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Rope Arrow Concept


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#1 Springheel

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 12:31 PM

After checking up on rope arrows I noticed the previous concept was just a 'good enough for the first milestone' idea. Since the first milestone has come and gone, we might as well decide on what the actual rope arrow will look at.

Please, let's not get into a big discussion about how rope arrows work--been there, done that. Clearly, they could not work using conventional physics, so there's no point in trying to argue what kind of arrow would best support a thief's weight, etc.

Anyway, here's the original concept:

Posted Image


and here's my variation of it. The head is four-pronged, giving it a slight grappling-hook appearance. That and the metal ridges will make it easily distinguishable from other arrows. The metal ridges could be clockwork mechanisms, magic, or contain the rope itself, I don't care. Making the entire arrow shaft metal might be worthwhile.


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If there are no objections, I'll put this up to be modelled.
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#2 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 02:00 PM

I really like the more sharply barbed/serrated appearance of your arrowhead, SH. And I think the metalwork should be where the rope gets coiled. I've seen that somewhere -- was it T2X? And it looked okay to me. There could still be a magical explanation of how it unravels and how the rope disappears once you take it, and I'm okay with that. I actually always liked how the rope arrows were somewhat magical with no logical explanation.

I personally wouldn't want to see the entire arrow being metal, though. I like the mixture of wood and metal. Of course, if the rope is coiled around that part, the metal will pretty much only be visible when the rope is unraveled.

PS: I feel arrows that are made completely of metal should only be used for specific purposes, such as to jam the gears of clockwork mechanisms. I don't see that great of need to have an all-metal rope arrow.

#3 oDDity

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 03:05 PM

I disagree, the rope arrow shaft should be entirely metal, which at least makes it believeable that it could hold your weight.
I think it's a better idea to have a thick shaft with the rope tightly coiled up inside it, all along the length of the shaft, thogh I do like some rpoe being coiled oustside forappearances sake.
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#4 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 04:52 PM

I disagree, but don't think it matters much. I knew that would be presented as a counter-option, but I have no argument against because it's puretly aesthetics. Both would look fine -- I just prefer the non-metal option because it's a mixture of new technology (steel alloy) with old-school natural raw materials.

If all metal is used, I think it should be a dark metal (nearly black) with low speculars.

#5 Subjective Effect

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 06:37 PM

If the head is suitably heavy duty and the rope comes off the front rather than the back of the arrow then that design is pretty sensible.

I've a wacky suggestion though - how about a corkscrew/spiral drill head with a spiral flight so it looks like it's supposed to "drill" into the wood?
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#6 god_is_my_goldfish

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 07:53 PM

That was considered a while ago, not sure what came of it, though that might not be a good idea considering our noisemaker is similar to that. I like spring's though.
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#7 Domarius

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:11 PM

I know Spring said we already had a big discusson on how it will be realistic, but I think we all accept its a pretty fantastic (as in fantasy-like) concept, so I'm sure we can take little steps toward believability without getting too involved.

I could go with any of the ideas so far, including Spring's concept.

#8 sparhawk

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:44 AM

I like the second better. Wether the shaft is metal or wood is just a cosmetic change anyway. I think a metal shaft may look cooler. :)
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#9 oDDity

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 03:20 PM

THis is my entry for rope arrow. The clockwork corkscrew arrow.
It's a completely new design, as you can see.
It's designed and built by the inventors guild. It operates by clockwork, so no magic is necessary.
What happens when the tip hits a surface is that it sets off a clockwork mechanism in the head which rapidly spins the arrow and burrows it into the wood.
THe rope is either coiled or bunched up inside the hollow metal shaft, and is deployed when the arrow stops spinning.
The rope is quite thin, but only a thin rope is required to hold a man's weight - your mouse cord is quite thick enough to old your weight, if it were made from strands of hessian, and of course weight is at a pemium in an arrow.
This rope arrow cannot be reused. THere's no way the thief would spend the time screwing it ut of the wood, and putting the cord back inside the shaft is impossible once it's been deployed.
There is absolutely no reason why the rope arrow should be be reuseable when every other arrow type cannot.
You get a limted supply, just like other arrows.

