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Things that could be improved


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#26 Mr Lemony Fresh

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:08 AM

-guards noticing doors being opened/closed (ESPECIALLY if it happens right in front of them!). If a locked room is left with a door wide open by the player, a guard should at the very least take a look inside


Does anyone remember how in thief a guard would simply acknowledge a change in the scenery if he walked past it? Sometimes if you changed something near a guards route like a door or light or something, they'd walk past and say something like 'that wasn't like that a minute ago...' without stopping, but perhaps looking at that thing as they walk past.

As for me, there are 2 things that bother me.

-The zombies seem to twist a little to far when they swing if you stand near them. I do think it's clever how the swinging adjusts to match the animation of the zombie though. To see what I mean, check the attachment.

-I still think the players foot steps are a little too loud. Sorry guys but I compared the slow walking to my brisk walking and even I sounded more quiet, which is saying something because I consider myself clumsy.

Or If not for more quit sounding footsteps, perhaps faster movement? One of the biggest problems about running into a guard is they are just as fast as you. Even though they are heavily armoured, big oafs and carrying a weapon (like a massive hammer) I feel like if you can't have the advantage of strength or even fighting technique, maybe since you're dressed in leather and other such light material you really should be able to run faster.

It'd also really make running around on large maps like the lord dufford mission a lot more pleasant. Lastly, walking bristly up behind a guard like in thief would be great, but sometimes you need do a lot of following before you catch up, and of course running is out of the question.
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#27 Melan

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:37 AM

I don't know if this has been discussed either external or internally, but tdm needs more of the items
<snip>


Electrics and other technological gizmos. We've got dynamos, but would need some old transformers, coils, dials, indicators and weird machinery (a lot of which were animated textures in Thief - would probably be entities in TDM). These would be a bit harder to do than everyday stuff; not that many very good metal textures are available for a start, and photosources are also lacking. In particular, searching for transformers always yields tons of those freaking robots. :angry:

Edited by Melan, 19 May 2010 - 01:40 AM.

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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#28 Bikerdude

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 05:13 AM

  • -they'd walk past and say something like 'that wasn't like that a minute ago...' without stopping, but perhaps looking at that thing as they walk past.
  • -The zombies seem to twist a little to far when they swing if you stand near them.
  • -I still think the players foot steps are a little too loud.
  • -since you're dressed in leather and other such light material you really should be able to run faster.

I agree with the above and step 4 can be done manually by mappers I believe..

#29 _Atti_

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 05:36 AM

How about experimenting with a slight noise of the thief's cloth/equipment on crouch/standing up, running,mantling?
cloth is better, since equipment may not be present in an fm at all.maybe variants could be created for the fmmaker's choice so a caped thief character sounds differently than an armed one. All this would be separate from footstep sound, and definetely subtle.

Edited by _Atti_, 19 May 2010 - 05:37 AM.


#30 Springheel

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:49 AM

-I still think the players foot steps are a little too loud. Sorry guys but I compared the slow walking to my brisk walking and even I sounded more quiet, which is saying something because I consider myself clumsy.


We're in the process of revisiting the player footsteps right now, actually.

One of the biggest problems about running into a guard is they are just as fast as you.


The player is actually faster than the AI, though not to a massive degree. We did extensive testing to match the player walk and run speed to Thief.
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#31 Tels

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:06 AM

How about experimenting with a slight noise of the thief's cloth/equipment on crouch/standing up, running,mantling?
cloth is better, since equipment may not be present in an fm at all.maybe variants could be created for the fmmaker's choice so a caped thief character sounds differently than an armed one. All this would be separate from footstep sound, and definetely subtle.


That's definitely an idea, it would enhance the immersion without having any gameplay effects.

(OTOH, shouldn't there be a very small penalty (e.g. alert level rise) if the player repeatedly jumps up and down next to a guard, even on carpet? E.g. one jump -> only one 0.1 points rise, doesn't make any difference, 10 jumps => 1.0 rise, make a very small difference).

Edit: We do already have such sounds for when you draw your weapon. I believe the are inaudible to the AI (and they are a tad too loud to my player ears, but that is a sep. issue). So having "cloth_rustle" when you stand up or crouch down or run wouldn't be totally out of order.
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#32 mike mayday

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:14 AM

We're in the process of revisiting the player footsteps right now, actually.


That's great to hear :)
On a side note, now that I've gotten sound to work properly, I also think that the guard footsteps are too quiet- sometimes they mange to surprise me with their sudden arrival just next to me!

#33 LEGION

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:40 AM

Guards too quiet? I don´t think so. Sometimes the footfell-sound itself is so loud, but I guess that is a bug. (like on the mud-ground by your old friend in the second NHAT-mission, the wrong ground-sound is played and much louder than the right walk-sounds)

#34 Springheel

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:48 AM

now that I've gotten sound to work properly, I also think that the guard footsteps are too quiet- sometimes they mange to surprise me with their sudden arrival just next to me!


