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Thread: Interview: Fatshark's Martin Wahlund

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin. View Post
    We are actually currently experimenting with restricting the third person camera when you have your visor down or have a restricting helmet. Giving a drawback to having helmet that restricts vision is something we've really thought about and would want to somehow make a part of the game. We have several ideas we'd like to try, but they all come down to one deciding point if they will make it to the final game or not: "Is this fun?".

    Personally though, at the very least I'm hoping that at least sound will get very distorted if you run around in a fully enclosed helmet. It maybe doesn't sound like much, but as a pretty seasoned pvp gamer I'd say you really should never underestimate the information given to you from sound. The difference between hearing or not hearing that mounted knight charging you from behind is pretty key
    Sounds interesting. I think the majority of people would just avoid using restricting helmets though if they were forced into first person or couldn't hear those pesky ponies creeping up from behind. After all, I'm quite happy to run around on Mount & Blade naked with a two handed axe just for the extra running speed. From what you have said though it appears we will be able to toggle visors on helmets that have them so it might not be all that bad.

    Personally I only really enjoy playing games that involve clashing horns with human opponents so I would have to agree about the importance of sound in PvP, (surround sound can be a real life saver,) so I'm glad to see that it is something that has crossed your mind. If you handle it with care, then impaired sound could add an extra element to the game so it will be interesting to see what you guys come up with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin. View Post
    edit: having face hit detection that surpasses helmet armour is a very important design element that a bunch of intended balancing is riding on, so this is why I'm really hoping we can give visors a significant drawback.
    Does that mean that visors will be able to block arrows?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectAngel View Post
    Does that mean that visors will be able to block arrows?
    They'll be better at it than your face will at the very least

  3. #23
    Lol, nice.

    Perhaps the impaired vision thing might not be such a bad idea then. I was thinking it might be more along the lines of Warband where if a projectile hits your head, you are dead.

  4. #24
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    Well, getting one-shot from behind is not so fun. Getting one shot in the face is more fun, since you at least saw it happen. Having an arrow deflect of the side of your helmet and turning around only to get shot in the face is likewise also fun

    I'm joking, but it is an interesting thought to allow a outfit decision to have a heavy/restricting helmet but one that might save your from a headshot if hit at the "right" angle. And it's always less frustrating to at least have had a chance to react and see your opponent before he one-shots you with a masterful arrow between the eyes.

  5. #25
    That's why I always run in a serpentine fashion...

    To be honest though it's not the fact that I can be killed in one shot that annoys me, if it was a clean shot then well played them. It's just that in M&B the arrow either does damage or it never actually hit you and that gets on my nerves concidering the amount of armour you can be wearing. There are no moments of glee when you are charging down an archer and get to hear a *ping* then see him turn and flee, which saddens me.
    Last edited by ProjectAngel; 11-11-2011 at 18:10.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin. View Post
    Well, getting one-shot from behind is not so fun. Getting one shot in the face is more fun, since you at least saw it happen. Having an arrow deflect of the side of your helmet and turning around only to get shot in the face is likewise also fun

    I'm joking, but it is an interesting thought to allow a outfit decision to have a heavy/restricting helmet but one that might save your from a headshot if hit at the "right" angle. And it's always less frustrating to at least have had a chance to react and see your opponent before he one-shots you with a masterful arrow between the eyes.
    For every life you spare you take someones kill. ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by s1234567890m View Post
    I have horses, and i cant see whats wrong with the speed? Maybe more bumps for the rider, and more horse farts, but nothing is glaringly wrong here

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin. View Post
    We are actually currently experimenting with restricting the third person camera when you have your visor down or have a restricting helmet.
    fantastic to hear that, and rather unexpected. Will look forward to hearing how that develops.

    for restricting 3rd person camera with a visor down, would it perhaps be possible to link that to response rate of the camera movement? most fps/3rd person games, you flick the mouse to the left to look left and the camera goes round rapidly, but what if you were to represent that additional bulk, not by limiting the vision (even something like sallet and bevor is'nt particularly restrictive in terms of vision side-to side), but by limiting the speed of looking around - a more enclosing helmet and bevor, and your camera has a physical inertia to it, swinging around slower? that could perhaps better represent the way that, particularly helmets with a bevor, you dont really turn your head as much, as turn your head, shoulders, and body around to change your position. From my own experience of fighting with a bevor, it does take a bit of adjustment to shift shoulders as you move, as much as you turn the neck.
    Conversely, the heaviest protective armets (assuming they dont have a wrapper) have slightly better movement ability, so working ut a good gameplay balance is going to be tricky there...

