I only recently learned that there’s actual, visible progress being made on that Fallout Equestria fangame and… ugh, the actual stuff the developers are saying is weird and incites a certain fire in me that I just can’t quell without saying something about it.
The designs they’ve shown off are all fine and good, and there’s certainly logic behind them which they are making their audience well aware of with the associated blog posts, but every detail that they elaborate on is followed by a statement that just sort of… makes me feel like they aren’t very aware of what they’re doing. Not to say that they aren’t self-aware, that’s a whole other debate that I’m not interested in being a part of.
Their design for 'mouth-held pistols' (an actually interesting, if not weird, read) had this quote:
The next rule was that all reload animations for mouth held weapons do not require more than one hoof in order to reload. This was something that we decided upon fairly quickly for the sake of gameplay, which will be explained a bit further in the next rule.
All mouth-held weapons need to be designed so that the user can fire, aim, reload, holster, and unholster their weapon, even when moving. This is probably one of the most important rules for our weapon design, primarily due to the fact that Fallout’s combat, and by extension our combat, is very fast paced. One second you’re walking down a destroyed highway, when all of a sudden a bunch of earth pony raiders attack you out of nowhere. If we had those ponies stop, sit down, and very carefully reload their weapon with both hooves, unable to move during the process, that would make for some incredibly boring combat.
First of all, for anyone that hasn’t dredged through Fallout Equestria, I’d like to point out that there are numerous occasions in which mouth-held weapons are reloaded by nearby allies. Generally speaking when the author spent any time mentioning characters reloading, even with the mounted weapon alternatives, those characters were either:
- Temporarily forced to fall back or otherwise remove themselves from the danger to do so.
- Being bad-ass and using the environment or their opponents’ presence/movement to reload their weapons in a decidedly unconventional manner, allowing them to excel in combat where others would be forced to back down. These cases were an exception to the above rule.
Noting that, it seems like these devs have read a very different story than what I remember.
Now, regarding Fallout’s combat… this quote confuses me greatly.
Are they referring to the pace of the turn-based Fallout games? The ones where you had to use action points to reload, and without perks or adequate stats, you’d spend a lot of them doing so and be incapable of firing within that turn?
Are they talking about the modern, Gamebryo Fallouts? The ones where the most interesting (and immediately accessible, I’m not counting perk combinations here) mechanic is the one where that lets the player remove the real-time elements of combat for fifteen or so seconds? That sounds like the opposite of fast-paced, if I’m reading this dictionary correctly…
I’m going to assume they’ve never played Brotherhood of Steel (which is a shame because it would be much easier to do their project with a top-down camera and mechanics lifted from that title).
On a more productive note: while thinking about their strange dissonance in regards to combat pace and reloading, I came up with a mechanic for my own post-apocalyptic game—‘D.B.R!’—where groups of enemies would be able to buff one or more of their members to increase their combat effectiveness.
[For context, D.B.R! is best described as a combination of Shadowrun and X-COM. Turn-based combat paired with a metagame in which you start up and maintain a governing faction five hundred years post-apocalypse, and then defend yourself and political allies using squads of player designed characters and characters designed by the devs with their own back-stories and character arcs.]
An example, related directly to the example from the FOE blog, goes like this…
A member in a band of raider-likes could shout “Load me up!” and then his or her partner would stick a home-made extended magazine in that person’s gun. For the rest of that combat event, he or she would not have to spend any turns reloading OR have the ability to fire twice in one turn (with a rule that can be taken advantage of by the player, such as only being able to fire twice if they do not move. The details of the rule would scale with the difficulty level). This ability would not be available to a team if their numbers were decreased to below a certain point, which would also scale with the difficulty level, making it important to put large numbers of enemies out of commission (or separate them) within a short period of time.
With the squads the player produces, there would be social dynamics, perhaps bonds, that would manifest as similar ‘group abilities’. Items with limited uses could be restocked mid-battle by other members of that squad, with the in-universe explanation being that they carry components that could be combined to quickly produce makeshift version of those items. I’m not fond of mechanics that don’t play into a story in some way, hence the explanation.
Now I’m going to get back to watching that stupid G.I. Joe movie.