So I Had An Idea – Starwars Lightsaber Systems In Games.

My clever hat was functioning well.

My clever hat was functioning well.

Same deal as last time.  I had a nice brainstorm session (fueled by yogurt) with a group of fellow RPS community members, (namely Yargh and Land) a while back.  I can’t remember how long ago this was but I’m finnially deciding to get this concept posted somewhere for the same reasons as before “Blah blah blah I’m selfish and I want it to be MY idea blah blah” or something like that but more cleverly written to make me not seem like a hateful prick.

Anyways. I decided the easiest way would be to just translate the end idea from the convo to a paragraph to stop confusion.
This is how *I* would do fighting with lightsabers in a Star Wars game….

I’d scrap health bars and instill a new mantra: “Unless your super lucky, a hit to your body kills you.” (this is for lightsaber vs lightsaber). I’d replace health bars with what I’d call a  “balance system” or something to that effect. If you hit someone, they block it, but they are slightly more worn down. You trade blows in a stylish manner until the weaker one, or the stupider one suddenly misses a move and gets impaled. Basically higher level means you can do more blocks and dodges before fucking up so for the sake of clarity.

lvl20 sith VS 10 lvl 1 jedi
The Sith wins after about 12 or so moves unless the jedi blows him up or something.

Fancy moves are like abilities in any RPG or MMO, for example, you have a “punch” ability — 30% chance to punch a guy after the next swing, to leave him open — .  Force choke — By my reckoning would be pretty useless against jedi. It either has a really low chance of success against them, but it wins the fight, or they have to be fairly open/weak after doing a big move.

Stuff like that.

At the start, when your Level 1 you can probably do … I don’t know, 2 or 3 blocks consistently. Your early fights would be 1 on 1 and you’d win (or lose) in a second or two. You’d need a decent player skill to beat another person (whatever the control scheme is I’d presume there would be a method of making your move at the right time in this concept). Your animations would be very wild and unskilled. Your early fights may literally be you just hacking the crap out of some animal or bar thug. As you progress and level up, this is rewarded with a greater quality of attack moves and animations. Your training would actually *TRAIN*  you , the player, in better skills at controlling your character. Fancy moves (flips and big complicated cool looking moves etc.) would be left under your control, and it would be the players responsibility to use them at the correct times to improve their chances of success in a fight. Normal attacks and parries could fall under one or two buttons (similar to Batman Arkham Asylum maybe?) and they would be completely up to the computer to handle.

An example would be You versus 2 goons. You are across the room from them and only have your light sabre. They have standard guns and are considered pretty standard enemies. You begin running up to them (maybe a “force leap” to get up close) and you hold down the general “attack button”. You swing 2 chops and the first goes down within a second or two. You’ve also deflected about 5 or six shots the second. Your bar is almost empty though (you’re only about Level 5) and so you quickly hammer “backflip” before you’re character drops the ball and gets his ass shot. Then you follow it up with some move that spins out of a backflip and impale the second guy before he gets a bead on you again.

The only epic sabre fights you’d get is between two high level “masters”. These would be the typical ones you get in the movies. But hopefully full of the awesome that you can see in this example. This puts a good perspective on those fights. They make them full of spectacle to weaker players and a good satisfying reward for those who can pull them off.

I’m not really sure how to deal with deaths. It really depends on the game type. I will talk about repercussions for losing a fight though. Pretty much the only way to heal from light saber wounds appears to be with cybernetic prosthetics. Your character could become more machine than man after a while if you lose a good few major bouts. As long as you can make them look like real parts if you wanted that would be great, as in, not forcing a giant mega robot hand upon your sexy female Jedi  as some might find that unpleasant. I like the idea that after an epic fight against a big jedi you could end up like a darth vadar kinda thing, but a smaller fight leaves you with a temporary (or permanent) scar or a new hand. In game currency could be used to customise or remove/repair them so people can remain close to the image they want for their characters (EG Nifty gloves over bionic hands). This works make your bionics be a mark of pride to show who you’ve fought in the past. I wouldn’t recommend having them be upgradeable or useful for the most part however, as that would be both unnecessary and hard to do right. When you lose a fight you blackout and wake up with your wound, if it was a big lose you wake up on an operating table or something with your spleen replaced. Or you wake up at the side of the street  and have to buy an eye patch off the nearest vendor until you get the eye repaired/replaced. It can be also be that if you lose your balance and get shot, your character takes over and finishes them off brutally (or runs away with the last of their power) and crawls into an alley, which explains the above blackout. For shooting characters you can have your squadmates drag you to safety as your losing thing. A dropship landing by your corpse would be a good one. You could then regain control as a medic heals you and the ship circles the battlefield. Then you drop back down and pick up where you left off.

