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Bastoc

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Posts posted by Bastoc

  1. But introduces the "They don't mind the bright green googly eyes in the shadow" paradox (also the green light on Fishers back... which was really unnecessary since it told you something your HUD did anyways).

     

    Fair enough ;) But in reality nightvision googles shoudn't emit any light anyway! So it could have been coherent.

  2. I recently got this game (PC version) as some people think it's one of the best of the series. I have to say I don't like it much but I found it insightful, about what breaks a game.

     

    Ill-thought-out gameplay

     

    There are some good elements: nightvision (avoids the Thief "I see them but they can't" paradox), sticky camera, whistle, optical cable, adjustable walking speed, rappel and zip-line,...

    But mostly:

     

    - "gadgetism": you have 2 or 3 different actions, but they have the same result (eg disable a NPC) or are hardly useful (thermic and "electrical" views). It's as if the developpers thought "Maybe if we give them enough actions, they'll forget how poor the gameplay is."

    - overpowered gear: the secondary shot on SC pistol that disables lights looks gamebreaking (so far)

    - Fisher has a huge broom up the arse that seem to prevent him from moving and mantling smoothly (common issue, even in good games: DX, Hitman,...).

    -3rd person view: common issue as well, everything's been said already.

    - the contextual action menu is not a bad idea, but it breaks pace and immersion when you have to scroll. Maybe adding a key to choices numbers would have been a good idea

     

    Poor level/plot design

     

    - Spacial linearity: most doors are not openable, there's no visual way to tell what's climbable or not, but anyway almost nothing is.

     

    - Chronological linearity: if you don't follow the steps, you won't trigger events and might go to the right place but NPCs won't have popped (probably the worst thing ever).

     

    Sometimes you have two different pathes to the same step or room, though.

     

    ...Storytelling

     

    Good stuff: in-game news and notes journal, ability to interrogate grabbed people, many conversations,native language option

    But:

     

    -while I believe it's good practice to assume players are not smart, I don't think you should show them how well you apply that. When you cannot read objective-stamped e-mails on computers and the HQ tell you what's inside, it's offending. When the guy I had to take down waited endlessly facing the fridge (to get a beer, supposedly), I felt sick.

    -the map is not really helpful

    -sometimes you cannot interrogate, when it would have been simple to add a few "tell me what you know"-"I don't know shit" dialogues.

     

    Conclusion: I think it was meant to be simulation-oriented, but if you don't feel it, nothing's going to save the game. IMO, it's far from being as good as Dishonored, TDM, Thief, Hitman, Deus Ex, or even... Assassin's Creed.

  3. I just bought this game on Steam recently, and I really recommend it.

     

    Short review:

     

    It was released in April 2013 and now it's an enhanced version.

     

    Concept

     

    You are group of "dirty criminals" in Monaco that break into banks, embassies, grab quest items and loot and escape (ring a bell?) as quickly as you can (leaderboards).

     

    You can play 1-4 players campaign or featured FMs (at least) both online (there's a kind of matchmaking) and offline (need extra gamecontrollers for multi). And I think there is a PvP mode, not tested yet.

     

    Graphics

     

    The view is like a map from above. You have a field of view depending on walls and obstacles. It is pixel art, a lot of bright colors, static and popping icons. I find it beautiful, but some might not like it.

     

    Gameplay

     

    You run, sneak and interact with items. Once you have discovered them, they appear on the map.

     

    Every player has a basic set of interactions: lockpicking, deactivating lasers, climbing ladders, hidding in bushes, hacking computers, using disguise, reviving allies...

     

    You can choose among 8 characters: locksmith, pickpocket, hacker, lookout...

    They all have special abilities or/and can perform the basic ones faster.

    So, depending on the mission design, they can be more or less performant.

     

    You can use different items: smokebomb, guns, C4,... But ammo is scarce as you need to collect loot to have some.

     

    You can chat and talk in multi.

     

    There's a HUD to guide you through the levels.

     

    Storytelling

     

    The game is in English, but since it's Monaco, all the barks are in French, I think.

    But the icons warn you about alert state anyway.