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#10 sparhawk

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 03:38 PM

I don't agree with the reuasabillity, but the arrow looks really cool. :) I still advocate that it would be much nicer to have each arrow individually designed for it's purpose instead of red, blue and green coloured crystal arrows.
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#11 oDDity

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:00 PM

State some good reasons why the rope arrow should be reuseable, apart from the fact that they were reusable in Thief, which means nothing.
What is wrong with having a limted supply of rope arrows, and having to use them wisely like all your other arrows?
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#12 Springheel

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:20 PM

I think a corkscrew arrow stretches credibility even more than a regular pointy head, personally. The idea that such an arrow could actually work and hold the weight of a man is pretty ridiculous. There's no way an arrow like that would puncture wood without magical aid, let alone go deep enough to support the weight of a thief.

Not that I really care if it could actually work, but I'd prefer a concept with a different head.

State some good reasons why the rope arrow should be reuseable, apart from the fact that they were reusable in Thief, which means nothing.


Because ropes hanging down should alert guards that something is amiss, and no thief would leave something like that hanging around in a travelled area. If they have to remove it, they might as well reuse it.
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#13 oDDity

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:28 PM

THe arrow would work pefectly in real life. And would certainly hold the weight of a man, it is made of steel, or something as strong, and our thief is only about 90 pounds anyway. The main thing is that the rope should be deployed from near the head of the arrow, and not at the end of it, becasue then the weight is not distributed properly.
The thief, would of course just cut the rope when he got to the top and hide it somewhere, not spend 10 minties tryign to prise it out of the wood and then another 15 trying to put the rope back into the arrow.
This is a far better design that the other two, which just look like broadheads, and it's also been thought through as a working concept, not just 'here's an rope arrow, it just kind of um works by magik and stuff'
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#14 sparhawk

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:43 PM

State some good reasons why the rope arrow should be reuseable, apart from the fact that they were reusable in Thief, which means nothing.
What is wrong with having a limted supply of rope arrows, and having to use them wisely like all your other arrows?


Because you can use them to traverse a beam. You shoot a consecutive row of rope arrows into the beam and take each one while you jump to the next rope. This way you can keep all your arrows and reuse the everywhere.

Tell me one reason why we should NOT keep them reusable. And don't give me that crap about it being unrealistic, because the thief would have no time to unscrew it. A water arrow is just as realistic, so that doesn't count anything.
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#15 sparhawk

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:46 PM

THe arrow would work pefectly in real life. And would certainly hold the weight of a man, it is made of steel, or something as strong, and our thief is only about 90 pounds anyway.


The arrow would certainly not work for a simple reason. The problem is NOT the arrow itself, it is the rope. Even if you could create a mechanism that unwinds the rope on impact, there is still the issue of the weight. The rope would either be to heavy, or if you would create a plastic rope which is extremly thin, how would you climb it? You could not with bare hands, because it would cut your hands.
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#16 New Horizon

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:56 PM

Why does it even need to be clockwork? Without something to hold the shaft in place, the head would just spin and the arrow would fall out or something.

Lets use ...or perhaps stretch...some simple physics into this and drop the clockwork stuff. The arrow is very lean...I don't know a whole lot about designing arrows but if I was an inventor designing an arrow like this, I would make a design that would cause the shaft to spin due to the air passing through the feathers on the end...or some such idea. The spin of the arrow screws it into place.

I would vote for them being reusable as well...not that it really matters. If they're not reusable, it just means that they will likely be made a little more abundant in the maps. The reason you tried so hard to hang onto one in T1 and 2 is that they were reusable but rare. Either way, it can be balanced.

#17 oDDity

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 05:17 PM

Because you can use them to traverse a beam. You shoot a consecutive row of rope arrows into the beam and take each one while you jump to the next rope. This way you can keep all your arrows and reuse the everywhere.

