Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Tackling, a Rethink

On reflection, one of the things that made sensi so simple and fluid was the tackling. Not the slide tackle, but tackling without sliding.

Basically, you ran into the attacker who had the ball and just changed direction when you thought you were close enough. Hopefully you'd come out with the ball. No real concept of a "tackle" mechanic.

As an insight to how the "clash" worked, you could see the cpu "cheat" if you dibbled straight and let him catch you from behind. He'd know the precise time to reverse his direction and come away with the ball.

But, in another twist of fate for sensi play-ability, the user controlled player could also take advantage of this "cheat." Due to the controller a.i. which took into account the direction you are pushing the joystick, you could clock the non-controlled player in your team who is going after the man with the ball, then hold the joystick in the opposite direction. This meant:

a) you wouldn't be switched to control the perusing player until:
b) he reached the appropriate point where he could steal the ball, and since you were already holding the joystick in the opposite direction (preferably away from your goal!), your player would come away with the ball.

We will do something similar, though not identical, in Senseless.

Since we have a hybrid dribbling system (Kick Off + Sensi), the rules for tackling are as follows:

1. When attacking player and tackler are running in a straight line, the core game mechanics will run uninhibited. So in this hypothetical, if the tackler is running faster, he will take over control of the ball by dribbling (knocking it forward) as normal. This could result, for example, in putting the attacker off his timing in changing direction at the right moment to keep control.

2. As long as the attacking player isn't doing some close control (changing direction with the ball under control), then the close control of the tackler (he times it right to change direction when the ball is close enough) will win out.

3. If the attacking player changes direction with the ball under control (close control) in anticipation of a tackle, and the tackler also times his change of direction correctly, then the winner of the clash will be determined by the match engine through comparing the two players dribbling and tackling attributes.

You can see it here. You have to look closely, because the defending players don't have any attacking a.i. programmed, so after the tackle, they are pretty lost. But you can see them pressing the ball and attempting the tackle, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

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