This post is me imitating to be a game designer at Guerrilla Games while working on Horizon Zero Dawn.
So I’ve tried to emulate how I would look to document the feature if I was working within the team. With Forbidden West released, this is a good throwback opportunity to get one of my old breakdown documents out!
I would highly recommend reading this breakdown in PDF document format through this link!
I blame WordPress for readability issues.
Enable Aloy to maintain stealth while maintaining character momentum.
Provide a “sense of control” to avoid player autonomy frustrations.
Actively utilize the action both in traversal and combat.
Let LDs be metric informed, not metric enforced (Guerrilla Games Mantra).
- Batman Arkham Knight(LINK); Not so low in height, but it is what we should be aiming for.
- Vanquish(LINK); This one’s okay, the layered actions are good, but the distance is ultra-exaggerated.
- Scavengers(LINK); This one’s good, but is more action focused per our requirements.
While in Sprint, the player can initiate Aloy’s “Slide Action” in character facing direction on pressing “Crouch” Input.
- The action can be initiated while a weapon is in hand / is sheathed.
- 360° camera control is to be allowed while Slide is active.
- On initiation, Aloy is to travel a default distance of [4m] in [1sec] while shifting to [0.9m] character height.
- The animation distance covered may vary depending on collisions with high angle slopes / objects.
- If forward analog stick input is provided while default Slide is about to end, Aloy is to transition from Slide ➔ Slide Extra.
- Slide Extra is to begin by obtaining a speed between [0.5m/s – 2m/s] per [0-1] of forward analog stick input.
- For example; If the Player begins Slide Extra with full forward analog stick pressure, the speed obtained is to be equivalent to [2m/s].
- But if the Player begins Slide Extra with half forward analog stick pressure, the speed obtained is to be equivalent to [1m/s].
- Speed once obtained, cannot increase in value, and can only decrease.
- The speed value derived is to gradually decrease by an exponential speed
curve; Reference max. speed [2m/s] per max. time [3sec].
- The Slide speed value can be manually overridden by reduction in forward analog stick pressure.
- Aloy is to exit Slide when speed drops under [0.5m/s].
- The intention is to comfortably let the Slide extend distance, providing variance to LD placements, while slowly draining the momentum obtained.
SLIDE SLOPE ANGLES:
- Slide speed deceleration curve is to be proportionate per world slope angles.
- The intention is to let the Slide momentum stay shorter / longer depending on upward / downward slopes.
- Upward slope; Reference max. time [2sec].
- Downward slope; Reference max. time [4sec].
- Aloy is to be blocked by [>75°] of upward slope angles while in Slide.
- Slide exits to ➔ Free Fall on facing steep [>90°] downward slope angles.
- Player can steer Aloy left / right with a turn rate speed of [0.25m/s – 0.5m/s] depending on [0-1] of left / right analog stick pressure while in Slide Extra.
- The intention is to enhance player control to influence Slide ending position, while providing variance to LD placements.
- While in Slide, if not already unsheathed, Aloy can unsheathe weapon on Aim Input.
- While the weapon is unsheathed, Aloy can apply “Aim” action by Aim Input.
- AIM: Aloy upper body, while applying a layered “Weapon Aim” animation, is to morph according to camera facing direction (max. morph angle assigned; 180°).
- Aloy is to exit Slide while trying to turn beyond max. morph angle assigned.
- SHOOT: Aloy while aiming weapon, can initiate Shoot.
- The intention is to retain all weapon abilities while Slide is active.
- Aloy is to apply a layared auto-sheathe animation in [10sec] of not utilizing Aim action.
- On initiation, NPC audio perception will drop from Sprint  ➔ Slide .
- The intention is to let Aloy stay nimble and quiet while switching between covers seamlessly.
- The table below specifies all exit conditions applicable while in slide / post slide to transition to other states.
|EXIT CONDITIONS||TRANSITION TO|
|Default||Post default Slide distance, end in ➔ Crouch state.|
|On Crouch Input||Post default Slide distance, end in ➔ Standing state.|
|On Sprint Input||Post default Slide distance, blend ➔ Sprint using a special transition anim.|
|On Quick Attack Input||Post default Slide distance, blend ➔ Quick Attack using a special transition anim.|
|On Strong Attack Input||Post default Slide distance, blend ➔ Strong Attack using a special transition anim.|
|On Dodge Input||Direct blend-transition ➔ Dodge.|
|On Jump Input||Direct blend-transition ➔ Jump.|
|Hit by an Attack (Damage)||Direct blend-transition ➔ Hurt Reaction applicable.|
My expectations on Slide distance and end position:
- Distance: 4m to 10m, Position: 4m off initiation path.
Controlling the navigation pacing with other states, our focus should be in getting all the parameters specified to the right feel, and maintaining communication with LD / any other dept. for reference.
|Anim||Default Slide Distance||4||Metres|
|Anim||Default Slide Time||1||Seconds|
|Tech||Min. Slide Speed||0.5||Metres / Seconds|
|Tech||Max. Slide Speed||2||Metres / Seconds|
|Tech||Slide Deceleration Curve; Max. Reference Speed||2||Metres / Seconds|
|Tech||Slide Deceleration Curve; Max. Reference Time||3||Seconds|
|Tech||Slide Deceleration Curve; Max. Upward Slope Reference Time||2||Seconds|
|Tech||Slide Deceleration Curve; Max. Downward Slope Reference Time||4||Seconds|
|Tech||Min. Slide Turn Rate||0.25||Metres / Seconds|
|Tech||Max. Slide Turn Rate||0.5||Metres / Seconds|
|Tech Anim||Max. Aim Morph Angle||180||Degrees|
|Tech Anim||Weapon Auto-Sheathe||10||Seconds|
|Tech||Slide Audio Perception||1||Points|
|Tech||Slide Visual Perception||Visible||Boolean|
- Values mentioned in [ ] are considered to be fluid, and are subject to change even after implementation.
- Check to see the possibility of expanding / changing collision while Slide is active (sphere / capsule / size).
- Consider tech to disable Slide action all together in tagged areas / safe zones / exotic navigation events.
- Consider tech to modify Slide time according to surface tags (rocky, wet, mud, dirt, wet grass etc.)
- Consider tech to enable Slide upgrades (distance, speed, vision perception, attacks, abilities).
- Slide action ≠standing / crouching downward slope locomotion.
- Refer to Sprint, Crouch, Free Fall, Shoot, individual documents to know more about connected features.
- Don’t be hesitant to communicate in case of any conflict / query upon proposed design.