Tell me one reason why we should NOT keep them reusable. And don't give me that crap about it being unrealistic, because the thief would have no time to unscrew it. A water arrow is just as realistic, so that doesn't count anything.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You can't reuse a water arrow, or any other arrow for that matter. That's my point. Why are rope arrows singled out as the only arrows that are reuslsble.
If you have 5 rope arrows, that should be enough for any beam traversing, and how often is that going to come up anyway. I'm sure there would be a lot of leet things you could do if you had endless supplies of the other arrowes as well, but you don't.
The whole point of the game is that you have a limited inventory and have to use it strategically. Giving the player an endlessly reusebale rope arrow makes a mockery of that.
A mechanism that unwinds the rope on impact is easy. Just a simple hydraulic pusher disc, which slides down the inside of the hollow arrow. THe weight of the rope is not a problem, thin cord is not that heavy, and as for it cutting into your hands, you should take another look at the leet bracers/glove combo I modeled for the thief, which are for exactly this sort of situation.
# The entire arrow spins, NH, not just the head, and the forward mometum it recived from the bow pushing it forward. The arrow spins and burrows very rapidly, in a fraction of a second, and then the rope depolys from the head end of the arrow so the rope eminates from the place where the arrow shaft enters the wall - this means that it will be very sturdy. IF the rope eminated from the feather end of the arrow, it would bend or break with the weight.
And yes, they should be more abundant and not reusable, just like all the other arrows, There is no case for a special exception for rope arrows.
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#18 sparhawk

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 06:31 PM

You can't reuse a water arrow, or any other arrow for that matter. That's my point. Why are rope arrows singled out as the only arrows that are reuslsble.


Because with rope arrows it is more realistic to reuse them then other kind of arrows.

Water arrow is used up once it impacts, so there is no way to retreive it.
Fire arrow explodes, so there is also no way to retrieve it.
A gas from the gas arrow is also used up so there is no way to retrieve it.
Broadheads can be retrieved when shot at the appropriate surface. On stone or metal they are supposed to break or at least are so deformed that there is no use to retrieve them, but in wood they simply are stuck and you CAN retrieve them.
Rope arrows exhibit the same behaviour. If you shoot them at wrong surfaces you can NOT retrieve them, while in wood you can.

There is NO difference between the other arrows or a special explanation required for rope arrows. They fit exactly into the scheme of how arrows are treated and there is no special power that grants you the right to retrieve rope arrows just because they are rope arrows.

Quite on the contrary, it would require an extra explanation why you could retrieve broadheads but nor rope arrows.

The whole point of the game is that you have a limited inventory and have to use it strategically. Giving the player an endlessly reusebale rope arrow makes a mockery of that.


It does not. It fits perfectly into the arrow design.

There is no case for a special exception for rope arrows.


Agreed. And therfore the same rules should apply to them as for the other arrows.
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#19 Ishtvan

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 07:29 PM

I don't care much one way or the other on whether they're re-usable, but if the main issue stopping it is that it would have to be rewound before it could be redeployed, maybe we could do this: The retrieved rope arrow goes into your inventory but is not immediatley usable when you retrieve it. It takes some 30 seconds or so before it may be used again, and it's assumed that the player character is resetting the mechanism offscreen. I don't know if that's really necessary or not, but might be a compromise.

#20 Springheel

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 07:32 PM

THe arrow would work pefectly in real life. And would certainly hold the weight of a man, it is made of steel, or something as strong, and our thief is only about 90 pounds anyway.


I don't know if you've ever done any woodworking, but even an electric drill won't go into wood without significant, sustained force behind it. And the head on that arrow is a corkscrew, not a drill. Try drilling a corkscrew into a board and see how much pressure it takes. There's no way it would penetrate wood simply from the force of impact, spinning or not.

And, as Sparhawk correctly mentioned, any rope thin enough to fit into that arrow shaft would also be too thin to climb--even if it could hold the weight of our '90 pound' (what, is he ten years old?) thief, which I doubt.

