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eigenface last won the day on November 11 2012

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  1. May I take a crack at implementing a new spawnarg for naturally closing doors? It will probably take me an inordinate amount of time to get myself up to speed, seeing as I haven't compiled TDM before. Is this compile guide current? http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=The_Dark_Mod_-_Compilation_Guide
  2. RPGista, you're right, zombies would still need to pull open doors that open toward them. For me personally, with an appropriately slovenly door-pulling animation (not a careful door-pulling animation like other characters, which the zombies use now), I can buy zombies pulling open doors to get at what they want. For me, the seriously immersion-breaking part is when they stop, turn around, and close the door - I can't imagine zombies having that presence of mind. As for the door-pushing animation, I remember the zombies used to do a sideways limp, dragging one foot behind. I don't see them doing that anymore - is that animation still around? Maybe it could be repurposed as a door-shoving animation, leaning into it shoulder-first. The zombie wouldn't stop to open the door, they'd walk right into it, and it would open as they shove through. Is something like that plausible?
  3. I agree, but with the doors I describe, that slowly start swinging closed under their own weight as soon as they're opened (like many real doors do), we wouldn't have to justify either - no strange zombie behavior and no magic doors.
  4. SilentKlD, I 2nd your reaction to the polite zombies, as well as your suggestion that they should open doors just by staggering into them, and then not bother to close them. Sotha, I appreciate your points. They can be addressed by doors that automatically close after some time delay, which I've seen in some missions. Auto-closing doors also address your points for the case when the player leaves a door open, plus the case when an AI opens a door and doesn't shut it because the player sidetracks them. However, in my opinion, timed auto-closing doors are immersion-breaking as well, especially in missions that aren't supposed to be haunted. I have a humble suggestion. It is possible to make auto-closing doors completely natural and non-immersion-breaking. Many real life doors are auto-closing, and I'm not just talking about the ones with a spring mechanism at the top. If the hinges are misaligned vertically, the door swings shut under its own weight. I'm sure everyone has noticed countless doors like this, especially in older buildings. If the misalignment is slight, it can take quite some time, say 5 or 10 seconds, for the door to close all the way. Also, you will notice the door starts moving extremely slowly, and then accelerates, reaching its max speed just before closing all the way. This is the perfect behavior for a self-closing door in TDM, because it leaves the AI or the player plenty of time to go through the door while it's wide open and moving very slowly, even if the player is crouched and/or creeping. If the player sits in the doorway and the door does hit them, no big problem, it just stops, and then starts to swing closed again once the player leaves. This way, TDM could have self-closing doors that are completely natural. And as a bonus, zombies don't need to be polite with doors, just stagger into it to open and then leave it to swing shut on its own.
  5. In that case, I think the zombies should make farting sounds with each footstep. It can't possibly be immersion breaking.
  6. Here's some textual inspiration to go with all these images. From the introduction to the book "Perdido Street Station" by China Mieville:
  7. Alright, here is my take on the "relaxed" lines for the pro guard, as per the script earlier in this thread. Currently, they're all normalized to the same volume, with no compression or reverb. I'm open to all kinds of criticism, on both recording and vocal skills. If these are generally satisfactory, my plan is to power through as many lines as I can tonight, and finish the rest in the near future. What say you? https://www.dropbox.com/s/mcmw5xny93rhnz7/tdm_pro_relaxed.zip I have a few questions. Is the script earlier in this thread the most up-to-date version? Are the names in the script the filenames you want (idle_1, idle_2, etc)? If so, what should I name the coughs, sneezes, and such?
  8. Just put it in cardioid mode and turn up the gain: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VA464S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Windscreen that fits: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ECQOO4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  9. Pop shields are less for excessively-loud sounds and more for wind. As a mic is sensitive to pressure, unfortunately it picks up air currents as well as sound waves. Sometimes when you talk (such as pronouncing 'p' or 'f'), you expel a little puff of air, in addition to the sound. The pop shield blocks the wind but not (much of) the sound. However, a real pop shield (that is, a disk on an arm mounted independently from the microphone stand) is pointless overkill unless you're using a high-end mic (several $100 at least.) For cheap mics, use a windscreen, such a little foam covering on the end of the mic, or just throw a sock over it (seriously.) It can also help to speak past the mic rather than directly into it. IMHO, windscreens (improvised or otherwise) have a number of advantages over pop shields (unless you have a high-end, professional recording setup): 1. They block wind from all directions instead of only one, so you can take the mic outside. (Although, in high-wind conditions, you'll also need a dead cat.) 2. They take up less space and are more portable - you don't have this gangling arm flopping around. 3. They keep dust out of the inside of your microphone. This is key at my place.
