Today I implemented auto-aim, for gamepads/consoles, although it’ll be an option for mouse users too. It targets NPCs, or not, based on whether they hate you or not. It also targets torches and light sources, provided they’re dousable, and turned on, and you have water arrows selected.

It works by doing a line trace out from the camera, and then if there’s no hit, a sphere trace back looking for targets. More deets and debug vid through that link.

Why Paladins is not a rip-off of Overwatch:

Before I start, this is going to be a really, really long post.  Just a warning.  Also, note that they are both great games and I’m not hating on Overwatch, only telling you not to hate on Paladins. I’m gonna go through each Paladins character (excluding ones that haven’t been accused of copying) in alphabetical order and tell you why it isn’t from Overwatch:

1) Androxus:

Androxus is usually described as “McReaper,” meaning “Reaper with McCree’s abilities.” First, let’s check those:

McCree’s abilities:

  • A pistol with the ability to fire an entire round at once at the cost of an accuracy drop
  • Somersault
  • Stun grenade
  • Ult–autoaims deadly bullets at all opponents in line of vision 


  • Pistol which has a similar feature to McCree’s except it only fires three bullets max
  • Dashes forward in whatever direction Andro is facing, including up (three separate charges)
  • Damage reflection
  • Ult–Andro gets 4 supercharged shots and can’t fall if airborne for the duration unless hit by knockback

Okay, they do have one similar attack, which is their right-click (unloading their magazine). Of course, Blizzard didn’t invent this, but whatever.  What about Reaper?  Come on, both are basically just edgy batman-ish characters, and Reaper’s design follows a basic archetype much more than Andro’s.

Update: Just as I was writing this, Hi-Rez announced a new character.  Her name is Ash.  Nobody’s commented on her yet, but let’s clear that up before it starts.

2) Ash:

Her design doesn’t match or even resemble any of the Overwatch characters, so I better not see anyone complaining about that.

She has a cannon.  A proper cannon, unlike that lame beam thing Zarya has.  Her charge ability is a bit like Reinhardt’s, but they’re both basically just basic charging attacks, and they are a bit different.  She can deploy a shield, which is shaped a little bit like Orisa’s, but her’s moves forward, and no, that doesn’t mean she’s a Symmetra ripoff.  Also, Barik has had a non-moving one for ages, so you definitely can’t accuse that of copying.  More on that later.  Her ult plants a flag on the ground, knocking enemies back and making her invincible as long as she’s near it.  I personally don’t see how that’s like anything in ow, but I’m sure ya’ll’ll think of something.

3) Barik:

At first glance, it kinda looks like Hi-Rez just took Torbjörn and made some small changes.  Not true.  They are both dwarves who build turrets, but the similarities pretty much end there.  They have completely different attacks (and by that I mean only one of their abilities is the same) and the one attack that they have in common was in not only tf2 but Global Agenda as well.  For those of you who don’t know, Global Agenda is an MMO made by Hi-Rez, the makers of Paladins.  It has 4 classes that pretty much match the classes in ow/pcotr right now (think about that the next time you criticize pcotr’s class system).

“What about his gun?”

Barik has a crystal powered Shotgun which practically qualifies as a melee attack.  Sorry.

“But their designs are so similar!”

They’re a lot less similar than you think.  Considering that they’re both dwarves (dwarves tend to be pretty much the same from universe to universe), they’re fairly different.  They have different armor, different weapons, and different abilities.  Next!

4) Bomb King:

Ah, yes.  Bomb King vs. Junkrat.  They do share two similar abilities, and this, unlike some other arguments here *cough cough Buck cough cough* is actually worth my time.  They share an attack in Concussion Mine/Poppy Bomb, but that’s in tf2 for Demoman as Sticky Jumper.  That leaves us with their ults, because I’m not spending my valuable time going over their designs.  They do have similar ultimates, actually, but the two do have their differences.  For starters, one throws a bomb while the other is a bomb, and one stuns while the other climbs walls.  

5) Buck:

Apparently, since both he and Zenyatta are monks, (and technically they aren’t, Buck dresses like one but it isn’t canon yet) one is a copy of the other.  Other than that one similarity which they might not even have, they have as different designs/abilities as Mario and Bowser.