    Likewise, really like that you're thinking about the audio - I really hope that the foley artists are going to do a good job on weapons and armour, and capture some of the audio physicality of movement, particularly energetic movement in plate.

    On which note, really good plate is fairly quiet (particularly if tassets and pauldron/besagews are lined with leather or velvet - and to go off on a tangent, tassets will of course be an interesting challenge for you all, given English armour is distinctive in that respect, compared to european harness - Be very careful in copying landschut/augsburg/innsbruck harnesses for the armours, as the majority of export plate was of italian origin, it seems. Very small tassets were the popular fashion in english armours. Likewise, english fashions for shoulders tended more towards the italian pauldron than the german spaulder, as a rough generalisation. (Unfortunately Dr Tobias Capwell's book(s) on english armour, which are very likely going to be the defining benchmark study on the subject for the foreseeable future arent out till next year, and his academic papers on the subject is a real nightmare to get hold of.)) Returning to the subject in hand, though tassets of some sort would be present on most export harness as well as Almein rivet munitions plate of the 1470's, and that's going to make quite a lot of sound when moving, which the foley guys are going to have to work on capturing - and hopefully, without it sounding like the players are being clattered around in a tin can. Exqually, that sort of sound efect might not be too inappropriate for the low-end armours - I've seen badly made harnesses in video footage, and god, the noise is just horrible... its why I always line plate with velvet. muffles the noise wonderfully, and is documented in texts.

    That or use brigandine for the main curass. Velvet brigs makes kit so much quieter! I will be a very sad little reenactor if I dont see gratuitious volumes of brigandine, from the cheap to the very highest classes.

    but dragging my rambling kicking and screaming back onto the one subject at hand, what I'd say is that all helmets damp down the sound to a degree, but exaggerating that effect as part of the penalty certainly makes sense.

    I would be tempted to suggest that if you can implement a wide dynamic audio, you'd also want to have the effect of your own breathing emphasised more in a full-face helmet - paricularly if there's any sort of exertion, as well as the outside effects being damped down, and that impacts on the character's head should feel louder than those to the body, and potentially could stun or reduce the character response times as a result of the shock of hard impacts?

    The other penalty not mentioned at all yet while discussing the effects of heavier helmets with full coverage is stamina. one of the hardest things I've found is getting accustomed to breathing hot air back in, in an enclosed helmet - it gets very claustraphobic, and a bit tiring, and it may well be the case that, if a character has any sort of energy bar that gets used up sprinting, jumping etc, then a full-face helmet might be subtly more exhausting to fight in, as a balance of the additional protection it offers.
    And of course, on that subject, lets not forget that wearing cuisses, poleyn, greaves and sabatons will give you much better leg protection, but it really, really wears you down quite a bit more, and in many circumstances, may well be a hinderance if you're not on horseback. As a general rule, 1kg on the legs is worth 5 on the chest, in terms of exhaustion and mobility. it would be lovely to see players chosing to sacrifice leg protection for mobility and endurance on foot, in much the same way that the english archers so often either went without any leg protection other than tassets, or removes the greaves and sabatons for more comfort.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  8. #28
    Thinking about gameplay rather than making more armour drain your stamina faster or having a constant drain (Which would lead to being constantly exhausted), you could infact have something simple like, the more armour you wear the less of a stamina bar you have, obviously you want to actually fight with your full armour on not have it worth less in terms of sustained combat.

    Even though the realism is to tire with more armour you still have to have some gameplay with it, not just exhaust yourself in the first 10 seconds of swinging your sword. Having the shorter stamina bar would give you the effects of wearing armour but dosn't so much impair the costs of using armour ... so atleast with it you can fight a bit before the character becomes exhausted.

    General rule of thumb Gameplay > Realism.

    Also loving the idea of sound manipulation when using the closed helmets, it should really be considered for every helmet that in someway covers the ears, but I can see the point of having a great effect on those in full armour. As a quick question if like the customisation on the battlefields of Mount and blade what if you wear full armour ... without the helmet? obviously arrow to the face scenario may occur but ... you then loose the penalty of wearing full armour.

