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View Full Version : Ideas for a new, harder and more realistsic, parkour system.



BananaBlighter
09-22-2016, 06:08 PM
So alot of people criticise the parkour system because it is too simple and doesn't allow the player enough control. So I was thinking the other day, how could we make a system that would be as realistic as possible and require high levels of skill? So now I'm going to explain what I came up with.

The main concept revolves around having the arm and leg controls attached to the triggers and buttons on a controller. So the left leg is the left trigger, left arm the left button...etc. Sort of like the puppeteer system v2, this allows the players maximum control over their movements, but also introduces the challenge of having to time you hand and foot placement, especially with vaulting. So how exactly do you do parkour with this system?

Well, since the run button has been taken, to run now you have to press the two leg triggers one after the other in time with each step. The faster you press, the faster the character runs, and when coming to a wall, the further up you will wall run. If you run straight in to and up a wall, you won't grab on just like that. Unless you then press and hold the two buttons that correspond to the two hands, you will fall back down just like you do if there is nothing to grab on to. If you let go of the two buttons, you will fall off. Just like in AC1, if you press the two buttons as you are falling your character will automatically grab on to the nearest ledge again.

To climb, it's pretty much the same as in Grow Home, but less manual and more automated so as to remove the glitchy animations and maintain fluidity. So if you imagine hanging on the wall, when you let go of one hand and move upwards on the movement stick, you character will reach upwards, and when you press the button to grab on again, the game will find the nearest ledge and your character will automatically move upward to it. The same applies for traversing sideways along a wall, you simply move the movement stick in the direction you want to travel and alternatively release and press the two hand buttons.

https://gameintrospection.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/gonehome_climbing.gif

To climb leap, you actually have to let go of both hands, quickly press both triggers while holding the movement stick forward to kick upwards, and then grab on with both hands again. So it's very similar to how it would be done in AC2. Similarly, to wall eject you simply let go of the hand buttons and press both triggers to kick off. If you do this while pushing the movement stick sideways, your wall eject will go to that side. Simple. In Syndicate you can pop up small walls if you press the 'parkour up' button at the right time. Similarly, if you press both triggers as you hit the wall before you start climbing, you will quickly pop up if it is a low enough wall.

When coming to a jump, you simply just continue running. The faster you are running, the further you can jump. There is also the idea of conserving momentum, because you an go from slow to fast instantaneously. If you hold the two triggers before landing, when you hit the other end you will do a precision. So if you're striding along some bars and want to stop, you can't just let go of the triggers, or your momentum will carry you forward and you will fall off. You actually have to stop with a precision. If you press the two triggers just before impact, you will roll, just like in Unity or Syndicate with the B/circle button. When coming to a bar to swing on, you have to press both hand buttons.

Another big change with this system is the vaulting. No longer do you simply press a button as you come up to an obstacle and watch your character carry out a randomly selected vault animation. As you come up to the obstacle, depending on what combination of triggers and button you press, you will do a different vault. To do a speed vault, you simply press one of the hand buttons. If you're coming to the obstacle at an angle, the hand you press will determine the vault. The outer hand (facing away from the obstacle) will initiate a speed vault, the inner hand will allow you to perform a lazy vault (if going fast enough however, both hands will produce a speed vault). To do a safety vault, you press one hand button and the opposite leg trigger. To to a dash vault, you press both hands simultaneously.

Doing a kong vault is slightly different, because it involves a dive. At any point while running, you can press both triggers to do a dive roll. This can be used to dodge bullets like in Unity, or even pass over obstacles. If you do this as you come to an obstacle, and then quickly press both hand buttons, you will do a kong vault. If you guys don't know what all these vaults are, here's a video that shows them all:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgZCnnrndFI

So yeah, that's pretty much the idea. It's very similar to the first few games in many ways, especially when climbing walls. Then there just a few additions like the running and climbing controls (which are very similar to Grow Home's system). The ability to control the vaults is also the main mechanic this system introduces. As I said before, it's pretty much just a more advanced version of the puppeteer system. By tying the triggers and buttons to the arms and legs, the system suddenly becomes much more realistic and it opens up a lot of options because you can control very specific movements with the right combinations. I cannot see this being used in an AC game, because it may interfere with other controls, and is a bit too complex. But I would love to see a game built exclusively for parkour that uses something similar. If you made it this far, what do you think of it? Could something like this work and would you prefer this to the current system?

cawatrooper9
09-22-2016, 08:08 PM
I like the innovative attitude, and it's true that some of the charm of parkour has been lost as the series has attempted to make it more fluid. Still, I'm a little hesitant to have each limb be represented by a specific button- at some point, I feel like that's basically just asking for AC to become a AAA version of QWOP Runner.

Ideally, freerunning would be as fluid as possible (a la Unity) but still afford a strong degree of control to the player (AC1-ACR). I think to accomplish this, three things need to be merged- a dedicated "jump" button", the very strong distinction between low and high profile actions in AC1 and the Parkour Up/Down buttons of recent games.

So, imagine a case like this- an Assassin is runningtoward a sawhorse.

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/af/af17d499-3aff-4244-a3e4-2933229e96ec_400.jpg

With these options, there are several ways of approaching this. Low profile would be quieter, but slower, while high profile is loud and fast:

Low profile:
Parkour up- slide over sawhorse, or (alternatively) do a short hop over it assisted by both hands.
Parkour down- Crouch under sawhorse, slowing momentum

High profile:
Parkour up- Vault over sawhorse
Parkour down- Slide under sawhorse, conserving a good deal of momentum

Also, the jump button, while able to manually allow jumps, would also contextually be linked to mounting items. So, in this scenario-

Jump: Mount sawhorse.


Just a thought. :D

SixKeys
09-22-2016, 08:09 PM
That sounds waaaay too complex to be fun. I would probably stick to the streets if I knew that climbing a building involved even more button-mashing than the old puppeteer system.

BananaBlighter
09-22-2016, 08:35 PM
Yeah, fluididty is a big issue with this system, especially with climbing. Just look at Grow Home! That's why to try and address this I proposed making it more automatic. You just have to do the action and the game will do the climbing for you. It probably would end up looking similar to how you climb leap in AC2.

I'm not saying I would prefer this system. Ideally I would have Unity controls, AC3 animations but with a little more precision required, almost like AC1. I have argued in the past why we're going to have to take a little control away from the player if we want fluidity, especially with the more complex environments that we have now. One of the main things I talked about was the grab ledge thing in AC1. It was a neat mechanic that could almost be considered an early controlled descent (though it is also used for saving yourself from a fall after a jump). However because the player had control over when to grab, the game had to correct the animation constantly, and it looked very choppy. Now look at Unity where it's all automatic, but damn does it look good!

Can you imagine running around London or Paris with AC1's parkour system? It would look horiffic. It wasn't too bad in the first few games because the worlds were really blocky. But now that we're going back to Egypt we can expect the cities to go back to something similar. And if it is possible to get something like this to have the quality of animation of AC1, then it shouldn't be too bad in blocky cities.

I don't really like how parkour looks in the first few games, but a lot of people on these forums seem to be fine with sacrificing that for more control, so I just took it to the extreme and thought, how can I make a system that gives as much control to the player as possible, and involves the most realism?

Fatal-Feit
09-22-2016, 08:52 PM
I like the innovative attitude, and it's true that some of the charm of parkour has been lost as the series has attempted to make it more fluid. Still, I'm a little hesitant to have each limb be represented by a specific button- at some point, I feel like that's basically just asking for AC to become a AAA version of QWOP Runner.

Ideally, freerunning would be as fluid as possible (a la Unity) but still afford a strong degree of control to the player (AC1-ACR). I think to accomplish this, three things need to be merged- a dedicated "jump" button", the very strong distinction between low and high profile actions in AC1 and the Parkour Up/Down buttons of recent games.

So, imagine a case like this- an Assassin is runningtoward a sawhorse.

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/af/af17d499-3aff-4244-a3e4-2933229e96ec_400.jpg

With these options, there are several ways of approaching this. Low profile would be quieter, but slower, while high profile is loud and fast:

Low profile:
Parkour up- slide over sawhorse, or (alternatively) do a short hop over it assisted by both hands.
Parkour down- Crouch under sawhorse, slowing momentum

High profile:
Parkour up- Vault over sawhorse
Parkour down- Slide under sawhorse, conserving a good deal of momentum

Also, the jump button, while able to manually allow jumps, would also contextually be linked to mounting items. So, in this scenario-

Jump: Mount sawhorse.


