This is a list of the highly influential articles on game combat that I've collected and sat upon over the years. I should not have been sitting on these for so long! Please dive in and enjoy. If you have anything that you feel should be in this list, please let me know and I'll add it. :)
- Very in-depth article about enemy behavior by Tom Smith, a creative director at THQ.
- Incredible overview of the animation principles at work in Capcom's Darkstalkers.
- Really fun behind-the-scenes vignette on God Of War 3 from some of its key design guys.
- Video interview about combat intent in God Of War 3's development with combat lead Adam Puhl. I've had some email exchanges with Adam and he's a rad dude who knows his stuff.
- Higher level discussion about combat from Jason McDonald, combat designer on God Of War: Ascension.
- Interesting animation-centric discussion on proper sword movement.
Mike Birkhead is a designer at Insomniac games and he loves talking about combat design! His key articles:
- An article on what he believes makes combat fun and successful.
- An article about depth and breadth in combat design.
- Amazing three part series on enemy design! Covers the utilization of established ideas, good mechanic animation, and high level enemy types.
Eric Williams is a former lead combat designer on God Of War, and has all kinds of amazing insight. His key articles:
- The nuances of cancelling.
- An amazing three part series on attack animations! These are a must-read. Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.
Derek Daniels is another former God Of War combat designer, and also has a lot of great writing to eat up. His key articles:
- A fascinating list of the combat mechanics introduced over time by various fighting games throughout history. If you want to understand this list, check out this amazing index of mechanics.
- Phenomenal four part series on the feel of games' mechanics. Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4.
- Awesome insight into conveying damage with art.