Control Scheme Discussion



  • Am I the only person that uses space as block?

    Think about it, your thumb always touches it :P



  • Just one element I’d note, is that if actions are to be planned, ie, mouseleft, and attack = one single stroke attack, is that from the perspective of actual fighting, it’s incredibly fustrating. the first fault in a “left-right” movement control is that combat is’nt just left or right - its left to right, high and low (and left high, left low, right high, right low, high back, high forward, and so on), plus forward and back placement in all dimensions. Furthermore, I’ve yet to see a combat system in any game which really mirrors the intricacies of real conflict, because real conflict is almost never “attack” and “defend”. Instead, what you get are actions (sometimes referred to as the plays), where the action of defence is displacing the attacker’s stroke, and simultaneously moving the defender to be threatening them in turn. An effective attack covers the same - to make a strike while maintaining the defence from any incoming attack.

    (there’s a comment I was taught when I was first doing all this, which is very appropriate, taught by a veteran reenactor. “When you’re sitting around the pub after the battle, relating how you did, everyone wants to remember how many they would’ve killed. But that’s not really the important figure. what’s important is how many people would’ve killed you. And any number above zero is really not what you want.”)

    its a pretty good philosophy for life, I’d say.

    Anyhow, what I’d say is, that Knil’s basic system is pretty solid for gameplay elements - and that’s what’s the most important thing, to ensure it plays well, however much the historical fascist in me may say that a perfect representation of obscure Swabian martial arts is fun. I’m sure the number of people who want to play an anally retentive game and argue over the merits of Thalhoffer over Ringeck can be counted on the fingers of one stump… :)

    But, I’ve been in thinking about it, and wondering if it’d be possible to evolve it a little bit, and in doing so, give more choice to players, while keeping the gameplay simple.

    So, what I’m wondering is, that the attack is made on mouse-click up (or button-release, for those who dont use mouse for attack), with the direction controlled by the mouse as the attack button is depressed, but which rather than “drawing back” the weapon for a strike, instead moves the hand position into a preparatory stance - one of the positions from which you can move to either defend, or strike out. If you’re not prepared to attack or defend, then you can move about far quicker, and for gameplay, that will likely lead to a few other motion advantages in all probability. Think of it as when you prepare to actually fight, you’re more cautious, movements are slightly less reckless, and more prepared to defend.

    so you might prepare and as you do, pull the mouse back a fraction, and that’ll pull a sword up into a high stance of vom tag, weapon pulled back at the shoulder, vertical, from where you’re ready to spring forward into an oberhau, a rapid cutting stroke down onto the head and shoulder of the target… or, by hitting the defence button while in that stance, can push out the hilt, to make a block. or if its the same with a sword and shield, then it pulls back the single hand, and the shieldarm is ready to come up from the side when the defence is called for… pr a poleaxe is drawn back,

    I’m very sceptical of a “kick” button, firstly as a kick’s not really damaging when you’re in armour, and secondly although its obviously possible to kick, generally you learn to have your feet as well placed on the ground as possible to be stable, and a kick puts you off balance, and is a pretty good way to get yourself thrown to the ground. most of the real artforms contained about 50% grappling and wrestling, to pin the attacker with a throw to the ground in a similar manner to what you’d expect to see in martial arts like judo. what I’d consider a nice option is, if the similar action were done in combination with the attack/defend buttons, attack making not a kick, but closing the range to extremely short range (6inches - 2 feet apart) and some sort of throw/impact (shoulder-barge?) that crashes you and your enemy together, while an action with defence is a push/thrust to push the enemy away, out of range for a moment, giving you the opportunity to regroup and be ready for the next attack - or if you’re fast, change to an attack and strike him while he’s pushed back.

    Hrm. Would this help to do illustrations demonstrating what I mean?