And yes, they should be more abundant and not reusable, just like all the other arrows, There is no case for a special exception for rope arrows.


If they are not reusable, then players will experiment with them less. The great thing about rope arrows is using them to get into out-of-the-way areas on the map, or looking for creative ways into a building. You fire an arrow, climb up, and if it doesn't lead anywhere, no harm done. If doing so automatically uses up a rope arrow, then you're going to be much less likely to try it.
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#21 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 08:26 PM

Sorry, oDDity, it's a cool idea, but here are my hang-ups:

1) When climing ropes in real-life, I can tell from experience that it is much easier to climb a rope with some diameter to it than a mouse cord.

2) It does seem less believable than a serrated broadhead for ( a ) supporting weight, and ( b ) for successfully embedding itself into wood for the purposes of supporting weight. 90lbs seems awfully light for a grown man, unless it's some Calvin Klein waif model or something. I know thieves are nimble and such, but 90lbs? Really?

3) I absolutely love the sound of a rope arrow hitting wood and unraveling in the Thief games. I'm sure a similarly pleasant sound could be created for the corkscrewing sound, but I don't think it could possibly compare. The only way to get close would be to have the broadhead-style arrow. The old style was simple, quick, concise and effective, which I liked. No need for clockwork since magic explained it for me.

3) I definitely like re-usable rope arrows, but this is something the individual FM authors could probably decide for themselves.

I don't want an artificial '30-second reset before using' policy surrounding them either. That goes back to the whole sprinting and fatigue issues we talked about a while back.

I like Sparhawk's reason for why he likes re-usable rope arrows. That situation wouldn't be possible if you had to cut the rope.

Also, I just have a lot of fun using them! I like reaching new/different areas and looking at the world from up-high in the middle of a big room is just neat. They're just way too fun to use than to only be able to use them once or twice in a level that's filled with wooden architecture.

Why not other arrows re-usable? Moss arrows: you'd have to pick up all the clumps :) Water/gas arrows: They shatter and release their liquid/gas. Noisemakers: They spend their energy and clockwork mechanism. Rope arrows are just more believably re-usable to me; although I'd have no problem with re-usable noisemakers, too, if it's not currently possible.

#22 New Horizon

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 08:31 PM

I can suspend my disbelief as to whether or not the arrow could penetrate the wood. Honestly, it's no more difficult to believe than the 'magic' rope arrow. Making them non-reusable is also not really a problem. It's up to the FM author to ensure that there is access to enough tools and this also makes the player think a bit more before deploying a rope arrow.

@oDD

In reference to the arrow function. Cool, that's how I thought it should function. It's just when you said 'clockwork', I thought you meant some kind of mechanical device inside the arrow.

I think it's cool and it differentiates our arrow visually. It's the same functionality in the end.

#23 Ishtvan

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 08:34 PM

You might be able to drive the corkscrew into the wood if you had an explosive charge to torque the head in. Even so, it's not a realistic arrow because it would be so heavy that it would not be launched very far from your shortbow. I think we should just leave the exact mechanism unexplained.

#24 Domarius

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 09:14 PM

I would like them re-usable because you can get into all kinds of interesting places with only two rope arrows by being careful about where you fire them so you can always retreive the last one.

Having them limited would kill that kind of exploration that I thought everyone loved about the rope arrow.

You run out of them because you can sometimes waste them, or choose to leave them in strategic places.

I think the T2 system is fine. Don't fix what 'aint broke.



BTW oDDity's concept is cool - but that corkscrew could be a waste of polys - AFAIK the engine will still render them once its embedded them in the wall, its just that the Zbuffering will overlap them with the wall. The only things that are culled from rendering are whats out of the viewport (screen) and whats not in the visible visportals.
An arrow head is more efficient polygon-wise.

#25 New Horizon

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 10:04 PM

Reusable or not reusable, aye. Well, not really something we need to worry about right now. Lets just get a rope arrow working ingame and we'll worry about the distribution systems later. That's rather low priority at the moment.



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