There is a bug where sometimes specific AI don't make any footstep sounds at all for some reason. But normally you should clearly hear guards, even on carpet, well before they get next to you.
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#35 aidakeeley

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:04 AM

OTOH, shouldn't there be a very small penalty (e.g. alert level rise) if the player repeatedly jumps up and down next to a guard, even on carpet? E.g. one jump -> only one 0.1 points rise, doesn't make any difference, 10 jumps => 1.0 rise, make a very small difference


This is hopefully the kind of thing you guys are not seriously bothering to consider... :P

I very rarely find myself wanting to stand next to a guard and jump up and down 10 times. But, having said that (Larry David), I would hope that when I do get the hankering to do just that I wouldn't have anything so ridiculous as to have that very normal, very reasonable, very purposeful behavior result in said guard unrealistically noticing my stealthy tactics.

Edited by aidakeeley, 19 May 2010 - 11:05 AM.

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#36 mike mayday

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:23 PM

More thoughts (I hope you guys don't mind me spamming these, it's just so much close to perfection that I can't help brining up these details :P

1. The lightsources are too bright in their nearest vicinity, leading to an "overexposed" look:
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2. Lights do not properly light up a room. No matter how many candles you light up, they only light a very small area around them:
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Ideally, the more candles you light up, the brighter should the whole room get (only slightly of course).

3. Guards do not act naturally if you put out lights on their route. I can understand a guard ignoring a single extinguished light, but even if I extinguish ALL the lights on his patrol route, he will happily continue in complete darkness. First of all, he should switch to full alert (because either there's a thief or someone's playing tricks on him), second- he should start lighting them back.

4. Is it just me or is the light radius around torches much too small? I understand that it's a gameplay issue (affects difficulty) so maybe it could be regulated by an option?

5. The sound of pinching a candle should be muuuuuuuch more quiet.

6. Would it be possible to create an opposite of mantling? In which you approach a ledge, turn around and CLIMB down, silently planting your feet on the ground below (provided it's not lower than your body height of course :)

7. If you pick up a small object and drag it against a surface, it makes a "banging" sound- it sounds ok for an object falling from a height and hitting the surface, but not rubbing against it. Not to mention- it should also be much quieter.

#37 Springheel

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

The lightsources are too bright in their nearest vicinity, leading to an "overexposed" look:


Turn off bloom.

Lights do not properly light up a room. No matter how many candles you light up, they only light a very small area around them:


The light radius can be altered by the mapper. Although if lights are too large then they overlap more often, which is a drain on performance.

Guards do not act naturally if you put out lights on their route. I can understand a guard ignoring a single extinguished light, but even if I extinguish ALL the lights on his patrol route, he will happily continue in complete darkness. First of all, he should switch to full alert (because either there's a thief or someone's playing tricks on him), second- he should start lighting them back.


It's up to mappers to set lights as suspicious. They are not suspicious by default. If you set a light as suspicious, then AI will act pretty much as you describe.

The sound of pinching a candle should be muuuuuuuch more quiet.


I think it's been mentioned in this thread already that this has been addressed in the upcoming update.

6. Would it be possible to create an opposite of mantling? In which you approach a ledge, turn around and CLIMB down, silently planting your feet on the ground below .


This is in our list of future features, but we have basically one coder now, so things like this are not going to happen unless new people join up to help.
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#38 Neb

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:53 PM

Turn off bloom.


Also, I think having fast ambient turned on makes lights look a little bit more overdriven too.


The light radius can be altered by the mapper.  Although if lights are too large then they overlap more often, which is a drain on performance.



Yep. Three overlapping lights is where it starts to get really hairy. Multiple lights in an area can look really good though, so it's best to set them up so that they 'tip-toe' around each other. That way you can light the whole room, keep your FPS, and give the scene character and interesting depth.

Apologies for seeming to not directly reply to you mike mayday. Just echoing Springheel.  :)



#39 mike mayday

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:55 PM

Turn off bloom.


Okay, this is gonna be a dumb question... where can I do that? Or is it maybe possible to just turn it down a bit?


The light radius can be altered by the mapper. Although if lights are too large then they overlap more often, which is a drain on performance.

Wouldn't it be possible to make them simply increase the ambient brightness of the whole room (no shadow calculation and stuff). Would that drain performance as well?


It's up to mappers to set lights as suspicious. They are not suspicious by default.

Well, shouldn't they be? I don't see a reason why a light would NOT be considered suspicious EVER.

I think it's been mentioned in this thread already that this has been addressed in the upcoming update.

Sorry :blush:

#40 Neb

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:06 PM

 

Well, shouldn't they be? I don't see a reason why a light would NOT be considered suspicious EVER.


A guard will most likely notice that a torch has been doused on his patrol route. Outside of that, the guard may presume that the owner doused it, or that it just naturally ran out of juice. It depends on the context and whether it's believable that someone should be suspicious.

#41 Fidcal

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:15 PM

Wouldn't it be possible to make them simply increase the ambient brightness of the whole room (no shadow calculation and stuff). Would that drain performance as well?