6) Cassie:

So apparently there are actual people who think Cassie is a ripoff of Hanzo.  I don’t even know what to tell you on this one.

7) Drogoz:

I can understand this one.  His design is pretty different from Pharah, but their attacks are almost identical.  Unfortunately, they’re all from Global Agenda, from the jetpack, to the rocket launcher, to the explosive projectile.  You know what else was in GA?  Pharah’s anubis armor.  But that’s none of my business…

8) Evie:

Alright, I’ll give you this one.  Ice Block/Cryo-Freeze and Ice Storm/Blizzard are pretty similar, but if that’s all you got, you’re gonna have to try harder.

9) Fernando

It’s finally time.  The champion that started this whole debate.  Let’s do a comparison with Reinhardt:

Reinhardt’s attacks:

  • Rocket Hammer
  • Barrier Field 
  • Charge
  • Fire Strike
  • Ult–Earthshatter

Fernando’s attacks:

  • Flame Lance
  • Shield
  • Fireball
  • Charge
  • Ult–Immortal

Let’s start with the easy things.  Fireball was in Smite.  (Seriously, if you think ow invented Fireballs, I don’t know what to tell you.)  Their charges are different, despite sharing a name.  Now, here’s the real issue: the shield.  I’m not gonna lie, the shields are pretty much the same.  

“So it is a copy of Overwatch!”

No, I said they were they same.  I didn’t say one took it from the other.  Remember good ol’ Global Agenda?  Yeah, well, the Robotics class has a blue energy shield, which Nando’s shield is just a souped-up version of.  Also, that energy shield is actually part of a two-part weapon.  The other half is a rocket-powered melee weapon.  Sound familiar?

10) Inara:

A wall summoning character =/= a copy of every other wall summoning character.  Also, Thor had it in Smite first.

11) Kinessa:

You really think Kinessa is a copy of WM because she’s a sniper?  Are you kidding me?  I’m not even wasting my breath typing for this one.

12) Lex:

…and of course having two guns makes you a ripoff, even if you don’t have anything else in common…

13) Maeve:

Genji and Maeve have practically opposite designs, different weapons,  completely different ultimates, not to mention that one has a projectile reflection ability and the other has a healing/effect remover + Speed boost.  But of course, one is a copy because they have a double jump and a dash.

Side note: Maeve’s “Speed Boost” (Prowl) and “Dash” (Pounce) are separate abilities.  Prowl makes Maeve run faster and jump higher for a short time, while Pounce just propels her a short distance, dealing damage and knocking Maeve back if she hits an enemy.

14) Makoa:

So, Makoa is a copy of Roadhog because they have a similar attack–which would be a good argument if anything else about the character was remotely similar.

15) Ruckus:

A copy of D.Va ‘cause he has a robot.  Oh, wait!  The robot has


!  That changes everything!

16) Sha Lin:

Well, looks like ya finally got me.  Sha Lin and Hanzo…are both archers.  That’s literally it.  Nice try.

“But they’re both Asian!”

I’ve gotten this argument more than you’d think.  Because all Asians are exactly the same.  You’re treading on thin ice here.

17) Skye:

You do realize that Skye came before Sombra, and not after, right?

18) Torvald:

I don’t really wanna waste my time on this one.  How ‘bout you go look at Symmetra’s attacks, and then go look at Torvald’s, and tell me if they’re similar. (Spoiler: They aren’t.)

19) Viktor:

Aside from Reinhardt/Nando, this is the one I hear about the most, which i find a bit strange, since they only share two abilities, one being a gun and the other being running.  That’s right, one of the main arguments towards why pcotr copied ow is that pcotr has a character that can run.  No joke.

That about wraps it up for the characters. 

But none of this even matters!

