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Everything posted by demagogue

  1. Good luck! The more research you do up front the easier going it'll be.
  2. Yes you can do that too. But then the difference is most good coop games are with 1 or 2 other people and most good competitive games are 6-10 people. But actually I was thinking of a different point which I made in my original post, which is just that, if you're going to do multiplayer at all, you may as well make it have a coop mode and a competitive mode so it's not even a debate. That's the best of all worlds, because then you can still play with it whether you can just arrange a game with 1 other friend or with 7 or 8 friends/strangers. Edit: The other great thing about coop is that we already have 100+ maps to play coop style for free, because you just spawn every participant as if they were the original player, and most existing FMs will be coop friendly as long as events that happen to one player happen to all of them. Occasionally there will be progress-closing events that might lock other players out. But even in those cases, when it happened in a T2 map, we'd just open the map in an editor and change that one element, like as easy as putting a ladder or tunnel for other players, so it'd be multiplayer compliant. Whereas with competitive maps, you really must make the map to play comp style, so there won't be near as many maps to play. But then you only need a few good ones for it to be fun, since every game will be unique.
  3. We may be thinking about this from opposite ends. The technical aspect that makes it feasible is that there's already a game there. The alternative (if you want a new system is) you have to completely remake the game, and keep in mind TDM has been in constant development from 2005 to 2020, so it has 15 years of work put into it. Between taking an existing game and adding multiplayer and taking empty code and adding a game and multiplayer, it's obvious to me that the former is the shorter path, acknowledging that "shorter path" is still probably more than a year of work for a dedicated person or few people. Let me back up too. If you want to play multiplayer right now, you can already do it with Thievery and Thief 2's multiplayer mod. Thievery has the same problem cabalistic just mentioned; it's geared towards competitive gameplay, and you're not going to find enough people to make for good games. So it's kind of a dead game, since without a good group of people there's nothing to do with it. But my experience wtih T2MP is that coop is different. For coop, you're not waiting for people to join servers, you're contacting a friend or two directly and asking them if they want to play a map coop with you. It's something you play with your friends. And that can still happen even if people aren't joining servers. So that leaves you with two options, either play T2MP, which by the way is not compatible with New Dark. So you're really playing a 20 year old game with it. Or put multiplayer in a new engine. And then you have two options, branch off of TDM or start from scratch on a new engine. And my original point was just that, between those two options branching off TDM is the shorter path. I suppose one thing to consider is that you could try to port a lot of the TDM code into a new engine. But I don't know if that's even going to save you much time. It's true that TDM's code does not have multiplayer in mind, and it will be an issue at every turn. But for me the two choices are recreate an entirely new thieving game thinking about multiplayer from the start (a 5+ year project for a large team) or walk through the TDM code with a fine-tooth comb and retool it for multiplayer literally line by line. In my understanding, that would also be a massive project, but now we're talking about a project for one person over a year and a half, instead of 5+ years for a large team. So that's the case I was trying to make. I'm not saying it's an easy thing to pull off. But I think it'd be worth it for coop style, since I know I'll always have a few friends that would like to play it coop style with me.
  4. Multiplayer would be awesome. It should be up to mappers to make their own maps fit for it once we have the basic functionality. But generally I think there should be two basic types of gameplay, coop and competitive (thieves v. guards). In the coop style, loot, objectives, and all the player events, etc., are shared across players, and they should be able to play any FM released, so there are already over 100 maps to play coop style out of the box. Competitive style should track stats for each respective team. (It'd be better to do it in a general format, to define however many teams you want.) And then the stats are shared for a team, so loot could be shared for the thief team, and thief-kills or 'captures' (how did Thievery do it?) would be shared for the guard team. Aside from that, the gameplay should be as hands-off as possible to allow creativity among mappers to make up their own kinds of FMs for it. That's my vision, and I hope it happens someday. I'd love to play TDM FMs coop style. It's so fun doing it for T2 FMs. (Thievery is fun, but T2 coop is even more fun.) In that respect I disagree with Nico that it should be a very specific type of new gameplay, we should keep our existing gameplay as far as possible. And with that, I disagree with Orb that it'd be better to start on a new engine. We already have the game, so IMO it's better to just stick with the game we have and just add the networking part and the minimal UI needed to make it multiplayer, and then hand it off to mappers to go from there. TDM is by far the best base for a MP thieving game IMO. Why reinvent the gameplay wheel when we already have the whole game in place now?
  5. Ok, that sounds right. I just remember reading that if a part is below the ground and it's multi-level (like 2nd floor), there's a chance the AI paths to the floor underneath it. That wouldn't apply to this anyway. I think in my FM the issue was parts were uneven ground at an angle, so it was just very close to the ground.
  6. That looks great to me, better than the previous two versions. I think what grayman was getting at is we're supposed to elevate path_corners a little off the ground. At least that used to be the advice; it might be old advice now. But that's how I interpreted his comment. It might be the opposite now for all I know though.
  7. First of all that's a great image. I think the 2nd road is better in the sense that the border is much better than the hard border of the first version. But it is unnaturally straight. A little irregularity in the edges or slight curve, if you can keep that border, would do it well I think. It's not such a big deal though. It still looks great as it is.
  8. Re: Steam. I don't know if it was even that it wasn't felt worth it. It's a lot of work and it's a beleaguered team, the copyright clearance brings back bad memories of what we went through to get 2.0 standalone out, and the entity doesn't really mesh with what we are. It's interesting that people sometimes comment, like making demands or complaints or even compliments, thinking the "team" owns Dark Mod. But if it belongs to anyone, it belongs to the community, and at best the team is more like trustees of it, taking care of its development for the benefit of everyone. If it did become an entity, I actually thought the best thing would be a trusteeship or a non-profit public interest organization for that reason. There are some open source projects that do that even. But we're not really all that formal. People come and go, and it's something people do as a hobby, not a vocation. Oh, all that aside, probably the main problem was GPL though. We can't mingle Steam code with our code because the GPL license means its source would have to be released. Their first contact with us was a disclaimer that they rarely accept games under GPL unless they're protected. Ostensibly they can do it, but they weren't encouraging about it.
  9. I think the name should also be able to apply to the TDM world, so I'd recommend the Plague Contest. And I wouldn't put a hard limit on the themes, but roughly something appropriate to the circumstances, like plague, zombies, or just being cooped up in a house for a long time.
  10. I have a lot of bullet notes for texts. I think it'd be an interesting project to write some of them up into histories for a library. I think for an FM library, we're talking about an excerpt of a few pages standing in for the whole book. The catch is that I'm busy with a lot of other things going on too, so I don't know exactly when I'd get to it. The other issue is that some of our history has already been developed in other FMs, and I'm not really up to date with what other FMs have developed. We ideally need a psycho fan that knows every detail from every readable in every FM to compile it all to add to the list. But anyway, absent that, I can give you some of the independent history I developed for my FM. Oh a third issue is that my history was developed specifically for my campaign, which I also can't guarantee is consistent with the overarching canon... Originally my version of the Menoans was like the Arab/Ottoman equivalents, but it seems the canon interpretation is they're more like the Spanish and the moors to the south are the Arab/Ottoman equivalents. And I think I started to rewrite things from that perspective (replacing Menoa with the southern empire, I have to look up again what name I came up with them, something like Ghazali?), but then that also raised the question of who are the Menoans then anyway, and I had ideas, well if they're like the Spain equivalent, then maybe they'd also been occupied for a long period by the Ghazali. What I mean to say is there are lots of issues like that where basic questions about our world and history have to be answered one way or another that could have big implications. Maybe I can put some texts together and we can have a community discussion about it. That might be a fun kind of fan thing for us to do, if people actually got into it.
  11. If the City and Tamriel are in the same world, there's all sorts of questions you'd have to answer before you get to that question. I like to think that both Thief's City empire and TDM's empire both should be about as large as Tamriel (we don't often refer to how big our empire is in most FMs or refer to other distant parts of it, but we allude to it in maps and texts, and I think we should be referring to it more often.) In that respect, I think they'd be evenly matched. But I don't know the history of the City and its world well, so this mostly applies to our empire. On that note, why don't you frame this question in terms of our own universe? The Empire of Bridgeport & Sancta Civitas forbids magic, and the neighboring Menoans arguably openly allow magic. So that's the equivalent of your question in our world. And the answer is there have been a long history of wars between the two empires, with magic and religion often being a central point in the conflict, and the borderlands have been part of both empires. The campaign I scripted for TDM is set during one of these wars during a Menoan siege of Bridgeport. Long story short, our Empire survives, but it's internally rattled.
  12. Yeah that makes sense, a file that has the name of the FM and number of loads in the "current game" that clears the value when the FM is started or completed. I mean it's prone to manipulation, or you'd have to be careful. If it clears when you start over, then you could start a game, save and reload a bunch of times, then right towards the end, you just start a new game and then reload the last one and your load count is "1". Or you don't let it reset the counter when you start over, then it keeps adding to the number over multiple games. Or you let the player decide when the counter is "restarted", but then they just manipulate it directly. If it clears only when you complete it, then no matter how many games you play from the start, they all keep adding to the load count until the FM is completed, which could cover multiple games too. Seems like it's harder to count than just saves. But anyway, you'd want to think carefully how to make the system. It's probably not that hard to figure out, just you want to cover all of these kinds of situations. I feel like starting over should clear the count, but then you shouldn't be able to abuse it to reload from another game. And I feel like most players should be allowed to reload from another game. So my idea is that, if someone does reload from another game after restarting, it should set the load count to "undefined (reloading branched)", or whatever term is best for the job. So if you are really trying to ironman it, you'll get a valid stat, and if you don't really care then you get "undefined", but that should be fine for them since if they're doing it at all they already don't care. That's my thinking on it now. Well another option is that each "starting from game start" could be given a unique code that attaches to the saves from that trunk, and the reload count is attached to that code, so you're not forking the playthru (restart and reload from another game), you're just moving from game 2 back to game 1's count. Maybe that's best.
  13. I assume the load would have to re-save the save game itself. I suppose that's not a problem in principle.
  14. The practical problem is there isn't dev time to make such a thing. But that said, interestingly some people have done some of the things you're suggesting for exactly the reason you're talking about. Really early on there was already a beginner's map made (was that Fidcal's?) that already has a functioning base map with AI and objectives, etc,, so the mapper can just take that and add to it. It might be a good idea to make an updated version of that though, because new features have come out since then. But for a newbie, it might be good to start with that map anyway, since it still keeps things simple even today. And Springheel has made a lot of architecture prefabs so a mapper could just grab these fully made prefabs and stack them together to make an entire room or hallway or whatever. He and others have also made newbie friendly tutorials. A lot of tutorials provide a bullet list of exactly what to do, and you just go down the list verbatim. So they're pretty newbie friendly once you see them that way.
  15. You can understand that when I look at that photo, my mind is immediately plotting my path to break in. XD
  16. There is also a fan-made mod that allows for multiplayer Thief 2 FMs. Some of my favorite gaming moments ever have been for Thievery and multiplayer Thief 2 FMs. They're awesome, although dated now. This is part of why I want multiplayer TDM, to bring that experience back to life. Recreating TDM in a new engines would be ... a lot of work for an end product that would be a sad shell of what we have now. It's not like it's a logical impossibility; it's just the facts are against it. Where we can have a live debate, where it's not so obvious what's best and reasonable people can reasonably disagree, is for a stealth game in a different genre, whether we should fork off the TDM base or start with a new base in a new engine. And the leading candidate for that IMO is a cyberpunk stealth game. There have been at least two attempts at it as a TDM mod (not a total conversion but just mods I believe; the difference is, does it change the source code). But I don't know the status of those. I personally would like to see one made, and I think forking off the TDM base is the way to go. The main reason is because our AI code is so advanced, and that's one of the first ways that independent projects may stumble. Anyone can create good assets in a few months, but if the AI is dysfunctional, you don't have a good stealth game. People may not appreciate that the TDM code base wasn't written in just 4 years (2005 to 2009), but actually ~15 years (2005 to 2019) because of the updates. And it's kind of mind boggling how much time and work has gone into those 15 years if you actually followed it. Well, anyway, I vote for somebody to make a cyberpunk stealth game off a TDM base. And multiplayer TDM. I have spoken.
  17. At the end of the mission, on the stats page, you'll see a little down arrow at the bottom. If you click it, then it opens up a new page that gives a complete breakdown of your stealth score by the number of different categories of alerts.
