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The Magic of 0.215

rit2040 Blog

A glimpse of combat in 《Drifting》

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The magic of 0.215

Actions games are typically renown for challenging players' reaction time, whether the challenge comes in the form of last-second dodge, counter parry or perfect reload, a well-designed time interval is crucial to make players addicted to the mechanic instead of feeling frustrated because of it.

As I was developing the attack behavior of my assassin character, I became aware of its sniper attack seems extremely hard to dodge. The sniper laser turned red 0.5s before she fires the shot - a signal that came too early and for multiple trials, I ended up dodging it too soon and got shot mid-air; I lowered the interval to 0.1s, expecting a closer timed signal and shot will result in a more accurate input from players, however, the situation isn't anywhere better - since the shot came almost immediately after the signal, I couldn't react to it and got shot before I could input anything.

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(for people who are curious about my reaction time, the test result for me is 0.257s 5 out of 5 trials - slightly below average)

The problem persists for some time until I found out a site where you could test your own reaction time. Besides measuring my own reaction (to confirm whether the aforementioned problem is solely due to my incompetence to play my own game), more importantly, the site collects all the user data and provide statistics for the average users' reaction time. According to the statistics, the average users' reaction time is 0.215 seconds. Out of pure curiosity, I replace the value into my code and to my surprise, the assassin's shot becomes much easier to dodge - my perfect dodge rate increases from 30%~40% to near 70%~80% without actively concentrated on the signal.

Besides solving the problem, I learned an important lesson that day - for NPC's attack time interval, player's input tolerance - if I couldn't find a suitable number, try the magic number 0.215! XD

I hope you enjoy this week's update, have a great weekend! :3

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