If you are seeing all FMs with very black shadows and very bright lights with small radii then possiby you have not calibrated your gamma setting according to the standard. If so, check out the trainer gamma room. If mappers increass ambient brightness above what is common standard now then AI will see you even in the shadows.


Well, shouldn't they be? I don't see a reason why a light would NOT be considered suspicious EVER.

Gameplay. Many players would object to constantly having AI relight all torches and candles as fast as they extinguish them. After all, they extinguish them so they can move about more freely without being spotted. So a balance is best and this is true of missing loot too. If AI noticed every item that went missing then FMs would be in a constant state of alert. That said, most mappers, including myself, possibly don't think of it at the time. ;)

#42 Springheel

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:24 PM

Wouldn't it be possible to make them simply increase the ambient brightness of the whole room (no shadow calculation and stuff). Would that drain performance as well?


Probably, but again, it would be up to the mapper to set that up. Most mappers just use a general map-wide ambient rather than separate ambient lights in every room.

Well, shouldn't they be? I don't see a reason why a light would NOT be considered suspicious EVER.


Torches and candles do sometimes go out by themselves, so why would a guard automatically assume something is wrong if he finds one unlit? Not only that, but it is very harsh in gameplay terms; creating shadows is part of what we expect the player to do, so if you penalize that behaviour, you're leaving the player without many options for getting around.
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#43 mike mayday

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:38 PM

I don't propose that a single extinguished torch would alert the guard. A single extinguished torch is ok, but five extinguished torches is IMHO enough to assume that there's an intruder in the building.
Since the torches are there exactly to light up the guard's patrol route, I don't see why anyone in the house would want to douse them- the only reasonable assumption is that it has spent or a gust of wind extinguished it.
So I propose this- make the guard's alert level only increase by a fraction when he notices an extinguished torch (unless you do it with a water arrow right when he's standing next to the torch!) but if the player douses too many lights on a single guard's patrol, he should definitely move on to investigate. This amount could even be optional (chosen at the start of the mission?).

Additionally, if you douse all the torches in a room that is being patrolled by a guard, he should light at least one back up anyway (even if he doesn't become alerted) because there's no point in guarding a room if there could be a guy standing one foot in front of you and you wouldn't notice him because it's pitch black.

Edited by mike mayday, 19 May 2010 - 02:59 PM.


#44 LEGION

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 03:46 PM

I´m with you when you say guards should react to a specific number of dozed light-sources. (depends on how much are in the area, some percentage value maybe) But they shouldn´t be alerted, just looking around and tell others to be more aware of something (for a specific amount of time) and they should relight one/two (again specific percentage value of existing light-sources) random (the nearest) light/s. I guess this would be a hell of a script-work! :rolleyes:

If ever done, I would suggest this to be an Gameplay-Option too, because maybe not all players would like that all the time. And I think it´s very good to let players themselves adjust the Gameplay to their liking to make the game-experience as individual as possible.

#45 ironpants

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 04:17 PM

Electrics and other technological gizmos. We've got dynamos, but would need some old transformers, coils, dials, indicators and weird machinery...


In particular I think mercury arc rectifiers would aesthetically fit right in, with their glass bulbs which contain a glowing rain and pool of mercury: http://www.electrics...uk/mercarc.html

#46 Mortem Desino

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:59 PM

2. Lights do not properly light up a room. No matter how many candles you light up, they only light a very small area around them:

Ideally, the more candles you light up, the brighter should the whole room get (only slightly of course).

http://modetwo.net/d..._light_settings

See especially "ambient_light_dynamic" .

I also really like how about 2/3 of these requests are things that the mappers, not the team, are supposed to do. ;)
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#47 mike mayday

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 03:31 AM

Well, I was thinking those are so obvious that they should happen automatically and only be DISABLED by the mapper if he thinks them inappropriate in a given situation.
I'm appalled that such a fantastic function as ambient_light_dynamic is already there but it's not getting used because mappers would have to set it individually for every room! :P

Edited by mike mayday, 20 May 2010 - 03:35 AM.


#48 Springheel

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:05 AM

Well, I was thinking those are so obvious that they should happen automatically and only be DISABLED by the mapper if he thinks them inappropriate in a given situation.


How exactly would you like the engine to "automatically" light every room appropriately? :huh:
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#49 nbohr1more

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:15 AM

...Hey! So you're saying I shouldn't request that you make my dinner and wash my dishes? If not, how will my TDM playing experience improve???

Edited by nbohr1more, 20 May 2010 - 08:17 AM.

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#50 ungoliant

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 11:09 AM

the coders job is to provide mappers with flexible tools to create their own artistic visions. It is the mappers job to learn how the hell to use them. If you educate yourself on the wiki/forums about all the important topics like lighting, S/R, particles, models, pathfinding, etc, you should find that the coders have done a goddamned fine job of providing us mappers with an extreme amount of artistic freedom to do what we want with our maps.

Don't gripe about default settings. Work up the intestinal fortitude to do some work and set things how you want them in your map.




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