im thinking about writing a little game where your in a medieval war,
and you have to take down as many enemy knights as you can before you
die, then you respawn, then you get a score at the end for your best
kill death ratio.
thats all well and good, but i cant think how possibly i could control
the combat with keyboard and mouse? i was thinking maybe you swish the
sword with the mouse and position parries, but then how do you mouse
mouse is definitely for mouselook not for anything else it seems, so im
not sure what to do, id like to implement something like wrestling too,
where you knock your opponent to the ground by hitting him so hard
getting him off balance.
something interesting, anyway, the best game i can think of is mount &
blade, but ive never played it so i dont know how it works.
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i just thought of something… what if i make it so it automatically
looks at the closest enemy, then you can swing and parry with the mouse
fine. i think ill do that.
That’s actually a really good idea i think! I’ve wondered in the past
how to make fps malee combat not so jarring and an auto lock just sounds
so logical and freeing up the mouse for nicer interaction.
Or you could go the Hogwarts way.
Gestures with the mouse equate to attacks.
Straight up, thrust at heart.
Straight down, downward hack at head.
Left then up, parry sword and thrust at heart.
You could have the same gesture trigger different attacks based on
Right mouse button different attack than left mouse button.
If you try the Left then up attack while the enemies sword is above his
head, the parry fails and you are open to attack.
It’s not clear to me whether you want to make it first-person,
third-person, top-view, isometric, etc.
Anyway, some references.
- “Die by the Sword”: I bought it on GOG.com for less than 10$, you
should be able to find a demo on the web. It tried to accurately
replicate the way knights wielded swords. Quite fun, the controls were
very complex, though. Oh, by the way: the sword is your only weapon.
- “Severance - Blade of Darkness”: a sort of 3D Gauntlet - four
characters (Barbarian, Knight, Amazon, Dwarf), each profitable only with
a specific class of weapon (axes for the barbarian, hammers for the
dwarfs, etc). Very fun, and the camera is quite good - when the combat
starts you lock the closest enemy, and with TAB you switch to the
- “Witchaven”: an old game powered by Duke3D BUILD engine, now
abandonware - you can download it at
http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/29783/Witchaven.html . It requires
DOSBox. Well, it’s not an overwork, yet it’s fun. An interesting fact:
melee weapons suffer damage.
I think that the first-person pov is the most comfortable, while not as
spectacular as 3rd person for combos, special moves, etc.
Also, take a look at this article about how to wield a melee weapon:
I think block and parry have to be automatic for sword play to work. If
you’re not doing something offensive, you immediately block or parry
depending on the situation. It’s all so fast. You can kind of look for
an opening and choose to strike high, middle or low, right or left, and
that’s about it, if the swing is already past your body, then blocking
isn’t necessary anymore and you can choose an offensive move. A lot of
games have you click, but it doesn’t matter where, so I think that would
add somewhat. Adding some rpg elements would also probably be necessary.
You get better at blocking, etc, with practice, and get new offensive
moves that are automatically added.
as for the type of game, its 3d - im thinking 3rd person view for the
game, alot like severance blade of darkness - thanks for those refs, i
checked them all out very interestedly.
but im planning on a little more “liquid” animation for the combat (more
algorythmic than keyframed), and true collision detection between the
blades and shields for block detection.
Alot like what stainless said, you swish the mouse and it grants the
sword a tangent to swing apon, the faster you move the mouse the more
momentum gets put behind the blade (so a second attack might take a
little longer for high momentum swings, cause theres more pull back).
left and right mouse buttons will be for parrying and maybe some thrust
or something, i dont know, but mouse buttons would help mode the kind of
swing you want.
firesides idea is cool, but im actually planning on doing the collision
detection properly between the weapons, if they happen to be in the same
place at the same time, then a deflection happens, otherwise it doesnt,
so you have to try and get your sword in the way for a parry.
this teamed up with a good mobility method, like crouching and jumping
and dodging, could make for a fun sword duel. ill get back to you guys,
at the moment the engine has just started, ive just got some models
spawning into space. this could be a fun project. :)
More food for thought.
- “Enclave” by Starbreeze (yes, the Riddick’s worshippers): after this,
Starbreeze worked on two “Knight of the Temple”, or something, games.