Listen to these:

  • “Genji is a copy of ssb because he can double jump!”
  • “McCree is a copy of Spy because he has a pistol!”
  • “Pharah is a copy of GA because she has a jetpack, blue anubis themed armor, a rocket launcher, and explosive projectiles!”
  • “Reaper is a copy of DC’s Red Hood because he has a mask and two guns!”
  • “Soldier: 76 is a copy of Soldier because they have guns, running, explosives and “soldier” in their name!”
  • “Sombra is a copy of Skye because they both have a purple/black color scheme and a small handheld weapon with a high RoF as well as invisibility and the ability to disrupt the enemy team!”
  • “Tracer is a copy of The Doctor because they’re both British time-travellers with eccentric outfits!”
  • “Bastion is a copy of Ultron because he’s a powerful and versatile robot who can heal himself and is also the cause of a robot apocalypse!”
  • “Hanzo is a copy of Hawkeye/Green Arrow because they’re both archers!”
  • “Junkrat is a copy of Bomberman because they both make explosions!”
  • “Mei is a copy of any ice character ever!”
  • “Torbjörn is a copy of Engineer because they both build turrets!”
  • “Widowmaker is a copy of Sniper because they’re both snipers!”
  • “D.Va is a copy of the Pink Ranger because they both pilot pink robots to fight people!”
  • “Orisa is a copy of Ruckus, Barik, Seris, and Inara because her attacks are bascally a combination of theirs!”
  • “Reinhardt is a copy of GA because he has a rocket powered melee weapon and a blue energy shield!”
  • “Roadhog is a copy of Spider-Man because they both have grappling-hook-like weapons used to bring enemies closer!”
  • “Winston is a copy of Marvel’s The Beast because they’re animal-like but intelligent!”
  • “Zarya is a copy of Soldier because she has a cannon!”
  • “Ana is a copy of Medic because she can both heal and deal damage!”
  • “Lúcio is a copy of that breakdancing guy from Pokémon BW because they look exactly the same!”
  • “Mercy is a copy of the Overseers from Infinity Wars because she’s n angel with a gun!”
  • “Symmetra is a copy of Dr. Light because she can use solid light to create structures!”
  • “Zenyatta is a copy of the Jeskai in mtg because he’s a monk!”

They sound dumb, right?  They should, it’s the same logic you use when trashing on Paladins.  Overwatch isn’t a ripoff of any of the franchises listed above, because that logic is flawed.  I think we’re done here.

anonymous asked:

What is your beef with symmetra

The idea behind an FPS is the lack of autoaim. It’s to learn how to aim and track and play your character as best as you can. It takes skill to actually track a target.

Symmetra’s main attack does not require aim (other than to initially lock on and doesn’t need to be incredibly accurate either) and the beam extends once locked on. This means she can jump around you all she wants, making you HAVE to aim  to hit her while she doesn’t have to aim at all. Her damage also increases the longer she’s locked on.

Couple the lack of aim requirements with her 6 turrets that are very small and hidden easily, also lock on AND slow you down and she can take on a full team on her own, with little to no practice on the character. She can take out a D.Va mech AND the D.Va herself without taking even half as much damage as she’s doing.

Literally THE fastest character in the game (Lucio) can’t get away from her.

I don’t have a beef with her character, I like her as a character and her design and everything! I adore that she’s Autistic because I am as well and it allows me to look up to someone like that. But I can’t stand that her type of gameplay is in this type of game.

In my experience, unless the Symm is throwing, no matter what map or anything we’re on, the team with the Symm wins. No question.

(And yes, the other autoaim chara, Torbjorn, I do have a bit of an issue with but he’s a hell of a lot easier to deal with than Symm)

What to steal: From Destiny's UI

Going to make this into a mini series, of sorts, I think. Blog posts talking about cool stuff done in AAA that we can steal on the lower budget end of things. I did something similar about AAA input smoothing, here.

Basically, Destiny’s UI does a lot of very clever UI stuff, some of which I’ll probably steal for Volume, some of which are just really great examples of UI design in general, and some of which I hope to learn from for future projects.

This isn’t a review, I’m not a critic, just noticed a bunch of clever stuff that wouldn’t be hard to duplicate on an indie budget. Polish costs time, but my goodness does a game benefit from it.

