We go into the gruesome details surrounding Shark / Diver melee combat ...
Posted by AJ_Quick on Oct 31st, 2011
Some months ago we gave you a glimpse of our gameplay in the form of a short trailer video. Since then we have been working non-stop to improve upon those mechanics and basically do everything we can to make combat feel natural (and visceral) for both sharks and divers. We felt it was time to give all of you a more in-depth (ha! get it?) explanation of exactly what goes on when a shark attacks a diver. ie. How does he find the diver? How does he kill the diver? How does the diver defend himself? These questions will all be answered if you read on!
So to begin with :
This probably sounds almost insultingly simple, doesn't it ? Well, the ocean is not your typical first person shooter arena. It is a dark and confusing place, stuffed with things that could easily be mistaken for a diver's body. It's no wonder that sharks in the real world sometimes confuse surfers for seals.
To help our shark find his prey we have come to the conclusion that 'color' equals 'scent' . Human prey glows a vibrant orange / red color, Allies glow sort of lemon-lime, and neutral creatures (swarms of fish) have an intense white tint. Everyone still following ?
When you see that glowing diver, the first thing you're gonna want to do is pick which part of him to bite. Primary fire will target his upper body (one of his arms) while secondary fire while target his lower body (whichever leg is available) . This might seem like a trivial decision, but it does have some tactical significance, which we will get to a little later on when we discuss dismemberment. In general, attacking the legs is good for slowing a diver down, and attacking the arms is good for removing his defensive/offensive capabilities.
Once you have the diver in your jaws, shaking your mouse will 'thrash' him, dealing damage to the limb you decided to grab. Wider 'thrashing' motions result in greater amounts of damage, removing the limb quicker. When a diver has lost enough blood due to limb loss (or suffered too much general trauma) he will die. Divers are fairly resilient though, and can withstand the loss of one or sometimes even two limbs without dying (let's chalk that up to .... the strength of the human spirit! or something :) )
So that's all great, for the shark - But what is the diver doing while all of this meanness goes down? Simple :
Yep, sharks have one unfortunate weakness and it's their eyes. (well, also their gills - but you're not gonna be able to reach those, sorry : ( ) When you are locked in combat with a shark, you will automatically equip your trusty diving knife and primary fire will plunge it into the shark, (assuming you can line it up with the shark's head while you're being shaken around like crazy) .
It only takes a couple of stabs to force a shark to drop you.
Which might not seem like a big deal, but consider this : A great white shark can remove a limb in around 4 seconds. If you want to escape from the shark with your arms and legs in one piece, you will have to be handy at aiming that knife.
Inevitably, you will lose limbs. And when you do, you start to bleed quite alot. Bleeding is dangerous for two reasons : It drains your health and it gives your position away to sharks. Here are the results of limb loss :
Lose a leg : -25% swimming speed (per leg)
Lose an arm : Cannot hold two handed equipment ( Spear gun, for example)
Even if the limb does not come off altogether, you will notice visible damage on your diver's body after an attack. Each part of the diver can have the flesh peeled away in various stages which demonstrate the relative health of that limb. Below is a demonstration of the 'stages of gore' using our ever helpful seeker class diver as a model. Thanks seeker, your pain is our knowledge!
So that about covers the basics of a shark attack in Depth. We feel that we have worked hard to make the process feel simple and fun for both sides while still allowing for some tactical gameplay.
Can you think of a way we could improve the shark attack process ? Let us know in the comment thread!