I'm designing a game system, and am working on the combat system. I have several questions, and I'm trying to create a system that is as realistic as possible. Sadly I have no experience with guns or the theory involved. I'm assuming that the main constant involved in a formula here will be the range, and I would like to ignore defensive movement, armor and anything else.

  • I'm wondering which chance there should be for an average pistol-wielding character to hit a target that isn't aware of it, in 10 meters range? Should it be 50%? Or better asked: On which range should the possibility be 50%?
  • What if the target was 20 meter away, or 30 feet away?
  • Should the range influence the negative modifier linearly?
  • How badly is firing multiple shots influencing the first shot? Say 3 shots from a pistol?

closed as not a real question by SevenSidedDie, Iszi, Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 14 '12 at 7:21

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a physics / firearms research question best asked of experts in those fields, so it's off-topic for this site. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 13 '12 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not really, it's all about game systems. Where to put the medium distance where there is not positive and no negative modifier for a shot. Btw. ... is there a stackexchange site for firearms? :-D \$\endgroup\$ – Akku Oct 13 '12 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thought experiment: you could ask the same question at GameDev.SE without changing a word; does that make this question about videogame development? No, it's a research question that might eventually have something to do with a game, but the content of the question and the answers it's looking for are only incidentally related to gaming. Such questions are off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 13 '12 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you like, this question is also closeable as "overly broad" because you're asking us to do your research for you. You can't write "a system that is as realistic as possible" while having "no experience with guns or the theory involved". The question itself has severe content problems because you don't understand what you're asking for. You need to go get that understanding of non-game-related real-world stuff before you can ask meaningful design questions about simulating that stuff. We can help with design, not this. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 13 '12 at 23:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Closed as "Not a Real Question." This question, as posed, is unanswerable. First, you're trying to stick too much into one question. Second, you're asking us to do all the research for you. Third, we don't know what parameters go into your game. "As realistic as possible" does not provide us with any useful data. Who are we simulating, under what conditions? What abstractions are you willing to make so that the game is fun. Why not just play Aces and Eights? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 14 '12 at 7:21

My initial response is that if you want to get into the nitty-gritty, each and every weapon has an optimal firing range. For the most part the classification of the weapon has a common range where it is far enough for the firer to need to aim (beyond point blank), and the bullet begins to deviate. Depending on the shape of the weapon and the size of the round will give you the baseline for how it will perform if put in a still/robot arm vice. Then there are other factor such as if the shooter is firing over iron sights, with a laser dot and/or scope, and last but certainly not least the wind.

Depending on your mechanic and how in depth you want to get will change the modifiers.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea that beginning from a certain range you have to aim, I guess as the question is now closed I'll just begin with a 10 meter average where no bonusses apply, and will test out with the players if they feel that this is a good range. We're playtesting first time tomorrow :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Akku Oct 14 '12 at 13:21

If you want to get a feel for how bullets statistically behave over various ranges, watch a lot of Mythbusters episodes. There are a number of myths about firearms and how bullets perform in various circumstances (many are counterintuitive).

As for the specifics of range, a perfect marksman's performance is going to depend on the weapon he is firing and the range of the target. If it's close enough, the bullet will go fast enough that it will hit on the precise spot targeted or very close to it.

Less skilled marksmen will also suffer from their inability to aim at the target perfectly at the moment the trigger is pulled.

To represent this, you could have a grace zone range where you suffer no penalties which increases with training. After that grace zone range you get linear penalties which increase over increments.

All that said, when you have pistols over 30 feet with realistic physics, it's going to be easy to do at least put someone into shock if not do serious damage. If you can put 6-10 bullets into a human torso sized stationary target at a range, you can probably kill or seriously injure someone. An average-trained modern pistol wielder should be able to manage that.

I'd invite you to consider something else while you're designing this system though - what kind of game do you want to play with it? If you want to simulate the modern world closely; make your guns lethal. A young child with a 9mm pistol has a not-insignificant chance of killing another person in the same room dead in one shot. If your system won't replicate that, it's not "realistic" enough.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your thoughts about this. Yes, it's going to be pretty deadly for mere humans, luckily the players will have more supernatural firepower as we'll play in the world of CJ Carella's Armageddon. The most interesting question for me is if we could find a range over which it would be a 50% hit with a human sized, immobile target, as I need to set this "default range" somewhere. Also, the skill of the marksman isn't in question here, I'm thinking of someone who owns a gun, and has been doing some hit training as my average marksman-guy. \$\endgroup\$ – Akku Oct 13 '12 at 21:27

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