Also, the UI in destiny, judging from twitter, seems a bit marmite. It’s OK if you disagree with my taste, hopefully the lessons are still valid if you do ;)


  • Colour bar flashes on in game UI - white is standard ammo, green is secondary, purple is heavy, yellow is super charge. That’s a pretty common way to do visual language in a game.. colour coding for the win. One aspect that is cute in Destiny is that events are signposted in the UI by big block colours flashing over the entire lower interface. This uses peripheral vision to help the player stay on top of ‘things happening’ with multiple timers and ammos. More complex information is conveyed if the player takes their eye off the reticule (recharge bars, ammo count etc).. but these big colour flashes are a clever way to yell at the player without being too noisy.
  • Elective waypointing (flawed, but a cool idea) - A frustrating aspect of AAA games is the ever present waypoint.. it kills the illusion of choice in a number of games.. turning it off made the latest Thief 10x better. That said, in big or visually repetitive spaces, these signposts are useful. Destiny goes for a halfway house of a pointer on a map, and in world markers when we summon Dinklage. This is spoiled for me by a couple of niggles (although admittedly, you get used to it eventually:
    • The mode switch (allowing for Dinklage bot to spawn) is just a litttttttllleee too slow, or feels too slow. It’s enough to make bringing up the menu a chore. This is fine for other functionalities (summoning vehicles, leaving world) because they are bigger events with more waiting, but that wait for info you just want to glance at grates a tiny bit.
    • The radar and onscreen indicator are not as the crow flies, they’re more breadcrumby, presumably due to the complexity of the indoor environments, and the verticality of the overworld. This is fine when the indicator is on screen and the player is walking, but on vehicle, or relying on the radar, this often led me off in the wrong direction. I’d have preferred radar to be absolute location, marker to be bread crumb.. but then.. I’m sure the designers tried this and it didn’t work. They are smarter than me, as proven by every other choice in this interface.
  • Immediacy of action - in menus, count the clicks to do anything.. compare that to other action RPGs. Yeah. Destiny’s UI owes a lot to web design here, and a lot of that speed is down to the cursor (more thoughts on cursor later).. but yeah, if you let the player point, that gives you hover, and hover = speed of information and nested interfaces.
  • Object / character / planet metaphor simplicity - this isn’t a new idea, but I thought Destiny did it well enough to point out: everything is tied to a logical realworld metaphor, usually an object. Messages received must be picked up from the postmaster on Tower, bounties are carried in the inventory, not held as sub objectives. Part of this is to create busy work and force regular returns to the social hub, sure, but it goes a long way to simplifying and better communicating interactions. We understand the idea of collecting a slip of paper and taking it to a man, we understand 'going to a specific place on the moon’ better than 'going to the moon and selecting mission 4’.. this gives the game a sense of bedded reality, and breaks understanding into little chunks, preventing the player from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Parallax menu, movement responsive to input - A nice little layer of aesthetic feedback.. your cursor’s position moves a number of parallax layers across all screens. This makes the game feel more responsive, and indeed, makes the act of moving around the cursor absentmindedly fun. There’s a big caveat though: Don’t overdo this. If every scroll through a menu flips the screen, or causes an explosion, or plays a fanfare, your menu will get very old, very fast. Brevity is the soul of wit here, but having interaction trigger aesthetic ripples in a subtle way sure does make things feel good.
  • High res menu assets - Something that RPGs have been quietly doing for years, but doesn’t get pointed out often: It is exceptionally cheap (performance wise) to render a menu on modern games hardware. This frees up a whole lot of graphics elves to do one job very well. In Destiny, high res assets of in game objects are used, with a presumably reasonably expensive (again, performance wise) depth of field effect. If you render a gun, rather than a gun being held by a character in a rolling landscape, you can throw a lot more polys at that gun. Bear this all in mind, menus let you show off assets in their best light. Volume does closeups of the hero character with nice DOF and lighting effects, if you have high res versions of game assets that you’ve modelled for normal maps, try throwing them in to menus.. you’d be surprised how far you can push stuff when you’re not trying to run AI / world art at same time :) If your game isn’t poly heavy, maybe there’s an incredibly wasteful effect you can use on menus? Something you wanted to use in game but couldn’t run without killing framerate.. there may be a place for it in the menu.
  • Cursor - I’ve mentioned the cursor above, but yeah.. cursor on a console game is a brave move. The team at bungie did some smart things to make it work well though:
    • Slow down on hover: when over objects player may want to click, they slow it down ever so slightly
    • large 'click’ area.. there’s a reason that cursor is not a pointer, but a large circle: It makes chances of accidentally missing much lower. On button items next to each other, my guess is that it calculates which button center the center of that circle is nearest to.. so it’s still a pixel cursor, just with a circle of autoaim around it. Very clever way to make a cursor work on a console.
    • Allowing diagonal movement allows for non grid layouts. Gaps are hard to communicate on menus, so everything tends to go very up down column row table. Having freedom of movement allows for interfaces with more human friendly layouts, relying on grids only for aesthetic and informational purposes, over the limitations of a dpad.
    • Try clicking the L1 R1 page heading scroll at the top with the cursor. You can’t, the cursor is locked below that horizontal bar. Instantly makes it clear that the cursor can’t interact. Tiny bit of polish which further cleans up interaction
  • Hierarchy of information - across the board, the menu uses colour and scale to convey hierarchical information. The bigger the text, the more important the information stated. Colour equals expandability or more info. Day one of graphic design school for magazines, cool to see it find its way into a videogame menu.
  • Potential issue - does a super simple menu imply shallowness? - more of a question.. It feels like a lot of the claims I’m seeing that the game is shallow may be in part a side effect of menu simplicity? Would a more convoluted interface make the game feel more complex? Probably.. we see this a lot in other action RPG games. Not saying this is the only reason for these criticisms, but this may be a problem exacerbated by such smooth and streamlined interface design. Games are, after all, fun convolution of 'press x to win the game and see the credits’.. maybe this interface strips too much back.
  • Intent for play defined on map screen, not in world - I like this part. I can’t land on a planet without defining what kind of a mission I’ll do. This is an open world game where we decide intent before arriving.. meaning that you don’t need a big convoluted map with icons for side quests, story missions or events ala GTA. For me, this streamlines multiplayer (everyone knows exactly where they’re going) and adds to a sense of wonder and awe (the environment isn’t being constantly quantified by frequent visits to a map screen) also, vitally for a multiplayer game with no pause button, it lowers your need to pull up a fullscreen menu in hazardous environments.

