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Everything posted by Sotha

  1. Quest markers are a two edged sword. On one hand, the player is treated like a retard with bright neon lights saying "go here!" "Push this button!" "Talk to this dude!" On the other hand, if the game dev making the quest was sloppy, the player could get really stuck without quest markers. The quest giver says "you know the bridge over theres? I put the cache there." Without quest markers, the player could spend time ad frustratum trying to find the cache that actually is under a tree near the bridge and not ON the bridge. The description is too vague. Or the description is not saved in any place so the player has one chance to memorize what was said and the dialogue cannot be seen anymore. Try playing Stalker OGSE so you know what I mean. That mod has no quest markers, but it has absolutely hair tearingly frustrating loot hunts. So if no quest markers (TDM style) good instructions must be given. Or subtle quest markers (yes, that moon light beam just by chance happens to illuminate exactly the key you are looking for. What a coincidence!)
  2. Good discussion as always with you guys! One more thought. The very foundation of dull quests seems to be an immediate explicit trust between the player and the quest giver. They often do not know each other and the quest giver requests the player to risk life, limb and soul to do the chore. "Go kill ze dragon!" In which the player has only one answer option: "OK! Do you want it now or immediately?" The unwritten agreement is that the player must blindly do what is asked without their own initiative. They have no choice because "this is primary quest," which must be completed to make progress, like it or not. The explicit trust between the player and the quest giver is due to the metagame agreement: the player must do this one thing to proceed and nothing else will make the plot move forward. Do the game always need to obey this agreement? So maybe a simple way to make it more interesting would be to add options here and there. Mutually exclusive options. Does the player trust the quest giver? They could choose not to, and that could be entirely fine with the plot ("nope, I am not gonna kill ze dragon, I'm going to trick the quest giver to give me the key, or I am getting the key from the Royal Key Factory.") The choice would have a later game implications ("the player is indebted to the Key Factory who now takes 10% of player's income or the quest giver seeks revenge later.") If each quest had an option or two, and the options were mutually exclusive, interesting and plot defining, the quest would become more interesting. I guess this was sort of done already like in Deus Ex and Dishonoured. But why is it used so rarely. If you spend time plotting a quest, just add at least one extra option to the quest. And make a later consequence for the choice (if player chose X in chapter 1, then A happens in chapter 2. If player chose Y in chapter 1, then B happens in chapter 2 or 3.)
  3. Tl;Dr: How can we get to The Quest 2.0? Do Quests in computer games really need to be so dull? Long text: I've been playing computer games recently. The one in progress now is The Long Dark, which I bought years ago and now it got updated with a STORY mode. The SURVIVAL mode is brilliant. Stay alive as long as possible with minimal gear. Resources run out and you must move on and take risks. You need to make good decisions with where to go and what to do. Your situation changes often and you are presented with a new obstacles (nope, you can't go to the place you wanted because there are wolves there. You are running low on food and drink and the weather is getting bad. Go back (and starve), circle around (risk losing your bearings), expend resources to scare wolves away (always low on resources), try to fight them (risk infection&torn clothes[gets even more cold])). Interesting stuff. I really looked forward to the STORY mode because I somehow expected them to do something new to Quests in computer games. I am not sure why I expected that... As you guessed, it turned out there was nothing new. It is a typically quest game with survival mechanisms (food, drink, sleep, cold). The survival mechanisms are in the background, because the player gets plenty of food and drink so those are a-non-issue. Thus it becomes exactly the chore-fest many quest based games are. You know the drill, right? 1) Quest giver says: "Get me STUFF." -> You walk around for a while, collect STUFF and deliver it to the quest giver. -> The quest giver gives a tiny reward. 2) Quest giver says: "Go THERE, investigate and get back." -> You walk THERE, a cutscene plays. and then you return to the quest giver. -> The quest giver gives a moderate reward. 3) Quest giver says :"Get me MORE STUFF!" -> You walk around for a while, collect MORE STUFF and deliver it to the quest giver. -> The quest giver gives THE KEY TO GET OUT OF THIS LOCATION It is linear, and boring. The player does chores and is rewarded with a predefined plotline that progresses. Are computer games doomed to always be this way? Could something more interesting be possible? I am not sure what... maybe the plot line moves onward without the players interaction ("survive as you see fit in the ghost town until spring when snow melts and the way is clear.")? Perhaps the Quest giver actually exploits the player until they end up in jail on the Quest givers behalf (game over) or until the player realizes this on their own and gives the quest giver a punch in the face and takes the KEY to PROGRESS outright? Maybe the quest giver gives a target ("get outta town") and the player is given free form how to do it ("steal car", "trick the dude to ferry you out", "stock up on gear and walk", "take the climbing route", "use dynamite!") You know, how to make the Quest something else than a machine where you put a chore in and you get game progress out... Something new... Something more out-of-the-box... Something more surprising... Something more fun!
