Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Month Gone By

Man, it's been a whole month since I posted last.  I do apologize.  I'll also apologize because I started another game project... then gave it up.

Basically, there's a board game on my shelf, Paintcheck, which is some sort of war game meets paintball sports.  It has all these complicated little rules and protractor/ruler devices for modifying dice rolls.  It's really cool in concept, and I actually wrote a modified version of the rules to make it playable (it doesn't help that the rules are badly translated from another European language.  I was hoping to make a game that mimicked the gameplay, and basically did all the calculating for you so that the player could enjoy the game rather than look up rules and modifiers.

Then, as I created the game (and learned some nifty things about path finding) I realised that I couldn't think of anyone who would want to play this with me, in the longterm.  Although it had the rules built already and had a definate direction and end point, I tossed it aside, as it was only a tool for procrastinating on my other project, my REAL project.

So, back to Decent.  I've got my little guy equipping bows like a pro.  He can also equip arrows, which he pulls out from his back and notches into his bow.  I've started on the code of firing arrows.  They curve and turn with gravity, which is nice, but I can go one of two directions, which maybe you can help me out.

OPTION A - Player aims with mouse and fires directly at mouse location. Easiest to code, and as the arrow is pulled by gravity, further objects may take some additional skill to hit successfully, as you have to shoot above your target to arc your arrows.

OPTION B - Player looks at mouse, but aims bow accordingly to arc arrows into the location of the mouse. As the target gets further away, the player in the game adjusts the bow angle upwards.  The game does all the guessing for you, removing the challenge.

On one hand, I feel like using the bow should take practice, and allow for players to prefer melee over the bow if they're no good with it.  Also, the benefit of hitting enemies at a distance may counter the difficulty of hitting something with the bow.  You can also show off to other players by sniping those monsters from afar.

On the other hand, if the bow is too tricky to use for too many people, they just won't use them at all, and wait up until they get firearms that shoot in a straight line.  They might prefer the bow aim itself, so that they can hit objects and enemies with ease.  I would have to reduce the damage that bows deliver to balance the benefit of range.

What do you think?