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Last updated on Oct-18-2019 Download

Best beat'em up button control

Best beat'em up button control
by on (#60889)
What do you guy think ? I might think about doing a beat em up game (although it's just vaguely a dream).
Is it better to do "Double Dragon Style" :
A = Puch
B = Kick
A+B = Jump

Or "Battletoads / Mighty Final Fight style" :
A = Jump
B = Attack (CPU decides whenever punch, kick or whatever is used)

I think it's good to let the user decide if it uses puch or kicks, but pressing A and B at the same time for jump is really bad, so a game using that would not require the user to do much jump.

Personally I'd probably go for Battletoads style control but with some extra, for example the CPU automatically does a kick if you're far to the oponant, and a puch otherwise. Or to always do puches, but finish off with a kick.
Another problem is that with oblique projection it's impossible to duck with down button (since it'll be used to move down). So I think about the combo down+A for ducking. Might be a little painful as you'll move down a few pixels before ducking, but at least it'll be better than nothing at all. Also a cool combo could be down+A then B, so duck, and then use a special upper-cut move.

by on (#60893)
Quote:
I think it's good to let the user decide if it uses puch or kicks, but pressing A and B at the same time for jump is really bad


Agreed on both points.

What about B while standing = punch
B+direction = kick

leaving A for jump, and A+B for special move a la TMNT series (although Select might be a better option for special move. I was never a fan of A+B in any genre).

Quote:
So I think about the combo down+A for ducking


But then how would you jump downward?


Anyway I was never really a fan of beat 'em ups. With the exception of Battletoads which doesn't really count because the beat-em-up part is just the glue that holds it together and not the main focus of the game.

by on (#60896)
Quote:
But then how would you jump downward?

Mmh good point ! I guess jump without direction then pressing down could do the trick. But yes this could be somewhat ackward.
Quote:
Agreed on both points.

What about B while standing = punch
B+direction = kick

Well this could be a great idea although in some case it'd be hard to control if a kick or a punch will come if you just do it when you stop or star moving. Anyways, it's always better if the character does a puch instead of a kick or a kick instead of a puch than if you fail to jump as you wanted.
Quote:


leaving A for jump, and A+B for special move a la TMNT series (although Select might be a better option for special move. I was never a fan of A+B in any genre).

Yeah not only it sounds hard to code, but also ackward to the player so I'd avoid using anything with A+B. The jump kick in Double Dragon is terribly hard to do because you have to do A+B 2 times and have them pressed at the exact same time. I'd rather do special attacks based on timed combos (which sound un-exciting if there is only one attack button, but at least it might be easier to code).

by on (#60897)
What about A by itself = jump, hold down A = kick? Or vice versa, but I think it's more important for a jump to come out immediately when you need one.

The moment's hesitation where the game decides whether you're holding the button or tapping it can serve to emphasize that the kick is stronger than the punch. You're "charging it up" for a few frames.

by on (#60898)
This might be kind of awkward, but possibly 'select' for duck?

by on (#60899)
UncleSporky wrote:
What about A by itself = jump, hold down A = kick? Or vice versa, but I think it's more important for a jump to come out immediately when you need one.

The moment's hesitation where the game decides whether you're holding the button or tapping it can serve to emphasize that the kick is stronger than the punch. You're "charging it up" for a few frames.


I wouldn't want an attack button to also be a jump button, but holding the attack button down for a slower, stronger attack might work well.

by on (#60902)
I agree with everyone who says that jumping is more important than differentiating between punching and kicking, so dedicating a button just for jumping is what I'd do. 'Attack' alone could punch, while 'attack' + directions would perform different attacks (kicks and so on). Maybe that could be implemented by waiting for a direction to be pressed a couple frames after 'attack' is pressed, and if none is, punch. Do you think a 2-frame delay will make the punches feel slow?

Ian A wrote:
This might be kind of awkward, but possibly 'select' for duck?

IMO, using select for actions should only be done if that action isn't used very often. Ducking is probably a very frequent action, so I don't think this is a good idea.

Maybe the second button could duck when no direction is pressed and jump when a direction is used. This might be a good idea if ducking is mainly used to dodge attacks and stuff, while jumping is used to evade or move quickly, in which case you'd press a direction anyway, rather then jump in place. While ducking, the directions can be used with the 'attack' button for different attacks (such as the uppercut).

You could also implement rolling by tapping a direction twice. That's a lot of moves for just a few buttons, and doesn't use the awkwardly placed 'select' button.

by on (#60904)
I like the attack / jump button combination. It's pretty typical to the Final-Fight-style games.

All the arcade Double Dragon games used 3 buttons, so there was going to be a compromise. Pressing A+B sucks (the "dogbone" controller included with the NES2 is maybe better suited for it than the usual controller).