    The campaign has a simplistic story, but there is a lot of humour (funny IMO). Some clichés I liked alot since I'm French myself ;)

     

    My experience

     

    I played solo at first to learn at my pace. I played for hours without being bored or frustrated at any time. You can really play in a stealthy way, but because of the graphics and tone, it's more of a tactical game. I found it quite challenging after a few missions and even died.

     

    Then I played multi online with random ppl, and it was so chaotic! There was always someone who would do a mistake and we would trigger all the alarms and aggro the guards, running everywhere, shooting, trying to hide, reviving dead allies. I couldn't stop laughing. I think it's realy hard to do it properly this way but it's funny.

     

    Finally I played offline with my brother and we managed some good coop combinations (like I switch electricity off while he lockpicks the vault). I'm looking forward to playing 4-team with my friends!

     

     

     

    Just so you know you can buy a 4-pack with yours + 3 gift codes (what I did). And there is a -60% sale on Steam until january 2nd, on both single and 4-pack. But you have to buy it from Steam platform, not developer's website.

     

    Developer's website (for extra info): http://www.monacoismine.com/

  4. Which textures in particular and which ones are you trying to match with? names please.

     

    FI stone/scupted/shields/ornament_shield_white_bendlets and any stone/flat/smooth with the right tone.

    But I was using DR fullbright mode camera preview, so I guess it was with maximum gamma. In-game it's completely different. Noob...

    I made a kind of palette to look in-game and I found stone/flat/smooth/marble_white_01 is a good match for the shields.

    Problem solved for now! Thanks anyway.

  5. Check out the latest version (3) of "Business as Usual" as I created some xmas tree lights!

     

    Or if you like I will make a small TUT of how I did it..?

     

    Oh! This was the second FM I played after St Lucia. Fun one. Good gameplay and as the title suggests, nice doing average taffing. I just checked again and indeed that hotel room sure is cosy :P.

     

    Thank you. I'm having a look at what you did.

     

    /*

    Generated by DarkRadiant's Particle Editor.

    */

    particle tdm_glare_xmaslight {

    {

    count 10

    material textures/darkmod/sfx/fake_haze_01

    time 0.200

    cycles 0.000

    timeOffset 0.000

    bunching 1.000

    distribution sphere 0.000 0.000 0.000

    direction cone 0.000

    orientation view

    speed "0.000"

    size "0.010" to "5.000"

    aspect "1.000"

    rotation "0.000"

    randomDistribution 1

    boundsExpansion 0.000

    fadeIn 0.000

    fadeOut 1.000

    fadeIndex 0.000

    color 0.200 0.120 0.000 1.000

    fadeColor 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

    offset 0.000 0.000 0.000

    gravity 0.000

    entityColor 1

    }

    }

     

    With that, I should be able to figure it out. If not I'll ask you ;)

     

    So far thanks to that I've discovered the built-in particle editor (good start!) and the magical entityColor flag that matches the particle color with the light I think.

     

    EDIT:

     

    I think you copied the tdm_glare_lamp_01 particle, removed the stage1 smoke particles, changed the radius of the stage0 fake_haze_01 and some other stuff. Some parameters are a bit cryptic, but the editor is a nice feature. I should be fine. Thanks a lot!

  6. Hello,

     

    I want to create a custom light for a Chritsmas atmosphere: glass spheres with different colored lights inside.

     

    My first problem is that I don't fully understand what a light is composed of, so if anyone can confirm or correct the following it would help:

     

    Two categories (from mapper's POV): covered and uncovered

     

    Covered lights are "standalone". They have:

     

    - a model: .lwo or .ase files, what contains the light source

    - skins: .skin applies to the model to use different texture sets when lit or unlit

     

    Uncovered lights are attached to a separate solid model (eg a candle. NB: the model can have lit/unlit skins)

     

    - particle: .prt what looks to be emitting the light (eg flame/glare)

     

    Common spawnargs for both:

     

    - _color, light_radius, light_center (position of vertex?), etc.

