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duzenko

AI breaking locks?

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Sorry if I'm missing it but can our AI break locks?

 

Suppose an unarmed AI is sitting in his locked house. Player gets inside via a top window or a back door. AI sees him and screams for help.

An armed AI patrolling the street hears the scream and wants to get inside. How does the game lets him in? We don't want city guards to bear keys from all houses on them, do we?

I'd like some kind of door-breaking animation along with door-thumping sounds and in a few seconds a locked door becomes unlockable and opens, letting the armed AI inside.

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Will it be a kick to the door or ramming with shoulder? If first one, I wonder how Thief-like game would benefit from kick attack like in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Even if not allowed for live creatures, it is reasonable way to deal with crates, chairs while running away from guards.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJWGJde6b1A


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Kicking and shoulder-bashing a door does not *unlock* it, but would rather break the door or the door frame, right? (The lock slide cracks through the frame or the door comes down from the hinges.)

 

Would it be a little weird if the AI would violently kick the door, which unlocks, and then is opened normally?

 

Also, if the player has a key to the door, can the door be unlocked again? If so, would be silly. Kicking would be a skeleton key for all doors.

 

The issue is a non-issue if the AI is allowed to open all doors. In my missions, I always give all AI permission to open all locked doors for this reason.

 

Kicking and shoulder-bashing would make sense if the whole door was destroyed. It would we useful for the AI if they got stuck by player blocking the door from opening with moveable. Play kick anim, remove door model, open visportal permanently, remove all nearby moveables, splatter the area with door debris, which despawn after a while. Add dust cloud particle effect. Even so, it would be strange if AI could demolish doors with a kick, but the player cannot even with a fire arrow or explosive mines. On the other hand, if mines could be used this way, it would open up interesting break-and-enter type of missions.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Kicking and shoulder-bashing a door does not *unlock* it, but would rather break the door or the door frame, right? (The lock slide cracks through the frame or the door comes down from the hinges.)

No, it would do exactly that - break the lock so the door can not be locked again. As if the lock was removed from the door altogether.

 

Would it be a little weird if the AI would violently kick the door, which unlocks, and then is opened normally?

Not if the unlock is instant (no animation) and the door opens automatically at e.g. 2x animation speed.

 

Also, if the player has a key to the door, can the door be unlocked again? If so, would be silly.

No, the lock is broken. The door is always unlocked.

 

Kicking would be a skeleton key for all doors.

For city watch it should, don't you think? Or police does not break locks where you live? Unless it's a special, bank-vault style door that you can't even hear through.

 

The issue is a non-issue if the AI is allowed to open all doors. In my missions, I always give all AI permission to open all locked doors for this reason.

Is that less silly than breaking locks of private houses?

 

Kicking and shoulder-bashing would make sense if the whole door was destroyed. It would we useful for the AI if they got stuck by player blocking the door from opening with moveable. Play kick anim, remove door model, open visportal permanently, remove all nearby moveables, splatter the area with door debris, which despawn after a while. Add dust cloud particle effect.

Door destruction is a different thing IMO. They're not mutually exclusive with lock breaking. However destruction-debris effect is obviously more complicated to achieve. I'm not opposed to door destruction however i would imagine destruction is much harder to animate more or less realistically in the game.

 

Even so, it would be strange if AI could demolish doors with a kick, but the player cannot even with a fire arrow or explosive mines. On the other hand, if mines could be used this way, it would open up interesting break-and-enter type of missions.

I'm not opposed to that either however it's again more complicated to implement.

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I thought you can chop wooden doors with sword like in Thief. Btw making mines as a breaching charges to demolish things, even weak walls, validates them as a tool for a thief who is not a killer. And a timer on a bomb is fun as a game mechanism!

Edited by ERH+

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I quite like this. Indeed, having a force-door-open feature would solve this issue of how AI handles opening locked doors in a much more immersive and realistic fashion. Having them open the door by ramming on it would even allow the player the experience of making his way out while they are at it. It would also be able to solve the issue of the player blocking doors with moveables. The ramming feature could be used to apply force to any door blocked this way and it would open it depending on physics. I posted a Half Life 2 video sometime ago showing exactly this scenario happening in that game. We could work out the animation part of it, it doesnt sound that hard.

 

I also think that if the AI can do it, the player should be able to do it too. The mapper could control this on missions by adding some sort of "canbeforced" spawnarg to the doors he wants the AI to be able to possibly access even without keys, but that also applies to the player. He would probaby never do it because he wouldnt want to alert the whole place. He would much rather look for the key or lockpick it. But he should be able to do it (for certain doors), as a sandbox scenario where you do what you want is what is great about TDM. Maybe hes being chased by monsters or guards, and speed of the essence.

