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Everything posted by demagogue

  1. It's just my preference it seems that realism should take a backseat here to tightening gameplay. The need to move bodies to was touted as a core part of the original gameplay paradigm. I'd just like to see it kept in the tight functional package it was in the original games. And ladders is one thing, but stairs? I still don't know why this should be a bad thing that a burden should be put on it. I can see you said before it encourages sloppy thieving ... but so could flashbombs and water arrows and for that matter almost every tool at your disposal. The whole point of having extra functions to play with is that you are allowed to play with them; don't like the idea of punishing or discouraging a PC for trying to do what he wants. Anyway, it seems the proper way to do that is with a knockout limit objective. Re: ladders, the fact that TDS didn't do it only encourages me; it must be right. For one thing, it was abysmal with z-axis gameplay compared to T1/2 and many FMs. Rowena's Curse? One of the most popular there's been. I have the exact opposite attitude here, because I think FMs with little to no NPC interaction are something less than ones with much NPC interaction. It adds a lot to a FM to not only build a relationship with or get background knowledge on an NPC over the course of it, but to actually get to engage with that NPC in a real gameplay sense. But there's only so many ways you can really do that; and carrying a body anywhere you need to is one of them (a staple, I think). So I wouldn't like to see one more element of NPC interaction narrowed. And maybe I don't ever go around trying to carry people around in my life, so realism here doesn't really bother me, no more than the idea of solidified water arrows. But the gameplay function kept in a tight package in both cases is a plus for me. Edit: and sorry Ish, started writing before you posted. For the record, of course I *noticed* that carrying a body up a ladder was unrealistic. I just thought this was one place where the service of gameplay trumped, because it's only in the rare case that you ever need it, but when you need it you really need it (e.g. like you say, IRL you'd try to figure out someway to jury-rig a way to get it up one way or another that trying to model accuratelly in game would be OTT; for one thing, many times the interesting gameplay aspect of body-carrying-objectives is that you are very slowed down and have to think of other creative ways of avoiding enemies other than running away). So I thought it didn't really get in the way of realism 99% of the time but is a great convienence 1% without being the most serious violation of mimeosis, or maybe how you put it in the last paragraph is the better way to explain it. As for dragging, I guess if you put it in game and everyone turns out to be a big fan then I'd be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. It'd be interesting to see it at work, anyway.
  2. 5 - 10 seconds ... hrmm, sounds dreadfully long in game. Is there any PC function that takes that long so the player can do what s/he wants? Just quick note, I don't think I like the idea that if a body was knocked out or dropped into an area only accessible by ladder or mantling that there would be no way to ever get it out of the area. I can think of a number of reasons: there's been more than a few FMs where carrying a body to a certain location is an objective. Some people just like collecting bodies together as part of the game (or to do something like the Silent Project); and sometimes it would be important to ghost a mission; etc. Anyway, you can carry bodies up ladders in TDP and I don't recall anyone ever crying foul, since you largely never notice it and it's only there when you need it.
  3. ... ?? Evidentally I'm more a fan of carrying than obscurus because my intuitions are running in the other direction. But I haven't played Hitman, though, so I grant I don't have a feel for dragging. What I like about the classic Thief method is that it really freed up the PC to go anywhere once he started carrying, so e.g., it was very easy to mindlessly decide to run up/down stairs or a ladder, or jump off a short ledge ... and because Thief gameplay makes placement of bodies rather important at times, and generally speaking there's a culture in FM-making of using more z-axis gameplay than most games, so I wouldn't like restricting this sort of freedom and really wouldn't like dragging only. Anyway, I liked it and not to have to think about the carrying except insofar as it slowed the PC down. And, that said, I'm not liking the idea of two body-moving mechanisms as a gut reaction, but would be willing to be persuaded if I saw it worked in game. My gut is saying like was said I'd just want to always carry to have the freedom to drop nearby or be able to make a fast decision to keep carrying further or down some stairs and I don't see what's added by adding a gratuitous functionality (in this case) that does the same job, or what would be the point of artifically adding a burden to one to try to jury-rig a reason for having two different ways. I realize there are lots of situations where this kind of redundancy adds richness to gameplay ... I'm just not personally feeling it here like I would for other examples. Also (not necessarily an argument against but a consideration), there'd be a grey area in between where someone wants either dragging or shouldering and gets the other result, to then have to throw the body back down and try again. Anyway, right now my intuition is just favoring straightforwardness for this function without the "hassle" or redundancy.
  4. Pfft, not sure you're even taking yourself seriously, much less expect us to. No need to shout, though. Pavlov didn't age well ... not even reflexes are very well explained by conditioning theory, much less behavior this high up the chain. Plus, have you ever seen gay kids ... seriously, it's apparent by like 3-5 years old. By 2nd grade there's no doubt. And they'll have siblings with the same environment. So what are they supposed to be conditioned by?
  5. For god's sake, go to ebay or google Thief Dark Project or Gold and get the game and play it. Then you won't have to keep wondering why everyone around here keeps referring back to it as the better paradigm for gameplay. Yes the Haunted Cathedral is f'ing awesome (edit: and Return to the Cathedral, I was thinking of both). It is horror, but in a different way than the Cradle, not so much in the atmosphere (although that's there too), but more built into the gameplay, and the way you have to sneak around, which is why NH could say it has such great replay value.
  6. Don't have time to add much, certainly not on the big question of the naturalism-ethics connection, which is hard enough in abstract. But it reminds me of an article, so I'll throw it out there: The one study I read on the possible genetic-basis of homosexuality actually made a pretty good case ... It first did a cross-cultural/species and historical study and was trying to make the case that among various cultures, throughout history, and shared by our primate relatives, homosexual dispositions hit about 10% of the population (more evidently within the most open countries and ones with good statistics). Then it made the case that there's a number of behavioral traits that fit a very similar pattern, the most noticable being left handedness. Then it told the Mendel story; behaviroal dispositions of this pattern are usually halved-resessive traits. That is, there's a dominant trait for righthandedness (and hetrosexuality, it was arguing), and then there's a recessive trait that means you don't have a fixed orientation, but small developmental idiosyncracies push the orientation in one direction or another basically by chance. So in a Mendel diagram, for 75% of the population the dominant gene trumps; and for the remaining 25%, roughly 1/2 go hetro, 1/2 go homo (12.5%), but with a good bit of fuzziness or ambivalence in between, so 5% is maybe ambivalent, cutting away from the 12.5 number, and of course social pressures push the number further, the amount depending on the society. And then after all of this it got into differences in brain development and morphology between the populations, which then allowed it to propose the actual mechanism. There's already good evidence for this for lefthandedness, and it was arguing that homosexuality was in the same category of genetic basis (but not modality of behavior, of course; two totally different systems here). Anyway, this was the biological case, which (the thinking is) just add up to certian hard-wired phenomenological responses to certain stims (e.g., large breasts vs broad shoulders triggering a reflexive LIP activation directing your eyes to look at it before you can stop yourself, which by the way is more hardwired than people suspect; ganglions even right behind the retna, that is, really low level, have been noted to fire for certain high level features like faces, plants, animal profiles, tits, etc.). That leaves a lot of the more behaviorally complex stuff and all the issues that go with it totally up in the air, subject to conscious control and thus social influences, culture, "training", etc., which is a whole other bag of worms, of course.
  7. Sounds like a good one ... I'm always in the market for free books. Nanny state, cute, but I also like how the Economist (the mag) uses the term "soft paternalism" here with a scowling frowny face. The double-standard idea isn't one I've seen developed much, so it would be good to see his take on it. Anyway, this all seems associated with my LLM work on State risk regulation, so should look through it when I get the chance. Thanks.
  8. Oh, sorry, that's my mistake. I evidently was conflating it with the whole Eurovision thing. And I may have made a mistake on his style too, since I just read a post about it but haven't had a chance to hear it myself. I read somewhere that guitar is not very favored for this competition for a number of reasons, the available music is one, the chance for "showmanship" (you're not moving like on a piano but sort of behind a box), the fact that you're more limited in range (at most 6 notes ringing, whereas a piano can have really indefinte with the pedal), its maybe harder to hide that you're really concentrating or are nervous since your fingers and face are so exposed, and I think there's an innate bias in the category of classical instruments, that a guitar at its best is folksy or gypsy -- all of which are innate to the instrument itself not the performer. So I get the picture it's an uphill battle. But having played myself for 12 years I know what a challenge it is to get really beautiful and solid melodies coming out of it. I would compete on piano, but I'd get so nervous with guitar... So to my mind it's all the braver of him to compete on what seems like a tipped field. Anyway, I may just be making all this up because still waiting for an mpg of it to be posted. But there's no doubt it's a unique achievement to be proud of.
  9. I don't even know why I'm contributing to this. Obviously, I take a different tactic from ZB ... maybe I could learn something from it. But anyway... The problem with this debate is nobody is clarifying the terms of "difficulty". E.g., the examples you point out Arumakani go to one point that "difficulty" is a matter of design. You may be right that TDS 1P was easier than SCPT 3P as a matter of design; i.e., you can *make* a hard 3P game and an easy 1P game. TDS was poor in design and much easier than the other Thief games in many ways (I haven't played SC so can't say, but if it's like MGS...), but anyway your point wouldn't be surprising. But the relevant question Dom is pushing is: is TDS 1P easier than TDS 3P? Is the 1P itself inherently easier? But even here what are the terms of "difficulty"? You point out aiming can be easier with 1P. Along those lines, certain PC manipulations would also be easier to handle in 1P, crawling under spaces, jumping, generally handling the 3D environment. Then ZB made the point (not exactly, actually, but a point close enough to it) that the "difficulty" in 3P is actually the limitation of the perspective in itself, not from the gameplay itself: avoiding guards and making progress. But of course, another way to see those same 3P "limitations" are as a part of the gameplay itself, which is what makes games like Splinter Cell and Tomb Raider still strategic and fun, lining up jumps, and weaving in and out of guard patrols. So then IMO it really comes down to what counts as "gameplay". It's a question of what you really want the gameplay to be centered on, to which the "difficulty" and "fun" of the whole game are understood: the environment (3P; PC gymnastics) or uncertainty (1P). Dom keeps pushing you to admit that 3P is easier, but to me he is begging the question about what kind of gameplay it is easier for. So that's why you two aren't really arguing to each other, but are throwing apples and oranges at each other, IMO, because it may be that a SC design is more challenging in the PC gymnastics category of fun than a thief-like game, and vice versa. Or even more bluntly: More information by definition undermines uncertainty-oriented gameplay. And restricted perspective by definition undermines environmental-oriented gameplay. And "% information <-> % perspective" What I see that matters is that the team has made a conscious choice to make uncertainty the focus of gameplay, in classical Thief style. Once that decision has been made, the question of 1P vs. 3P and what is easier vs. harder and a ton of other features falls into line with it (some features more easily than others), not the other way around. So if you, Arumakani, want to *really* debate this issue on its actual merits, you'll have to argue that the game should be centered on the environment/PC gymnastics and not uncertainty in the classic thief style. But on that point the line has been drawn long ago and there's no turning back. (Except, of course, when you and/or your 3P-rabid friends get your greedy hands on the release and get 3P gameplay up to speed ... in which case, if I didn't say before, I myself would be curious to see and could even have fun with. But it won't be anywhere near the heart of what's great about the project for me.)
  10. For anyone that doesn't know, Fingernail -- the guy at the top of the team listing here (ok, everyone should at least know that much, although I haven't seen him post so much in the public part of these forums lately, but anyway...) -- Fingernail valiently represented the UK guitar-players in fine style yesterday at the European UK young musicians competition and only missed winning by a clearly fixed vote , everyone I know that saw it agreed he was tops (all biased, of course) . He also happened to play some of my very favorite music in the world, manoche genteel aristocratic style classical guitar. So I thought I'd pop in the OT forum here to give a good shout out: Good show Fingernail!
  11. You're better off sticking with the "personal preference" argument then to seriously argue there's no practical, gameplay difference between a camera that can see down the entire length of a blind hallway and audio cues that may or may not tell you what's around it, or if anything that the gameplay is actually *better* because it's easier. For one thing, it's begging the question about what good gameplay is. Just stick with "it's my preference". And honestly speaking, with all the murmuring this forum has had with 3P, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if after TDM was released there was serious work on getting 3P tweaked to look good by some interested/ambitious somebody, that and multiplayer. Just seems a matter of course.
  12. Looks like all you guys are on the same page with this. I think it's a good idea too, but a lot seems to turn on what's "reasonable" variability. I get the idea you are trying to connect it to the range of behavior an actual human might display in the same situation ... a little variety or randomness within the boundries of "human" behavior (predictable unpredictability, so to speak). For what my 2 cents is worth, to my mind that would come in three main categories (or sources of "randomness" in behavior) , (1) small range of arbitrary randomness, like slight shifts in pace (best hardcoded into the AI, since it seems entirely internally cued), (2) trivial-cued behavior (only seems random because the cue is so trivial), like looking at a painting or out a window (would that be hardcoded? it's more "environmentally" cued), and maybe even (3) "strategic randomness", trying to be a little sneaky, looking over the shoulder at random times, but mostly when suspicious* (which seems both internally and environmentally cued) -- but the point is, nothing outright irrational, unpredictable unpredictability so to speak (stopping and suddenly running in the opposite direction). Anyway, it all sounds like a good approach in theory, although what's reasonable on paper may be different from reasonable in game, so you'd want to play test any approach quite a bit, but you guys already know that. * which reminds me of the hawk/dove studies (and their math/logic) for "strategically random" animal behavior and game theory economics, which I was about to say is a totally different story, but actually on reflection the insights and math of them might actually be useful to the AI programming, so I'll say that instead.
  13. The programming stuff is actually the more interesting part for me ... tackling some logical problem and getting the mechanism to work right, although I can see how it doesn't translate well to a few bullet points. Speaking of which: Good update. Gameplay-wise, the searching behavior sounds like the most important thing you updated us on. How does it feel against something like T2? I remember them 90% of the time being able to know which direction to go and walking generally towards you, but there were consistent ways you could confuse them to get them going in the wrong direction. Also, iirc the searching behavior was somewhat modifiable in the guard's archetype wasn't it? Guard armor sounds duly cool ... is it hardwired to a guard or a property you can add or take away and the sound is the cue whether a guard is wearing it? Great cathedral screenshot of course. cheers.
  14. Oh, I remember you guys talking about an up-coming special surprise release of something in February. Anyway, I'm not in any rush so take your time to do it right... It's always good to hear the phrase "quite busy working", though.
  15. a-ha... That was actually my original understanding, and then I edited it out of my above post because I though it was wrong!
  16. Ok, maybe not so absurd after all. But doesn't it really reduce the usefulness of a merge function if you can't use solid brushes?
  17. I dont know too much, ok anything, about D3ed, but it seems familiar because of how cells and optimization work in Dromed, so I'll give it a crack. This is more or less a total guess, though. Maybe by edges they mean the edges of a verticy of two pieces, so not the 1 edge of 1 wall, but the combined edge of 2 walls trying to be merged (??). So if it's a building and you are merging a pair of rectangular prisms (i.e., 2+ walls or building sections or whatever), the verticies or corners where they meet will be an angle, which will be either convex or concave, and it seems to only like concave corners. So it likes merging things into, e.g., L or T or X shapes, and not into enclosed bodies like squares and rectangles. At least, that's the initial reading I understand from the message. Or is this just way off? One thing, though, if that were right, it wouldn't seem appropriate to use the word "edges", would it? That word makes it sound more like what you were suggesting, that the outside edge of one wall itself is convex. Then you pointed out that the edge itself is straight. Then again, of course, as a rectangular prism it will be convex thinking in 3D. But then it seems absurd that you couldn't merge rectangular prisms or really any brushes with anything, since they're always convex... Are the edges flush with one another so one corner isn't burrowing into the side of the other? Ok, I give up ... Now's when the experts can come in tell you what it really means. It was worth trying to figure it out on my own though. Maybe you went through the same brain-wracking process?
  18. It's probably true that they are underrepresented in T2 FMs ... because you can only use them with Dedx.
  19. The way I see it, it's all "strategy", but at different levels of grain ... On the First Person level, you have no more info than what the PC has, so decisionmaking is very immediate. For 3P, you have more info than the PC, so gameplay and decisionmaking is more "abstract" in charting out his activity (like you're radioing them in to the PC), to a God's Eye p.o.v. where you can see the whole world and plot on a very abstract scale knowing *many* global things that the PC could never know. They can all be fun in their own way, but you have to admit they are each different paradigms, and run on a scale from immediacy to increasing abstractness .. so IMO it ultimately depends on what kind of "strategy" appeals to the way you like to think in games, or what mood you are in. Are you more in the mood for a boardgame kind of strategy, or paintball (or if I'm going to use an analogy, more like "gestapo", actually a game we used to play at night in the woods, like a nighttime, stealthy capture the flag)?
  20. An extreme case came to my mind, too (as if the case needed more help). When I visted one of those massive "tourist caves" once, they turned out the lights in one large cavern, and it was seriously *pitch* black except for one tiny, tiny red light from someone's camera (or cell phone) really stuck out, and I could tell when people were crossing in front of it because it would pulse in and out of blackness as people passed. Technically silhouette recognition, but from my p.o.v. it was from my memory of the light being there and then being swept in total darkness, not even contrast this time; realistically it was whatever miniscule amount of light was actually hitting him *exactly* in line with my line of sight on the other side ...hardly practical to check.
  21. I was thinking of those exact 2 names myself.
  22. Yeah, but then again there are some people that have released new texture packs at TTLG for T2 and TDS that are pretty good IMO and I wonder if they even know about the need here (not that I trust my opinion of what's really "good", just that some look better than others). Yeah ... I don't know what they were expecting. That kind of attitude makes more sense for some of the other modding communities, like BF-1942 or Source (maybe Unreal), where there's just gobs of people and project ideas, and everyone's kind of doing their own thing, they post their ideas and scout for any random person interested, and there doesn't seem to be much deeper connection between them (and I don't feel like I'm exaggerating that too much). And isn't that the most awful name. I mean, come on, what worse way to taunt for a C&D than calling yourself "Thief Transgressions".
  23. Just a quick note, what you two say about the AI gives me a warm fuzzy feeling ... that's great to hear.
  24. Yeah, it's hard not to notice when you change between 1stP and 3dP you're really changing the whole character of the PC, the game, and the gameplay. 3rd Person instantly makes me think of Tomb Raider-esque gameplay, where you really use the environment as something for your PC to manipulate to advance, more running, jumping, hanging puzzles, and NPCs as just another kind of environmental barrier to "navigate" around (but this time one that shoots back). A bit more gimmicky, although fun in its own way for what it is. 1st person, the environment isn't something you *use* so much as it's something you're *in*, immediately more immersive, more concentrated on the NPCs *as characters in the world with you*, who is where?, than on the hallways and ledges and NPC's around you as just different categories of hurdles in your way, which can never escape a kind of superficialism IMO. FP just makes the gameplay and the whole world a level deeper, again IMO. I wouldn't mind seeing a few 3P oriented FMs if they come out for Darkmod if they can be pulled off, some classic Tomb-Raider like hopping around. They could even be very fun for a quick jaunt, as long as the 1stPerson experience isn't in any way compromised to cater to them. But they just won't tap into what really excites me about FP gameplay that 3P just can't capture. Of course, this is just my preference, but I don't mind acknowledging that TDM's design comes with a kind of gameplay agenda that I happen to agree with.
  25. Crack pipe or not, it's interesting to hear his p.o.v. No wonder I hear you guys complaining so much about wanting texture artists and AI coders. It's not intuitive that you aren't getting textures faster, though. A lot of people around TTLG seem to love making new textures... And while it's not trivial to make good textures, it's not so difficult (comparitively speaking) for someone with a digital camera, time, and knows their way around photoshop or paintshop. I'd have thought this would be the relatively easier area to find support. Or is it just the sheer number of textures you need? Geez, I really hope you guys can get people to take care of the AI, though ... That's where this brand of gameplay really shines IMO. I actually took AI logic as an elective in college, but too bad my programming isn't up to par with my theoretical studies.
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