    - noshadows, noshadows_lit, nospecular, nodiffuse

    - light texture: as I understand it, it's like a 1D mask with fading that makes things look more or less bright according to distance (applied to 3 directions -> 3D). Since it's a texture: other topic.

    - snd_shader: it can make a noise like electrical lights do (so it's also a "speaker", sort of)

    - visual flicker: I didn't find how to fiddle with that (I don't really need to anyway)

    -...

     

    So if I got it well, the main problem is that although you can change light color easily in DR, it doesn't change the particule's color or the model's skin, and you have to do it manually with external tools (maybe that's why some skins have a _colorme suffix).

     

    So question is, for what I want to do, do I really need to install Doom3Ed to create new .prt as described here: http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Particle_Editor ?

    Seems really cumbersome for a simple colored glare. Maybe I should ask Bikerdude or ShadowHide if I can use their fireflies particles.

     

    There's also the glass sphere that has a low maximum number of faces (maybe 20) so it looks awful, and you can't soften edges in DR, I believe. Any idea?

  7. So is there is a way to move the player if he is blocking a door instead of just stopping the door?

     

    Or rather just make it so that the door does not stop when it comes into contact with someone?

     

    IIRC there are density+volume, and mass spawnargs. Probably not useful though, as D3 physics is not like ours. And changing player mass sounds risky (water?), assuming it's even possible.

     

    Maybe you can update the collision spawnarg of the door when it switches to open so that it's solid only when closed. But I don't know if you can do that in a simple manner.

  8. Another idea would be to take the "Interior mission" concept and use, instead of your own house or something similar, a random plan of a historical house and build upon that reference (which means, the same idea about using it as a base and enhance it, instead of rigidly recreating it in DR). I could provide participants with a plan they would work with, it could be a good way of getting people to actually having to look at how a house works/worked at the time (something we might believe we know but really dont).

     

     

    I like the idea. I built the outside of a house using pictures, but now that I have to plan the inside, I don't have a clue. If you have a plan for me I'll gladly start over and use it. Where do you find those, if I may ask?

  9. Those of you with experience on making levels with rain... How did you pull off the audio side of things?

     

    I started out with a zoned approach, but soon realized that the cut-off between interior and exterior sounds really bad. I tried making fade-ins and fade-outs faster, but I still couldn't get it quite how I wanted.

     

    Should I be using speakers or a mix of both instead?

     

    While doing thief den tutorial I also noticed the zone approach is not smooth. Then I added a speaker outside up in the air in front of the door (in addition of the zone ambient sound). So the sound fades inside the building and the door has an effect. It's not perfect as the volume is rising when you are outside and heading to the door, but it makes sense somehow: water is supposed to flow from the rooftiles to the base of the walls (depending on your architecture of course). There must be a better way though.

  10. An idea I had a while ago is that it would maybe be a nice effect if you could use water arrows to temporarely disable electric lights, like a shortcut. They would still be harder then torches as the effect wouldn't last forever.

     

    Maybe electrical lights can be temporarily blocked by moss. Electric lights are not supposed to be de-activated much if at all, but you could make it a rather short time window for balance and justify it by saying the heat from the light dries out the moss quickly and causes it to die faster.

     

    I don't think you should be able to disable electrical lights with a cheap arrow, because if the mapper wanted that, they'd have used an extinguishable light instead. The utility of electrical lights is precisely that they cannot be disabled, for level design purposes.

     

    Maybe you could burn moss to generate a lot of smoke. Perhaps if you shoot moss at a torch it'll burn and I would think moss would give off smoke like crazy when burned. (come to think of it is there smoke in TDM?)

     

    Why not, probably you can make smoke with a tweaked light fog texture (not sure if it affects the light gem though, negative lights?). It would be a good way to get rid of it when AI are upgraded to be able to notice moss blobs. As for the utility of the smoke, I'm not sure. Reminds me of the Dark Bomb topic I read, which came to talk about smoke bombs. IIRC, some people thought smoke was a good idea, since it's not exactly redundant with flash bomb. Anyway, lighting the moss would be awkward, if you need either fire arows or using a candle.