 

I dont think doors should be "destroyable". Just forced open. It just sounds problematic. But its true that mines and fire arrows should be able to open doors the same as ramming. Again, the player would only do that if he doesnt want to lockpick it, but that would alert everyone everywhere, so thats the price. Since the mapper controls it, some doors are simply too sturdy to be forced, so keys would still need to be found. But there could be a problem of consistency, if a mapper plans for that and others dont. The player would be frustrated an explosion works in the same sort of scenario in one mission but doesnt in another.

Edited by RPGista
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Ideally, the screaming AI would unlock the door before running out to get a guard for solving his issue with the iintruder.

And that is exactly, what AI seems to already do in some missions. I don't know, why in some missions, AI is only capable of running in circles while screaming for help.

Maybe, fixing that missions is a better idea than both - the current skeleton key bearing guards and the proposed uber guards kicking in solid doors.

 

Also try to kick in a medieval door like we mostly see in TDM missions. You might need a doctor afterwards. Even the wooden doors of TDM mostly look pretty sturdy. And trying to kick in one of the metal doors would just be absurd.

You might be able to kick in some of the more fancy polished wooden doors featuring glass windows though. They look rather weak.

 

I am not against having more physics stuff - including beeing able to break open weak doors. But i am pretty sure, that the original problem of AI in distress not opening the door from the inside and actively searching for help is an AI issue.

 

Would also like to see some (less educated) guards trying and failing at breaking doors, that are to strong for them in case they think, there is an intruder inside. It is a good thing, that we are currently able to block doors with furniture (that it also works with some bottles is a bug though) and that we potentially could lock out (or even better: Imprision) guards by locking doors behind them if missions would not just set guards to be able to open all doors (wich is sad). Stuff like that, adds to the immersiveness of TDM.

 

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Ideally, the screaming AI would unlock the door before running out to get a guard for solving his issue with the iintruder.

And that is exactly, what AI seems to already do in some missions. I don't know, why in some missions, AI is only capable of running in circles while screaming for help.

Maybe, fixing that missions is a better idea than both - the current skeleton key bearing guards and the proposed uber guards kicking in solid doors.

 

Also try to kick in a medieval door like we mostly see in TDM missions. You might need a doctor afterwards. Even the wooden doors of TDM mostly look pretty sturdy. And trying to kick in one of the metal doors would just be absurd.

You might be able to kick in some of the more fancy polished wooden doors featuring glass windows though. They look rather weak.

 

I am not against having more physics stuff - including beeing able to break open weak doors. But i am pretty sure, that the original problem of AI in distress not opening the door from the inside and actively searching for help is an AI issue.

 

Would also like to see some (less educated) guards trying and failing at breaking doors, that are to strong for them in case they think, there is an intruder inside. It is a good thing, that we are currently able to block doors with furniture (that it also works with some bottles is a bug though) and that we potentially could lock out (or even better: Imprision) guards by locking doors behind them if missions would not just set guards to be able to open all doors (wich is sad). Stuff like that, adds to the immersiveness of TDM.

 

No, the weak AI may be blocked by player from leaving the house. It's a guard's job to come to the rescue, not the victim's job to pave way for them.

 

 

I quite like this.

Hey. let's do a test map for this

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You couldn't do this as default door behaviour, as it could significantly mess with mapper's intentions for existing maps. Imagine St. Lucia. Instead of searching for a way into the church, the player just hides in a shadow and shoots a noise arrow at the front door and waits for the AI inside to break the lock and come out. After they ramp down, the player can just waltz in.

 

Individual mappers could perhaps apply this to specific doors, but it would require some significant changes to the code for pathfinding and door handling--two of our more sensitive systems.

 

In the end, other than a neat animation (that we don't have), I'm not sure much is gained. If mappers want an AI to have the ability to get through a locked door, they can give them that ability already.

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Kicking and shoulder-bashing a door does not *unlock* it, but would rather break the door or the door frame, right?

It is much more likely that you break your shoulder, imho :)

 

I am with Springheel on this. Of course this may unlock interesting new gameplay mechanics, especially if the player is able to violently open doors, too. This was possible in the Splinter Cell games for example. You either pick the lock, which is silent but takes time, or you use your knife to open it, which is fast but loud.

