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#26 Obsttorte

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 02:35 PM


There have been times where I have cringed at the ability to walk down a well-lit hallway but be invisible to guards because there is a thin strip of shadow right in the middle.

This is imho more a point of bad level design then an issue with the core mechanics. And yeah, my first mission released has such areas, too.  :blush:  Each and every mechanic can be exploited if misused, especially if a mapper is not paying attention to those things and that fact. The purpose of any game mechanic should be to create an entertaining and preferable challenging experience. Boundling that up in a way that is immersive is the job of the mission author.

 

Note that we are talking about a game here, not a simulator. And note that immersion is not the same as realism. The game should present itself in a way that the player believes it could be true, not in a way that equals to the true world. Flaws in mission design like quoted above obviously break that illusion, so they should be avoided. But as we are no professionals they will occour every now and then.


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#27 demagogue

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:58 PM

Incidentally, the first mechanic for this that came to my mind isn't a lightgem change, but a visibility marker like an absence_marker, which spawns and attaches to the player when they are in the silhouette position and is deleted when they're out of it. But I guess that would alert also guards not in the silouette line of sight too. Hmm.... So you'd have to add a check if the AI are in the right position (the marker still ensures they're looking in the right direction), but that's more in the territory of sourcecode change.


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#28 HMart

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 09:01 AM

If this is really being seriously discussed by the TDM team, even tho personally I still think is a dumb idea (with all respect to who suggested it), then my suggestion (if was not already said) on a way to give feedback to the player, would be to make a silhouette show around the lightgem, whose strength is equivalent to the amount your own silhouet is visible at the time, this even when the lightgem itself is dark.  Of course is another thing on the hud calling for player attention. 



#29 OrbWeaver

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 09:48 AM

would be to make a silhouette show around the lightgem, whose strength is equivalent to the amount your own silhouet is visible at the time

 

But, visible to whom?

 

Unlike illumination, which is a single value represented by the light gem, the visibility of a silhouette is completely different from the vantage point of each individual AI. You'd either need to calculate the "most visible silhouette amongst all AI" and show this on the light gem, which would potentially be confusing, or you'd need an indicator for each AI (perhaps as an icon over their head, or as a series of AI-specific icons along the bottom of the screen). And of course however you displayed these values, they would be constantly changing, pulsing or flickering as AI moved around even if the player was stationary.


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#30 Obsttorte

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:09 AM

Yeah, flickering gui indicators. Gimme, gimme, gimme :D


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#31 nbohr1more

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:34 AM

I was presuming this would be added as a bias to the lightgem value.

 

I guess it could get expensive doing all this checking to determine who get's the highest lightgem score to add

to your lightgem.

 

It could be artificially limited to a candidate AI who hits top criteria in a hierarchy like:

 

1) Closest AI facing you who is also facing the closest light behind you

2) Closest AI facing you who is closest to a light behind you

 

etc.

 

I do kinda like the idea of multiple AI indicators but I wouldn't even think of that game as TDM anymore,

but rather some other fun but related game... (too immersion breaking to have all that hud activity and meta knowledge)


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#32 Judith

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:46 AM

Splinter cell had those awareness indicators circling around the screen, along with distinctive whoosh sound, so you did know someone is getting suspicious, even if he was behind you. But that was to make the basic stealth easier.

#33 demagogue

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 02:32 PM

Yes that'd be the most obvious way. It's out of line to our UI philosophy though.

Incidentally, the other topic like this is player shadow detection.

If you're going to have silhouette detection, may as well have that too, and I think it'd use the same or a similar system.

 

But I'm still thinking this is something just for a demo map, like ultra-realism stealth mode for that map.

I think there are a few other mechanics that have been mentioned before for hard core realism too... like objects not in their original places or out of place... Others?


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#34 chakkman

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 02:54 PM

wow, a game? you're right, simulating reality couldn't possibly provide any sort of fun.

 

 

TBH, this kind of disrespectful reply from someone who just got off the boat towards someone who has been a member of the community since pretty much the beginning, and also largely contributed to the development of the mod always makes me a bit sad. Especially when it's regarding such a silly point of view. Neither the Thief game nor this mod are simulating reality in any way. It's a work of fiction. And its gameplay was made to be a fun experience. 

 

In comparison, a game like Splinter Cell rather aims at presenting a realistic experience, but, guess what. It isn't realistic at all. Unless you ever waded through the complete darkness of a... lighted bureau complex. Again, using darkness as your aid is part of the game, no matter whether it is realistic or not. You could actually say that Thief is a lot more realistic than that, because it's at least halfway realistic that middle age castles weren't lighted very well. Again, though, as has been pointed out, it is no fun to make this aspect overly complex, because it would unnecessarily complicate the gameplay. I once pointed out that it would be nice to have a player shadow, and make AI react to it. But, i can well understand the reasoning to not have it, which is the same reasoning as here. Because it makes the gameplay unnecessarily complicated.


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#35 Judith

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 04:28 PM

Btw. Hitman 2016 uses the same system but again, this is to make standard LOS stealth easier and more accessible (although I think you could toggle it off in the menu). Hitman also aims for realistic look, but the gameplay is an abstract construct, designed to be fun, first and foremost.

