Horizon Zero Dawn: Slide – Feature Breakdown

DISCLAIMER:

This post is me imitating to be a game designer at Guerrilla Games while working on Horizon Zero Dawn.

“I hope this won’t be counted as identity theft”

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!

CLICK HERE!

I would highly recommend reading this breakdown in PDF document format through this link!

I blame WordPress for readability issues.

FEATURE INTENTIONS

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).

REFERENCES:

  • 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.

FEATURE SPECIFICATIONS

While in Sprint, the player can initiate Aloy’s “Slide Action” in character facing direction on pressing “Crouch” Input.

SLIDE ACTION:

  • The action can be initiated while a weapon is in hand / is sheathed.
  • 360° camera control is to be allowed while Slide is active.

DEFAULT SLIDE:

  • 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.

SLIDE EXTRA:

  • 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.

SLIDE TURNS:

  • 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.

SLIDE COMBAT:

  • 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 [3] ➔ Slide [1].
    • The intention is to let Aloy stay nimble and quiet while switching between covers seamlessly.

SLIDE TRANSITIONS:

  • The table below specifies all exit conditions applicable while in slide / post slide to transition to other states.
EXIT CONDITIONSTRANSITION TO
DefaultPost default Slide distance, end in ➔ Crouch state.
On Crouch InputPost default Slide distance, end in ➔ Standing state.
On Sprint InputPost default Slide distance, blend ➔ Sprint using a special transition anim.
On Quick Attack InputPost default Slide distance, blend ➔ Quick Attack using a special transition anim.
On Strong Attack InputPost default Slide distance, blend ➔ Strong Attack using a special transition anim.
On Dodge InputDirect blend-transition ➔ Dodge.
On Jump InputDirect blend-transition ➔ Jump.
Hit by an Attack (Damage)Direct blend-transition ➔ Hurt Reaction applicable.

FEEDBACKS:

CONCLUSION

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.

TYPEPARAMETERS LISTVALUEMETRICS
AnimDefault Slide Distance4Metres
AnimDefault Slide Time1Seconds
TechMin. Slide Speed0.5Metres / Seconds
TechMax. Slide Speed2Metres / Seconds
TechSlide Deceleration Curve; Max. Reference Speed2Metres / Seconds
TechSlide Deceleration Curve; Max. Reference Time3Seconds
TechSlide Deceleration Curve; Max. Upward Slope Reference Time2Seconds
TechSlide Deceleration Curve; Max. Downward Slope Reference Time4Seconds
TechMin. Slide Turn Rate0.25Metres / Seconds
TechMax. Slide Turn Rate0.5Metres / Seconds
Tech AnimMax. Aim Morph Angle180Degrees
Tech AnimWeapon Auto-Sheathe10Seconds
TechSlide Audio Perception1Points
TechSlide Visual PerceptionVisibleBoolean

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • 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.

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