 

However, there are two things to consider: Number one is as mentioned by Springheel that you can't make this a default behaviour as it would effect existing missions, which may or may not be in the mappers intention. It would also effect all further missions, with the same consequence. Secondly the fact that this has not been added yet by a single mapper implies that there are many of them who do not consider such a thing as neccessary. Either they bypass this the way described by Sotha or they just don't add it as they don't want or need it.

 

I am not sure whether it makes sense to force something like this if there is no consensus of its neccessaty. On the other hand it would be considerable to provide the resources needed by a mapper to add this as a feature to their missions. It may result in it not beeing used, though. (See my hitman-style script which is almost unused, among other things).


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

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You couldn't do this as default door behaviour, as it could significantly mess with mapper's intentions for existing maps.

Absolutely. This is for new maps, and for mapper's select door only.

 

Imagine St. Lucia. Instead of searching for a way into the church, the player just hides in a shadow and shoots a noise arrow at the front door and waits for the AI inside to break the lock and come out. After they ramp down, the player can just waltz in.

This must only happen in extreme cases - like civillians calling for help. Suspicious noise is not a reason to break doors by any law.

 

 

 

In the end, other than a neat animation (that we don't have), I'm not sure much is gained. If mappers want an AI to have the ability to get through a locked door, they can give them that ability already.

AI walking through locked doors with keys you can't pickpocket or grab from the body is breaking immersion.

 

 

On the other hand it would be considerable to provide the resources needed by a mapper to add this as a feature to their missions.

Which is what I suggest.

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A nice little project:

(no, the AI grumble was TDM's own idea: I did not put it in!)

 

Here is an animation if someone wants to try to do something with it. Even if it would not go to core mod, it could be pretty cool as a scripted city watch raid or something..

 

And the files as .pk4 are here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PcGb4s1awWWBvdCC2317Sl23rZRuGD0A/view?usp=sharing

 

Enjoy!

Awesome.

 

I can only hope @grayman adds this to guard AI (when the door entity is marked as breakable).

 

One particular application might be tricking city watch to break the door by sending them via an anonymous hint, etc.

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While the concept seems interesting and flashy, it's kind of feature creep. Functionally this equals a guard who can unlock all doors. It's okay to have something like this as a scripted sequence, but as part of systemic gameplay? Not so much. Most players reload a save when they're detected anyway, so that means working on a feature and animations that will be seen by 1% of players. Players will also have to be able to somehow distinguish destroyable doors from others, and level designers will have to take into account that such doors can be destroyed. That means things like longer drawing distances (needs performance check), making a safe spot for the player if he can no longer close a door to hide, etc. Most mappers don't even check performance of their maps with doors open, so I wouldn't expect them to care about stuff like that.

Edited by Judith
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While the concept seems interesting and flashy, it's kind of feature creep. Functionally this equals a guard who can unlock all doors. It's okay to have something like this as a scripted sequence, but as part of systemic gameplay? Not so much. Most players reload a save when they're detected anyway, so that means working on a feature and animations that will be seen by 1% of players. Players will also have to be able to somehow distinguish destroyable doors from others, and level designers will have to take into account that such doors can be destroyed. That means things like longer drawing distances (needs performance check), making a safe spot for the player if he can no longer close a door to hide, etc. Most mappers don't even check performance of their maps with doors open, so I wouldn't expect them to care about stuff like that.

If you talk about generic missions where player has to grab N loot and knock out M guards then yeah. But sooner or later we'll have to move on to more complex setups where the world has more to offer than just another neck for your black jack

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Not sure if making TDM a Rainbow Six: Siege is the way to go though :D And I actually disagree about complex setups: the simulation has to be fairly simple, so the players can predict results of their actions. It can leave some room for systemic fun and wacky situations, but it shouldn't overwhelm players with too many things to look out for.

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I'd not call a guard coming to aid to a screaming burger overwhelming or unexpected. What is unexpected (and immersion breaking) is not being able to retrieve a key from an AI who can go through locked doors.

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Ideally, the screaming AI would unlock the door before running out to get a guard for solving his issue with the iintruder.

And that is exactly, what AI seems to already do in some missions. I don't know, why in some missions, AI is only capable of running in circles while screaming for help.

 

That is something the mapper has to setup. Theres a flee point functionality which you can use to tell where a fleeing AI has to run to, presumably to a point where the character knows there would be other people that could help him/her out. Since AI can "tell" other friendly AI what they know about the player's last seen location, it works just as if the fleeing character tells them something like "theres a thief in my bedroom", and they run towards where you were last spotted. Its pretty cool actually.

