The moment when a weapon hits an enemy – the impact you feel as a player. In our chat with Mojang's Nathan Rose we talked about the bright and blocky visuals of the larger Minecraft universe and how that might inform the team's approach to creating an action-RPG. For the team it was all about fun, but also ensuring that it felt right. That it was still Minecraft.
“It was really about fun, but also about getting the combat to feel right,” Nathan tells me. “While you can imbue an axe or a pickaxe with fire, it's more about the impact of the weapon. You may see me a zombie catch on-fire – but only for a little bit. They don't go screaming off, or get dismembered. It's more about that moment of impact. The weapon is not flaming as you're carrying it.”
This is in stark contrast to some of the more well-known dungeon crawlers and action-RPGs, where dark and brooding environments lend themselves to the sort of violence and over-the-top visuals that comes with the territory. In creating Minecraft Dungeons the small team working on the project at Mojang opted for subtle effects, flaming weapons that spark up when you hit an enemy, or visual cues like visible auras relaying key information.
“There may be an aura telling you that your armour is imbued with strength, and you'll see a different colour to reflect that. Being subtle in that way was our approach. But the aura itself is still very Minecraft. Fire is a good reference point, because you would have flames coming out from beneath your feet. And here they're Minecraft pixel flames, reinforcing the Minecraft world.”
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