Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums
Sign in to follow this  
RPGista

Monsters

Recommended Posts

Ok, as a disclaimer, the intention here IS to break maps' gameplay (unless any of this could be made into the magic of spwanargs, that could keep the defaults as they are and just add more possibilities for future FMs).

 

Lets be frank, zombies and werebeasts that are fooled by a crouching player walking one meter away from them in a dark room do not make sense. 1 - We know zombies might not have eyes or functioning eardrums, skeletons or spirits certainly dont have either - thats not how they would reasonably spot a victim; 2 - werebeasts, if in any way related to the animals that inspired them, should have much better senses than any human, specially hearing and smells (night vision too, but lets let that go for now).

 

28-Days-Later-28-days-later-32064385-1198-768.jpg

 

Nowadays zombies (in movies and series) appear to have become more and more "alive", which means, vulnerable to damage and reliant on normal senses. I remember, specially written fantasy stuff, when zombies were more like golems, they would be almost irresistable for an unarmed person, and they would "know" where you are.

 

pc_werewolf_9-24-07.jpg

 

Werebeasts/wolfs are, like already said, nightmarish creatures that are pretty much impossible to defeat in melee combat, and possess supernatural physical prowess and abilities, one of which is powerful senses.

 

Where am I getting at? In Thief, supernatural monsters have been, overall, exactly like human enemies (same behaviour infra-structure) with different stats. I remember finding that tree monster in T3 for the first time and being genuinely scared, I thought it would hunt me down and destroy me as soon as I got closer to it, I was sure it would be much tougher than a normal, distracted human foe, but I was wrong, it was as blind and deaf to me as any normal man, just a bigger model. This also happens in TDM. When pitted against zombies and skeletons in a dark crypt, YOU are the master of the shadows, which you can use to safely navigate your way and trick them. The monsters, which are supposed to come from a horror realm, are just as harmless as any thug or guard as long as you can keep to the shadows and dont make a lot of noise. Say what you want about Doom, but a cool feature they had was those surprise monsters coming from the dark, you were walking around and you saw the eyes glowing and you knew that thing saw you before you did, and is coming for you.

 

What would people say about changing the thief gameplay mechanics in regards to monsters:

 

Zombies could have a "radar" like sensitivity - the closer you are to them, the more aware they are of your presence. If you are still far, they would probably tend to roam in your direction, getting "warmer". They would still be able to hear and see you normally, so you would need to use stealth to get away from them the same way, you would just need to do it a lot more urgently. Stealing by them would be terribly risky, and it shouldnt take them more than a few seconds to "spot" you if you are too close, no matter how silent or how well hidden. (Same applies to skeletons or ghosts).

 

The same should also apply to werebeasts actually - instead of sensing you, they can actually smell the player the closer he is, and better nightvision (and hearing) should get them alerted much more easily then humans.

 

Differences like these would make the player feel more vulnerable when faced with supernatural creatures, and would also be a welcomed change of pace from the classic stealth mechanics we all know how to use against human enemies. What is the opinion here?

 

PS: I know some of this can be changed by the mapper (as I have done myself), Im mor interested in how people would see a different behaviour coming from monsters, as opposed to human AI.

Edited by RPGista

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zombies are not supposed to be particularly hard to hide from, IMO. The reason they're a problem is that they're hard to kill if you get cornered (without holy water).

 

I've no problems with other monsters having better senses than the average AI, but we don't have the code to do most of those other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe iy would be better to leave zombies as is. They are good and do whay they are supposed to. Dumb, but very powerful and dangerous in combat. The classic creature you rather avoid than fight. Since it is mindless, avoiding it shouldn't be too difficult.

 

Werecreature is a different sort and I agree it should have something unique out-of-the-box. Nightvision is probably not a good idea as it makes beast always something that has to be fought.

