A QUALITATIVE STUDY ON HOW LEVEL DESIGN, ENEMY DESIGN, AND ENEMY AI CAN MAKE MELEE COMBAT SYSTEMS MORE ENGAGING.
The purpose of this research is to identify how level design, enemy design, and enemy AI can make melee combat systems more engaging in games. The goal is to identify which of these areas can be improved upon and how. Information was acquired by analysing various games followed by a qualitative study, during which several industry professionals were interviewed. The research indicated that level design promotes flow by having spaces which best show off the combat system. For enemy design this was enemies with clear ‘tells’ which encourage players to use a variety of tactics. For the enemy AI this was grouping the enemies in ways to prevent overwhelming the player and allow them to fight back. During the study it became clear that the enemies were most important for most combat systems. The contribution of level design to engaging combat experiences can be improved by enhancing the possible interactions between the player and the level, involving the enemies where possible.
- Alex Sulman: Heavenly Sword, God of War 3, GoW Ascension.
- Rahni Tucker: combat designer for DmC: Devil May Cry.
- Anthony Newman: melee combat designer on The Last of Us.
- Daniel Nordlander: combat designer on Dead Island 2.
- Doug Walker: system designer on multiple Killzone titles.
- Ben Ruiz: designer on Aztez.
- Berendine Venemans: designer on Killzone Shadowfall.
- Tom Bird: programmer on the Overlord series.
- DmC: Devil May Cry.
- God of War 3.
- Ninja Gaiden 2.
- Ninja Gaiden 3.
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the west.
- Batman: Arkham City.
- Assassin's Creed 3.
- Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Links to gamasutra articles
I've adapted a three-article series from this paper which is being posted on gamasutra. The first article is online, the other two will follow shortly.
Excerpt of the paper
The complete paper is available on request.