Combat has a reputation - perhaps surpassing even that of the unholy triad of rope, fire and liquids - for being difficult to implement in a simulationist manner while being both realistic and effective. However, because of the dramatic potential of combat (not to mention the prominence within IF of combat-heavy genres such as heroic fantasy and superhero), situations involving combat are fairly common in IF.
Examples of Games Featuring Combat
- A Crimson Spring (Robb Sherwin; 2000; Hugo).
- Kerkerkruip (Victor Gijsbers; 2011; Glulx). IF Comp 2011.
- Magocracy (Anton Joseph Rheaume; 2004; TADS). IF Comp 2004.
- Zork (Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling; publisher: Infocom; 1980).
- RPG Combat
- In each turn of gameplay, every combatant can make one attack. The PC and other combatants are assigned statistics - which the player may or may not be able to see - which determine their chances of success in each attack, how much damage they can sustain, and so on. It tends to lead to repetitive (and unrealistically protracted) fight scenes, and places the player very much at the mercy of random factors. As an IF technique, it is much-derided (particularly if statistics are visible).
- Immediate Resolution
- When a violent action is initiated - either by the player or by plotted events - the entire conflict is described in a single description. To avoid annoying textdumps, combat is generally rather brief and decisive. Often used by games without much interest in combat, which nonetheless want to allow the player to try stupid things, usually with instant death as a result.
- Daemon Combat
- The PC is assumed to be automatically taking care of combat - sparring indecisively with an opponent, or holding his own in the middle of a battlefield - with the player only controlling actions above and beyond this. A daemon or similar may print various descriptions of combat after each turn. Often there will be a limited number of turns to act in.