FPS Combat-System Innovation

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  • fellow indie developers, i'm creating this post as a means of exploring innovation in shooter-games...kind of like an article you'd read somewhere like gamasutra.com but an interactive version that evolves by members like yourself.

    I'm working on a action-shooter game and would i'll like to hear your-opinions...i don't want to assume that my ideas for a new game are necessarily "correct" or even "innovative" in this genre, rather I'm asking my fellow peers for your ideas: [1] what aspects of shooter-games do you find most over-used and boring, [2] what would you love to see in shooter-games, but have not seen incorporated?

    the genre is saturated by competition (good and bad), and by too many "me-too" copy cat games, and very little new and truly fun innovations. so i'd like to take the opportunity to ask you for your opinion on how to bread new life into a stagnate genre? we can define this broadly, for example: better combat-system (if you have any suggestions), better this, more of the other, less of something else, etc.

  • I find a lot of aspects in shooters over-used.

    Maybe a little boring..

    But its used time and time again simply because - it works!

    A lot of the systems in FPS with appear time and time again, do that because they are good and players love it.

    I'd like to see more FPS games which don't include normal guns or weapons, but instead make use of more dynamic weaponry, such as a grappling hook.

  • If you have ever heard of Day Z

    I like what they did in the not traditional shooter aspect..

    Its not just run and gun CoD

  • Also there was some awesomely weird RTS-FPS games that i played a long time ago and i really enjoyed them :)

  • Rory, Setthh thank you for taking the time and giving me your feedback; i appreciate it. Setthh do you remember the name of the RTS-FPS games you played?

  • No sorry But ill look around for it and see if i can find its name

  • I think one thing that's missing from a lot of shooters is variety. Peopel get bored of teh slew of black and brown hunks of metal all derived from teh same thing that you throw at them.

    What comes to mind with a great shooter is Ratchet and Clank or Team Fortress 2. They have such a wide array of imagination, innovation, and even comedy with their weaposn that it's a refreshing feeling from what you normally see.

    Another great addition to shooters is mobility. Games like Brink, Mirror's Edge, and Gotham City Imposters all allow players a freedom of movement that is hard to give up when they decide to play another game. While each of those games has their flaws, they have an underlyign freedom that can really grab players.

    That's just to keep things fresh though. When you want true innovation, that's all about you. Innovation has to come from you. Whether you want to innovate story, gameplay, or design is soemthing you have to decide. Doing several is possible but can be a large undertaking. Ultimately, innovation is just blending an idea into the popular format. It's tough to get the perfect mix, but when you do, you can really make a change in the medium.

  • First of all, FPS games used to be my favorite along with flight sims. There are 2 shooter games that I can think of off the top of my head that really stood out to me. One was Half-Life and the other Thief.

    I loved Half-Life not just because of the gameplay, but because of the way they incorporated the story into the game. I'm not one for enduring much text or chat in my FPS games and I thought they created a great balance that let me feel like I was never too far from the action. Plus the game played like you were reading a book. I HAD to find out what happend next! Swinging a crowbar was icing on the proverbial cake.

    Thief on the otherhand wasn't so much about story for me as it was about great game mechanics. Your main weapon was a bow and arrow and if you pulled the string back for too long you began to shake and aiming became problematic. Also, you had different types of arrows like water arrows to put out torches. And an indicator to tell you how visible/audible you were to the guards. That game literally made my palms sweat I'd get so into it.

    I could go on but that's the short version. :)

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  • Acrolith, Talinthor thanks for the honest feedback, that's exactly what i was looking for: other fellow gamer's experiences and personal suggestions. thanks again, i appreciate you taking the time to read and reply to my post.

  • Fully agree with talinthor, theif was a great idea no dout about it! Though half-life holds the key. Story telling within a game. A great story puts you into the game. I find that games went backwards with story telling. After all story telling is what made final fantasy so popular. The campaigns these days are run here, get shot at, kill them and repeat it all again. Once that mission is over get some cutscene which makes no sense then do it all again. Or it seems that way to me. Half-life had you hooked from the word go. Sitting on the train with all the credits watching all different things happen. Like the copper trying to get in a door but can't find his keys. Then on half-life blue shift expansion you seedr freeman go past on the trian and you are the copper trying to get in the door! Anouther great game which had it spot on then went down hill was vietcong! Damn that was amazing. You start off on a helicopter the copter lands on the base you then have to get weapons training talk to others on base. After each mission you end up on base at the end. Eventually you have to defend the base from a massive attack. It made you feel as if you were there, something you don't get now. Ofcoarse though they made a vietcong expantion with a whole new story... Well i mean mission, cutscene, mission then cutscene. Then same again in vietcong 2. So yeah the key for me is making you feel like you are there not just along for the ride. I'll shut up now lol. Though serously if you haven't played a game like that try getting a copy of vietcong the original.

  • I have an example that is rather questionable in their direction. Star Wars Galaxies (RIP) had some fun story lines and decided to change their combat system to better add content 'down the line' too many people liked what they had grown to be used to, no leveling went by skill sets to further their characters, but lets not go there, it is a sensitive subject... NOW, they Have SW: The Old Republic and went to something that is Story driven but lacked in the end game content, now furiously trying to add content fast enough to keep their player base. I guess if you run out of a good story it is not a good thing and the life of that type of game can be fast and furious for a short period and burn out quick because it just burns out the Story too fast.. IMHO

  • For me its using something other than guns. My "dream fps " if I ever get around to making it, is to let players choose a set of spells and fight with those in a modern setting. For example a map could be an office building and instead of light machine guns spraying at the guys with shotguns, it would be s guy throwing fireballs while his opponent is lobbing spears of ice with a team coming from the side to flank with an arc of lightning.

  • naturalselection2.com RTS AND FPS in one game!

  • Love Natural Selection/ Savage / Empires

    However I want a traditional RTS were you can directly control the units in first/third person shooter style.

    I've been waiting for it since the first Command and conquer.

    but sadly it looks like nobody is going to take a good swing at it.

    ....Guess I'm going to have to roll up my sleeves and do it.


    As for the FPS system as a whole. I've always wanted them to address the disconnect between how the player imagine's there body. and how there body is actually moving in multiplier.

    You feel like your awesome. Charging in, diving behind cover, and slowly peaking around the corner to shoot the enemy.

    but that illusion is shattered when you're shot in the head, by the other guy, who saw you lumber like a robot behind a box, that you awkwardly crouched behind, and slowly started to duck-walk around. all the while leaving the top half of your head exposed....

    with our current technology, I don't understand why my character can't ,at the very least, try not to get shot.

  • i would love to see a third person shooter with the vibe of megaman legends, variety of character customization, broad range of robots and vehicles, weapons and monsters, persistent world, multiplayer (mmo if possible) and sand box elements like construct things and change aspects of the world.

    i think if the triple A devs spend more time making content instead of graphics they could make something off the call of dude recipe/action button.

    for the indies, i think of a blend of blaster master (enter vehicles and stuff) with cave story gameplay, rpg elements, with character customization and multiplayer. starbound is very close to what i imagine on the side of gameplay

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