So yeah, a brain dump. Plenty of good design in Destiny, probably a lot to learn from. I’m off to a wedding. Hope my assorted noise on this topic was interesting to someone :)

Thoughts on overwatch characters so far:

Genji: Literally one of my favourites, i love Him he is my Son
Mcree: I personally support this gay cowboy, all he wants to do is tell people the time of day. Let him live.
Pharah: Play of the game Play of the game Play of the game Play of the game Play of the game
Reaper: His guns go boom boom and i like to use them
Soldier: 76: autoaim boring trashlord, people play him because they like CoD and being braindead
Tracer: Hard as balls but im gonna keep trying for My Wife
Bastion: ROBOT!!!! HE SHOOTS AND I’m SO PROUD OF HIM???? Thank you bastion
Hanzo: He’s like widowmaker but not as good, aside from the big double dragon move
Junkrat: I want to see it grow up strong. I want to tell my friends and neighbours about it. Splodey husband.
Mei: she is ADORABLE, and a FUCKING BITCH. Love hate relationship
Torbjörn: erectin’ a sentry. Also ragnaros jokes because dwarf, he fun tho
Widowmaker: NONE CAN ESCAPE MY SIGHTS, literally best ult in the game and i really like the french spider.
D.Va: unkillable demigod with an APM of over 10 million, literally unstoppable killing machine.
Reinhardt: build a wall, make the opposing team pay for it, make overwatch great again. TANKY AS FUCK
Roadhog: scorpion memes, also, he’s a big pig (yup yup) you can be a big pig too, HOO
Winston: He like… Is a monkey. Also it seems like he was put in the game specifically to counter tracer. Still, Hi there
Zarya: big bara russian physics waifu.
Lúcio: I simultaneously love and hate this guy, he’s a hot brazillian DJ, but a BITCH to fight against he’s so fucking good omg
Mercy: HEROES NEVER DIE. Medic from tf2 got an upgrade. Fun to play but only when you have comms with your team
Symmetra: sentrynests, sentrynests everywhere.
Zenyatta: tank shredder, roboghandi shaped like a friend. He is a nice. Person.