What features make a fight epic?

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April 23rd, 2009

We still have some under the hood work to do before we can start implementing the Overgrowth combat system. However, one thing we think about frequently is what features make a fight epic?

Fighters in the real world must obey the laws of physics. They get tired easily, can't jump very high to do ridiculous acrobatics and one or two clean hits usually puts someone on the ground. Real fights are ugly, awkward and over quickly.

As such, Hollywood action movies often decide that perfect realism limits a fight's entertainment value. Here is a list of techniques that seem to correlate to the epic awesomeness of a fight:

  1. Characters are damage resistant and/or great at dodging attacks
  2. Characters are super strong and can send enemies flying with attacks
  3. Characters are able to dispatch multiple enemy minions in quick succession
  4. Special moves happen in slow motion
  5. Characters can perform epic jumps and/or acrobatic attacks

Here is an example of a scene that follows these rules of epicness:

Here's another:

For me Lugaru's appeal was that it not only incorporated all of these epic techniques, but David mapped these features to a learning curve. Thus I started Lugaru consistently getting my face punched in, but over time felt like the action hero of my own interactive Lugaru movie (click here for one of my favorite in-game action sequences).

You guys have done a great job of giving us reference links for fighting moves in the forums but we'd also like to hear your thoughts on fighting presentation style. What are your favorite fight scenes (from games, movies, tv, etc.)? What features make fighting epic but not cheesy? According to visitors on our Meebo widget, slow motion KO's and deathblows are a must for Overgrowth.

Yesterday's Contest Results: The time for Aubrey's concept art was a speedy 44 minutes and 45 seconds. The closest guess to this time was 45 minutes and because Bluesmudge declared it first, he is the winner and will be added to our next tech demo.