  11. That's food for thought indeed. From what I got the main idea is to transpose pathfinding mechanism to decision making by defining world state nodes (var arrays), actions path with costs, and then algorithms like Dijkstra's (only one I know!) to find the best option.

     

    Actually...yes. If we had unlimited manpower, having AI coordinate searches and attacks would definitely be something I would push for. I'd love to see AI do a little better at anticipating where the player might be hiding. I'd love to see them communicate with each other while searching: "I'm going to check out this room, you wait here and make sure he doesn't circle back". And once there is evidence of an intruder on the premises, I'd like to see them be a bit smarter about how they behave--no more standing with your back to the rest of the room for ten seconds. (I also like the nuThief idea of having guards adding the scene of a disturbance to their regular patrol route.)

     

    Yeah, would be cool. Looks like this GOAP stuff makes that easier to achieve, but still must be damn hard to implement.

     

    That, and having them react more realistically to changes in the environment (why are the crates moved around? Why is the candle lying in the corner?) would be my two top things.

     

    Also have them notice the player lantern light (or moveable lights he carries), cf 4th link below.

     

    Though, IMO those issues are related to sensitity of the AI, not to decision-making. So I can't see how GOAP would help with that anyway. I guess the main problem is that you cannot store the entire world in an array (all the more since you'd need at least one array world array per AI or one "mask array" per AI, to represent what they individually have sensed so far in the world array) and then perform regular checks for all the AI.

     

    That being said, I don't know shit about AI programming really, so I don't know why I'm even writing this ^^'. Besides, let us remind that the current AI is already really much more evolved than in most games:

    - large, moving FOV

    - can relight lights

    - can spot blood

    - can spot ropes

    - can notice suspicious items moves

    - plenty of other features

    So once again congrats to the dev team.

     

    If you're bringing this up because you think it would be a good approach for TDM, I'll use the same answer we use when folks suggest porting TDM to a new engine: It won't happen.

     

    The dev crew is too small at this point to consider replacing whole sections of code that appear to be working well as is.

     

    If a new crew shows up and is interested in delving into the underlying AI design, that would be great.

     

    From what I got from those combined sources:

     

    http://wiki.thedarkm...le=AI_Framework (how the AI works)

    http://forums.thedar...l-intelligence/ (some ideas, after new member's arrival)

    http://forums.thedar...ts-next-for-ai/ (some discussions, ideas)

    http://forums.thedar...cussion-thread/ (idem, recent topic)

     

    AI coding must be extremely complicated, since even Tels seemed to find it hard in 2nd topic.

    OTOH there are some 20,000 members IIRC so must be some skilled guys there

    And maybe some people who don't fully understand AI can still write specific C++ modules, and then leave integration for AI experts

    How many people are still working on it now?

  12. Moss arrows: I used them once to put out an especially troublesome candle when I was out of water arrows--I couldn't use a broadhead because there were AI in the vicinity, but the moss arrow not only knocked the candle over but cushioned the noise of it falling.

     

    I use this one sometimes, it's great ;) And you can also break glass silently. Actually, moss arrow is one of my favourite, it allows you to do large silent jumps, risky blackjacking, etc. But it's too expensive and I can't use it as much as I'd like. Especially, you often need at least 2 for a stunt around guards (one under your feet, one on the target platform), so it's 30 gold used at once (6 water arrows!). Also, I think the moss spots graphic is confusing, it would be better to have only one homogeous surface.

    Ideas: reduce cost from 15 to 10, it's not worth 3 water arrows IMO (no matter what your supplier says :P); keep the particle effect, but make it one big patch of moss

     

     

    NB: it's nice to have various tips, but this topic was intended for weapons & tools because I found another topic about general player tips, created a while ago by Springheel: here. Forgot to tell you, my bad. I'll edit the first post.

  13. Hey,

     

    I didn't find any specific topic about this, so I hope this will be useful.

     

    What I want to discuss here:

     

    - tips about non trivial use of weapons & tools only that make it fun

    - ideas for changes, extra uses to add

     

    [EDIT]

     

    What shoudn't be discussed here:

     

    - general tips (moves, doors, ...): there is already a topic about player tips, created a while ago by Springheel: here.