 

Maybe a scent ability? If the player is within a certain radius, the beast stops and smells around. Then it continues smelling the air and slowly progresses towards the player, maybe with a small chance of following the trail into wrong place, giving the player a chance to flee. It would be cool when players learn that when a Werebeast starts sniffing air, they'd better slowly crawl away from it or the creature follows the smell trail right into his hiding place.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always alter problem, and turn creature (almost) invisible (but still quite noisy) every time it is alerted. Werebeast is described as shapeshifter, so it could fool player exchanging it's model to something like chest or chair, waiting for player to get closer. Undead ability to see live forces could require use of some protecting amulet: player could read loudly prayer from prayerbook and it make him invisible as long as he have his hands busy with amulet. Or you can alter light role, as undeads are so familiar with shadow, any light source will be barrier preventing them from crossing by.

 

But I think the best way will be customization of monsters, as surprise and unknown are more intriguing than even best build of rules for werebeast. Maybe some tutorials "how to do fire elemental", some stationary sentient guardian, like gargoyle or turret would be more helpful than fully formed AI.

Edited by ERH+

S2wtMNl.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im no coder, but the "radar" perception we are talking about wouldnt be more than allowing AI to see you depending on distance (disregarding light levels). The other behaviours wouldnt be more than what already exist, maybe only a bit tweaked (like what was said, a werewolf that can gradually track your scent, or a zombie that would feel your presence if you are too close).

 

Melee for monsters is already different from the more formal sword duels you get against human foes. They are wild and more unpredictable. The same could be said about how they behave towards the player. Having roughly the same capabilities as a normal human AI just seems too simplistic for me, and a bit of a waste of a gameplay opportunity, to be honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This radar/smell thingy should, if implemented, not make use of the see ability. The werewolf should also be able to smell you, even if you are hiding behind an object (independent from light).

 

But on topic: I agree with Sotha that the zombies could stay as they are. I also like the idea of the werebeast smelling you quite a lot, as this creature is relatively close to a wolf/dog.

 

The idea of making the ai invisible could be applied to the haunts. If you alert them they become almost invisible, and become visible again if they calm down or if they are starting to attack the player. This would be quite cool if you are alerting a haunt by noise, because you didn't noticed him. You then hear that one (or maybe more) is searching for you, but can only see them if they get really close, when it is almost too late.

 

I agree that supernatural things, like said monsters, should be somehow ... supernatural, and the player should fear them.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
like what was said, a werewolf that can gradually track your scent

 

How would you implement this? And what would the player be able to do about it? Can they mask their scent somehow or is this just a "AI just knows where you are and there's nothing you can do" kind of mechanic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How would you implement this?

Some sort of bark emitted by the player like the sound barks used by AI for example.

And what would the player be able to do about it?

Stay on distance. Maybe some sort of stink bombs, too, that the player can throw like flashbombs and that emit a human smell (so the same bark as the player would do, just stronger) to distract the werebeast if needed.

 

Obviously this kind of mechanic (the smelling thingy) only makes sense if the werebeast can only smell you on close distances. If it could smell you miles away, it would definetely be a fun breaker.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some sort of bark emitted by the player like the sound barks used by AI for example.

 

I don't get it. How would a player sound bark affect AI smelling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean that the "smell" should propagate similar to a sound, as someone else mentioned a visual approach. The player can't here it, but the werebeast does if it is close enough. The player wouldn't know that it is actually a sound and not a smell that alerts the beast. This approach would also provide that the smell don't go through walls for example.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since smell doesn't depend on FOV or light, it would have to behave like sound. Each humanoid (player and AI, aka stinker) would need a smell stim which fires as often as other stims, and determines who inside the radius would care (sniffers). If no sniffers, end of processing. If a sniffer is found, then the smell code would have to construct a path from the stinker, through visportals (representing openings) and finally to the sniffer. If it reaches a sniffer, the sniffer starts an area search centered at himself. The smell wave wouldn't travel through closed doors, but would travel through closed visportals not associated with doors.

