Ragdoll knockouts

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October 25th, 2010

Part of what made Lugaru unique was the way that every hit knocked the enemy head over heels using ragdoll physics. In Overgrowth, I'm planning to add more variety by using a combination of blended animations, active ragdolls, and passive ragdolls. However, there's something very satisfying about just blasting enemies away! Here is a test of Lugaru-style knockout blows in Overgrowth, which preorderers can test out in tomorrow's alpha release.

Be sure to watch it in HD!

In Lugaru I used slow motion to signify knockout blows, but in this video I'm testing out a two-part slow motion effect. I was thinking that if there is a slow motion pause before knockouts then it could give the player an opportunity to 'hold' the attack and stop just short of impact, perhaps by pressing the 'grab' button. This could be a very useful feature if we ever want to have non-lethal swordfights.

Of course most hits won't have slow motion, because that would get tiresome pretty quickly. Similarly, characters won't go full ragdoll unless they are actually unconscious or dead. Some other unfinished features in this video include the placeholder running animations and combat sounds, the lack of footprints and other material interaction, the missing standing-up animation, and missing details like ear physics. Those are all on my list, but I can only do one thing at a time, and I'd like to block out the gameplay before spending too much more time on details.

What do you think of the idea of using slow-motion to allow the player to halt lethal attacks? Would that be a cool feature, or would it just be confusing?