Just a thought. :D

This. Admittedly, I stopped reading after the second paragraph because I believe making parkour more 'realistic' and requiring more buttons is the wrong way to provide more control and challenge. Ideally, what you want is to have the most simple and intuitive system that can provide a good amount of depth and mastery. I feel like AC1-ACR's control scheme does it well and Unity simply lacked polishing.

With the future AC games, they should take what they designed in Unity and try to reimagine it from the ground up. Redo the system, the pacing, and redesign some animations so they don't overlap too much. Oh, and most importantly, players should have more limitations in their jumping distance that match AC1-ACB, so they can take advantage of the environment and plan their navigation more often.

D.I.D.
09-22-2016, 11:32 PM
I love Grow Home and Grow Up. I particularly love the climbing system. It's become especially rewarding since I've been bouldering - it really captures the fun and stresses of climbing.

However, it works because BUD is a robot and because the simplistic graphic style is very forgiving of the attendant glitches. His limbs are jointless, hovering chunks for a reason, and sometimes they pop off past each other. Fine for a robot, horrifying on a human model. They can't set animation rules for a human to say "do not let the arms and legs cross past each other" because you constantly need to do this when bouldering.

Farlander1991
09-23-2016, 07:27 AM
What I've always believed the AC parkour system needs, being an open world game, is not more complexity in controls, but more choices.

There's one mechanic from ACR that I really really like and that has always been overlooked, and that's the interaction with corner-lamps. You either don't press a button do turn around the corner, or you hold a button to launch yourself forward.

Now what happens is that:
a) this affects level design both of the open-world and of the tomb-like levels
b) whenever players see a lamp, they don't just mindlessly jump to it, they think what they want to do

If a system like this would've been expanded to the point where you have a bunch of objects with two possible actions depending on if you hold or don't a button, then what would happen is the player would get a bunch of choices during parkour, thus making it more engaging, without making it too overcomplicated for the open-world setting (after all, this is not Prince of Persia with linear or semi-linear environments where you can design environments specifically in a way so the player would control character's every action).

SixKeys
09-23-2016, 01:42 PM
What I've always believed the AC parkour system needs, being an open world game, is not more complexity in controls, but more choices.

There's one mechanic from ACR that I really really like and that has always been overlooked, and that's the interaction with corner-lamps. You either don't press a button do turn around the corner, or you hold a button to launch yourself forward.

Now what happens is that:
a) this affects level design both of the open-world and of the tomb-like levels
b) whenever players see a lamp, they don't just mindlessly jump to it, they think what they want to do

If a system like this would've been expanded to the point where you have a bunch of objects with two possible actions depending on if you hold or don't a button, then what would happen is the player would get a bunch of choices during parkour, thus making it more engaging, without making it too overcomplicated for the open-world setting (after all, this is not Prince of Persia with linear or semi-linear environments where you can design environments specifically in a way so the player would control character's every action).

This reminds me of something I've occasionally pondered which is that in the right context, automated parkour can be really fun. The problem with the current system isn't so much that it requires little effort, it's the imprecision that's frustrating. The reason the devs changed the puppeteer system was supposedly to introduce more fluidity to the parkour, but we haven't really seen that in practice. When I think of the most fun parkour moves in the series, they're all automated animations to some degree.

Leap of faith - you only need to press the jump button and you get a graceful, cinematic fall.
Parkour down - I'm specifically thinking of the "base jump" we saw in the Unity E3 demo where Arno simply flings himself down from Notre Dame, seemingly in a random direction, and effortlessly does a little twirl around a flagpole. In 99% of the game though, parkour down still means a slow, meticulous descent instead of the desired fluidity.
Corner lamps - fun for the reasons you mentioned, they bring variety into level design while requiring minimal effort from the user.
Connor escaping through a window and emerging on the other side - the whole run through the house is automated, yet it doesn't really bother me because it's just so fun to watch.
Shay sliding down using a flag. Edward swinging on a rope. Ezio using lifts. I'm sure there are more examples. Playing PoP: Sands of Time lately, my favorite move is wall-running. I could do that all day. It's easily the most automated yet exhilarating move to perform.