  4. I gots the usual story: C64, then Amiga500, then 486 PC. Many of the boys around the neighbourhood did not have computers, but early game consoles like Nintendo and Sega, so I got to mess around with them as well. For the younger people here imagine the era: you buy a computer magazine from the shop, which contains BASIC program listing, which you copy from the magazine pages by typing it into your C64 to get some software. Then you save it on a C-cassette. Amazing times! C64 had tons of cool games. I've also played Lord of Midnight but my young age and poor english made it utterly incomprehensible to me.. Favourites were games like Ikari Warriors, Commando and Bubble Bobble. If think one can still get them from the net and play them with a C64 emulator.
  5. What AH said. In TDM I would avoid making too narrow spiral staircases. It is no fun to spend time building a staircase which cannot be used because it causes an AI log jam. Always test your narrow staircase with at least 2 AI. They need to be able to get past each other easily. The minimum AI traversable width should be 64 units + some safe marginal. I would maybe go with 80-100 units.
  6. I'll share too! I do it like this: 1) choose sizes. Pay attention to the fact that the staircase must go down so that right handed swordman has an advantage defending the staircase (easy to make it go the wrong direction). 2) Make a step and cut it half ways. 3) Cut it further by eye so that the steps are roughly the same size. I stay in grid 8 with few steps cut with grid 4. It does not matter if it is not mathematically 100% correct division. It is enough if it looks good by eye! 4) Move the steps so that a staircase quadrant is formed: 5) Apply texture on the steps. Align it perfectly. 6) Now clone the ready made quadrant to make as long a staircase as you want! The cloned quadrants are super easy to place because they all meet at the center. 7) Make the entire staircase room modular and place a copy of it in an unused area of your map. This means that you never need to make spiral staircases again. If you need one, just make a copy of the one you already have. You could even make the staircase room with full decorations: windows, lights, decals, and store that. Now you can get a copies of fully fleshed out staircases at will. Just remember that the staircase room must be surrounded by a wordspawn room if it containts entities in order to avoid leaks.
  7. Drat! I think I did have one of those "get out of Microsoft Jail free" cards lying around here somewhere.... I dunno if it is gonna be a problem for real. If the product is utter crap, people will bash it and will want their money back. In the era of internet, the word will circle around. People will avoid the product, which really matters for the company.
  8. Very cool! Those would be awesome if the mapper wants include hallucination or flashbacks into their stories.
  9. Yep, time limits are dangerous, and I agree with Obst that instead of instant game over a slap on the wrists is better. Some other ways of adding a time limit: an assassin AI is slowly moving through the map towards the victim the player must save. If the player takes too long, the AI reaches his target. The victims dearh does not necessarily mean instant game over. Let the death cause a lockdown, and extra guards, which the player can still bypass to complete the mission. But it should be hard: equipment use mandatory. Or just write the story so that the victims' death is sad for the player (their friend, wife, mother, is killed). There are no formal effects of failure, just the sadness that their life was in the player's hands and the player failed, and the evildoers won. All the player can now do is to escape with their own life.
  10. I would say that the benefit of non-project way is that the mapper is not that committed to the single project yet. Preparing the project folder is work, so if one wants to casually map here and there and have a bunch of files in the darkmos/maps folder to experiment with, non-project approach is better. At some point the mapper gotta start the serious work and at that stage it is good to go into project mode. This works for me quite well.
  11. I usually work like this: 1) first work on the .map in darkmod/maps. If other files are generated, they are stored under darkmod folder (like darkmod/guis, etc) 2) once the .map is done and I move to doing briefing, etc, I package the mission as .pk4 and install it as a normal fm. I move all the unnecessary subfolders out from darkmod folder. 3) I unpack the .pk4 into the darkmod/fms/mymap folder and I delete the .pk4. 4) finishing touches are done in project mode. Sort of best of both worlds. I go into project mode when I get the most benefit from doing so.