     

    [/EDIT]

     

    Purposes:

     

    - give gameplay ideas for players and mappers with the current mechanics

    - give ideas for the next versions of TDM

     

    I don't really care about graphics or realism, just gameplay.

     

    If you have a brilliant idea, I think it's better to use it in a FM, give some hints and let people find out by themselves than posting it here right away. That's why I'll use general examples ;) (not that I have brilliant ideas...)

     

    For instance:

     

    Broadheads

     

    trivial: can hurt people

    not trivial: can make noise and distract people (don't even argue about stealth score/ghostling)

    smart: allows you to knock items or break glass from a distance

    ideas: none, you?

     

    Fire

     

    trivial: explodes dealing massive damage and noise

    situational: can light stuff (never found it useful so far, you?)

    not trivial: can make alot of noise and distract people

    smart: got no clue. Anyone?

    ideas: make some materials ignite, like straw (not wood!), to get guards busy (maybe complicated for something redundant with with noise arrows); make some doors able to take damage like in T2

     

    Flash

     

    trivial: drop it and troll around

    situational: throw it instead and then move past (typically you'd need to step in line of sight to drop it)

    ...

     

    That's it. (For now. I flooded the forum too much lately). Your turn!

  14. Yeah this one should be improved. Other idea:

     

    player entity seen = visual stim -> response = alert

    "lantern light entity" (make an entity visible only by AI with the right radius, attached to the player when lantern is on) seen = visual stim -> response = lesser alert

     

    It would work for the crate case, but there might be issues when the lantern is lit and the AI is already in range so he is inside the "lantern light entity". Might be combined with a range check + RJ's fake sound idea, with fadein=fadeout=lantern range. Probably not really performant though.

     

    For all other cases, eg player carrying a moveable candle, let's forget about it it's too complicated, maybe talk about it in 20 years when computers get more powerful.

     

    There are a lot of cases which are not realistic, but sometimes it's take too much effort/skill to code (assuming it's possible) and it would use too much resources.

     

    A problem I found while playing Patently Dangerous: when I hid in a thin line of shadows behind a post outside Soren's house: logically a guard should see my shape as the area behind me was enlighted, and want to have a closer look. Probably not the best example, because in this case, there is a way to avoid this in mapping, when placing lights and using noshadows spawnarg.

    Okay, now this one: a guard is patrolling, you take him off, and then walk his patrol route. Next guard cannot see but is alerted by the sound. Why would he, if you are not running? But OTOH, how to implement a fix? (one could argue the need for that fix, but that's not my point)

     

    Sometimes, you should just enjoy the mechanics if it's fun that way.

  15. As Sotha said, I think people shouldn't restrain from using their equipment, and have fun with it, that's why I voted no (at first). But after reading this topic, I realised this thought is irrelevant, and changed my mind. Couple of comments:

     

    - stealth score should be as HARSH as possible, since it's meant for ghostling challenge (NB: though in Mark of the Ninja f.i., a different approach is used, you get points when you "distract" an ennemy or kill them in spectacular way, that's also a valid point)

    - the most FAIR way to count is counting alerts raised BECAUSE OF the player

    - even if they are NOT SURE it's because of you (might be rats, other guards, whatever). Still they are alerted, and as a matter of fact, by you, so it should count.

    - I don't see any way a guard could be alerted without you being the cause

    - there are some rare cases in which guards are alerted when in real life they probably wouldn't, but then it's about AI, and technically really hard (if not impossible) to fix

     

    Personally, I prefer to avoid save/reload style and try to play until I die or get stuck, and don't pay much attention to stealth score (but that's off topic).

  16. When is it to be decided? If it's going to be house/Buildermas (=Christmas) theme, I'm so in! I already have a story and readables in mind. And maybe ideas for cross-storying with other houses (could be fun).

    Also if the houses are to be used for a community map, some stuff should be cared for, to make integration easier, right?

    - merging the objectives

    - houses are not rendered simultaneously, or they don't use too much tris, etc.

