View Full Version : LightSaber Combat System Idea (long)

IronJedi Kaga
12-10-2001, 01:48 PM
Probably way too late in the development cycle for this to have an effect, but this is how I feel lightsaber combat should be implemented into Jk2 or any future incarnation of the series in order to provide a more fluid exciting lightsaber battle experience, much like the one at the end of episode 1.

Like the current system (at least from what I've read) the current lightsaber comabt system is based on different movmenets produce different attacks. My system is bases on this as well.

So here's how my system would work. The most basic attack is simply to press the attack button while standing still. This attack would be a simple forward thrust attack since no movement keys were pressed.

The next level of attacks would consist of hitting the attack button and a movement key at the same time. So as an example, pressing attack at the same time or while holding the strafe left button would result in a left side step with a horizontal slash attack moving from left to right. Just reverse the above while pressing attack and holding the strafe right button. Pressing attack at the same time or while pressing the forward button would result in a step forward and a vertical slash going from high to low. Pressing attack while holding or pressing the back button (for now probably a better attack motion to use) would result in a vertical slash moving from low to high, like a saber uppercut. To use diagnoal attacks all thats needed would be to hit a strafe key and a movement key at the same time in addition to the attack key. So pressing forward and left strafe, and attack would result in a diagonal step forward to the left, and a slashing attack moving diagonally downwards from the upper left to lower right. Thats the basic level of attacks, which with the thurst gives the player 9 different attacks.

The next level of attacks are the more advanced combination attacks. The combination attacks originate with the normal attacks above. Heres an example. In accordance with the above, say you hit the left strafe key, and the attack key at the same time. So you take a sidestep left, and attack with a horizontal slash that goes from left to right. To intiate the combination process, simply hold down the attack button. With the attack button held, the player no longer moves only the saber (with the exception that the player can still turn in place). So with the attack button held down the player would press strafe left for a horizontal left attack, then press up to follow with a vertical slash downards. Combination attacks are faster than attacks while moving, and different combinations are faster dending on what attacks are used. For example it'd take slightly longer to execute a left horizontal slash, followed by a right horizontal slash than it would to execute a left horizontal slash, followed by a downard veritcal slash due to the effect that theres greater change in the direction of the attack. In other words different combination have a different transition time from one attack to another which would be based on direction of attack. Combination attacks that come from completely opposite directions take slighly longer to execute than combination attacks that come from the same direction. As for how transition timeis handled.It could simply be done with transition animations. Using the example of the left horizontal attack followed by the right horizontal attack, when following the left horizontal attack with the right horizontal attack, the animation would be the player model either spinning the lightsaber from the first point of contact (say the other player was hit on the right side) to the second point of contact (the left side of the player). The transition animation would take less time for a left horizontal slash followed by a left diagonal attack since the player isnt moving the lightsaber to attack the opposite side of the body (both attacks would be aimed at the other players right side).

This system would allow more creativity in lightsaber combat (would a player sacrafice mobility for the greater combination speed, players could make up their own fighting style by making up their own combinations of attacks) as well as adding the exciting cinematic feel of the lightsaber fights found in the films (well the end of episode 1).

12-10-2001, 03:04 PM
welcome to the forums... You are not a relation of kurt are you?



12-10-2001, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by wardz

... You are not a relation of kurt are you?


wardz [/B]

LOL!! :D :D

Welcome, Iron Jedi :)
Expect a chocolate Jedi Medallion from StormHammer, and a Gift Basket from Boba Rhett (if JediKnight_114 offers you one, it's stolen from Boba, but the booby-traps have mostly been disarmed, or so JK_114 says... ;))

Just an FYI to explain things:
Kurt is well known for his long and usually technical posts that most never finish reading..... hence Wardz's relation joke ;)

Your post is very interesting, but the control system you suggest is a bit too complicated for my tastes...... but it would give great flexibility :)

Have you read the LEC Chat Transcript (http://www.lucasarts.com/products/outcast/chats.htm) yet?
Here's relevant a quote from it:

"CreedoG: How complex will saber dueling be? Will there actually be skill, or only mouse/keyboard smashing?

Jedi Outcast: Our goal is to make the controls simple, but make the animations complex and exciting."

This should give sufficient variety..... without complicated controls ;):)

Anyway, welcome again, and enjoy your stay :) (a long one, hopefully ;))


12-10-2001, 06:03 PM
Welcome to the forums, IronJedi Kaga. :D I hope you enjoy your stay. Here...

