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Npc Armor And Headshots?


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#1 Ombrenuit

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:27 PM

Firstly, the NPC armor idea took me off guard. I would like to take the time to congratulate you on a fantastic idea. It would really immerse the player to make them cautious of their aim from the shadows. However, if this level of realism is going to be in the game, does that mean if you manage to pull off a headshot with an arrow, the NPC will die automatically?

I think this might be appropriate as it is much more difficult to get a headshot when the NPC is coming after you then when you are carefully aiming from the shadows (making it much like Thief in that you could one-hit kill an enemy if they were unaware of your presence).

Also, if you were to shoot them in the hand, would they drop their weapon? Their leg they limp? Those examples may be going a bit too far, but I believe the head shot suggestion is applicable.

#2 New Horizon

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:35 PM

Also, if you were to shoot them in the hand, would they drop their weapon? Their leg they limp? Those examples may be going a bit too far, but I believe the head shot suggestion is applicable.



We don't want to put the AI at too much of a disadvantage...dropping their weapon, and especially limping would be taking it a bit too far....especially limping, which would require 'even more' specialized animations.

#3 obscurus

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:35 PM

It could however be tremendously amusing to watch a guard you have just nailed in both arms running around in some parody of an Irish dance. Even better if you can make use of the physics engine to have the arms flopping around like a pair limp trout.... :laugh:

In all seriousness though, I like the idea of guards hit in a semi-vital region slowly bleeding to death, leaving a trail of blood everywhere they go, and searching out for help from other guards.

#4 New Horizon

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:46 PM

In all seriousness though, I like the idea of guards hit in a semi-vital region slowly bleeding to death, leaving a trail of blood everywhere they go, and searching out for help from other guards.


I don't think that type of system is high on our priority list. The proposed system only deals with body armour requiring more skill to hit certain AI in unprotected areas. You have to remember that all these 'little' extras, can add up to one big drain on system resources, especially when you consider that all of this stuff would need to be tracked. Resources are better spent on core Thief styled features, rather than extras. That way we can ensure that people will be able to build larger levels that run reliabley.

#5 Ishtvan

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:52 PM

There's also an exploit with regard to making headshots fatal at all times: If you're standing in a fairly dark place, alert a guard enough so that he walks over to investigate, but not enough so that he's charging at you. Then he'll walk right up to you so you can easily shoot him in the face.

#6 sparhawk

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 06:58 AM

Actually we discussed the limping and droppping weapon bits, but we decided against it for gameplay reason. The AI is already at a disadvantage, and it would be even worse if the player could disable it that easily.
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#7 Ishtvan

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 07:30 AM

I think the current design* consensus on shots to the face and neck (they have to actually hit flesh, so they must avoid the armored section of the helmet / face visor too) is that they're fatal when the AI is unalerted, but have a random chance of being fatal or non-fatal when the AI is alerted. Also, AI that are killed this way will make noise and attract nearby guards just like other violent death sounds. Hopefully that should avoid the "make noise to get AI to slowly walk over and shoot them in the face when they get close" exploit.

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#8 Springheel

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 09:47 AM

Not to mention that if the AI know someone is aiming/firing a bow at them, they'll raise their arm to protect their face, making a headshot highly unlikely.
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#9 sparhawk

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 10:08 AM

It's good to tell everything upfront, so that people are not unduly surprised if we manage to pull off some nice effect. After all, we shouldn't scare them...
Gerhard

#10 Vadrosaul

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 11:10 AM

Not to mention that if the AI know someone is aiming/firing a bow at them, they'll raise their arm to protect their face, making a headshot highly unlikely.

So would that pin the hand of the guard to his face through the shaft of the arrow if fired at the right moment?
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#11 Ishtvan

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 02:22 PM

No. :)

#12 Vadrosaul

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 02:38 PM

Are the arrows not designed to go through models? I've seen ragdoll physics, ala Painkiller, where you can pin an arm to the torso or leg using an available stake or shaft type weapon.

Does the Doom3 engine not allow for such physics?
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#13 New Horizon

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 02:57 PM

Does the Doom3 engine not allow for such physics?


We haven't gotten that far along in testing all this stuff out in such situations yet, things are implimented but we'll need time before we can say for sure what happens in such and such a situation.

#14 Vadrosaul

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:05 PM

Thanks

Since I'm on a roll: What style of NPC body disposal is available? Are you going with the traditional Thief style of hefting them up to the shoulders (carrying like a sack of potatoes) or the Hitman style of dragging on the ground by the leg?
Loose BOWELS are the first sign of THE CHOLERA MORBUS!

#15 New Horizon

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:56 PM

Thanks

Since I'm on a roll: What style of NPC body disposal is available? Are you going with the traditional Thief style of hefting them up to the shoulders (carrying like a sack of potatoes) or the Hitman style of dragging on the ground by the leg?


We're experimenting with a few things...but haven't settled yet. Coding the systems and building mapping assets are our primary goals at the moment, the smaller play mechanics will be looked at later down the road.

