I’ve been working quite a bit on the combat system for Bandits and Bounties as that’s (obviously) the most basic, action-centric part of the game, and I want to make it feel right before moving on to other things. Combat in the game falls mostly into two categories: Guns and Melee.
The things I had to keep in mind when developing both the ranged and melee combat were:
1) The combat feels good and has some nice, crunchy feedback to it. The combat should feel like a 90s arcade/console game.
2) The combat should draw from your stats and thus tie in to the RPG elements of the game. Ranged draws primarily from Accuracy and Dexterity, and Melee draws primarily from Strength and Dexterity. (Although I plan to have some attributes you can give your character that might make other stats involved.)
3) The combat has to fit in with the overall flow of the game. Ie. there needed to be hooks in the combat that can play into other mechanics that are or will be in the game. Drawing and holstering your gun, for instance, can effect how NPCs react to you, and thus situations can dictate whether a fist-fight or a gun-fight is a better option.
Guns are obviously a central part of any western, so I began with getting gun combat to work. I’ve made very data-driven guns so that I can easily make new guns and tweak their stats. You are able to holster and draw your gun, which takes a brief amount of time, which means other characters can react. You can then run around and trade shots with your opponent, or you can wait and take a focus shot, which will be more accurate and deal much more damage (this will play into some other mechanics of the game which I’ll talk about later).
On the other side of the equation is the melee combat. You’ll lunge forward at your opponent, and if your fist connects an if your Dexterity is high enough, you’ll be able to follow it up with a couple more quick attacks ultimately sending your opponent flying. If you deal enough damage in a short enough amount of time, you can knock them down.
There are a few more things on top of that, for example being able to use melee to disarm opponents who are drawing their gun, and being able to dash out of the way of attacks, but this covers the basics of the combat in the game.