Developer Update #2 – Movement & Combat

Not a whole lot of news this week as I’ve been on vacation, but here’s a recap of the recent progress, and a more in-depth look at how Core Decay handles player movement.

Advanced movement controls

Core Decay features a Doom-style movement scheme – that is, you move and turn at the same time on a single axis, you cannot look vertically, and there is no strafing.

The reason for this is (apart from a little bit of nostalgia!) is for the game to be highly playable on mobile. Generally, mobile FPS games are quite clunky to control since you have to manage three things at once: moving, looking, and performing actions (e.g. shooting) – while generally only using two fingers. As a result you have to stop and aim and then fire, which makes combat feel much less fluid.

With movement and looking all on a single joystick, this lets you fire, crouch, switch weapons and more all while moving. While this generally works well and combat does indeed feel quite fluid, some of you commented on really wanting the ability to strafe and turn more quickly. This is great and valid feedback, and so I implemented a solution that should hopefully feel great to use while still keeping the simplicity of the original movement scheme.

Specifically, next to the fire button there are now four buttons:

  • Quick strafe left: This makes you quickly dodge sideways to the left.
  • Quick strafe right: This makes you quickly dodge sideways to the right.
  • Crouch: This toggles crouching (used for exploration more so than for combat).
  • Quick turn: This makes you quickly turn 180 degrees.

Using these buttons, you can quickly move sideways and turn around quickly, while being able to keep the regular turn speed somewhat low for precise aiming. There is still some testing needed to tweak all the various speeds, and I’ll probably want to add a (tiny) cooldown to the strafing to prevent exploits, but in general it works quite well!

On PC, the game will adapt a modern control scheme with full mouse look and WASD controls, as there is far less reason to stick to a Doom-style scheme with a mouse and keyboard. As the UI will look different there is also no fire button or advanced movement controls, as they are all covered by standard FPS keyboard and mouse actions.

Head bobbing

There is now considerate head bobbing while walking (thanks @_stroopwaffle for the suggestion!), which makes a huge difference to how the game feels to play as you move around. Movement should now be less floaty and have more weight to it – note the difference compared to the first movement video which has no bobbing!

Spawners

In addition to the above, I have started implementation of spawning stations.

Enemy spawners

These new stations spawn enemies when the player is close by, and cannot be destroyed. Spawned enemies give out no XP or score, so activating a spawner should be avoided at all costs – the only exception is if you have a currently active perk that grants bonuses for destroying enemies, which still count.

Spawners predominantly exist alongside reactor cores where they spawn enemies continuously during a lockdown, but can also be found within the rest of a level where they work based on proximity.

Ammo spawners

Like enemy spawners, these stations also spawn something continuously – in this case, ammo pickups. They exist exclusively next to reactor cores where they act to prevent the player from running out of ammunition during a reactor fight (more on the mechanics on reactor fights in a later dev update).

Next time

The next dev update will feature an in-depth look at the core battle mechanics! Hopefully the spawning stations should be all done by then as well, which will give a great opportunity to demonstrate the entire core battle gameplay loop.