  12. I guess basic income must become reality as soon as robots and machines replace humans in most workplaces. It is either basic income and societal stability or few ultra-rich people who own the production machines and destitute people who want to destroy the rich. I do not know what the basic income commoner will do in the future: people get money for free and hang around in virtual realities doing nothing? Or perhaps basic income requires people to contribute at least something to the society: something small that is within their capabilities: the robots will do it better, but humans do it for joy. A "soft sector" of sorts will emerge. And about the bum who wants booze. They do not really want the booze. Something horrible has happened to them and they need help. Perhaps in such an enlightened society the bum would receive substantial care and help from the society for free, which would transform the bum into a society contributing "soft sector" worker who receives basic income. In the end, I guess people are happy if i) they have basic needs fulfilled, ii) do not need to struggle, iii) are safe, and iv) they can contribute in some meaningful manner (they have a place in the world.) If we get endless renewable energy, we can recycle resources effectively and robots/machines can churn out complex stuff at very low cost... do we need money anymore? This would of course require most people to realize that (once critical basic needs are fulfilled) items do not intrinsically generate lasting happiness: and we could get off the materialistic treadmill.
  13. God, this topic would be awesome to discuss in person in a nice restaurant while enjoying some high quality alcoholic beverages.. But sadly I do not have anymore time to discuss these online in written form. Dammit!
  14. I do not know if you can track where the player gets damage. A simpler way would be "Do not let the zombies get close to you (melee range)." Bind a trigger on the zombie. If the player gets too close to the zombie and trigger is fired, run a script. The script makes the player play "cough cough" sound effect and whatever you want. For gameplay purposes, you could make it easier for the player. Let's say the mission has a global variable "contagion" it starts at 0. Every time the zombie trigger is fired, the contagion is increased by one. Now you could have various effects like contagion 0 no effects contagion 2 player coughs a bit contagion 4 player coughs a lot and takes one time damage of 25 (healable with health potion) contagion 8 player coughs a lot, heartbeat pounding, player takes one time damage of 50 (healable with health potion) contagion 10 player takes one time damage of 1000 (dies) and play zombification sound effect. Alternatively you could remove the contagion variable altogether and simply have the zombie trigger run coughing and start a special script that sickens the player who steadily loses hp for a while.
  15. Yeah yeah, sure, there is real life James Bond stuff going on of course. Like the Litvinenko case. It sends a clear message too, because you can't just buy polonium from the general store. True true, it is horrible stuff. But there are also conspiracy theories which are just junk. And you can really easily provoke consipracy theories from facts just by leaving out other facts. An example: Fact1: "Almost all Titanic casualties died because of heart attack!" *Wild theories go on why the true cause of their deaths were concealed by a ship sinking cover-up. Perhaps a new combat gas was tested on the ship or whatever.* Fact2: "When you fall into icy water you die because of heart attack that was cause by hypothermia which was caused by cold sea water in which you ended up because the ship sunk." Because people love conspiracy theories, there are plenty on offer. And when there is lot of junk to speculate about, facts get muddled and the work of the real investigators probably gets more difficult and the actual real conspiracies remain a mystery. I guess real conspirators benefit thd most from public conspiracy theories. And perhaps conspiracies are so interesting stories because they are a mystery, which always fascinate people. And in the end, the likelihood of a junk conspiracy theory is always higher than a real conspiracy.
  16. My main question would be: why are people so fascinated by conspiracy theories? I've noticed that Americans seem to love them in particular. What is the main appeal? Is it just entertainment: urban legends and fascinating stories? Or are they something to genuinely to believe: something that affects your every day life and your daily actions? In the reality, there is room for an endless amount of speculation and conspiracy theories. They are mostly equally valid and the evaluation of their thruth-value is equally difficult. Why spend time on them? Sure, if journalists and investigators of crime start dropping like flies, it is good indication there is something terribly wrong in the society and even more journalists and investigators need to get to work. But that is real reporter work and real investigation, not just conspiracy theories.
  17. Sotha