Anyway, for sabre vs blasters

A normal shot should take off one block point off your “balance”

I’ll use sith vs trooper as an example. It’s the exact same mechanic, blasting gets blocked a set number of times, so if you let off a load of shots you’ll get one in eventually (also by just holding attack, same as above), but you’re absolutely screwed if the sith gets in close thats the lose point for you. There could be a mechanic where the sith gets a cooldown ability that gives you a chance to send a shot right back at the trooper but the chance is low if he’s high level. For example he may have the ability to dodge it, or his armor may protect him from his own type of annumition. If you are both high level you might be able to knock him down with the deflected shot or something, or stagger him completely. A low-level guy is pretty much boned. But the saving grace is that the ability is a once off thing with a 30 seconds cooldown.

Things like rockets for the trooper would be their ace in the hole. But again depending on the enemy they may have counter measures (doges, force powers etc)

The main “balance” gauge for a shooting class would be if you have enough distance. Shooting normal blockable lasers is generally enough as long as you have enough time for the enemy sith or whatever to run out of blocks and let a blast through. You may have a ability to shoot a aimed shot in first person. This would be the equivalent of the deflect. This works by going into first person and then you aim for a gap in the lighsaber swing. Pick a good spot to get the best chance to get through his defence. The chance is based upon how worn he is at the time (this leads to a interesting situation where you try to judge how worn he is, how close he is to you and how likely it is you think you can pop into First person and take a good shot before he reaches you.)

An interesting side note. Jedi reflexes supposedly come from being able to see the near future. This could allow for mid to high level force users to be able to rewind time. It doesn’t have to be Prince of Persia (that wouldn’t work in multiplayer) but for a small group of fighters the ability could allow the user to simply reset everyone’s characters (who are in this duel/fight/instance/group/whatever, not the entire map of people) to where they were about 10 seconds prior, with a 2-3 second slow-mo effect to allow people to adjust. The power has a long cooldown and maybe only a 70% chance to work, depending on the user and enemy. The reason this would work is as follows. Lets say a sniper hits a jedi in the back or something. This is unlikely because in the star wars movies jedi are supposed to see it coming and try to block it. So say the guy takes the shot and the jedi gets hit. He then hits the rewind button. The jedi now gets his chance to dodge the shot or block it or something, the sniper may still have a decent chance of  landing another hit but it is fairly reduced. The jedi acts in character and can have a back up against long shots and if he still dies then it’s basically like him foreseeing a hit, but it was still too good for him to do anything about him. This would also be limited to once every now and again to prevent frustration for other players.

unfortunately for this concept to work really well you’d need a fighting system composed of hundreds of moves that are chosen on the fly to cope with the other fighter. And thats just the basic parrying. Batman Arkham Asylum is on the right track, but you’d really need a huge amount more moves to make each fight seem unique.

Added bonuses would be the ability to eithre directly or indirectly affect your characters preference for move types so they look and attack in a more distinct fashion than others. As in they have a preference with fast and weaving moves as opposed to sudden, lurching, powerful ones.

Anyway. I think this system works because it make the sabres look deadly, without making jedi invincible. Jedi and Troopers who have the same skill and are equal in power would be a 50 50 fight if they both start at a reasonable distance from each other.

God damn thats a lot. I ended up adding far more than I intended, to what was discussed in the original convo. I’ll upload the .txt file somewhere if your interested in seeing what the original was like to laugh at our poor grammar. But for now, I am spent.


PS Pictures may be added at another point to break up the monotony of text.


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