*hands over a chocolate Jedi Medallion*

There you go. ;)

You raise a good point there about combination attacks. From what you describe, it would work in a fairly similar fashion to other games such as RUNE or Blade Of Darkness, which allow you to move fluidly from one attack to another.

I remember I once came up with some key combinations for over 50 moves, including a range of attacks, using a maximum of 3 keys plus a mouse button. (Before the Dark Times...before the X-Box :D )

I think the only problem with implementing a combi-attack system in JKII is the fact that so far we are faced with the lightsaber auto-block. Now, I found this a little annoying in JK, where I was about to attack an opponent with the saber, but it auto-blocked instead. I think the only way you could get some decent combi-attacks is if you have manual blocking, so you are more in control of where you want the saber to go, and whether you are willing to sacrifice your guard sufficiently to enable a further attack - which might be a killing blow.

Funnily enough, both RUNE and Severance use a manual blocking system - so you remained in control of your defences, and could time your blocks as you wished. By using the movement keys while attacking, you could roll some attacks together, and take the risk of being hit while dealing out damage.

It will be interesting to see if and how combination attacks are handled in JKII. :)

12-10-2001, 07:47 PM
Al though this topic has been discussed more often than I can remember, it's nice to have new face onboard and like we have seen recently, Raven people check these forums time to time, so I'm sure your idea has been(or will be) noted. ;)

12-10-2001, 10:41 PM
I think u ppl are missing a point and a major difference between Blade of Darkness and JK2, the ability to "lock on" to the enemy!!!

In Blade of D, u can lock on like in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, so instead of concentration on constantly moving with your left hand on the keyboard, u are able to press those extra keyes to perform a special attack. In JK2, u don't get to do that, instead, u need to constantly be moving around to evade laser fire from 3rd persons while making your killer move against your target and to avoid attacks from the target himself. Thus if you need to do the "bust a move" thing in order to attack, you will be a immobile target and take extra damage, etc. Granted that the pause might be only .3 second or something but if you factor MP into account, it wouldn't be too practical. (How will u hit your target if after that .3 second he moved just 1/2 inch out of range?)

Instead of copying Blade of Darkness, I think they should go with what they did with Die by the Sword a few years back. In that game you were able to set it so that you use your mouse to guide the swings of the sword, thus allowing 100% customizable attacks. But then again, JK2 might be a little bit too much of a fast pased game for the player to manualy swing the sabers.

Either way tho, I'm sure whatever Raven Soft has implemented for the Saber control, it will be fun and effective. (OR we can always rely on the loyal programing fans to create MODs that has them. ^_^ )

Toa Tahu
12-11-2001, 12:54 AM
Is that the case on how to attack with JK?Or MOTS?Or DF2?Then I shall adapt easily,and it'll be easy!That is a good suggestion.It's not really long,though.
:slsaber: :lsduel: :duel:

12-16-2001, 10:09 PM
"CreedoG: How complex will saber dueling be? Will there actually be skill, or only mouse/keyboard smashing?

Jedi Outcast: Our goal is to make the controls simple, but make the animations complex and exciting."

that sounds a bit ominous... wrapping up limited gameplay in flashy graphics.

Don't get me wrong, i loved JK sabers when it first came out... and they worked fine in SP...but after a while i did start to wish for a bit more variation. Severance had a cool combat system.. but it wasn't really designed for multiplayer and was aimed more at slower "broadsword" combat than "quicker saber/fencing style"

"..from what we've seen there is still some work to be put into the swordfighting control. You basically click like hell while facing an opponent, as opposed to selecting individual hacks and slashes..." - PC Gameplay Nov 2001

not my favorite game mag by any means... but it is a valid point of view. other games since, with varying degrees of sucess, have tried to add more variation and moves to 3rd person combat (Oni, FAKK2, Heretic 2). The trick seems to be to have a basic set of moves that can be easilly picked up by anyone, to have the moves not interfere with the freedom of movement (FAKK2) but to also have some variation in the effects and combinations of moves.

All the moves in JK were nice, but there was basically no difference between any of the primary attacks in terms of effect, and the secondary attack has been almost universally condemned.

SO, my thoughts would be... keep the primary attacks like JK (but better animated) maybe with different animations for diagonal movement as well. Also the crouch and jump keys should be brought into play...
...crouch, move and attack should produce a roll in most directions, and a roll into an attack in the forward direction.
...when in the air, attacks should be more powerful if they are in the direction of movement. eg... on an upward jump an upward slash (back and fire) would be more powerful as it has more momentum. But ont he downwards arc of the jump an overhead slash would be more powerful.

