Thoughts on movement


Active Member
Nov 16, 2018
Related feedback:

I'm tinkering with the game with an actual firefight in my head. Here are some notes.

- There's something that feels wrong with the positioning of the reticle and frame. I don't know how to explain it; the distance is too far apart or something. It gives me a sort of vertigo.

- I can't imagine jumping and thrusting in combat because of the tiny hop, then a mid-air pause, then a very slow/heavy thrust. This is NOT a mobile-feeling game.

- I can jump and glide to casually move short distances very quickly and it will trivialize combat.

- There is a delay when wanting to move and actually moving which undermines the goal of having a mobility-based game. It feels more like lumbering than moving.

- Landing doesn't feel right to me. Landing into the run is nice, but something of a "hydrolic-assisted cushioning" feels important to me.

- Ground-based movement feels bad enough, but imagining trying to do anything while airborne makes me sad. Trying to get anywhere feels like it would be a slideshow / waiting game. Trying to lob something while in an arc seems inappropriate.

- Any notion of trying to attack something on the back of a giant kaiju should be scrapped until movement feels good. Right now it's a bunch of thumb-mashing on a space bar while holding the left mouse button.

Rethink flight like so:

- Tapping space jumps (higher than now) with no fuel use.
- During the hop, tapping space boosts powerfully, sending the player flying in a distance appropriate to their momentum. A significant burst of fuel is expended.
- Fuel never stops recharging.
- There is no concept of pressing space again while already ascending.
- While nearing the completion of the thrust (the height of the arc?), or afterward (if falling), fuel can be expended by (a) holding space to gently decelerate (as is currently the case) or (b) double-tapping to expend another significant burst of fuel to jet similar to the takeoff BUT respecting facing and not momentum. It will boost at something like 45 degrees between facing and "up" for however the frame is positioned. Break physics here; it's fun. Remove the Q overthrust; there's no need for another button; I have future plans for such things.

Now what has happened is the game has been redone with fast-paced momentum-influenced boosting, plus a descent-forgiveness and high-risk high-skill feature all wrapped into the expected mechanics of "make spacebar go".

Regular gunfire is allowed during gliding; include kickback. Allow it because concentrating on aiming and shooting and flight and stalling are all appropriately hard together. Taking fire influences the stalling mechanic. (Have fun staying aloft!)

Alt fire drops the player out of gliding.

While boosting or in free-fall..

Forward will increase momentum, and double-forward will jet and also retract-extend wings (like a diving bird) as a visual but won't engage gliding mode.

Holding left/right will gently turn (using some fuel). This is the same as holding the right mouse button down and turning. Maybe pressing the left mouse button (e.g. to shoot) does not actually turn?

Tapping left/right will jerk the frame in that direction (using light fuel) and influence (but not wholly change) momentum.

Double-tapping left/right will jet in that direction. (Quickly pressing left-right will do a barrel roll and drop a bomb or something?)

Double-tapping-down will have boost-assisted "air breaking"

Double-tapping-up will increase momentum in that direction. People will double-forward into combat, forget about disengaging and air braking and splat because powers were on cooldown; it will be hilarious.

Double-tap-back to deepstryke. Remove E.

Okay, so what's been accomplished so far?

A "genre" of movement has been tied to the same controls players are already using. A sort of excited "more of the same" button mashing has been introduced. Skill has been introduced, with the natural cap being fuel. "Equipment" or however it is done can be made to selectively influence any of these features or any combination of them..

Extended fuel, increased recharge rate, burst-thrust strength, burst cooldown removal (just uses fuel), burst-thrust uses less fuel, glider cooldown, gliding that's harder to stall, ground-thrust height, reduced fall damage, etc. None of these require more buttons.

As a bonus, all of this makes using a controller intuitive. You can already feel how shoulder buttons could be used in flight.


If put in, several of these things will immediately feel wrong and need turning; but it's the good kind of tuning.

At some point in the future you can think about bumping into terrain, planting the frame's feet and jetting off into a glide.
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