  • @Suzerain:

    Just one element I’d note, is that if actions are to be planned, ie, mouseleft, and attack = one single stroke attack, is that from the perspective of actual fighting, it’s incredibly fustrating. the first fault in a “left-right” movement control is that combat is’nt just left or right - its left to right, high and low (and left high, left low, right high, right low, high back, high forward, and so on), plus forward and back placement in all dimensions. Furthermore, I’ve yet to see a combat system in any game which really mirrors the intricacies of real conflict, because real conflict is almost never “attack” and “defend”. Instead, what you get are actions (sometimes referred to as the plays), where the action of defence is displacing the attacker’s stroke, and simultaneously moving the defender to be threatening them in turn. An effective attack covers the same - to make a strike while maintaining the defence from any incoming attack.

    (there’s a comment I was taught when I was first doing all this, which is very appropriate, taught by a veteran reenactor. “When you’re sitting around the pub after the battle, relating how you did, everyone wants to remember how many they would’ve killed. But that’s not really the important figure. what’s important is how many people would’ve killed you. And any number above zero is really not what you want.”)

    its a pretty good philosophy for life, I’d say.

    Anyhow, what I’d say is, that Knil’s basic system is pretty solid for gameplay elements - and that’s what’s the most important thing, to ensure it plays well, however much the historical fascist in me may say that a perfect representation of obscure Swabian martial arts is fun. I’m sure the number of people who want to play an anally retentive game and argue over the merits of Thalhoffer over Ringeck can be counted on the fingers of one stump… :)

    But, I’ve been in thinking about it, and wondering if it’d be possible to evolve it a little bit, and in doing so, give more choice to players, while keeping the gameplay simple.

    So, what I’m wondering is, that the attack is made on mouse-click up (or button-release, for those who dont use mouse for attack), with the direction controlled by the mouse as the attack button is depressed, but which rather than “drawing back” the weapon for a strike, instead moves the hand position into a preparatory stance - one of the positions from which you can move to either defend, or strike out. If you’re not prepared to attack or defend, then you can move about far quicker, and for gameplay, that will likely lead to a few other motion advantages in all probability. Think of it as when you prepare to actually fight, you’re more cautious, movements are slightly less reckless, and more prepared to defend.

    so you might prepare and as you do, pull the mouse back a fraction, and that’ll pull a sword up into a high stance of vom tag, weapon pulled back at the shoulder, vertical, from where you’re ready to spring forward into an oberhau, a rapid cutting stroke down onto the head and shoulder of the target… or, by hitting the defence button while in that stance, can push out the hilt, to make a block. or if its the same with a sword and shield, then it pulls back the single hand, and the shieldarm is ready to come up from the side when the defence is called for… pr a poleaxe is drawn back,

    I’m very sceptical of a “kick” button, firstly as a kick’s not really damaging when you’re in armour, and secondly although its obviously possible to kick, generally you learn to have your feet as well placed on the ground as possible to be stable, and a kick puts you off balance, and is a pretty good way to get yourself thrown to the ground. most of the real artforms contained about 50% grappling and wrestling, to pin the attacker with a throw to the ground in a similar manner to what you’d expect to see in martial arts like judo. what I’d consider a nice option is, if the similar action were done in combination with the attack/defend buttons, attack making not a kick, but closing the range to extremely short range (6inches - 2 feet apart) and some sort of throw/impact (shoulder-barge?) that crashes you and your enemy together, while an action with defence is a push/thrust to push the enemy away, out of range for a moment, giving you the opportunity to regroup and be ready for the next attack - or if you’re fast, change to an attack and strike him while he’s pushed back.

    Hrm. Would this help to do illustrations demonstrating what I mean?

    Interesting take on things, the only problem is as much as I love complexity you want to system atleast easy enough so casual gamers can hop on and atleast hack spam alittle bit, not effectively mind you but atleast be not COMPLETELY worthless.

    I like the easy to play hard to master motto.



