea of having movement and hardcore platforming separate from combat arenas. Like you gotta go real fast, dodging enemies, to get from one big battle.to next. Then battles are in spacious arenas with lots of cover but no safe zones. After dicey platforming in which you are avoiding snemies for a period for sake of speed, then laying out a few waves woth fiepower may be very satisfyjng. So you get constant in the zone flow state gaming.


    It really may be no issue and just my weird opinion. Watching people play my own game I see all sorts of behavior I would describe as nonsensical. For instance you have a turn limit on a turn based game, coupled with fast paced music, and people click faster. Lol, like they can't still take all the time. So theme can do a lot to influence how one plays, side note.

    Then some people have idea to use all resources maximally on every turn, whereas my goal is the opposite. So people have extreme different ways of llaying.

    Oh, some oblique examples from 3d world is the artsy artsy games like flower, journey, abzu. Very different but they demonstrate if movement feels good it is enough (coupled with strong theme).

    And limbo. That was a good one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  7. msh91

    msh91

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Posts:
    19
    Volcanicus - Great, thanks for the input!

    Regarding physics: I guess you could think about it more like environment. A bit like Serinx said, it's about interacting with the world and the objects in it, causing damage to enemies or objects, usually indirectly. e.g. push a crate to an edge so it will fall down and break, or even fall on an enemy and damage it.

    BIGTIMEMASTER - awesome, thanks for all the info and the examples. You have some good points, I'll be sure to take them into considerations when choosing my combat mechanics, and I'll also take a look at all those games you mentioned.