The "Feeling" of Combat – Part 2
But again, this isn't about blindly copying the past (as so many seem to do). Our philosophy is to pick apart the WHY, and then try to push it forward and bring it into our world even better. Is the secret to “The Legend of Zelda” the sword and board? Or is it the simplicity and mechanic of needing to time close combat attacks?
Simplicity and Depth -
Another key aspect is our focus on simplicity in our design, while also offering greater depth to game play. Contrary to popular believe, simple design doesn't need to mean shallow game play. An example of this is seen in your very first two abilities in Bloom.
The first ability we created was a short range and light damage pushing attack (the one you see in the video). After we created this we found ourselves faced with a tricky situation that the character lacked a good offensive option. Making this short ranged attack higher damage would have meant players could just use it all the time and ignore all the other abilities in the game . ..but creating a completely separate ability and throwing it into the 2ndary abilities would start to bog down the design and make things a bit messy.
So, we thought a bit and the pretty obvious answer was to simply added the ability to charge your attack to transition it into a longer range and more damaging (along with higher draining) attack. Having this on the same button as your main attack streamlines the design but offers more depth in how you fight. Eventually, you even get a 3rd version of this main attack! Again, with a completely different strategic advantage (at the cost of more energy and time to charge to that level).
This is what we mean by simplicity and is something you might recognize from games like Mega Man (or many games since then). The difference here is instead of blindly upping the damage for a charged attack (as most do), the function here completely changes to offer the player different options in how they fight without encumbering the design or flow of the game.
Pattern recognition and discovering enemy weakness is another big issue which greatly reduces replayability in games. While an enemy that charges at you and is seemingly unstoppable is really fun to fight for the first time.. .when you discover all you need to do is sidestep it into a wall, suddenly from then on combat is a chore and you become disengaged. This is true for any enemy in the game, if you can uncover their pattern or learn their weakness and they suddenly aren't a challenge, it is bad design.
We plan to go the other way with this. We treat enemies more even handed and make their tactics a constant challenge (even if you know exactly what they are going to do). Knowing that an enemy shoots three arrows in a fan pattern doesn't make it any easier to dodge; the challenge is in tracking multiple enemies while predicting their attacks.
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