  • in theory, done right that sort of approach could be pretty simple…

    just press the attack button (mouse1?) and the hand(s) come up with the sword ready to strike. release the click, and you take a swing. press the same button (mouse1?) and the hands come up to the same “ready” point, press the other, defence button (mouse2) and it moves to parry/deflect/guard, and then back to the “ready” point…

    but if you do the same with subtle mouse-flicks and stuff, instead of the default strike, you can change the position, which stoke you’re aiming to do rapidly and easily - that holy grail of easy pickup, and lots of depth to come.

    of course, great gameplay is as much down to great implementation. it could be very easy to turn that into a fumbling mass of over-complex, lumpy action if it were’nt animated well, and the UI’s not intuitive. but the same applies to any design, really. but complexity for the sake of it is certainly not a desirable trait. it’s mostly just me having very silly ideas.



  • @Suzerain:

    in theory, done right that sort of approach could be pretty simple…

    just press the attack button (mouse1?) and the hand(s) come up with the sword ready to strike. release the click, and you take a swing. press the same button (mouse1?) and the hands come up to the same “ready” point, press the other, defence button (mouse2) and it moves to parry/deflect/guard, and then back to the “ready” point…

    but if you do the same with subtle mouse-flicks and stuff, instead of the default strike, you can change the position, which stoke you’re aiming to do rapidly and easily - that holy grail of easy pickup, and lots of depth to come.

    of course, great gameplay is as much down to great implementation. it could be very easy to turn that into a fumbling mass of over-complex, lumpy action if it were’nt animated well, and the UI’s not intuitive. but the same applies to any design, really. but complexity for the sake of it is certainly not a desirable trait. it’s mostly just me having very silly ideas.

    Ok just making sure I understand your setup properly.

    Basically it’s just my system of direction attack/block BUT you can from the same attack ready position switch to blocking.

    If I understand you correctly this is the parameters:

    -Moving your mouse in the direction of the swing and holding down mouse1 would charge the swing in that direction.
    -Releasing your held down mouse1 will swing from the ready position.
    -Pressing mouse2 cancels that ready position putting you back at idle.
    -Pressing&holding mouse2 and moving your mouse in a direction would switch from ready position to blocking in that direction.
    -A simple click and release mouse1 will transition from ready to swing seamlessly in the quickest possible swing.
    -You don’t have to go from a ready position to block but just start with a held down mouse2 in a direction.
    -You can hold blocks and swing for as long you want but they drain stamina.

    Or you are talking about idle poses for each swing direction.



  • Forgot one action: shield bash/weapon push.

    While holding down block (mouse2) then pressing attack (mouse1) performs a shield bash or weapon pummel strike knocking back the target (obviously shield would be more effect). This is mostly to give yourself space and less effective as kick but less dangerous because you don’t fall down if struck during the animation but you are open for attack.



  • Double-tapping a direction key and you perform a dodge-lunge in that direction.

    While holding down block (mouse2) then pressing attack (mouse1) preforms a shield bash or weapon pummel strike knocking back the target (obviously shield would be more effect).

    This has already been put in the game! :D

    Also, the attack-from-movement-direction originated with Jedi Knight, not PVK. 8-)



  • @Lorem:

    Double-tapping a direction key and you perform a dodge-lunge in that direction.

    While holding down block (mouse2) then pressing attack (mouse1) preforms a shield bash or weapon pummel strike knocking back the target (obviously shield would be more effect).

    This has already been put in the game! :D

    Also, the attack-from-movement-direction originated with Jedi Knight, not PVK. 8-)

    Great to hear can we get any clues on how you will handle attacking/blocking? :D

    Also cleaned up first post.


  • Developer

    We are not yet ready to disclose the combat system in full, though I can tell you it builds off of a similar base as AOC, with a ton more options available to the player.



  • One thing I was thinking, though, at this point it would probably be useless…

    Mouse 1 controls attack, mouse 2 controls defend. Mouse movement would determine directionality.

