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Thrashaero

timed knockout period

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But how long would a mission take in the real world? I don't know long people stay unconcious after being blackjacked, but anything over an hour won't matter. Also while we are talking about realism, do guards notice dropped swords or blood pools?

 

Dropped swords was implemented in 2.04, it's been around a long time now:

 

http://youtu.be/so3hPDySfxw?t=79


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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The difference between killing and knocking out is not purely cosmetic. When you kill someone, they emit a loud death cry that alerts AI within earshot. KOing a guard does not do this. Killing a guard should also spawn a bloodstain that will alert passing AI if not cleaned up. This doesn't happen with a knockout. Also, in order to kill someone, you have to take out your sword or bow, which makes you easier to detect.

 

Granted there are cases, like when it's really dark and there is no other AI around, where these things don't matter, but they will come into play in many cases.

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Just wondering, but... do AI's react to swords which are lyeing around from knocked out or killed guards?

 

See the first post on this page.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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I normally don't kill - but when i do it, i first knock them out and carry them to a safe place before beheading them with my trusty short sword. That way there are no screams and other unexpecting victims don't see any gore lying around.

 

I like how current knockout / killing mechanics work. Making AI able to wake other AI would not change anything for me as i never let bodies lie around, where others woud see them. But for less stealth-oriented players, it could make the world a litte bit more believable (does not matter, whether unconscious people could really be waken up or not - other games already created the expectation that it works) and incentivise properly hiding knocked-out AI.

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able (does not matter, whether unconscious people could really be waken up or not - other games already created the expectation that it works) and incentivise properly hiding knocked-out AI.

 

 

I don't understand this. AI that find knocked out or dead bodies already go into full alert and warn everyone they meet about an intruder. Isn't that incentive enough to properly hide bodies?

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I don't understand this. AI that find knocked out or dead bodies already go into full alert and warn everyone they meet about an intruder. Isn't that incentive enough to properly hide bodies?

Waking up lnocked-out AI would enlarge the force that searches for the player and should make avoiding it more diffiult. But as i said, i don't let other victims see victims i already dealt with. So it could very well be, that nobody would ever stumble upon a wakeup-by-AI mechanic...

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The thing about KOed or killed characters is that they become ragdolls, subjected to physics, and thus all manner of things can happen to them - they can be carried around, proped on top of things, fold all weird upon themselves, characters could end up on top of each other, etc. I dont know how other games deal with this but its not trivial to transition from a random body position to a fixed animation of someone getting up from the floor, for example, without it being a really strange process. Maybe Im just ignorant, but I dont actually know how that would work in an easy way. Carrying unconscious people around is a staple of Thief and one of the mechanics that gave it its uniqueness, so having the ability of freely moving ragdolls is not gonna change, and that would probably be needed to allow for characters to be able to be reanimated - in Stalker, sometimes an npc falls down, badly hurt, and cant get up but isnt dead. You can cure him and he'll get up, but the lying down dying animation is a fixed animation from which you can transition to a dead state or a getting up animation with no problems. Once dead they become ragdolls and are subjected to physics (bullets, impacts, etc), but that is irreversible.

Edited by RPGista
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A way to avoid the awkwardness (and lack) of wake up animations for ragdolls is to only allow it when the player is out of sight. This also covers the extra step of giving them back their weapons, if they were dropped.

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AI that find knocked out or dead bodies already go into full alert and warn everyone they meet about an intruder. Isn't that incentive enough to properly hide bodies?

I agree. Compared to the trouble necessary to make waking up AI work depending on what happened to them this doesn't look worth the effort.

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I should think a 'wake up' routine would have to be able to teleport the AI somewhere nearby as well, since even if there's space for the AI to stand, there's no guarantee the ragdoll will have been dropped inside an AAS area. But you wouldn't want to overdo it and make every AI into an escapologist, when normally they can't even climb ladders or duck under obstacles.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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A way to avoid the awkwardness (and lack) of wake up animations for ragdolls is to only allow it when the player is out of sight. This also covers the extra step of giving them back their weapons, if they were dropped.

 

This is what I was going to post. The way I could see doing this is with a script using the location system.

 

When an AI is KO'd, it calls a persistent script that sets the start time and player location, with a conditional for the duration and player location "now", with a check every few seconds. When the conditional is true (e.g., 15 minutes later, and the player is 2+ locations away from the KO-location), then the script deletes the AI & weapon, respawns the AI, and kills itself. I don't recall the particulars of spawning AI, but the whole thing seems like something a mapper could do by themselves all by script.

 

This is another one of those things I don't think is good for the game generally, but I'd be interested to see it in an FM. There have been some T2 FMs, or at least one I recall, that's done this, and it makes for a memorable surprise for the climax. In that case all KO'd AI were re-spawned and a readable notified the player, as it was part of the plot.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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There's no way to determine location relations, so a delta of 2+ can't be realized. If it's done via locations, the mapper would have to design the map in such a way that he understands that a body in the kitchen can be awakened if the player is in the upstairs bedroom, outside, cellar, etc. They would need to manually create a 2d table of location vs. location that shows when something is legal and when it isn't. And the body and the player could be in the same location (i.e. outside), but there's no LOS from the player to the body.

