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demagogue

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Everything posted by demagogue

  1. Yes, by "we" I meant with grayman. It was really a pleasure working with him on this. Well the tasks themselves got frustrating, but it was great working through them with him. I learned a lot about coding from him, and he did so much for us under the hood. Another reason he's really missed. I believe the original code might have been set up by Greebo, then iirc Fidcal did the first version (when the score was subtractive, so almost everybody got "0" almost every time), then I edited that to make it additive, then grayman fixed up a lot of the bugs like the cascades, and I just chat with him about how a few things might best be done. It's gone through a lot of hands. But grayman could have probably followed what it does best. The way you're describing it now sounds like it's not a problem with the score per se (I don't think it's been changed in a while anyway) but the way the alert system itself works though. But I don't really know offhand what it could be.
  2. Wow, this is a lot more ambitious than a little contest mission. Congratulations on releasing a new classic. It looks & plays great!
  3. Yes, level 1 alerts don't count to the score.* If other people are being alerted by his barks, I don't know how attribution works. But I believe it's not going to be counted to the score even if it's attributed because we got rid of alert cascades, where 1 alert can cascade into stealth scores that go into the 100s. I haven't looked into the details recently, but if it turns out to be a trade off between these two bugs, stealth scores where a tiny alert cascades the score into the 100s vs. transmitted alerts triggered by a tiny alert only counting that tiny alert (and in the case of an level-1 alert, not counting at all), I think I still think we're on the right side of that dilemma with stopping the cascade. That's just my initial guess that that's what's happening, though. --- Re: your last question... At the bottom of the stat screen should be a down arrow. When you click it, it takes you to a new screen that shows you the exact break down of the Stealth Score. There are 5 alert levels. The first two are "suspicion", the first of which is not counted to the score (but is counted in the "Suspicions" count). So only 2nd level suspicions are counted to the score (x1). The next two are "search" (x2 and x3 I think). And the last one is a sighting (x5 I think it was?). I don't know what you mean by "the fifth number" because I don't have a screenshot of the stat screen on-hand and don't feel like playing a whole mission to completion to get one. If you post one and circle the number that you mean then I can let you know more specifically, if what I said doesn't already answer your question. * Footnote on that: A substantial number of FMs have the player putting AI on level 1 alerts even when they just spawn! Or in places it's impossible to pass without a level-1 alert. So there's a good case to drop it, at least from the stealth score, because it's ridiculously sensitive. And we still do count it in the Alert list! So it's not like you're completely "getting away with it". But we thought the score should be as fair-play as we could make it.
  4. If I recall this issue correctly, the alert has to be attributable to the player. Of course if a separate AI puts a guard on alert, that shouldn't add to the player's score. If there's a weapon on the ground or a door open / torch unlit (with the "door shouldn't be open" / "torch should be lit" boxes checked), the guard will go on alert, but nothing is attributable to the player yet (I think), since anything can cause those events. If they find a noise arrow, then it gets more debatable as it still follows the general unattributable weapon rule, but as a game, only the player is using noise arrows. (That may have been updated though.) So the issue here may be that it's a touch stim, not a sight or hearing stim. That's what I'd look into. Does the touch stim creating an alert carry an "attributable to player" property which is properly being registered by the part of the code that counts up the score? Or something like that. It could be a completely different issue, but it sounds like something to do with the touch stim.
  5. I'm late to the party, but that volumetric lighting looks really cool! I can imagine it adding a lot of atmosphere to levels in a lot of different ways. Good work, team!
  6. I don't feel like reading that thread, but I think a mapper might be able to hack this on their own. The idea that comes to me is spawning in a series of simple horizontal walkable objects from destination to origin, and then just have it render as a rope-looking object. It'd probably be much easier done as a pre-set-up system (like a prearranged place where it spawns) than an open system you can do anywhere, since there are so many variables involved you'd have to control for in the latter. But never say never.
  7. demagogue

    Free games

    I missed it by literally 4 minutes.
  8. That was exactly my reaction. Looks like we're in a steady state since 2016. Not a bad place to be if we can expect a new FM on a semi-regular basis.
  9. This is a great mission so far, maybe an hour in. It's been too long since I've played some FMs, and this is a great one to return to the fold for. Really classic, gives me the old Thief feeling, & I've already had some crazy & fun moments with it. I got a laugh out of one moment where I put guards on alert outside, made my way to the 2nd floor, and prayed the alert didn't make its way inside. And I thought I pulled it off after four guards or so happily whistled by, until one guard calmly walked outside, closed the door, then half a beat later he comes back in and all hell breaks loose. XD
  10. There should be an underground necromancer movement patronized by some nobles that also serve as its leaders. In my version, necromancy knowledge is also attached to the Inventors as one of their secret ingredients, but they'd never admit to it or discuss it outside a very small circle at the top. I don't think that's the official line, but it's in the margin of wiggle room I think mappers have to play with them in their own FMs though.
  11. demagogue