  9. #29
    Kator, I agree fully on the point of not getting permanantly exhausted - that's just crap for gameplay - and really, general movement etc should'nt wear out a character, only the real bursts of effort like sprinting and fighting for a long time. (how long is "long", in this case, being whatever is felt to be appropriate for gameplay. I'd personally say 30-odd seconds of sprinting or fighting, but that may be too long in a game?) Personally, I'd like to see subtle exhaustion effects there. (I'm avoiding the use of the words "exhaustion bar" simply because really, do you need an artificial little bar at the bottom of the screen? I'm not convinced. Why not simply have the character's breathing become audible, then louder and deeper as exhaustion kicks in? Animation for the characters to slump slightly and the shoulders moving more as they're tired, and the sound of your breathing overwhelming outside noises, till you rest? Might be refreshingly different to use the audio and visual clues, rather than just a simple "power cell" that gets drained. )

    Perhaps the solution, depending on how the player can get kitted up, could be that the player has an energy level (for simplicity in this example) of N points, and you replenish X units/second as a default. (some perks and traits could boost that overall level, and some could boost your recovery rate, perhaps?) Each part that's added to armour has a drain effect, either to reduce the overall level (so, full-face armet cuts say, 10 points off that total level, maybe) while wearing it, and in exertion, you drain 10 points/second. Your main cuirass drains 10/second too, and the legs 10/second as well... so, your total kit will drain you at 30 units. you're recovering energy constantly, so slowing down to a walk or not swinging a weapon would recover you energy. but running and fighting will drain that level down, perhaps after 20-30 seconds of effort. Or you can get on a horse, ride, and you're not going to get tired out.
    Pull the helmet off, and swap it for an open faced helmet, and you're a bit exposed. but the openfaced helmet does'nt cut anything off the total level of energy, and in use only drains 4 points a second. throw away the leg armours, and you're now half the encumberance of the heavier armed guy, so you can move faster, and can sprint twice as long - but, with a lot less protection.
    Would that make sense as a playable gameplay representation, I wonder?
    Who knows.

    the other thing with exhaustion I'd like to see is blows being slightly slower and hit a little bit weaker as the level of exhaustion builds up, so if you get into a fight with someone who's really heavily armoured, when you're not wearing much, most of your hits will glance off, and you're going to have to avoid being hit yourself - but they're going to get tired quicker, and if you can use the speed to get out the way, perhaps you can wear them out, so they're slowing down, and then get the lucky blow in. not quite realistic, but great gameplay fun.
    it also means that wildly swinging away with lots of chopping attacks is counterproductive, you just get worn out, making it more effective and tactically sound to be on the defensive, and then make one or two powerful attacks at openings through the opponent's defence, to take them down, than it is to just try hammering away wildly - just like reality.
    Last edited by -Suzerain-; 12-11-2011 at 16:26.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  10. #30
    Unfortunatly the difference needs to be quite spectacular for armour vs No/little armour ... for example as a little or no armoured person you will be needing to make more attacks upon your opponent to kill him/her (vs armoured) so will need a better "stamina bar" (or other character changing event) vs those armoured opponents.

    In warband it was most hits wins, unfortuantly you could lack skill in this scenario and still win with the armour (Bouncing and still moving around)

    The "Stamina bar" would have to effect a lot more but not be affected by it, e.g. Swinging lowers stamina bar, walking or running does not ... but once low enough walking is all your character can manage due to him being out of stamina. If you get what I mean?

    In terms of gameplay there are many things you can add going against realism to try to compensate for armour vs light armour, but you still need to make it so that the heavy armour is worth more than lighter armour, afterall if the unlocks thing is being implemented you don't want this sudden realisation that after your work you get put down by the "Stamina Bar" and your armour is worth the same as the light in terms of fighting. But you don't want the armour being a tank and crashing through everything unscathed with little holding it back.

    Warband in my opinion got the armour sort of right (Apart from the spam of arrow fire still being effective) armour cost you a lot but it was worth that cost and usually paid for itself (In terms of melee). You don't want the armour slogging you down so much your guy manages 2 swings and exhausts himself, he needs atleast 20-30 seconds of sustained fighting otherwise the heavy armour ... is really just not worth it.

    To sum up really, Armour needs to be powerful enough to be slightly imbalanced (Sounds weird but it needs to be worth it) but under overwhelming odds just becomes useless in fighting crowds vs 1 , Needs to be able to have some sustained combat but for a much shorter time than other classes.

    But jsut having a thought, some form of breaking armour, e.g. more than one of 2 constant hits weakens it a bit somehow ... so if your fighting multiple enemies from all sides your not a tank sat in the middle absorbing the hits and the enemy have some way of taking you down, promotes a bit of teamplay too, you need people watching your back. Also noticed in most games now from behind the "I win melee kill button", could be added with a slightly different form ... not so much an instant kill but a shove, maybe pushing the armoured person to the floor but stopping the one who did it from attacking immdiatly so it looses the "I win" functionality but if in a crowd doing so would aid in killing an armoured person ... Just a little idea I suddenly came up with ... feel free to argue it.