    Say you want to attack someone standing in front of you using an overhead attack. Click and hold Mouse 1, drag it up to raise the sword, drag it down to attack. If it’s released early, the attack doesn’t do much damage. If it’s released to late, you’re off balance. Say you want to attack someone with a right-to-left horizontal sweep. Click and hold Mouse 1, drag it to the left to initiate the attack (the sword/mace/whatever is you’re holding is already on your right, though you could drag it to give it more force). This allows you to string together multiple moves and allow for a more dynamic and fluid attack pattern. Also, it would allow you to adjust placement (You could move the blade high and to the right, then swing it left for a high horizontal sweep).

    If, while you were preparing your attack, someone attacks you, quickly release Mouse 1 before any attack is initialized and click and hold Mouse 2. If you have a shield, it brings up the shield to automatically block. If you don’t have a shield, it brings up your sword (or whatever) into a defensive position, and you drag the mouse to where the attack is coming from. If you’re attacked from an overhead, drag the mouse up. You can then move the mouse left or right to deflect the attack, and leave them open for a counterattack. This allows you to interrupt a complex attack pattern, allowing for one-on-one duels, or realistic tactics.

    If your attack was blocked by a shield or deflected, you go into recoil, allowing the opponent to counterattack quickly. If you were just blocked by a sword (or whatever), your weapon bounces back, and your recoil time is cut in half. Also, if your weapon is heavier than the weapon that is blocking it, unless your weapon is deflected (which would be hard to do) or your opponent is using a shield while crouched, the block is ineffective. The shield would block more damage than the weapon, but it heavier weapon would just go through (unless the swing wasn’t really hard). This allows the defender to get a chance to launch an offensive, rather than combat being “He who swings first, falls last,” it becomes “He who is more skilled with the blade, wiped his sword off with his foe’s once-clean undergarments.”

    Stabs would be moving the sword down, then forward (Mouse down, then up), but all other attacks would be directional. Archery would be the same as it was in AoC (Perhaps, maybe, with an easier way to aim). And weapon swaps for the same weapons, but with shields, would be faster (Javelin to spear and shield, sword to sword and shield, etc.). Mouse 3 would be reserved for a knockback attack (Shoulder thrust or something), which, if you’re heavily armored vs someone who is lightly armored (archer) or off balance (After block or parry), the knockback would send them to ragdoll for a split second before they got up, only vulnerable to damage from one hit before some sort of defensive measure for the knocked-down guy would kick in (to make it more fair).

    And of course, stamina would be there to limit it all. Attack too much, too many overpowered strikes, and continuously blocking would drain stamina faster than well-placed attacks, well-timed attacks, and skillful deflections. The more stamina you lose, the more likely you could go into “overpowered” mode with weaker swings, leaving you open to a knockdown. If your stamina is low enough, and you try to knock your opponent down, and you succeed, you may get knocked down as well. If you are knocked down and you have no stamina left, you may lay on the floor for a slightly longer period of time, leaving you open for more attacks before defenses kick in so you can get up. Gives an incentive to keep than stamina up for fighting, doesn’t it?

    Also, I think there should be a bonus for a “Shield Wall” type maneuver. If two or more guys, using a shield, are standing in a line, close together (within 2 feet), with shields up, then they could be stickied to each other, and provide a wall of protection. Allies could shoot between them, but enemies could not hit the guys in between or something. Just something along those lines to encourage more medieval tactics would be really cool.

    The problem with this system, I think, would be the world animations for it. In order to effectively block a high horizontal attack (aimed for your head) you have to see that it is a high horizontal strike. If all horizontal strikes looked the same in third person, that would be an exploit. It would be more work, but I think it would be an amazing, and realistic, experience. Just seeing two guys standing on the walls of Helm’s Deep, locking in sword-on-sword combat, dueling the way they would in movies, and knowing that you can do that, unscripted, in-game…it would just be mind-blowing.