Make the secondary fire button do something that has a real, different effect.
...One idea is to have it do kicks. That way you could do phantom menace style combat combining both saber and kicking. This could be directional, so if you press back and kick it would kick behind you. This would allow you to attack if surrounded. Kicks would do less damage... but might knock people back, or off there feet to give you a break. (This worked well in Urban Chaos)
...another idea would be to have the secondary fire button work as a reposte-type-attack. So you would block automatically, but if you pressed the reposte key at the right moment to block then it would block and quickly strike back at the enemy while there defences were open.
(Think prince of persia... where the attack system was simple, fluid and all about timing. To get through the other's defences you had to either do a quick strike when they attacked you, or block their attack and quickly strike back. seems more like real swordfighting to me...)
...the last way would be to have simple combo attacks (if so then they should be readily explained (severance, Oni) so you don't have to figure them out yourself, and you should still be able to move/aim while they are in progress.

Basically, it needs to be fluid, and not fiddly or static.

12-16-2001, 11:02 PM
"..from what we've seen there is still some work to be put into the swordfighting control. You basically click like hell while facing an opponent, as opposed to selecting individual hacks and slashes..." - PC Gameplay Nov 2001

That's weird how this preview wasn't brought to my attention, I thought I read them all.

Based on the video we have, I'd would guess it would definately not be cllicking like hell, as opposed to have some skill involved. You could clearly see he was doing a bunch of moves and when he would move, the attacks would correspond. I have a feeling whoever wrote that isn't the best judge of games.

12-17-2001, 01:59 PM
I dont remember reading that either
is it online or in a mag?
could someone post a link to it?

Luke Skywalker
12-17-2001, 04:55 PM
I just hope the crontols arent as complex as those fighting games where you have to press Up, down,kick,kick,punch,up,right,down,up,speacial button,kick,kick,punch.... you get the idea.

12-17-2001, 07:46 PM
I don;t know- those video shots sure LOOKED nice but I don;t think they were much different, control wise, to the original. SO I think that mag's assetion was probably accurate,

I think that creating a balanced, skilled and yet still fun sabre system has proven too hard to get right, so they have gone for the simple ooption. Fair enough; better an at least vaguely fun, working and simple system than one that trips up over itself trying to be clever.

12-18-2001, 02:43 AM
My favorite 3rd person melee combat system is that of Die by the Sword, as somebody mentioned. It is the most versatile and potentially fun system because it isn't restricted to ANY preset animations or combinations. I liked Blade of Darkness and Oni also because of the many combos they offered. Found Rune's to be incredibly shallow and not very fun after a couple levels. JK at least had that secondary swing in addition to the direction-based attacks.

Anyway, to bring this post back on topic: Such a method would not work in JK because of the mouse based control and the FPS perspective (some people like to play that way, the VSIM really only works in 3rd person mode). I think for JK II it would be neat if they used an advanced movement-based where you would have your basic attacks but be able to hit high/med/low depending on where your cursor is on the enemy character model. This would yield a higher variation of swings and leave more room open for strategy in a light-saber duel (if your opponent swings low, dodge then swing high before they can bring the saber up and block, and so on...). I'm also wishing there was a block or defense type key. I hate to leave that important aspect of combat up to the computer.

In the end I just hope that the combat system in JK II is versatile enough to be more fun than JK's circle strafing light-saber fights.

12-18-2001, 01:50 PM
Finally, someone who agrees with me on the VISM issue. However I feel that VISM won't work in JK2 I found it very difficult to control the sword in Die by the Sword. A that slowed down the speed of the game. From the E3 demo this is definely not used in JK2.

12-18-2001, 05:28 PM
PC Gameplay is a UK Paper Mag.
I wasn't that impressed with it, another one that wasted half the review page with pointless funny stuff. But it was a long train journey and they didn't have any others...

12-19-2001, 01:37 AM
even though no one wants to see combos put in, i still think simple ones would do nicely... such as just a double click to produce a differnt attach set to movement, or maybe 1st attach then 2nd attach in rapid succession... this would work well for duels, but maybe not so well for FFA with say, 5 people, then again it may work good...

12-19-2001, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by toms
PC Gameplay is a UK Paper Mag.
I wasn't that impressed with it, another one that wasted half the review page with pointless funny stuff. But it was a long train journey and they didn't have any others...

Thanks toms
That was why I hadnt read it
Is there any new screenshot there?