Rats! And You, In Dungeon Survival

Rat Swarm by Jay Odjick

Rat Swarm by Jay Odjick – (Not affiliated with the game – just for looks! All credit goes to the artist!)

Rats are usually boring enemies in fantasy and medieval games, used to introduce new players to combat, and hardly intended to inspire terror. The exception is usually some sort of giant rat, but that too has limited scare factor when the players are used to fighting giant-everything (spiders, wasps, bats, etc.) any of which is more creepy than a giant rat.

In Dungeon Survival, I want rats to be the first enemy players encounter, not because they will be pushovers, but because they will have some interesting mechanics that will heighten their fear factor and hopefully, do justice to how creepy a bunch of rats in a dungeon would be.

In this post I’ll be going over two aspects of rats in the game, though the first will be about the player.

The Kick Attack

Your character will feature a few basic unarmed attacks. I’ll be going over the kick attack now.

* Physics based – It will work by having a physics volume follow the animation of the kick on the character.
* When the volume connects, it will impart damage on the hit actor, as well as an impulse. Any object that responds to physics will fly out.
* Enemies that take enough of an impact on this stage will go into ragdoll mode.

Rat Behavior

One thing that almost anyone instinctively fears is disease, and in the case of rats, that means them crawling onto you.

* Rats will be able to crawl up the character.
* Using hand motion controls (or a contextual punch attack – more on that in another post) the player can slap the rats off, but it has to be done with enough (in game) force to actually move them.
* Similar to the kick attack, a strong enough hit will make the rats ragdoll.

In addition to that, rats and other enemies will take impact damage – so a good kick off a ledge can be a one hit kill if done properly.

(Those readers interested in VR will note that the rat climbing behavior outlined above will be particularly creepy in VR. This is by design.)

Might look something like this.

Swarm of Shadow Rats by Christopher Burdett (again - not affiliated with the project, this is just to illustrate what I mean!)

Swarm of Shadow Rats by Christopher Burdett (again – not affiliated with the project, this is just to illustrate what I mean!)

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