I daresay that regardless of control scheme preferences, what all players wants is the feeling of fluidity and grace. We want to build up a momentum and then keep it going, never having to stumble and lose that momentum because the game misread your intentions. We want to look badass while outrunning enemies with special moves. We want to jump off churches and land with flair. Chase-breaker animations are great for all that. They may require little input from the player, but they're oh-so-satisfying when you get that momentum going. They don't break the parkour, they enhance it.

Perhaps the answer isn't to make parkour more complex but to simplify it further, to where building up the momentum would be the challenge and the satisfaction would come from chaining as many special moves together as possible to create the most fluid freerunning experience.

Dieinthedark
09-23-2016, 10:18 PM
I think that there is a problem with the reliance on parkour in AC. Hear me out, every game since ACR has touted some way to improve/increase free running speed and to make it more fluid. But eventually there comes a limit. You can't streamline it any faster unless the game is spitting out four or so automated routes drawn on screen matching the colors of the face buttons and you just hold a button and run a precalculated path. The path could have exits and such with other face buttons but eventually, the only way to get past a certain speed/fluidity is to remove player control in some degree. And to me that just doesn't make sense; you don't want to remove player control in any degree if you're playing a game. Otherwise you start to lose the interactivity of a game and stops being....well...a game.

Additionally, there's another problem. The reason that parkour keeps getting faster and more fluid is because the devs want us to feel empowered to quickly navigate a city. Let's just compare the ever popular AC2 to Unity (because I refuse to play to Syndicate). Specifically let's compare the map sizes.
http://guides.gamepressure.com/assassinscreedii/gfx/word/450747234.jpg
http://shinigaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/acunity2.jpg

Big difference right? But what do we as the player gain by having a city this big? We get a sense of scale, it makes the city seem more believable perhaps but as far as gameplay, there are no opportunities that a bigger city allows. It's just more space to do stuff, more area to run around, and more areas to explore. But when has AC been about exploring? That borders more closely to an RPG game which AC is definitely not. Sure we can find collectibles and get trophies or gamerscore and in game currency but currency has always been in surplus in any AC game. So there's no real need to explore a big city; certainly you can and you can appreciate it and get lost in the design of the game/city but there isn't a gameplay reason that you NEED to.

Now you could argue its so that you can learn the city to be able to navigate it more quickly. But I pose a question; how many of us ever felt like if somebody handed you a controller and you just picked up Unity in the middle of Paris, and without opening your map, could navigate to a specific point, how many of us could do that? I know I certainly could not. The starting levels of Unity were highly trafficked but I never felt like I learned the layout of the city.

Pose that same scenario to your choice of map in AC2; someone hands you the controller and asks you to navigate (without the map) to a specific point. Personally I'd say that's pretty doable.

So what does this have to do with parkour? Well, I would argue that it doesn't need to be faster or more fluid, so long as you have level design that doesn't dictate that you need it. If the maps are comparatively small to what we've been given with Unity/Syndicate, more on the scale of Istanbul or Florence, then all you really need is a functioning parkour system. Not faster, not smarter, not automated, just functional. Personally, I miss the days of AC1 when you could see that you need to climb a specific viewpoint and it became a puzzle of, that looks like a handhold, how can I get there? Slow and methodical. Assassin's should rule the rooftops, facing occasional guards or pursuing agiles. That should be the only measurement for how fast/fluid the parkour is.

//end wall of text :D

JamesFaith007
09-24-2016, 02:09 PM
No, I don't think it would be good idea. Such parkour can work in game based mostly on climbing and parkour but not in hybrid game like AC.

Just imagine situation when you met group on guards and after frantic combat you need to escape by climbing on house. In matter of second you would need to fast action to slow planning parkour. And it would be much worse for PC players who play on keyboard.