#16 oDDity

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 04:09 PM

Dragging gets into to other areas of gameplay like leaving large bloodtrails and how the AI will react to them.
Nothing is isolated, everything has a knock-on effect on the rest of the gameplay, which is why it's not just enough to come up with kewl ideas and throw them in. We have a special forum section bursting at the seams with kewl ideas already, most of whoch will never get into the game, even though they would all be nice features.
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#17 Order of the Hammer Bureaucrat

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 12:10 AM

I though this was too minor to start a new thread over, and as it relates to game visuals i'll post here. Yesterday night, (Victoria day, 11pm) I was strolling through the richer part of our neighbourhood. In Canada very many people launch fireworks on Victoria day. The neighbourhood is of the type without any streetlights or sidewalks, and has about 100 meters of front lawn between the road and the houses. This makes it look a lot like a nighttime atmospheric FM from T1. The houses are up to 3 stories high with stone sidings, staircases and turrets. The trees casting long shadows and bushes and occasional gas-lights provide a dark eerie thiefy nighttime park atmosphere, but the warm yellow lights on the houses balance it out. Some of the arched windows are glowing in various dull colours through the lacework and curtains. The lawn is impeccable - moist, short and dark green. (Ombrenuit might like this). As I was turning a corner I hear the familiar pops of fireworks and see some flashes of light as expected. As I continue walking one bright light doesn't stop glowing. As I approach and take a closer look I see it's a spherical-trimmed bush having some orange particle effects on the bottom of it, and a column of dromed fireplace fire crackling through the middle of it, leaving the peripheral branches unaffected. As I continue walking and staring 3 teenagers run up to it shrieking with a water bottle, douse the flame, and say that's all the fun for tonight. Then they get in their customized sports cars and drive off. If I had assembled a bush with a flame in dromed people would say a burning bush doesn't look like that in real life. But then you never know until you try it.

#18 Ishtvan

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 12:29 AM

The main obstacle from a programming perspective is making dragging look realistic. Ideally the player should be able to drag an AI around by whatever joint, hand, foot, head, but at the same time we want to avoid being able to dangle them off the air by their hand and whip them around, because that makes them look like, well, ragdolls. :)

We could limit the force you apply when dragging so you can't apply enough to dangle their whole body weight by their hand, but that could get frustrating in other situations like dragging an AI up some stairs where you might need a similar force. Of course, you can always just shoulder the AI instead of dragging them if you absolutely have to get them up some short ledge or thru a doorway. That's the nice thing about having a shoulder option as well. (Of course if dragging made noise and left blood trails, everyone would just end up shouldering AI and never dragging)

#19 obscurus

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 12:49 AM

...Of course if dragging made noise and left blood trails, everyone would just end up shouldering AI and never dragging.



Unless of course you impose a penalty on shouldering that means the player has to weigh up the pros and cons of shouldering vs dragging. If you have say a fatigue system (a la Morrowind for example) where a player will have something to lose by going through the extra exertion required to lift someone over their shoulder.

IRL a heavily armoured guard should be impossible to lift for a sprightly thief: add 40Kg of armour to a 90Kg guard and I doubt many people would be shouldering that weight, certainly not without a serious penalty of some sort.

Maybe you would have to drop your loot to shoulder someone (as an example of another way of penalising shouldering).

#20 Ishtvan

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 02:08 AM

The problem is most ways of penalizing you for shouldering someone as opposed to dragging lead to pretty non-fun gameplay.

I was thinking maybe it would take a long time to shoulder them, simulating the time it would take to awkwardly hoist them to their feet and get them into the fireman's carry, but the problem is that sitting around doing nothing and waiting for an automated process to complete is just not very good gameplay. You might as well have a status bar that says "picking up body."

#21 grim

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 02:55 AM

On the topic of headshots...the problem seems to be that in general the AI are a little too dumb and will fall into traps way too easily....it would be cool though, if the AI, when faced with a thief with a bow, would get together and attack from different angles, or charge the thief together, making it hard to shoot them all in the head...in that case, a single shot killing them wouldn't be so unbalancing to the gameplay.
just a thought...

#22 Ishtvan

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 03:08 AM

In the always-fatal face-shot exploit situation I described, the AI doesn't know the thief is there yet, it just heard a somewhat suspicious noise and is walking toward it to investigate (making the kill shot easier and easier for the player if they made the noise right at their feet). Making the AI tactics against ranged combat better still wouldn't solve that exploit, because they wouldn't be in combat yet. That's why we're not too keen on one hit kill shots on alerted AI.

We're thinking of making a shot to a vital area 100% fatal when unalert, and something like 40-50% chance of being fatal when alert so that you can't be sure of a kill shot. It also represents how an alert guard might be slightly more hyped up and, when they see an arrow coming at them, might be able to reflexively move their head enough out of the way so that the arrow deflects off the side of their helmet or or a cheekbone or something instead of instantly killing them. An unalerted guard on the other hand would be rather surprised by an arrow coming out of nowhere at their face.

#23 Domarius

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:09 AM

@Order of the Hammer Bureaucrat - yeah, yesterday there was a layer of clouds that looked so flat, it could have been a flat plane with a cloud texture on it.

I guess the thing is, when you're making a movie, or a game, or a novel, or whatever, you have to aim for something that people can relate to.

#24 Springheel

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:15 AM

(Of course if dragging made noise and left blood trails, everyone would just end up shouldering AI and never dragging)


Dragging will probably only be used when there's little risk to the player, or when you need to move the body a short distance really quickly (or for especially heavy AI that can't be lifted).

It also allows you to adjust the body so that it fits into hiding spots better.

I think it will definitely be used even with the fireman's carry as an option.
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#25 obscurus

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:16 PM

@ Ishtvan:
Personally, I think dragging should be the only option for moving bodies, unless the bodies are of maidservants or similar. It just isn't realistic for the player to be shouldering heavy armoured guards around, especially if the player is loaded up with loot. I have no problem if a penalty is imposed on shouldering that takes most of the fun out of it, as I would prefer to encourage the sort of gameplay that does not result in bodies needing to be disposed of or secreted away. And again, for me at least, the fun in stealth type games is derived from weighing up risks and dealing with the consequences in situations that model reality as closely as is practical in a computer with limited power, not having superhuman lifting capabilities etc..




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