  11. #31
    I suspect we're thinking in fairly similar ways, kator, for the plausible gameplay of exhaustion there. just a case of how exaggerated or how subtle the differences are, and that's really something that only playtesting and how they want the game to play can decide.

    rather than armour breaking under impacts, I suspect a nicer effect would be the player being beaten down under the force of attacks, being staggered backwards, or down to knees even - so that support to avoid being overwhelmed and outnumbered makes playable sense in that way. And when you're beaten down in that way, your defences are reduced, as you're not in a position to be moving to deflect blows, so you're more likely to be hit harder.

    if that makes any sense?
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  12. #32
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    Interesting ideas. I especially like the quiet velveted armour vs crappy noisy armour. Maybe that could be some kind of armour upgrade....

    I personally prefer a bunch of small penalties rather than one big (like a stamina bar) to offset another advantage. It requires more tweaking of course, but I feel a lot of small penalties often gives a more balanced (and less annoying) end result. Have you guys thought of any other things that could affect you? Like, what if the movement has more momentum and it's harder to slow down/speed up? What if you simply just can't swing as fast or recover as fast from missed blows? Since you have a big plate of metal to fall back upon, being a bit less agile will probably not have as fatal consequences as if you were lightly armoured.

  13. #33
    Certainly like the idea of lots of small subtle adjustments, rather than big penalties - and will be interesting to see how such subtlety works for the gameplay.

    from a realism point of view, I'd say that good armour does'nt really slow you down much at all when it comes to attacking. unless you're doing great big spinny-twirly turning-your-back-on-the-other-guy hollywood style moves (in which case, you're stupid, and about to be very dead...) plate really does'nt interfere in stike placement at all, and well-fitted plate should'nt interfere at all with agility and movement... infact, at this point, take a look at this little clip, about 3 mins long, of Dr Tobias Capwell, in his mid-15th C english plate harness replica made by Mac, running, and then fghting with pollaxe:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...quo6X4#t=2036s

    (that entire lecture, by Dirk Breiding of the metropolitan museum i NYC is educational, if you've got the time for it. Well reccommended. )

    Sort of shows that with good plate, there is no penalty.
    The main effect is impact on your knees, which would be tricky to represent at all in game, and really, is more a longterm impact issue anyway.

    Conversely, poor-fitting plate can distinctly slow you down - as a little story can attest to:

    I know of a reenactor who's rather short. Due to unforseen circumstances, they'd left some parts of their armour behind, and had to borrow another guy's legs at an event... fitted up, and the armour was a little bit big, but hey, nothing that's going to be a problem, right? right... So the event started, and the guy ran forward onto the field. at which point he discovered that those legs were for a guy perhaps 8 inches taller than him, and the upper edge of the cuisse (the plate for the thigh) was, therefore, quite a bit longer. But the Poleyns (knee) were a perfect fit, meaning they stayed in place. And so, as he lifted his legs the upper edge of the cuisse on each leg was pushed upwards in what, as he described it was "a rather pronounced scissoring motion" into those bits of his anatomy which were dangling between his legs.
    Queue one reenactor with his 'nads crushed between the edges of two plates of steel, rolling around on the floor and not running anywhere...

    So, I'd say that if there is movement penalties, it should again, be towards the lower-end types of plate, the stuff that general footsoldiers would wear, rather than the well-fitted export harnesses.

    something like an almein rivet should be cheap and affordable ( An italian export harness in 1441 is recorded as costing 8 pounds, 6 Shillings and 8 pence - (source: English Weapons & Warfare, 449-1660, A. V. B. Norman and Don Pottinger) a pretty hefty amount, back then, but a an Almein rivet is quoted as being around 10-12 shilling, about what a basic footsoldier earned in a month or two - so not impossibly costly.
    (incidentally, in case you're wondering what the hell Almein Rivet is: http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/k...mainrivet2.jpg is a slightly later example which shows the general form; take the roping off the neckline and armpit gussets, and this would'nt look out of place on the field in 1475. And these sort of harnesses were churned out by the thousand for footsoldiers over the whole of europe, and are to be seen worn alongside brigandines and the likes in so many contemporary illustrations and manuscripts.)
    the main thing with these harnesses of munitions plate is that it's designed to protect from arrows and the likes coming down (arching volleys), but things like the legs, insides of arms, armpits, even the neck are quite exposed to incoming direct fire form gonne and crossbow, or melee attacks, when compared to a fully enclosing harness of plate form the same date.



    I'll think over what else might result in interesting effects, and add another comment on that later on.
    Last edited by -Suzerain-; 14-11-2011 at 19:11.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

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