Rebirth is a survival horror sandbox game with a focus on procedural environments and dynamic AI. Influenced by games such as STALKER and Silent Hill, all set in a sandbox world ready for players to explore. Use our complex melee system to fight your way past grotesque foes. Use your wits and stealth to conquer unsurmountable challenges. When all else fails, use your guns and risk enemy detection. How you play is up to you...But remember, you only have one life to live. Make it count.

Report article RSS Feed Rebirth Melee and Dismemberment - A Quick Look

An in-depth look at Rebirth's new Melee and Dismemberment systems.

Posted by Rico21745 on May 19th, 2014

Let's start things off with a visual shall we?

He's dead Jim

So we have been quiet for a long time. What gives? Well mainly I have been working on the game a lot, as you can probably see, we've had quite a bit of an overhaul visually. I've also done quite a bit of footwork creating some really cool tech that we're going to be showing off in the near future, tech that will power a lot of Rebirth's systems.

Take melee for example.

I'm tired of FPS melee systems where you swing a thing in front of you and it does X damage. Aren't you? I like some interaction when I swing my pixels around the screen, and I personally need some depth if I'm expected to whack things over the head with a bit of copper tubing or what have you. I also want it to feel pretty satisfying.

I expect most gamers would agree with this point of view.

So I set out to create a melee system that meets a few key criteria:

  • Has depth
  • Is fun
  • Is interactive beyond left click and aim center of screen at guy
  • Is satisfying
  • Rewards skill

How does Rebirth's melee system rise to the challenge? Let's tackle that one by one.

It has Depth, Interactivity, Rewards skill

In Rebirth, we currently only have one weapon implemented, the trusty rusty machete. When designing the system, I tried to keep future expansion in mind, but first let me explain how the machete works.

The machete currently has 4 different attacks (mainly constrained by animations, which is why we don't have more yet). Each attack is performed based on the direction on the keyboard you press in combination with the mouse button. LMouse + forward performs a stab move. LMouse + left performs a backhand swing.

Why do you care which way you swing? Aren't they all the same?

No. Weapons in Rebirth (as well as enemy melee attacks) are physically simulated. This means that you only hit an enemy if your weapon actually makes contact with them. Each enemy also has a multitude of hotboxes on each body part, each having a different damage multiplier. Headshots do more damage, whereas body blows or limb blows do less.

If a monster swings its claw at you, they only hit you if that claw touches you. If it swings two claws, if only one claw hits you, you take 1/2 the damage you would have taken.

It's physically simulated

If you swing hits more than one body part, you do damage for each part you hit. Thus a long swing hitting multiple body parts does more damage than just clipping an arm.

But there's more to it than that.

In addition to that, the damage done by a melee weapon is fairly low. If someone pokes you with a stick accidentally, it's annoying right? But if someone stabs you with said stick, it really hurts, yes? What's the difference between a poke and a stab?

Velocity.

So in Rebirth melee weapons do damage as a function of the swing's velocity. If you manage to hit an enemy at high velocity, you very well could chop their head off in one blow, or cut them in half entirely. In fact, I've had a ton of fun running at full speed to charge an enemy, jumping up and then landing a blow as I come down on an enemy's head, chopping it clean off. I can't wait to let you all play around with it!

You want to know what else is physically simulated? Blocking.

You can block hits at any time with your weapon, but the success depends on how you catch the blow. Blocking with make an enemy recoil back but their claws are still deadly weapons so you can still take damage even if you block, if you are not careful about it. The block button (currently right click) brings up your weapon in a blocking stance, but it does not guarantee a successful block, that only happens if YOU make it happen.

It's fun and Satisfying

So if you add all of the above together, you get a fairly fun system. Then we add the dismemberment on top of that and you have a REALLY fun system. There's nothing as satisfying as blocking a hit, sever a head clean off, dodge to the side and have an enemy hit another enemy as they swing at where you used to be, then with a backhanded blow, sever both torsos clean off with your blade.

What's Next?

I'll probably do another dev diary about the melee system this time. The mechanics are cool to talk about on paper, but I really feel like it would be better explained on video. I'm also going to start being more active posting news and media since I feel like our art assets are finally at the standard we'd like to hit for Rebirth.

There's a lot cooler stuff coming soon, keep your eyes peeled and please tell your friends and the media about us!

Post comment Comments
dave_5430
dave_5430 May 19 2014, 6:02pm says:

Mind you, I see a lot of problems with motionsickness coming into play.... play test this idea and solely this system for a big group, before you expand on it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Rico21745 Author
Rico21745 May 19 2014, 6:49pm replied:

Yeah the camera is actually something I haven't done a pass at yet with the melee. The animations I'm using for some of the attacks (namely the charge attack) is a really bad placeholder animation to just get the job done.

I test this thing a lot so trust me, I'm literally feeling what you're saying :-P

There will likely still be some camera movement in the final version, but it will be a lot more controlled.

+1 vote   reply to comment
BlueSunsleader
BlueSunsleader May 21 2014, 12:50am says:

not bad

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Rebirth
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Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer
Dead Man Walking
Engine
Unity
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Rebirth
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