- “Into the Shadows”: just a video on YouTube, yet it’s very inspiring
- it was made in 1995 by the swedish Triton demo group, before they
founded Starbreeze - at the time it was a miracle, some people even
thought Magnus Hogdal was better than Carmack!
- “Blood Omen 2” - far from being an overwork, I think it had, hovewer,
a very competent combat system. Weapons get ruined - the problem is that
you can carry only one weapon, so it’s very frustrating when, in the
middle of hard encounter, you find yourself back to your basic claws!
I was thinking that maybe you should take a turn-based approach - when
players are fighting restless, they tend to pay very little attention to
even the most accurate fighting system: they basically push buttons like
in cabinets. This, in my opinion, is a weakness of Severance: the combos
were good and all, but I have to say that I used them more against
“those-candles-on-that-table” (just to see the then amazing lighting
effects) than in the real encounters. What ruins even the best
combos&moves system, IMHO, are shortcuts: if players can choose between
massive button pushing and the “educated” way… well, being (usually)
lazy, they’ll end up pushing buttons all the time. On the other hand,
making the mastering of the moves mandatory will probably frustrate
average players, cutting your user base.
The trouble with trying to model sword combat in this way is that you
are missing the fact that sword combat is not like you see it in the
A fight seldom lasts more than a second or two.
Have a look at combat in various era’s.
Shield wall is the key element. Attackers charge against a mass of men
in close formation. Bounce off. Get stabbed.
Shield wall again, this time with the biggest baddest men having long
handled axes which they keep moving at all times
Armour means that weapons have to change. Hammers etc used to bring
down the knights, then they are mobbed and battered to death.
So the sort of sword combat you are thinking about didn’t exist in the
real world, except in certain circumstances.
Gladiators, duels, etc.
Now using this kind of control system for gladiators …….. hmmm
i had this link to the most curious little medieval game,(i couldnt find
it sorry) it had rag dolls in the actual combat, so you could run into
the opponent to knock him over… this would be a way to break out of
the just “stand and swing” boredom.
heres the current bone design (im just hardcoding it in right now)
here it is just the legs, body,hair and weapon bones done, yet to add
notice there is tendon bones, i think i use these to make him stand up
and restrict elbow/knee movement.
im leaving bones for ball on chains and whips :) those two green
connections that connect the legs and the head are the “balance” keeping
tendons, they help push him straight when hes standing. im thinking
about putting in foot marks where he places his feet and keep it all
alogythmic, ever heard of someone doing it like that before?
i reckon the nunchuckers would be the best weapon like this.
edit, that last way to animate didnt work, but i managed to get a
diamond to drop and roll along the floor, (new ideas) so i think ill
make the actor out of a box cage.
this guy has gravity acting on him, and hes still upright, im using a
soft body shell.
you can grab points and almost make him walk.
#Stainless - not entirely true for dark ages. Armor was quite expensive
back then, also for fights it was quite thin (because you had to carry
it), even though 15 kilograms of armor on yourself is quite a weight.
For more information about fighting in medieval age see some videos from
Gladiatores for example:
Basically sword was most widely used weapon, because you can either cut,
stab or punch (with its head - dunno how its called in english, in my
language it’s “hlavice”, “jablko” or “ohryzek” :D)
I will elaborate further, though I got to invite my girlfriend to pizza
right now, we’ve been together for 3 years. :ph34r:
I’ll also try to get some videos (one or two) online from our group and
post them here, gimme few hours or so. :)
EDIT: Found some lower quality video of our group at our pages -
also don’t forget to visit gallery for some inspiration. Also for some
photo reference (larger versions on click), feel free to look through
pages for example at
- they’re whole just in our language (so I rather put directly link
here, because navigation can be a bit harder if you don’t know the
I can also try to dig some materials from our game and its development.
We had some pretty nice references for swordfighting and few concepts
for combat system. Basically now we simplified it a bit so it’s actually
a lot more intuitive to control and a lot more action. First concept was
boring even in concept. And we expect also more major changes after we
put together some version that could testers play through.
Though my point is still valid, all of those clips show that start of
combat->death is less than two seconds.
No swinging from chandeliers, no dancing with hat stands, just attack
Basically yes, this counts for normal fight (e.g. real fight).
