Today we wanted to speak a little bit about one of the technical design challenges we wanted to address for this game genre, and that is character damage models and surfacing hit registration information to the player. We’ll address these in two parts:
Character Damage Model
There is a fine balance to consider when designing damage models for your characters. Too much detail and combat can feel like you need to do hours of homework to figure out the best way to approach it. Too little detail and the nuances between different bullet calibers and hit locations become meaningless. Our design is a middle ground that incorporates elements of more complicated damage models, such as both location specific coefficients for damage and armor coefficients for penetration and damage reduction, while keeping the actual numbers involved simple and easy to understand. Basic enough that you don’t need to read a wiki about it but detailed enough to provide a solid and predictable gameplay experience. This will be covered more in a later blog.
Surfacing Hit Registration
It can be very frustrating in the more hardcore, permadeath survival games to never really feel like you know how much damage you are actually doing to a target. We feel like this became one of those “realism over design” decisions that while indeed realistic, is not particularly rewarding or fun from a gameplay perspective. Conversely, surfacing a specific damage number to the player, while fine for more casual types of games, would be inappropriate as well. Our design here is to give the player enough information via UI and sound feedback to know what type of surface was hit and whether they have done full, partial, or no damage to their target that can then be referenced back to the stats for the weapon and ammo being used as well as the surface type that was hit. The goal is to create a combat environment where you never have to question the effectiveness of your efforts and you are given just enough information to make informed decisions without completely breaking immersion.
Check back in later this month for more info!