DevBlog: Advanced combat techniques 🤜💥
Do you want to learn more about the combat system and master unruly martial art? Well, our designers Damien and Simon will explain you everything.
Take notes and warm up your fingers.
The Journey to the West tale is a mythological story about the Monkey King fighting against a different big demon at each new story. This is why the first influence we had was God of War, since it's a blend of exploration, fights and some light puzzles.
When we designed the battle system at the beginning, it was a bit confusing. There were two combos: the light and the heavy. But people didn't seem to catch the difference between the two of them. Also, the heavy combos tended to have really amazing animations but since it was so slow, it was hard to see it in the game.
Which is why we balanced the way we did: Each combo had a different "finisher" (taken from the old heavy combos). So instead, we used the Y button to put "special attacks", a bit like in Smash Bros. The idea was that the players could build their own combos if they wanted: launching the enemy in the air, making a float attack, dashing on the ground to immediately doing an anti-air attack etc. That kind of cool stuff.
It was a delicate balance... We wanted the game to be not only for core gamers so we couldn't make those moves too mandatory to progress in the game but some of them are quite useful:
- the Heavy Attack ( Down + Special ) which generally sends all enemies flying and makes a significant alternative finisher that extend combos,
- the Anti Air attack in order to clean some bullets from enemies,
- the Distance Attack (Special) for some special cases like if you want to hit those tiny crocodiles when you are on your boat in TaoistTemple .
The "Super Attack" was always there but we also had some kind of "Charged Attack" which was.... Really hard to balance. The idea was to have a special button which the player could use to charge a very powerful attack: The more you charge, the more damage it could do. The thing is: We never forgot that we are a 4-players multiplayer game which means it can be messy really quick and it was quite easy to spam it during a fight and it wasn't all that fun in the end... Most players tended to forget it for more fun moves anyway so yeah, we cut it.
Once we decided what our battle system was, we put a lot of effort into each character's combos: they had to be impressive with a great sense of rhythm. Since we had 4 players, we designed 4 different rhythms in order to differentiate each heroes.
We saw that players play Wukong most of the time (hey, it's the Monkey King, right?). But, Sanzang is actually one of the best against big bosses since he is the only one who can use his power up in the air. He does also a more damage to overcome the fact that he is a bit slower than other heroes.
The problem now is to balance the enemies. There are different kinds of environments in the game. We couldn't use the same enemies over and over like other beat-em-all games. This balance was made by having more enemy types or having the enemies withstanding more hit before being stun (it makes a huge difference between the normal and hard difficulty). A big inspiration for that was Devil May Cry but since Unruly Heroes is a multiplayer game, we couldn't take the same 1v1 approach. So instead, we took some things like the launcher and adapted it to our gameplay: In the air, a normal enemy is basically dead but on the ground, they can still surprise the player by escaping, counter-attacking you or other stuff. That was the basic idea.
Finally, each hero has about 20 attacks/combos and players will encounter almost 50 enemies (regular ones, mini bosses, 5 controllable enemies) and 4 big bosses.
We decided to add a PvP mode so players can test their kung fu style against their friends and see who's the master (ok, also because we, devs, like to fight each other).