    Human Nature

    Methinks people just like interesting stories and adventures. And in an adventure or a story, there needs to be an element of risk, danger and other stuff that appeals to the emotions to make it interesting. "Find the killer before he murders another innocent teen girl," "a grand battle of epic proportions." If you want to have an interesting story that appeals to people's feelings, you need to first make the character look like a decent and nice guy, and then have him be decapitated by a douchebag coward teen-king just out of fun. It really feels in the audience because it triggers an outrage of unjustness. It is not the killings the people like to watch. They want appealing and interesting stories. Stories have always entertained humans. And violence, betrayal and other nasty things is often the way to craft stories which evoke strong feelings in people. Thinking about your post, there probably isn't that many emotion-tools in the toolbox of the people who craft stories. All stories have been told already. Just mix and match different existing and already used plot devices to make new ones. In the end, Lord of the Rings would not make a very interesting story, if it was just a story about hobbits and pals hanging out in the neighbourhood, without conflict or danger. But true.. In order to be effective, the violence needs to be more and more vivid as time goes forward. It's like a drug: you need to increase the grotesqueness dose after each use a little bit for it to continue to be effective. For me example, some of the violence sequences in Walking Dead makes me feel sick (like the start of that Negan season), but I do notice that it also dulls. The more you see that stuff, the more you can take it.
  18. Bakery Job gives the player gold and they can buy as much water arrows as they can afford. Easier difficulty level gives more gold. The combo entities work just like normal the light entities: the difference is that with those I can see the light radii in DR (Okay, I admit that making the first combo light is a little more work than just plopping in a light entity, and also the combo light model is always noshadows... but I still feel the benefit of visible light radii is more valuable than the mentioned cons.).
  19. As good example as any: it covers everything and is narrated why I am doing stuff I do. I never use standard light entities, but rather model+light entity combos. Standard lights do not show light radius in DR. TDM is a game of light and shadow: I need precise light control in the editor, and that is the reason for using the combos. Mapping protocol is the same wheter one uses standard entities or you build a combo entity. You just clone the light and smack it into place.
  20. If interested in mapping, I made a youtube series where I build a new map from scratch. It took something like 6 hours in total and shows everything that is needed for a simple mission with no fancy extras. http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18680-lets-map-tdm-with-sotha-the-bakery-job/
  21. What the hell? How can it be possible to run out of music licenses in a ready final product? It just does not make any sense me and I've never seen entertainent expire in such a manner. I recommend Alan Wake highly. Although the gameplay is a bit dull and repetitive, the story is great and how it is executed is an example how to do it correctly. It just table spoon feds you with story so that you are always engaged and crave for more. Also the soundtrack is awesome. The American Nightmare is only gameplay with minimal/crappy story. Not worth of most people's time or money.
  22. Just do. There is no try.
  23. I thinks AI has spawnarg idle_anim_interval or something along those lines. If you set that to huge number (in seconds, a day to two) the AI will never play idle anims unless the player chooses to wait for them.
  24. This seems like a really useful site for choosing service providers. Thanks for sharing!
  25. Oh... This explains a lot what is happening in our world right now. It all makes sense now. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

    1. Show previous comments  15 more
    2. Anderson


      It's only aggravated by our unhealthy postmodernist swings in society. Lots of people need help.

    3. teh_saccade


      Sotha's comment re: cricism.


      This is something I try to do in all things - students will better respond to "deconstructive" critique if it is followed by "constructive" critique of their work.


      A compliment must always have some kind of back-hander, as people are unused to receiving positive criticism - in some cases, unable to receive it due to the disparity between themselves and the standard of their work.


      A kind word (preferably action)...

    4. teh_saccade


      ...can make all the difference.


      It starts with this.


      Other people judge and qualify me (eg, I am not an artist, unless I am doing it and people say that I am).


      I am not qualified to judge myself or others - only a person's work.


      Critiquing the work depersonalises the issue and thereby affects condifence in other ways, without affecting psyche.


      I agree - praise the work, not the person.

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