I imagine you want to move the character on a Z-axis. If not, the the up button is obviously good for it. I thought the Konami arcade version of Yie Ar Kung-Fu had great controls, but that was more one-on-one and was fairly complex.

by on (#60909)
Being able to move on the Z axis definitely makes things more complicated, because you loose up and down which are often used to jump and duck... I can't think of another way to duck other than dedicating a button specifically for this action. I guess this is the scheme I'd try first:

Directions: move;
A: punch;
A + directions: different attacks;
B: duck;
B twice: jump;

We can't really be sure a control scheme is good until we play the game, so you just might have to experiment with it once there is an engine working...

by on (#60911)
If you can move up or down to dodge stuff, then also ducking to dodge stuff might be redundant. Most of these types of games involve a lot of walking up and down to avoid or line up an attack, you can only hit stuff left and right, these games were never known for any kind of realism, heheh.

If it is just 2 dimensional though, with platforms even, that changes things quite a bit. One good game in 2d that comes to mind is the Konami's arcade game Shaolin's Road, I don't know if there was an NES/FC version. But it's a lot more fun than Kung-Fu, IMHO.

by on (#60914)
I'm partial to the scheme used in The Subspace Emissary, a side-view beat-em-up for Wii.

A: quick normal attack
A+Direction: strong normal attacks
B: special attack
B+Direction: different special attacks
Up: jump

So you could have A for punch, forward+A for kick, up+A for uppercut, and down+A for sweep kick.

by on (#60919)
What about good ol' Turtles in Time?

by on (#60924)
Memblers wrote:
If you can move up or down to dodge stuff, then also ducking to dodge stuff might be redundant.


This. If it's easier to move up and down to dodge, I'll do that instead.

I've been thinking about this a bit and this is what I've got.

In your game you have high priority actions and low ones. High priority actions get their own button, lower priority ones either have a combination of buttons; use a secondary button, such as start or select; or are contextual, like the B button in Super Mario Brother, or how Down ducks in Ninja Gaiden, but climbs down when you're on a wall.

The NES has 6 buttons for high priority actions and 2 secondary action buttons. You're using 4 for directional movement, and the other two for attack and jump. We'll consider other attacks with multiple button presses as secondary.

You're using all the high priority buttons, so something has to be secondary.

tl;dr Maybe double tap down to duck?


Also I'm half asleep, so I apologize if this post is all NES Rom maker.

by on (#60929)
Thanks for the answers. I noticed the opinions are very varied. Personally I'd never use Select or Start for anything directly gameplay related, those buttons are hard to reach when playing and should only be used to pause the game, open menus or switch between weapons, etc...

Yes I was having moving in all directions in mind (with oblique projection), so up and down are already taken. I really hate up for jump, except in 2-players fighting games, but other than that jump should really be done with it's own button which will respond immediately.

Memblers and Ian A are probably right about ducking not being so essential if you can already move up down. So the "definite" solution is IMO :
D-Pad : Move
A : Jump
B : Attack, the attack is different depending on what D-Pad button is pressed and if the character is jumping.

by on (#60942)
Fair enough, jumping is high enough priority that it belongs on its own button, and we're used to holding down jump to go higher so if we have a "hold" move for that button it'll throw people off.

But please consider a "hold" move for the attack button, I like the idea of pressing the button longer for a stronger attack.

Oh, I know what might be good for both buttons at once: a throw! Maybe make it so that you can press and hold either button, and when that action is finished you can press the other one too to attempt a throw.

by on (#60950)
I'd go with combo attack button that punches, kicks, grabs, throws depending on context and does a special attack when charged.

by on (#61330)
Whichever way you go, there's a lot of move control you can add based off of context. Just as an example:

Double Dragon 2:
a = punch
b = kick
a+b = jump
-> after the opponent's been hit = grab
a while the opponent's grabbed = knee to the face
down + a while the opponents grabbed = elbow to the head
b while the opponents grabbed = throw
a after landing or retrieving from fall = uppercut
a+b after landing = the knee from hell
a+b after jumping = spin kick
b after getting up from a fall? = knee

Double Dragon 1 also had a meter that went up with your score or something. The meter determined what kind of moves you could do besides punch and kick as well. So your character got more badass as the game progressed.

by on (#61334)
Make it like Action 52 where you just bash the A button.

by on (#61335)
CKY-2K/Clay Man wrote:
Make it like Action 52 where you just bash the A button.


But then you'd be forced to steal music from Ed Bogas.

by on (#61336)
CKY-2K/Clay Man wrote:
Make it like Action 52 where you just bash the A button.


Are you describing Action 52 or every beat 'em up ever made?

by on (#61565)
Ever thought of using the Start or Select button, you b00nz?

by on (#61568)
JohnJohn wrote:
Ever thought of using the Start or Select button, you b00nz?


Select was mentioned in the second post as has been discussed since. Start was mentioned in post 13. Then, in post 14 the person who started the topic said he'd rather not use them.

So... yes. It's been thought of.

by on (#61615)
OK, then how about using the reset button on the console? Wouldn't that be an option for a third button?

by on (#61616)
Intercourse no.

Things like reset tend to get removed on later cost-cut revisions of a console and on emulators. Witness the 1993 X-Men game for Sega Genesis that uses the reset button to advance a cutscene halfway through and thus won't play past that point on a Nomad. Does PocketNES even support the reset button?