Ubi-Banshee
09-26-2016, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I'm going to bump this thread for the team, so please do any other ideas/feedback you have! :o

cawatrooper9
09-26-2016, 08:00 PM
Now you could argue its so that you can learn the city to be able to navigate it more quickly. But I pose a question; how many of us ever felt like if somebody handed you a controller and you just picked up Unity in the middle of Paris, and without opening your map, could navigate to a specific point, how many of us could do that? I know I certainly could not. The starting levels of Unity were highly trafficked but I never felt like I learned the layout of the city.

Pose that same scenario to your choice of map in AC2; someone hands you the controller and asks you to navigate (without the map) to a specific point. Personally I'd say that's pretty doable.


I think there's a happy medium to be found there. While I do find Paris to be one of the most beautifully forgettable cities in the whole series, I also wouldn't like a city where I feel like I completely know the layout because simply of the fact that it is small and easy to learn.

Personally, I think London did a good job of this- the various districts were unique enough to help get your bearings, while the game itself still presented a realistic enough sense of scale. ,

D.I.D.
09-27-2016, 04:46 AM
But what do we as the player gain by having a city this big? We get a sense of scale, it makes the city seem more believable perhaps but as far as gameplay, there are no opportunities that a bigger city allows.

I disagree with this. If a game area the size of Firenze had an underground tunnel system, there wouldn't be enough of it to make any sense of it being there. One of the fresh joys of Unity was the ability to use underground tunnels for unexpected new uses. I thought there would be artificial white glitch walls to prevent me from, for instance, exploiting my knowledge of the tunnels to get into the major assassination strongholds but there was none of that. Unity was maybe a little too hand-holding in terms of showing me exactly what I could exploit in the environment to gain an advantage, but the scale allowed us to use other methods for getting up and over or under those defences.

Not only that, but the 1:1 scale of buildings allowed us to do more inside a building, which was great for gameplay. It could not really be done in those old small maps, otherwise the big buildings would eat up too much of that space. The map needed to expand with it.


It's just more space to do stuff, more area to run around, and more areas to explore. But when has AC been about exploring?

Always, for me. This was the big change from PoP to AC imo. The ability to use the full size of an area instead of being funnelled down a linear path was huge, largely for gameplay, but also for variety. Obviously once I'd seen everything in AC1 it was no longer about exploring, but when I first set out to every place and looked around, I definitely felt the pleasure of exploring. AC2 extended that idea, as did ACB. I spent large amounts of time just wandering and checking out buildings. I'm sure if the technology and construction tools would have supported it back then, Désilets would have wanted to enrich that environment even further. It's clearly where his ambitions lay; they put far more effort than necessary into visiting and capturing as much as possible of the real places, which many games to this day do not (looking at you, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided).


Now you could argue its so that you can learn the city to be able to navigate it more quickly. But I pose a question; how many of us ever felt like if somebody handed you a controller and you just picked up Unity in the middle of Paris, and without opening your map, could navigate to a specific point, how many of us could do that? I know I certainly could not. The starting levels of Unity were highly trafficked but I never felt like I learned the layout of the city.

I can, 100%. That's not really the point, though. The point is that these games have always stressed historical tourism, and it's always been a frustration for me that we only get so much of a city. Paris is one of my favourite maps in AC because, despite some compromise, you get the whole city. Syndicate couldn't represent all of London so we only got a handful of boroughs. It's plenty big enough as a map, but in terms of the tourism I'd have been happy to see more.

Dieinthedark
09-27-2016, 06:22 AM
I disagree with this. If a game area the size of Firenze had an underground tunnel system, there wouldn't be enough of it to make any sense of it being there. One of the fresh joys of Unity was the ability to use underground tunnels for unexpected new uses. I thought there would be artificial white glitch walls to prevent me from, for instance, exploiting my knowledge of the tunnels to get into the major assassination strongholds but there was none of that. Unity was maybe a little too hand-holding in terms of showing me exactly what I could exploit in the environment to gain an advantage, but the scale allowed us to use other methods for getting up and over or under those defences.

I may disagree, but I'm curious as to why you think, "there wouldn't be enough of it to make any sense"? Firenze wasn't small by any means, at least not on its own; sure, comparatively it is now but back then, was it really? Did you think it was small when playing AC2 the first time? To me I can't help but think that if the world is at least moderately sized, having tunnels is having tunnels. The gameplay doesn't change whether there's 10 miles or a 100 miles; both of them allow transportation to areas of the map in new ways (not above ground). I do agree having tunnels was nice, I just disagree that they have to exist in a massive world for them to offer true gameplay opportunity.



Not only that, but the 1:1 scale of buildings allowed us to do more inside a building, which was great for gameplay. It could not really be done in those old small maps, otherwise the big buildings would eat up too much of that space. The map needed to expand with it.


I will respectfully, but strongly, disagree with you here. I could not begin to count the number of times I had camera issues while indoors preventing me from capturing that same AC feeling while moving inside. The combat, the parkour, I don't feel like any of that fits with indoor environments. Its game breaking to me, its like what doesn't seem to belong here? That's just my personal opinion. I didn't mind jumping through open windows and going out the other side. But infiltrating mansions and the like...indoor stealth is exactly the reason Ubi has the Splinter Cell franchise. I'll gladly listen to your rebuttal, and I may not have any more to add to this specific topic, but you can't change my opinion on this one ;)




Always, for me. This was the big change from PoP to AC imo. The ability to use the full size of an area instead of being funnelled down a linear path was huge, largely for gameplay, but also for variety. Obviously once I'd seen everything in AC1 it was no longer about exploring, but when I first set out to every place and looked around, I definitely felt the pleasure of exploring. AC2 extended that idea, as did ACB. I spent large amounts of time just wandering and checking out buildings. I'm sure if the technology and construction tools would have supported it back then, Désilets would have wanted to enrich that environment even further. It's clearly where his ambitions lay; they put far more effort than necessary into visiting and capturing as much as possible of the real places, which many games to this day do not (looking at you, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided).

I agree that open-world freedom is definitely a requirement of AC, and exploring does allow you, the player, to become more familiar with the layout of the land and decide how best to approach your targets. I've spent my fair share of time just wandering around as well so I'm not fully disagreeing with you here. The problem for me is that exploring doesn't yield you anything more than personal satisfaction, which may be fine for some. And sure, there's occasional loot to find but you end up selling it, to make money, which you've always got more than enough of anyway. So there's no gameplay purpose is what I'm getting at. My idea would be that rather than having viewpoints unhaze a section of the map, still have that functionality but reduce its effect to more believable sections of the map and the rest would have to be unhazed by exploring. More significant random encounters I think would also help to spice things up. Basically make exploring an adventure in and of itself.

**I know this is AC forums but I'll briefly mention Skyrim. Exploring is backed by gameplay as you find new characters, new quests, new weapons, new loot, etc as you explore. In AC, you synch up all your viewpoints and can follow the map to the next objective of your choosing. Its almost too accessible to have any sort of "reward" for exploring.



I can, 100%. That's not really the point, though. The point is that these games have always stressed historical tourism, and it's always been a frustration for me that we only get so much of a city. Paris is one of my favourite maps in AC because, despite some compromise, you get the whole city. Syndicate couldn't represent all of London so we only got a handful of boroughs. It's plenty big enough as a map, but in terms of the tourism I'd have been happy to see more.

Valid point, I can't argue with opinion, only present my own. I appreciate the work the devs wen to create a 1:1 scale (roughly) but that didn't make the game any more special to me than the others. Any more, a game is only as good as its weakest link it seems, so while Paris was great, I didn't enjoy as much because I didn't find the story appealing or the gameplay balanced. Personally, I'd rather have a map that's balanced in size for ease of traversal and ability to familiarize yourself with the land, than have a massive world just for the sake of being massive.


I think there's a happy medium to be found there. While I do find Paris to be one of the most beautifully forgettable cities in the whole series, I also wouldn't like a city where I feel like I completely know the layout because simply of the fact that it is small and easy to learn.

Personally, I think London did a good job of this- the various districts were unique enough to help get your bearings, while the game itself still presented a realistic enough sense of scale. ,

I agree, I happy medium could be found. For me I think it was Istanbul. It wasn't my favorite city overall but I think the size was a great balance. I too do not want a game world that I know like the back of my hand. But areas around where objectives/targets are, I'd like to feel like I've got the upper hand. And I have not played Syndicate so I can't comment on that.