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Frag Time

Frag Time combines the highly dynamic movement of Quake with the fast and frantic enemy ballet of Doom · By Gemi Games

Feedback and such!

A topic by Sam "Reki" Piper created Jan 22, 2020 Views: 244 Replies: 2
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(3 edits)

Played for a couple hours. (saw it on the arenafps and playmygame subreddits)

First off, it's really nice and refreshing to see a game that uses movement tech, especially VQ3 or similar as opposed to goldsrc/qw air
strafe-y stuff.

I've really enjoyed my time with it so far and think it has a ton of potential. The art style is simplistic but matches the gameplay well and keeps the visuals clean.

Here is my raw observations/opinions from my first couple hours, don't take them too harshly/seriously.
Be warned: just my personal opinions here, with a lot of spitballing.

  • When it comes to the physics, I think the air acceleration is too high, and it doesn't reward proper strafe jumping fully because of that. I know it's probably high because the arenas are small, but I think the solution would be to make a bigger arena with slower air acceleration, that way you really have to get a feel for strafe jumping and circle jumping to succeed at harder difficulties. It just feels a bit 'floaty' right now, maybe it's less the air acceleration and more the gravity being too low, not really certain.
  • Something weird is going on with the jump physics, it seems like its whenever you jump as you go up even a tiny ledge (like the trim around the map) it makes your jump really high, guessing this has something to do with Unity's capsule hitbox shenanigans. Also some jump inputs just get dropped and it plays the sound yet doesn't add the velocity.
  • Another weird physics thing, when jumping and colliding with a platform you aren't quite gonna get all the way up, you spazz out. Guessing that's another Unity hitbox weirdness. (stopping the physics box from tipping over maybe?)
  • Enemy spawn light should really be their color, instead of ambiguous green. Would help a lot with bringing the level of unexpected RNG to a minimum.
  • Enemies change direction really quickly, which makes the rocket launcher (and to some extent the plasma gun) feel kinda iffy and not as impactful as one would like. Also the enemies drifting slowly back to 0 velocity in the air and floating feels kinda eh, one of the best parts of rockets in quake (for me at least) is popping an enemy up and predicting their trajectory, which is kinda hampered by the fact they don't follow the same physics as a player.
  • Enemy damage seems inconsistent? like sometimes they'll kill me in 3 hits, sometimes in 5, I don't know if theres some splash damage going on or something, but honestly I would just uniformly keep it at 1 damage amount. That was on Terrorbyte difficulty btw. (I love the name)
  • It's also kinda awkward that the colors are inverted for the weapons, like I get how it makes logical sense but from caveman reflex brain, it just makes more sense that blue enemy shooty with blue boomstick.
  • Speaking of boomstick, shotgun spread seems waaay too high, I feel like the shotgun spread should probably be kinda tight in lieu of some kind of long range hitscan. It doesn't have to be super tight just not absolutely giant. It's essentially a melee weapon right now. (also maybe consider making it a fixed spread, instead of random)
  • Shared ammo pools in my opinion are just kinda... meh? Dunno, they just aren't a perfect fit for fast paced games imo, it kinda encourages you stick to one type of weapon instead of managing ammo in every situation. That being said I'm not sure how else you could do it with the two different color thing, so maybe shared ammo pool is the best option.
  • Weapon/color swap time shouldn't exist imo, it just breaks up the flow of combat and makes it feel sluggish and sometimes unresponsive.
  • I never really figured out how to get armor, how's that work? I would suggest respawning health and armor pickups that are on some kind of timer, but that being said I don't understand the current system so maybe that's redundant.
  • FOV configuration please!

Despite my criticisms there, I actually really like it! I get kind of a Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball vibe from the enemies which is cool, and having quake movement is great. Having to manage different color enemies with a rhythmic kinda back and forth between weapon colors is also really neat, though I'd have to play a lot more before I could form any kind of decent opinion on that part.

