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All terrain movement

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:06 am
by Grabthehoopka
When thinking about the controls for this game, I thought about Heavy Rain.

One of the things the game did very well was its very simple control scheme. Navigating and interacting with the world was done by holding down the R2 button (a strange choice), steering the character around with the left analog stick, and interacting with an object was done by pushing the right analog stick in the direction indicated on the screen.

One of the benefits of having an extremely simplified control scheme is that you, the developer, can have a widely diversified range of locations, situations, and sequences, as long as the core mechanics don't change and you teach the player early on that, regardless of the situation, this is how you move, and this is how you do stuff. So, in Heavy Rain, normally you are just walking around, but there are parts where the character is running, crawling, sneaking around, or swimming, and in all situations, the player doesn't have to concern themselves with extra buttons or mechanics; the situation presents itself, and the player knows that they can move by holding R2, and interact with stuff with the right analog stick. And I think doing that really helps to increase the immersion, because they spend practically no time thinking about buttons or game mechanics, and instead go by their intuition and common sense, based on the rules they are presented with and the situation at hand. That "gut feeling", of tricking the player into not thinking about the game as a game, is incredibly important for scary games.

So, the suggestion: since you are dealing with nightmares, which are infinite in possibility and not constrained by the laws of physics or reality itself, I think you should have sequences that deviate highly from the status quo. Like, maybe some sequences where the camera angle changes, like having to squeeze through a narrow space, and the camera angle switches to an overhead view, or a sequence where you have to navigate the environment by crawling and the camera gets closer to make it feel more claustrophobic, or maybe where you're climbing a ledge, or swimming, or digging through the ground, anything, as long as you can move and possibly interact with things.

You've already got a very good and effective control scheme going, I'm just suggesting you experiment what you can do with it.

Re: All terrain movement

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:36 pm
by matt
We will definitely be experimenting with different actions for the player. The problem with other camera angles is that because we have a 2D character, we have to re-draw and reanimate him for every camera angle. I would like to support a few more angles though, so we'll see what we have time to do.

Thanks for the advice!

Re: All terrain movement

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:02 am
by gagaplex
I think a lot of that could be done even with the original sprites and animations in place; not an overheard view, but something Escher-like (if such a nightmare-environment exists/is planned for the game), where perspective is twisted and weird and all that; if the angle is still right, you could reuse the graphics while still gaining the twisting of perspective.

Re: All terrain movement

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:57 pm
by matt
Yeah. I love the idea of "dutch angles" for the camera, but it is a significant amount of work adding rotation to our camera system, so I'm putting it on the back burner for now.