  18. The way you used it is so used that way, especially in Asia, that it's been added to the Oxford dictionary with that meaning (as "South and Southeast Asian variant"). I'd say it's correct if you're talking to anyone from an Asian country, but not great to use with people from Anglophone countries. But no worries. Sorry for the off topic blurb, I'll shut up about it now. XD I'd give my input on the GUI question in return, but I never really figured out how in-world GUI works.
  19. This is completely aside, but I've always wondered why non-English speakers say they "will revert to you", since the word revert has nothing to do with replying. They do it here in Japan too. Literally it's saying that I will transform back into you, my original form. Oh well, I'm not going to change the usage of who knows how many 100s of millions of people and this is off topic, so carry on. XD
  20. It's all fragmented to hell. There are bits and pieces in random little places. But I believe some systems would have to be redone from the ground up because they assume the player is $player1. I think a lot of FMs do too, so it's not clear many FMs would even work; well not in their vanilla form but they might if the system itself rebuilds the map file to be multiplayer compliant. But that might be a bit much for the base game, which makes the main alternative a forked version of the game ... although IMHO still worth it just because multiplayer thieving, coop and competitive both, is some of the most fun I've had playing multiplayer for any game ever. That also reminds me, we'd also need new systems for handling coop and competitive style gameplay, like players sharing loot and objectives for coop, and Thievery is a good model for competitive gameplay (thieves vs guards). But anyway, it's not only a matter of the networking code by itself (although there's that too), there are these other things to address, and every piece is a big thing by itself. Still though, it'd be glorious.
  21. There is a lot that goes into discussions of new features, so it's good to go in without expectations. But it's always interesting to see what people have been working on. Also, no expectations or anything, but will 2020 be the year somebody wants to take on multiplayer? I'm just asking for a friend.
  22. I always put some kind of easter egg in all the levels I've made. Not references to other things really, just hidden items or secrets or objectives.
  23. Level one suspicions are counted for suspicions but not for the score (it starts from level 2) because in some FMs they are impossible to avoid, like you spawn into them or sound through a bottleneck goes through the walls and the player has no indication it happened, and the score is for ghosting, so it's following the ghosting rules, the AI has no idea a person is there. But if you want to be hardcore, you can attempt zero suspicions as well, like super ghosting. As for searches, the issue is searches last a long time and cascade, so the first version had scores going into the 100s or 1000s which was absurd (we thought). So we took out cascades and level downs, just counting the highest level in a time frame (the peak in a mountain range), and we counted the duration of a search instead of adding to the score every second he reacquires, which again blows up the score. Basically it packages alert situations into roughly contiguous units in a time frame. An AI has to completely level down and wait a bit before a new search is counted as a second, independent search. A string of 20 searches in microseconds of each other, quick level downs and level ups, are considered part of the same search. (Grayman did most of this with me helping with little things like the gui. But we were discussing the system together.) It took a lot of tweaking to get it to its current state, but the score explosions were kind of ridiculous, that one minor incident could be a difference of like 80 or 200 in the score. So if you're independently counting alerts, you could either take the sourcecode algorithm the stealth score uses directly, or just use different terms so it's understood it's different than the score. All that aside, I'd be interested to see a cleaner gui set up with a little optional light that's off, green, yellow, and red by the current alert. For a ghoster, that light is the measure of a bust, without needing to add it up. But you could add it up with that too.
  24. It's a cool idea. The game Noita creates a gif animation of like 10 seconds or so around moment of death, which is often sensational, and it's such a great feature. I think it might be cool if it were a double window from the player's and AI's perspectives at the time. It might be a challenge, but practically anything is possible with the sourcecode and enough effort. Edit: Just a quick think about it though, it might be some challenges. If you want to actually capture the moment, you should be taking regular screenshots or videos that are regularly thrown away, which would be a performance drag. If it does it at the moment of the alert, then it may miss some of the relevant bit, but that'd be more possible. You can set a camera to get visual info (like how our lightgem works), and send it as an image file, and maybe it could take like 50 of them in rapid sequence, downsize them, and export as a gif.
  25. If it's a problem with the console text, then you can still get the info in the script and then find some other way to get the information to the player, yes, like a gui-based route.
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