#36 VanishedOne

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:21 PM

Incidentally, the other topic like this is player shadow detection.
If you're going to have silhouette detection, may as well have that too, and I think it'd use the same or a similar system.


Another interesting and, er, ambitious case would be detecting the player's reflection in mirrors/water. Probably a nightmare for gameplay since you'd have to wonder whether you could be seen around corners via reflection on a wet floor.

 

Thick fog is another interesting one, since intuitively visibility should be affected by fog density at any point between you and the AI, even if neither is in fog.
 

I think there are a few other mechanics that have been mentioned before for hard core realism too... like objects not in their original places or out of place... Others?


Well, that exists where mappers set it up. If memory serves AI can't see broken func_fractures yet, only mapper-selected missing objects. I recall discussion of AI noticing that other (mapper-selected) AI were missing from their posts/patrols, TDS-style.

 

Back on the subject of visibility, partial cover was another topic that came up: http://bugs.thedarkm...?id=2775#c11482 I don't think any of those was particularly raised as a 'hardcore' realistic feature though.


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#37 jaxa

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:11 AM

 

Most FPS games only require you to be on the lookout for enemies (which already requires lots of spinning around).  TDM players also have to be aware of types of floors, the amount of light currently hitting you, and the direction AI are currently looking and moving.  That's a lot of mental overhead.  To also keep track of what is behind you, especially since "behind you" changes when either you OR any AI moves, would be asking a lot. 

 

This would make an interesting experiment though.  You could show a video where the player turns 360 for a  view of the environment he is in, then have the player move around briefly and then have 2 AI enter the scene.  Let people vote on whether they think the player would be silhouetted or not.

 

Rather than require the player to neurotically keep track of all light sources when a guard is around, or adding a bias to the lightgem value, you could use the border of the light gem to keep track of silhouettes:

 

Attached File  lightgems.png   79.33KB   0 downloads

 

Case 1: No light sources nearby

Case 2: You are facing forward, and a bright light source is behind you (bottom border of the light gem brightened). If a guard is walking in front of you and faces you, they may notice your silhouette.

Case 3: You rotate left about 45 degrees. You are facing forward (north) and the same light source is now behind you and to the right (southeast).

Case 4: You are standing "in the shadow" on top of the dining table in a room with all 4 walls lit.

 

I'm not saying this is a good idea or easy to code, just throwing out a possible way to "reflect" it in the UI that might be less overbearing.


Edited by jaxa, 09 February 2019 - 12:13 AM.

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#38 demagogue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:58 AM

That is a clever way to do it, and brightness could vary as a function of the size & contrast of the player's profile against the source.

 

Never let it be said we don't think through ideas, even when they're clearly being rejected. :laugh:

 

The dev sub-forum is full of 100s of pages of heated discussion on ideas that ultimately got rejected, usually on things that come up in the public forums too at some point, including this one


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#39 HMart

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:23 AM

 

But, visible to whom?

 

Unlike illumination, which is a single value represented by the light gem, the visibility of a silhouette is completely different from the vantage point of each individual AI. You'd either need to calculate the "most visible silhouette amongst all AI" and show this on the light gem, which would potentially be confusing, or you'd need an indicator for each AI (perhaps as an icon over their head, or as a series of AI-specific icons along the bottom of the screen). And of course however you displayed these values, they would be constantly changing, pulsing or flickering as AI moved around even if the player was stationary.

 

That question is one I don't have a answer, but a solution would be to make it so if your silhouette is visible it is visible to anyone looking at you no matter where they are? I don't know, will leave it to the lucky one tasked to implement this. And this is why IMO is a bad idea is a very complicated set up only to make the game more difficult and perhaps more frustrating. 

 

 

Rather than require the player to neurotically keep track of all light sources when a guard is around, or adding a bias to the lightgem value, you could use the border of the light gem to keep track of silhouettes:

 

attachicon.gif lightgems.png

 

Case 1: No light sources nearby

Case 2: You are facing forward, and a bright light source is behind you (bottom border of the light gem brightened). If a guard is walking in front of you and faces you, they may notice your silhouette.

Case 3: You rotate left about 45 degrees. You are facing forward (north) and the same light source is now behind you and to the right (southeast).

Case 4: You are standing "in the shadow" on top of the dining table in a room with all 4 walls lit.

 

I'm not saying this is a good idea or easy to code, just throwing out a possible way to "reflect" it in the UI that might be less overbearing.

 

That was more or less what I suggested above. :P


Edited by HMart, 09 February 2019 - 08:26 AM.


#40 Abusimplea

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:06 PM

And this is why IMO is a bad idea is a very complicated set up only to make the game more difficult and perhaps more frustrating.

More and more missions have to resort to knockout restrictions to make missions not too easy on higher settings. As i like knocking out AI and also like some challenge in missions i would like the game having more adjustable difficulty mechanics (silhouette checking could be adjustable like the regular lightgem - and switchable).

The only downside for the silhoutte mechanic is that someone would have to code it (and that probably is the real reason why we will not have it).

It also would definitely break some missions but i would probably still have it enabled for most old and new missions regardless.






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