  10. Are the relative volume levels of different lines (e.g. mumbling to self versus shouting) baked into the sound files, or are the relative volumes stored externally?
  11. I'm stuck. I've been over and over the areas I can access, so at this point I'm more interesting in a direct "do-this-next" full-spoiler, rather than a vague hint. [spoiler]There are locked doors I can't open on the back of the church and the crypt outside the church. I have a church storage key I found inside the church, but it doesn't open any locked doors I can find. And I can get to a sewer with an underground tomb at the end, with a mysterious arch and a letter about it - I don't know what to do here. What should I do to move on?[/spoiler]
  12. I've just gone back and read your MWoT, Airship Ballet, very insightful. I can't tell if I actually disagree with you about anything, but if I did it might have to do with scripted events. They're great for gradually building up apprehension and dread, at least on the first playthrough. Scripted events have very little replay value, because you already know what's going to happen. But that's fine, replayability isn't necessarily a major concern. The problem is, I've played so many horror games / mods, I'm getting really good at figuring out what's scripted and what's not, while it's still happening. For me, scripted events have much less first-play value than they once did, because I already know what's going to happen, in general terms: I won't actually be attacked - that's what's going to happen. Oftentimes, I can run right up to the "danger" and stick my face in it, with little fear of consequence. A horror veteran doesn't have to wait for the 2nd playthrough for scripted events to lose potency, much is lost as soon as he can tell the them apart from "real AI". I understand every game requires suspension of disbelief, but as you play more and more often, you automatically develop a higher and higher degree of "perceptual skepticism" - you become genre-savvy. The only solution I can think of is to focus hard on blurring the line between scripted event and AI - keep the player guessing right up to the end about what constitutes a "real AI". Unfortunately, this becomes even more difficult with a fan mission for an existing game, because chances are the player already knows how an AI typically looks and behaves in that game. And if you do want replayability, scripted events are right out - your best bet would be try to make AI which are good at setting up scripted-event-like encounters dynamically. An example is an AI that sneaks up close behind the player, but doesn't do anything else, unless they're noticed. I noticed another meta-game problem for the genre-savvy: the implications of helplessness change. Early on, helplessness meant I'm vulnerable. Through experience, I've now come to understand helplessness means I'm unlikely to face anything that's a real danger (only scripted events.) If I don't have any means of defending myself, I know you're wearing kid gloves, because you wouldn't want me to feel the game is unfair. At best, I'll have to run out of the room, and at worst, I can just wait out the scripted event. A perfect example of what I'm talking about is the beginning of the Thief 2 FM Rose Cottage. From the start, the atmosphere is amazing, but I observed everything with a knowing smirk on my face, right up until the point when they gave me a weapon. My response was, "Oh shit! Now I better start being careful." I've come full circle on this issue - I think the game should never make the player completely helpless, because in the meta-game, the experienced player responds not by feeling vulnerable but by anticipating the kinds of things they'll encounter while completely helpless, that is, nothing "real".
  13. I think stealth games are tailor-made for horror-themed missions. Hiding from powerful enemies is already scary without deliberate horror elements. If done right, stealth games make the scariest horror games. I also think stealth is the only genre that does horror justice. Horror needs sophisticated AI, which can do more than just chase you and kill you. Horror needs AI that can search for you and not necessarily find you. Horror needs AI that can become suspicious, and decide to go look for you in some hiding place, as you hold your breath and watch from another, nearby hiding place. Unfortunately, most of the recent renaissance of indie horror games have AI that only chase you and kill you, at best - many have scares that jump out at you and that's all. For me personally, the most important part of engagement in a game is emotional involvement. For me, horror games have always been the best at creating that kind of involvement. As Lovecraft says, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." Needless to say, my favorite Thief game is The Dark Project / Gold, although The Cradle from Thief 3 gave it a run for its money. However, I do think "found horror" is the best horror (in the sense of "found footage" and "found food".) This is because we must build up a sense of the expected and the known before we appreciate the unexpected and the unknown. Another problem with many recent horror games is they drop you into a "scary situation" right at the start, without ever establishing a feeling of normalcy. That's one reason Thief is such a great fit for horror: occasional horror elements are mixed into general thievery - you have a job to do and you know how to do it, there is a known, an expected, and then you stumble upon something unknown and unexplained. The Rocksbourg Thief 2 fan-mission series by DrK is a fantastic case study.
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