 

It can't simply be distance-based, because sniffers would be able to detect stinkers behind walls or on the floor above or below the sniffer's floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem with this as a game mechanic is that the player has absolutely no feedback. They don't know how far their smell goes, or how badly they stink, so they don't really have any control over that stealth element. How do they 'hide' their stink without adding new specialty tools to the game?

 

Is this stink affected by anything else in the game? What if the player just swam through a river or crawled through the privies?

 

Seems like a lot of extra consideration for one rare monster that is almost never used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was more thinking about the werebeast smelling the player at maybe 2-3 meters, so he can't hide in the dark if the beast gets close enough. In this case, no extra equipment would be needed, as the player just hast to, as said before, keep his distance.

 

The ffedback would be that the werebeast starts sniffing before actually going to search mode, similar to the human ai stop and look behaviour when on alert level 2. The only difference would be, that as long as the player stays inside the smell distance, the alert level of the beast increases.

 

I don't see any reason to make this uneccessary complicated.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much what Obs said. Inside a certain reasonable radius, certain monsters get increasingly harder to sneak through. This will hopefully demand caution from players, as certain enemies have special features. I like the sniffing idea, because it gives a sound clue to players that they are causing something on the monster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the scent ability makes distraction items more valuable.

Noise should prioritize over the smell tracking werebeast.

 

The player is in the smell radius. The beast starts sniffing the air, signaling the player he should move away. If the player does not, the beast starts sniffing around, getting closer and closer to the player. The player throws a rock, shoots a noise arrow, shoots a broadhead arrow causing a noise somewhere else. The beast drops the smell and goes to investigate the noise.

 

This means existing tools would still counter the scent tracking feature. And that means that the smell radius could be slightly larger than just a few meters, especially if the beast moves slowly enough when sniffing the player. It should be a tense moment to realize that the beast got your scent and is now slowly approaching your hiding spot.

 

The smell should also terminate if the player is not to be found.

Player is sitting on some rafters. Beast catches his smell and makes his way to the spot below the rafters. There is nobody to be seen for the AI because the player is above it. The AI sniffs around for a while, shrugs and leaves. Maybe the scent tracking could have a timer, if the AI sniffes around the same place long enough, it gives up?

 

By 'smell radius' I mean the effective radius where the beast can detect the player by smell.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this suggestion as it better differentiates the werebeast from other enemies in the game. I recall seeing a nature show on television once where an animal was being pursued by wolves and it crossed a stream to nullify the trail. Perhaps at a certain point the werebeast could howl to signify that it's honed in on a scent and is now in pursuit. At this point standard methods of distraction would no longer work. You'd have to find water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....... or a wall to jump on and run along, or over, or a tree to climb- to another area, or climb vines to another area, rooftops or any other high area to move from...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem with this as a game mechanic is that the player has absolutely no feedback. They don't know how far their smell goes, or how badly they stink, so they don't really have any control over that stealth element. How do they 'hide' their stink without adding new specialty tools to the game?

 

Is this stink affected by anything else in the game? What if the player just swam through a river or crawled through the privies?

 

Seems like a lot of extra consideration for one rare monster that is almost never used.

 

This seems more like something one map would have rather than game wide imo. Much like the keepers in T2 Equilibrium. They went invis in shadows and the player had to avoid them.

 

It's a cool idea for a werewolf FM. But it doesn't need to be mod wide, if anyone else did it they could use the same system.

 

S&R would be the way to go.

 

I would recommend several stink stims. Stink_light would be a large radius and would trigger sniffing. Stink_medium would trigger more alert/searching. Stink_heavy would be full alert. Say maybe 5-8 feet away from player?

 

There could be a stink bomb that would draw the wolf away, much like a noise arrow. Maybe even noise arrow mechanic as a base, but the player would see a gas cloud, not hear noise.

 

Maybe a water stim on the player would cancel the stink stim for a time period. couple minutes?


Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...