    - same player starting equipment (if I need the player to have a rope arow but X needs him not to have it => problem)

    - same amount of snow on the rooves, details like that

    - ... (experimented mappers would know)

  17. I just finished a V-shaped roof (in two parts), with the frame and everything and I added an infill layer under the rooftiles that intersects the rafters and purlins. I made the roof and infill layer out of a brush I clipped so they are "3D parallelograms".

    Unfortunately, I have some degenerate tris (can see through) on one side only, in a specific rectangle delimited by two rafters and two purlins and I can't find the reason why, because it's almost symetric. And I tried changing the thickness of the layer, the beams, but it just made the whole half of the roof disappear, so I undoed.

     

    Two questions:

    - how do I get the dmap log file? I guess it can help, I could see warnings flashing when I dmaped.

    - are there common mistakes that result in degenerate tris? and cures?

     

    Thanks.

     

    EDIT: I finally deleted the infill layers, and darkmod crashed at the end of dmap oO'... Then I converted the roof to func_static and it worked. Problem solved this time, but I don't get it. Pathfinding too complicated?

  18. I think coming from you guys, we have some good guidelines up there :) So, to sum up, if you'll allow me:

     

    - If you feel like it, and have enough time, studying some architecture is a good idea

    - But you should not bother too much, as it's steampunk, and it shouldn't keep you from being creative

    - Imitating pictures/plans usually yields good results, and guaranty it's not nonsensical

    - Remember that it's only part of the game, and you should also build gameplay-friendly

     

    Now, about that:

     

    So if a FM does not fit a certain architectural period, most people won't even recognize that.

     

    Even though, I cannot deny the truth lying in this statement,I believe people are aware to some extent that it feels right, and would maybe think it's at least slightly better (even without being able to explain why).

     

    I think it's one of those things, if you have the time, investing in researching it pays off... It's similar (to me) with understanding medieval society & vocations, or psychology for convincing motivation & storytelling. I think it's worth more than people give it credit for

     

    Matter of taste I guess, but personally I totally agree. It's much more immersive when the characters (and not only player1 and finalboss1) have a life, a past, projects, etc. fitting the universe, and likewise, when the design/architecture reflects a coherent way of life/era.

     

    So, another topic:

     

    LIFE / JOBS

     

    Found this List of medieval jobs. Seems like a good toolbox to make up towndwellers and people living in castles/manors.

  19. Great stuff! Other noobies might want to have a look, maybe add to important editing list? Now I am wondering, where should I look learn how to convert from func_static to .ase? And then to make skins? On the wiki I found articles about modelling and skins, but with Blender. Is it possible to make everything from DR (provided it is simple geometry, you don't need Blender)? Thanks.

    • Like 1
  20. ARCHITECTURE

     

    According to what I read somewhere (cannot recall) TDM is set in a steampunk version of Tudor era.

    Based on what I have seen in the FMs I played, buildings are mostly:

     

    -cobblestone buildings and castles, inherited from middle-ages

    -cheap half-timbered black & white Tudor style houses

    -woodplanks houses, probably for poor people

    -ornate stone Elizabethan mansions

    -ornate Roman mansions

    -Roman or Gothic churches (not sure about that)

    -Georgian houses/mansions (even though it should appear later on, but fine after all it is steampunk)

    -metal buildings made by the Builders or Inventors, with pipes, steam, and all

     

    Any comments / confirmation would be appreciated.

     

    First idea:

    FM inside towns usually require a lot of half-timbered Tudor houses, mostly using the same framed plaster textures. They look great, but are used all the time. I have seen that some mappers have made their own timber frame to add diversity. You have to keep the basic beam grid pattern, but then you can put V-shaped, X-shaped or curved beam patterns inside each grid slot.

    Even better, IIRC some mappers have replaced the plaster (the infill, thank you Wikipedia!) by something else, maybe bricks. According to the Wikipedia article, there are many other historically accurate possibilities including wattle and daub, weatherboarding, and cobblestone. Could add diversity but maybe some would not fit TDM style. I will make some tests and edit when I am done. Maybe it has been already covered, though.

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