Hi Philip,
Very true. The problem is a difficult one to solve because we are
working with an audio only medium.  I've added some ways to avoid
attacks such as ducking or jumping over enemy attacks, but players of
Mysteries of the Ancients still tell me they don't know when to duck or
jump.  That's a problem I don't really know how to solve.
As you pointed out in a mainstream vidio game you can antisipate an
attack simply by watching what the enemy does. If an enemy turns and
aims a weapon at you you usually have a split second to duck, crouch,
step asside, jump, or something to avoid the attack.In the hand to hand
fighter games you can see a punch/kick coming and can hit the proper key
to block that attack and follow up with an attack of your own.   With
audio you really can't see the attack coming, and by the time the weapon
is fired, punch sound is playing, etc it is much too late to respond.
The only audio game I know of that was designed to alertyou of an attack
was ESP Whoop Ass.In that game when a punch is coming you would hear a
woosh of air out of the left, center, or right speakers and then you had
to try and block the punch while following it up with a punch of your
own. It works, but takes some practice to get the hang of. It still
isn't easy to block those punches even with the little woosh sound
before the actual punch.
A while back I wrote a little test program along the lines of Whoop Ass
using light sabers from Star Wars called sabers.  You would hear Darth
Vaders saber swing from the left, center, or right side then the
blow.You had to move the mouse left or right to block the saber attack
and then quickly swing it in the other direction and forward to place
your own attack.Problem was even with the voom sound signaling  Vader's
attack by the time the voom ended it was often too late to block so you
had to react extremely quickly. Fortunately, the mouse input was much
faster than keyboard input so that helped balance it out some.


On Tue, 2010-01-12 at 21:57 +0100, Philip Bennefall wrote:
> Hi Yohandy,
> I believe that this is a problem that exists in almost every audio game 
> available today including Shades of Doom, Super Liam, Q9, Mysteries of the 
> Ancients I believe though am not 100 % sure on this, and pretty much any 
> other action title. It is, however, an interesting topic and I'd be open for 
> suggestions on how to address this. There are a few major issues that I can 
> see:
> 1. Anticipating attacks. In a sighted game you are obviously able to see a 
> little beforehand if an enemy is about to attack you and so you are able to 
> dodge it. However it is not so easy to illustrate this in audio for two 
> reasons. First, you'd have to have a very clear sound that could be heard 
> over all the other noises in the game, and this might detract a little from 
> the smoothness of the experience. Second, you'd have to slow attacks down 
> enough as to give the player a fair chance to block them and this would 
> require at least 100 milliseconds at a bare minimum which would slow game 
> play down significantly.
> 2. Type of dodging. As I see it, there are two ways of doing this. Either 
> you have it so that a blocking action is automatically performed if you 
> attack with your current weapon in whatever direction the enemy is coming 
> from, there by dodging their offense. This could be problematic though if 
> the user is swinging a fist, for instance, as that wouldn't be able to dodge 
> a bite from a wolf or bear very well. Of course one could argue that this is 
> part of the challenge of the game (e.g. picking the right weapon to dodge 
> with), but I am not sure. The other alternative is to have a separate key 
> combination for blocking, but then the question is - is it realistic to 
> assume that the user will be able to jump that fast over the keyboard as to 
> be able to quickly dodge and attack at the sort of speed that an advanced 
> difficulty level would require for instance?
> These are just a few spontaneous thoughts that popped into my head. What are 
> your opinions?
> Kind regards,
> Philip Bennefall

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