As part of a general cleanup of combat, we’ve decided to try and improve immersion by removing the very gamey suspicion eyeballs that hang over the Wellies’ heads. As part of this, we need to significantly improve both the visual and audio feedback that we give the player about the suspicion states of the AIs. For me this means we need to clean up the combat voice overs. AIs were talking over each other, and you couldn’t tell who was coming after you in a mob of people.
So, one of the things I did this week was trim down some of the Wellie attack lines in Pro Tools (an audio editing program). That allowed us to separate the audio barks into short lines for the Wellies to say while they are smacking you (“Keep CALM!”) and longer lines for the Wellies to say while they’re waiting to smack you (“Why aren’t you happy? You need to be happy!”). Once we’ve done a better job of locating the voices in space (“spatializing”) this should make it easier to identify where the next attack is coming from.
I also wrote more greetings for both NPCs and for the playable character (since everyone’s been asking for them), lines for NPCs to react to night coming on, and lines for Wastrels to react to other Wastrels being in a fight with you.
You should probably soon hear Uncle Jack warning you not to be out at night; you’ll know why ;)
And, Julian Casey (Uncle Jack), my wife Lisa, and I recorded “combat grunts,” i.e., noises people make when they are trying to make you lie down. Those should make combat feel much more visceral.