 

A simpler way would be to check if the body is in the player's PVS. If not, a wake-up can happen, otherwise it's not safe.

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I tried to have a named AI as an object for a kidnapping, as an alternative to killing them, where - if the player decided to KO the NPC and move them to the area to leave before returning to complete another objective on the list, the KO'd AI would be deleted and a new one placed with a slightly different route and (didn't get this far) "drunk" and with new behaviours.

While it was a nice idea, to have the AI wake up after some time had passed [the timing was set by how long it took the player to satisfy another objective and if/then do the body-swap, rather than run a wait timer, which ensured the player didn't see it happen], the consequences of a woken up AI started to be more of a problem than a neat event.



The number of events that have to accompany a wake-up in a game like TDM - without the wake-up becoming the main focus and causing a bunch of stuff to happen, it felt very unrealistic.
Thinking about how an NPC might respond to find themselves waking up with a splitting headache in a place that's a distance away from their last position - finding help, guards raising the alert and actively hunting the assailant, non-combatants responding accordingly to the situation, how to make the player aware that this had happened (as it's not a normal gameplay event), providing ways for the player to deal with the new situation, all the guard AI and routes that might never be used if the player has already KO'd some guards (waste of effort), what the NPC does next - are they just going to go and stand in a room that might be pitch black? What if the player had hidden a bunch of bodies in a previously "safe" area that is then crawling with guards or along the NPC's new route? How does the NPC or a guard respond to that? Perhaps the kidnap target decides to go and put on a helmet, after seeking some medical attention - so the kidnapping objective has to be cancelled, left with only the kill, which kinda sucks...

The chain of events and all considerations that had to occour after the AI woke up started to become a big thing and looked to require the whole mission to be started from scratch to accomodate it.

Really - what if the player did that last?
All that extra stuff put in, just for a possibility that might not be an event in several playthroughs.

Plus, it seemed unfair to the player, to have an unusual event take place without warning. There's no real way, without a cinematic, to seamlessly inform the player that something unusual is hapenning of which they need to be aware and respond and which totally changes the game (and likely destroys their score) for a large part.

In the end, it seemed a lot to do for a relatively minor thing that probably would prove to be an irritation for the player rather than a surprise obstacle to overcome. Maybe, maybe not.

Playing the map through in the state of no wake-up NPC, it made more sense to go and do the kidnapping last - even if the objective was placed up the list of things to do - as, what kind of kidnapper goes and leaves the victim unattended for half an hour while returning to the scene of the crime to go and get 2000 gold and a quest item? Easier to ghost past and satisfy the incidental objectives before doing the heavy lifting on the way to the exit...

One solution was to make a facsimilie of the map and teleport the player as they left the room with the quest item, placing them first in a no-control area that "played out" a cutscene of the NPC recovering and then leaving the area (which looked shit, because the NPC had to be put asleep on the floor and wake-up as if rising from a bed, stopping at a guard - who's path didn't really jibe with the one the player would have seen earlier. So screw that) and dump them in an "alerted" map and having to negotiate a bunch of alerted guards to go and shoot the kidnap victim in the face with an arrow. With no way to show the NPC putting on a helmet after visiting the master cleric.

In Hitman, events such as that were kinda intrustive to the gameplay in some places. At the thermal baths in the hotel, there were a few times a timed event would force a cutscene, just as the player was doing something else. It was also annoying to have to watch that cutscene over and over and over again. Some were fine, such as locking the guy in the sauna, but even they got repetitive after a few times.
TDM doesn't have the HUD to bleep and display info messages to say stuff like, "blah is going here" or "blah is ordering a drink" or "blah is arriving at the cafe" to give the player info about events that are outside normal play.


So, ultimately, it was kinda crap and to make it work was too much work, and it didn't seem as an enjoyable feature, once the consequences were considered to keep the gameplay in-line with the player's expectations and experience in TDM.


Also - if AI woke up... How could I booby trap sleepers with mines as a safety net against discovery (ok, the explosion often means it doesn't matter, but it's cool), and use KO'd bodies unceremoniously dropped out a window as lures to distract guards from their posts..? It'd take out all the fun with ragdolls - everyone loves to line up the KO'd AI and push them off a cliff or send them to the bottom of the lake and grind the game to 5FPS as the physics go mental.

Edited by teh_saccade
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They would need to manually create a 2d table of location vs. location that shows when something is legal and when it isn't. And the body and the player could be in the same location (i.e. outside), but there's no LOS from the player to the body. A simpler way would be to check if the body is in the player's PVS. If not, a wake-up can happen, otherwise it's not safe.

 

Yeah something like a table. But you could name them in big groups, like of tens of locations to a group, and have a table of only 3x3 groups or so, the smallest number that works. That's how I was thinking about it, well after what I posted.

 

Sorry does PVS mean line of sight, or distance? I thought about that but worried about the player just poking in and out of LOS or range & the switch happening. It'd need some kind of failsafe margin, I thought. Time delay definitely, but it's not completely failsafe. So that's why I was thinking by location. But LOS and distance definitely could I'm sure work too if it had some simple failsafe way to avoid the zip-in-and-out-switch case.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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