 

There are some good points on all sides and this likely wouldnt work with previous missions, it would be something for future mappers to take advantage of. The current situation is definitely not ideal, and I think mappers should avoid using guards with skeleton invisible keys whenever possible. Just design the place having that in mind. But aside from the obvious coding problems of how to make this feature work well for AI (and possibly the player), I cant see how it wouldnt be a positive new feature. Anything that adds depth to the AI, Im all for.

 

If this cant be a consensus though, and cant be merged into TDM, Im afraid its pretty risky to work on something that would have to be implemented by each mapper individually. Mappers are most of the times not coders, and its not that often they will be looking to try unbeaten paths. Like Obs said: he spent a lot of time and effort developing behaviour and a system where the player can walk into differentiated zones, where AI would be neutral or hostile depending on his actions or if he is someplace he shouldnt be. I thought people would merge that into TDM somehow or mappers would all use it, but I havent seen it implemented yet (as far as Ive played). To me, thats mostly because the work is buried somewhere in the forum and very few mappers even know it exists. (Its here, by the way: http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/14394-apples-and-peaches-obsttortes-mapping-and-scripting-thread/page-9?do=findComment&comment=310926 )

 

PS: Awesome work Sotha, you did this in minutes! Looks real cool.

Edited by RPGista
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I'd not call a guard coming to aid to a screaming burger overwhelming or unexpected. What is unexpected (and immersion breaking) is not being able to retrieve a key from an AI who can go through locked doors.

 

IMO it's fairly easy to justify the latter, as there's no obligation to carry all your keys on your belt. Some guards do, some guards don't, they don't like to talk about it much (they usually attack me when I try to ask).

 

But the former depends on many factors. Like, how this is supposed to become a game rule, and how players can see this rule in action, without being punished for what they do? To translate this into game mechanics, you could introduce a Door Basher™ class, for all factions, so that would mean new, visually distinguishable AI model for each faction. He should also have a kind of flaw, so players don't feel like mappers gang up on them. Maybe he's a bit drunk, his view cone is more narrow, etc. Now he needs to be assigned to someone he'd protect, so that would mean another set of AI models that are different from the current set. Or maybe both Door Basher™ and AI he protects have an arm band with the same symbol, so players can distinguish them from regular AI.

 

You already see how much work it can take to translate it to gameplay.

Edited by Judith

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This must only happen in extreme cases - like civillians calling for help. Suspicious noise is not a reason to break doors by any law.

 

How would the AI code decide what an "extreme case" is?

 

 

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How would the AI code decide what an "extreme case" is?

 

 

Well basically I'd assume visual, direct, close contact of player by AI to be the maximum agitation level. And when a guard hears a cry for help he gets agitated that much as well.

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IMO it's fairly easy to justify the latter, as there's no obligation to carry all your keys on your belt. Some guards do, some guards don't, they don't like to talk about it much (they usually attack me when I try to ask).

The player needs to become able to search unconscious AI. If they got all that keys, they have to be somewhere. I think, Duzenko is right with his point, that guards having all that keys wich the player can't even get by knocking them out or even killing them is making the game less believable.

 

Regarding the rude behaviour of that guards you asked: You have to bring a deck of cards or some beer to the conversation. Not beeing dressed like a cliché burglar from a computer game might be important too...

 

Like, how this is supposed to become a game rule, and how players can see this rule in action, without being punished for what they do? To translate this into game mechanics, you could introduce a Door Basher™ class, for all factions, so that would mean new, visually distinguishable AI model for each faction.

Or you introduce some new weak-looking door entities that are by default breakable by the player and any guard AI and feature them in the training mission. It worked with all the other never-seen-before stuff in TDM, so it will probably work for this new feature too. Mappers will then use that new entities in their maps - or not.

Only important thing is, that there are not suddenly guards bashing down doors that really don't look like you could bash them open. It would probably still okay if some mappers would use the new doors without having guards beeing able to bash them open. Same as the relighting behaviour, wich most mappers use, but some don't.

 

 

@Sotha: The door in your video looked more like you would not be able to kick it in. Come back with a comrade and a small battering ram.

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The player needs to become able to search unconscious AI. If they got all that keys, they have to be somewhere. I think, Duzenko is right with his point, that guards having all that keys wich the player can't even get by knocking them out or even killing them is making the game less believable.

 

 

This is already the case. Pickpocket a key from a guard and he can continue to unlock the door the key was for. It's not believable, but it's necessary for gameplay, as has been discussed before.

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