Tunnel Combat is a system made to re-invent one from a personal favorite game of mine; Sid Meier's Pirates. Sid Meier's Pirates spawned my love for pirates, and I wanted to try and recreate the 'fencing' mini-game from it, but modernize it to fit today's gaming trends. This project is a mini-game style melee combat system with the potential for highly skilled exchanges. The system also forgoes health and instead uses 'advantage', similar to Sid Meier's Pirates.
Tunnel Combat is simple to pick up but challenging to master. The whole game utilizes mouse direction. The player faces an AI opponent. Holding left click, you attack in the direction you push your mouse in. Holding Right click, you can do a defensive parry by swinging your mouse in the same way. If you land hit, you gain advantage and vice versa. Advantage causes your attacks to be faster and parries to be slower. If they have the advantage, your attacks are slower and easier to parry, but your parry speed is faster. The game is balanced so that the player who is ahead is on offense, but once their opponent is able to land a few hits, you are even again. Then, whoever lands a successful hit is on offense, and the other playing defensively. You can win by pushing your opponent back against the wall, and landing a finishing blow.
Full Gameplay Video
This project was developed in about ten weeks on a team of two and was completed on March 29, 2019. I acted as the Sole game and systems designer. This project forced me to push myself and learn a ton about Unreal in a very short amount of time. Creating a mini-game, I focused on designing a system that was easy to win the first or second time you played it but had the potential to have an extremely high skill cap with difficult, rewarding matches similar to Sid Meier's Pirates' Fencing.
Role and Development
This project almost didn't see the light of day. With two days until completion, our artist left taking all their assets with them. We were left with a character and a system. So, with a few sleepless nights and some shifted resources, the two of us remaining were able to pull it out successfully. We were also working on another much larger game at the time so we had to balance our schedules between the two projects.
Obstacles and Challenges
This project is largely based off of a Sid Meier's Pirates! mini-game called fencing. I wanted to take a system from one of my favorite older games and modernize it. My other inspiration for this product was to create a game-play loop that could be utilized in today's games. My first prototype felt reminiscent of some medieval hand-to-hand battle games, so I drew inspiration from those! I wanted to push myself to create something that felt AAA quality, to see if I was capable of it.
While Tunnel Combat taught me a great deal about Unreal, it also reinforced my time management skills. Tunnel Combat was created by myself and a partner. This two-person team required me to manage not only my own schedule, but that of my partner’s as well. What originally started as a three-person project dropped to two with the loss of a member. With this loss, my partner and I quickly learned to improvise to continue towards our ultimate goal. Through the use of time management and planning, we were able to absorb the lost member’s tasks and see our project to completion. This was the first time at SCAD I was faced with a setback that required immediate action. This experience taught me that through proper time management and perseverance, as well as a lot of mental fortitude, you can accomplish any goal set for yourself.