Melee Combat Design

At the end of Alpha, I was trained on how the hand to hand combat system worked for Bourne. I became responsible for the integrity of the hand to hand combat system working with animators, programmers and cinematic designers.

We had a four month long Beta period on Bourne and at the start, my boss asked me what I would change to improve the last five boss battles. I developed tuning recommendations for each boss that were subsequently approved and can be seen in the videos provided below.

Boss Tuning

Solomon III – The player fights Solomon three times in the game, each fight getting progressively harder. To accomplish this, I made the following tuning adjustments: higher health, decreased time to enter blocking mode if the player spams a combo, increased blocking probability multiplier, increased chance to chain attacks and decreased the amount of time in between attacks. The tuning adjustments may be viewed in the video below.

Divandelin – This dramatic fight on an airborne cargo plane was fun to tune. Divandelin was escaping prison and I wanted him to fight like he had nothing to lose by tuning several values: giving him a fast attack speed, reduced time between attacks, high blocking probability and to counter how fast I had to tuned him to be, I didn’t alter his damage multiplier like with Solomon III. The fight can be seen in the video below:

Castel – Castel and Divandelin share a fight set so I had to adjust several tuning variables to help differentiate the two fights as much as I could. First, I made Castel faster than Divandelin but not have as good a chance to chain attacks. Second, I gave Castel a higher percentage chance to perform a takedown but set Divandeli to deal more damage on a takedown. Lastly, I gave Castel a higher percentage to block but do not allow Castel to block for as long as Divandelin. The fight can be seen in the video below:

Professor & Manheim – The Professor and Manheim share the same fight set and I needed to adjust tuning values again to try and make it not feel repetitive. The difference I tried to convey was that Manheim would deal more damage and have higher health but the Professor would attack faster and be more likely to block. The two different fights can be seen in the following videos.

Start the professor video at the 5 minute mark to see the fight:

Manheim fight video: