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Old 04-16-2012, 12:31 AM   #1
randir14
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Hawken Hands-On Preview


Destructoid got to play Hawken at PAX, and they've written about their experience.

Quote:
There were four classes of mechs to choose from: Light Close, Light Ranged, Medium Close, and Medium Ranged. Jason assured me that there will indeed be a Heavy choice, as well, once the game launches. Personally, I prefer a close up fighting style in all of my shooters, so I chose Medium Close right from the start. From there, I had three choices for my primary weapon and three choices for my secondary weapon. Each of these weapons behaved very differently and luckily I could swap weapons while I waited to respawn. Eventually I found the two weapons that suited me best and really got into my groove.

The weapons had the appropriate punch when firing them. Firing off my secondary cannon sounded and felt like it was doing some serious damage (which it totally did). On the flip side, when I got hit by some of the harder hitting weapons, I felt it. Felt it real good. I found myself physically cringing after being hit by a barrage of missiles because I felt like I was the mech itself.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of the little health-bar mechanic they're using. I mean, everyone uses those. Their use goes back to the days of final-fantasy 1 practically, on the NES, when we didn't have the graphic capability to show actual damage.

You want to show actual damage in a game like this, start doing texture swaps to make the metal being barraged look chewed up, make sparks fly off the side of the hull, make hydraulic lines spray and smoke billow, make a limb fall off, make glass shatter and the mech begin to limp and lumber.

My god, it's 2012! Health bars!

In real life, you know you've won when the thing keels over and stops moving. Not because of a dice-roll determining damage either (although it would be interesting to incorporate a sophisticated statistical damage model to simulate actual damage in lieu of granular hitboxing).

Seems like I've been talking about using advanced granular-hitbox mechanics for two decades now and we still don't have games deeply incorporating them (well, at least we get headshot damage now).

All that said, if I didn't really like this game I wouldn't even say a thing. It's a guaranteed sale. I just wish they'd move this genre forward more than they already are.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Anenome View Post
I'm not a fan of the little health-bar mechanic they're using. I mean, everyone uses those. Their use goes back to the days of final-fantasy 1 practically, on the NES, when we didn't have the graphic capability to show actual damage.
It looks like the pace is too fast for anything more sophisticated to really register with the player. Would be great for a "slower" MechWarrior game.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Anenome View Post
You want to show actual damage in a game like this, start doing texture swaps to make the metal being barraged look chewed up, make sparks fly off the side of the hull, make hydraulic lines spray and smoke billow, make a limb fall off, make glass shatter and the mech begin to limp and lumber.
It's pretty obvious they want to keep this one fast and furious with an "arcade" feel to it. Not a simulation.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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I don't know why you guys assume that making the change I suggest would slow the game down.

I say keep it just as fast. You need a way to see damage in a fast game? Fine, have the frames toss major sparks when you actually hit it, and have smoke leak out when it's nearing 'death'. Both things can be seen in light or dark.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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Have you noticed too that they're making the game F2P.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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I am... excited. Like, genuinely excited. MechWarrior 2 (and expansions) was one of my favorite games in the mid-90s. The only game I probably played more was the original Diablo.

I want to play this.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Anenome View Post
You want to show actual damage in a game like this, start doing texture swaps to make the metal being barraged look chewed up, make sparks fly off the side of the hull, make hydraulic lines spray and smoke billow, make a limb fall off, make glass shatter and the mech begin to limp and lumber.

My god, it's 2012! Health bars!
I love the feedback, Anenome! It's hard to see from the speed of our videos (and that we've held a lot of the detail back since it's in development and subject to change), but we have actual damage that registers visually during gameplay. As a mech takes damage, you see sparks and it eventually catches fire before exploding into a pile of flaming bolts and plates.

The mech you are piloting will also show damage visually so that you don't have to rely on looking at the shield/health meter on your mech. The colors change and darken as you take on more damage.

Also, the health bars you see on rival mechs only appears when you are engaged in battle with that mech.

I'll bring your post to the whole dev team so that we can note your preference for removing opponents health bars.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:50 AM   #9
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Want game. 'nuff said.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by playhawken View Post
I love the feedback, Anenome! It's hard to see from the speed of our videos (and that we've held a lot of the detail back since it's in development and subject to change), but we have actual damage that registers visually during gameplay. As a mech takes damage, you see sparks and it eventually catches fire before exploding into a pile of flaming bolts and plates.

The mech you are piloting will also show damage visually so that you don't have to rely on looking at the shield/health meter on your mech. The colors change and darken as you take on more damage.

Also, the health bars you see on rival mechs only appears when you are engaged in battle with that mech.

I'll bring your post to the whole dev team so that we can note your preference for removing opponents health bars.
God, I love you guys If you let me turn off health bars, then we are absolutely golden. That would at least double the immersion factor for me.

Because, looking at those videos, my eye is drawn to the highest-contrast thing on my enemy, and I notice that the majority of the time it ends up being that health bar!

In one of the videos we have an enemy being shot at drop into shadow and virtually disappear, but his health bar is still there, tracking movement for you to shoot at...
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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Wow I am still trippen that Dev's come on this site to hear us "jaded" gamers ideas... wow. On another note I am so stoked about this game well this and dark souls for pc.... need I say that there is a PC gaming god mother out there.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #12
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Wow I am still trippen that Dev's come on this site to hear us "jaded" gamers ideas... wow. On another note I am so stoked about this game well this and dark souls for pc.... need I say that there is a PC gaming god mother out there.
It's certainly a brilliant way to build customer loyalty from the most hardcore people around, and gain impressions from your customers such that you can steer development before release.

And if you think about it, the distance between devs and gamers is smaller than ever with the internet and various forums now, unlike in the days back when the only feedback you'd get would be people not buying your game.

The future may see even tighter integration between gamers and devs pre-release. In a way, Firefall is doing this too, with a true beta.
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