Theatrical fight for audience is something different, you do funny
figures in it (like kicking to ass), and some action-movie figures (like
spinning), the fight there takes even minutes - so it’s a bit more close
to actual every game swordfighting footage.
In real fight you actually have counter for every action, but it’s just
a matter of seconds until first or second actor makes a mistake and
loses (mostly dies, or is mortally wounded). Basically there is no
spinning, no “kicking to ass” or such. It’s not said that fight can’t
take half minute or so, but only in 1-to-1 man combat (because in real
battle you mostly recieve “mace-over-back” from totally different person
than you think you’re fighting with), but even this is uncommon (both
fighters would have to be very skilled) - because strikes are trying to
create mortal wound or cause death (thats why you always aim for either
head, neck, or heart during attack).
I’ll post some basic guards + information for fight later, and if I’ll
find some camera I might pick you some reference too. First of all I
need to get some food though. :D
wow thats really cool! the fight scenes were really awesome. did i
overhear that you vilem otte have a game combat system also?
Ive still got no more work to show, Ive gotten stumped on walking (let
alone fighting) but its getting there. First attempts he looked like a
zombie, any one have any hints for algorythmic walking?
Im using a softbody cage for the character, when it spins it looks
really good cause it looks like the arms and legs weigh a bit and lag
Yup, we have combat system on our own.
To the basic stances (photos aren’t mine in the end, i searched them
through google and credits go to ChivlaryNow.net), basically you have 4
classic stances in german school. Note that in every stance your sword’s
tip or apple is aiming to opponents head (with exception of often more
defensive lower guards). Note that these guards are count for fighting
with medieval sword, not light rapiers or cords - they have a bit
different style of combat.
This is standard offensive stance (left is over vom tag over shoulder,
right is vom tag over head), it gives you advantage in strength, because
you can perform any oberhau - attack from above, basically mostly you
try to perform successful zornhau - targeting opponents head. As for
defence, this stance is still good, because you’re able to defend
against any oberhau, mittlehau (with slight move or dodge), and unterhau
with dodge (same goes for stabbing and slicing off).
Low stance, defensive, performing unterhau for attack (strike from
below), or its immitation followed by deadly strike. This stance is
quick responsive stance and probably one of the best defensive stances.
High offensive position, used for stabbing followed by deadly strike,
or oberhau, mittlehau. You can also try to immitate unterhau followed by
deadly strike, although thats not so common.
One of the most basic stances - gives good balance between defense
(you’re holding opponent back, because he could get stabbed), and
offense - you can stab, or perform any hau - oberhau, mittlehau or
These are 4 basic stances for german school, there are others - zornhut,
wechsel, nebenhut, eisenport, schlussel, einhorn uns schrankhut, and
transitional stances that are rarely used as guard (e.g. unless you know
what you’re doing, don’t do them) hengetort, kron, langort. You can find
photos of them over the google again - but all these are *advanced*,
basic 4 are in my opinion core for your fighting system.
Now how to defend. Basically the best way to defence is (apart of
offence which i’ll describe lower) to avoid - e.g. perform a dodge. Move
left, right, back … NEVER jump, jumping makes your stance less stable
and it’s NEVER used. Your stance must be very stable and it’s basically
1st thing to learn (and it can take months to move and stand correctly).
Basically this goes for any martial art (the most close is probably judo
in case of stance).
If you move for defense it’s quite common to perform offense, by
avoiding enemy weapon, he gives you an opening, a chance to strike and
win. You always strike in such way, that he either has to defend (e.g.
won’t be able to stab you before you hit him), or has to move. E.g. so
he won’t be able to perform counterattack.
Then you have shielding. You always use shielding for counterattack,
otherwise it’s pointless (this counts for whole swordfighting - you
don’t do anything unless you can gain something from it). Basically when
you shield yourself with sword, you try to disable your opponents sword
and try to hit him. Like in the videos i posted, after shielding, there
is ALWAYS an offensive reaction mostly winning the match (he won’t be
able to react in such little amount of time).
So basically 99% of games have combat done wrong.
If I may add to the mix, I think another game worth checking out is
Rune. I believe it was made with the very first Unreal Engine, not a
super sophisticated game by today’s standards, but it was fun at the
time (especially multiplayer, cutting off limbs and stuff:)