Here's an uncut video of me playing on octagon, as well as my scores for both maps.

After the video was made I started relying much more on the rocket launcher, but on TerrorByte the enemies turn so quickly it becomes kinda useless. Excuse me kinda playing like a potato, especially for the first 3/4.

EDITS: Typo/word choice

Developer (3 edits)

Hi, thanks so much for playing and I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks also for the great post. 

Before I reply, I can't believe I actually released an arena FPS without an FOV slider! How embarrassing!

edit: On the whole I agree with a lot of your points but I'll try go through them. Sorry if it's a bit rambly.

  • I wanted the air acceleration to be obvious to people who don't know about Quake style movement but yeah it does feel a bit like you're being pushed rather than accelerating yourself. About the gravity, I keep finding myself tweaking it and the jump height. I'll try a heavier value and see how that feels.
  • The ledge/stair boost is my own crudely made up version of ramp jumping which is also probably tuned a bit high. You're right though that the capsule hitbox is the culprit. I'll add a ray cast to get the true normal of the ground directly beneath the player as it should only really work on ramps. The dropped jump inputs, assuming you have auto jump off, is probably from clipping stair edges and it registering as touching the ground. I'll have to investigate this one as I'm unsure what exactly would cause it to lose all upward velocity. Probably from the buggy  Unity character controller doing a stair climb/grab/god knows what.
  • Yup, again another quirk to the Unity character controller and it's flawed stair climbing algorithm. I do have a my own capsule clipping solution I used on an older project but it lacks stair clipping/climbing. I want to add that to mine at some point so I can use it instead and have greater control over the physics.
  • Yeah the spawn light colours should match. I found my self thinking a lot "and who's behind pillar number 4?". Not good really.
  • The somewhat rapid direction change and random damage received was inspired by Doom.  I only reserved it for damage received since that's avoidable but it would make the game consistent as your weapons only have one damage value for a direct hit.  Also, the enemy strafing would probably feel better if it happened at more consistent intervals as well as being longer between direction changes. I'll investigate more what I like about Doom's enemy movement to see what needs changing.
  • To be honest the sole reason the enemies float is because it was easier to model and animate. I'm still quite new to modeling so I will probably need a guy to help with new enemies in the future. The enemies do use the same physics as the player though but are always classed as being airborne and having air friction which I might leave for the flying enemies but grounded ones should behave more like the player.
  • The duel colour thing was mostly a slapdash since I find Ikuruga's duel colour system interesting and I try adding it to projects from time to time. I thought it would work here as I really liked the back and forth as you say but I think I'm probably going to change the game back to a standard system without the "element like" colour system and without the shared ammo pool too. You're right about the shared pool encouraging people to just use one weapon. It dumbs the game down without much, if any gameplay benefit I think.
  • Sorry this wasn't explained at all or hinted at but health and armour are spawned from killing blows using the same colour as the enemy.
  • edit: I forgot about the Double Shotty. Yeah it's pretty wide. I was trying to make the guns more situational but may have gone too far with that weapon.

Hope I didn't go on too long and thanks again for taking the time to give me some feedback. The video was great to watch, you a pretty good player given the slick movement. edit: I noticed the enemies need a max shooting angle because they can shoot behind them at the moment and also, did you get stuck in the wall at around 3:45?

edit: grammer

Woah thanks for the reply, and don't worry about going on too long, I find all the perspectives really interesting. I'm making an Arena FPS as well so it's cool to hear your perspective on general gameplay things.

I actually like the color system, it does add a rhythm to the gunplay and combat, so I think you should try to make it work. Depth is almost always a good thing imo

Definite on the max shooting angle thing, it makes Terrorbyte pretty difficult artificially (especially on maps with long sight lines), but I think the ultimate solution probably is to have enemies choreograph their attack for longer, making it easy to tell when you need to start dodging for projectiles.

I don't think I got stuck in the wall, was just trying to reset (a restart keybind would also be appreciated!) and did an abrupt stop.