    Christmas

    Merry Christmas, all!
  12. I've been getting a lot of assets for a project recently. A lot of it is free, but during the Black Friday sale I did grab a good number of paid ones. I like the massive & kitbash kind of sets (like the Kitbash 3D ones) that give you basically an entire ecosystem, where you can drop entire city blocks in whole, but you can also take the modular parts and do your own thing with them. And once you have some big pieces laid out, it's much easier to do detail work around that than trying to do detail work from the ground up. That's the main lesson from the "stepwise refinement" method that's always been my go-to ever since I read it in Dromed's first tutorial that came on the Thief2 CD. I recommend that method to everyone, BTW. The thing with paid assets though is sometimes you do get a dud, something that just doesn't look good except in the one precise context the seller made a screenshot of, or at a distance but not up close. Sometimes you don't know the value of an asset until you're actually playing with it in a map, especially if you're mapping kitbash style (mixing & matching modular pieces). So that's the risk of paid assets. But like I said, sometimes they're just so good & you get so much that it's worth it.
  13. I made the no-kill objective in my FM optional on my hard difficulty. There's a bad guy (or two) in it that a lot of people would like to kill if given the chance, so who am I to say no? The whole ethos of the game is player freedom. But I did want to have a way to recognize being a good sneak. I also change up other people's FMs to my liking, well I wouldn't say all the time, but sometimes. But I've learned not to advertise it because sometimes the author can actually get a little upset for seeing their baby get messed with.* I personally think it's important to let players do what they want with their local copy. Messing with other people's maps is even one of the best ways to learn good map-making skills. But of course they definitely shouldn't be redistributed, like AH was saying. That part, honoring the author's final word on their own FM going out to the public, is still important too. ------ * Edit: Although the one case it happened most significantly was kind of a special case. Can I remember it? It was the FM Beauty Contest. I know because I submitted an entry; I was also the only person that voted for my entry. XD Anyway, it was the Clocktower by, uh, right ... Ottoj55. He put a portrait of his girlfriend in a key place at the final location, and I thought to replace it with a period appropriate image. XD And I guess the egregious part was letting other people that wanted to know how to do it how to do it. (I think someone else did that part though IIRC. But I did it independently myself too, and then watched the other person get chewed out for it.) I mean, it was nothing against her. It was just really anachronistic & jarring in its setting. But he was not happy that people would think to do that haha. I mean he won the contest & I came in dead last with only me voting for me, so he can't complain too much, I figure. That was like 16 years ago now. I still find it kind of funny. And IIRC it sparked a whole debate about the ethics of messing with FMs. I think it was okay because it was local, and giving instructions would be okay because it's just an extension of that. But I wouldn't dream of thinking it would be okay to distribute.
  14. demagogue

    Free games

    Oh right. I got it now. I guess I'm used to the Epic store which always updates its freebies by the local time. Now the issue is that it's on Ubisoft's launcher, which I never really open because I don't have many games on it. They could take a note from Epic on that; maybe that's part of what this is. Ubisoft is also the one that will literally kick me out of a game that I didn't want to play multiplayer anyway if my wifi connection cuts out for a second, which also left a bad taste about them. But you know free is free.
  15. demagogue

    Free games

    This must be region locked because it still costs its usual price for me, and I got a warning about my region when I entered the page. Well too bad, I guess.
  16. Re: "...by Doom creator John Cormac." Eh, would he be any relation to Doom creator John Carmack? You made me have to dig out my old wiki username and password for that one.
  17. In the campaign that I scripted, the main underground necromancer school in Bridgeport is the Anatomical Society, and the head of it is Crexis. In the campaign, you visit his mansion (he's also a noble), The House of Hidden Perception, and it's a kind of throwback to The Sword.
  18. I was going to say a similar thing. You don't have to literally make new visportaled rooms though. Breaking up that space with furniture, walls and dividers, z-axis variations (mounds and ditches, steps, platforms, etc.), lighting variations (standing lamps, desk lamps, etc.) will go a long way to making some of that dead space come alive. Think about space in terms of creating variation, directing the player's eye, and telling a kind of story about the place, and generally the wider and more empty a space is, the deader it gets. The more you break it up the more alive & interesting the pieces become. And creating spots of light is especially important for gameplay because then the player starts thinking about how they'll navigate the room, and you've just made a big dead area into an interesting puzzle to figure out.
  19. There are a few IP, legal & security issues I have to think about for what I want to do with it. But here's a tutorial about getting a G*ogle maps scene into Blender, and once you get it into Blender it's trivial to get it into UE5. The stuff I've been doing is more or less just like this. (Except the process also gives you the real world textures, which he didn't take in this video.) The few technical points I'd add is you should just do your own clip brushing & be close-up for places the player would be, and for the background you just leave the clipping off & keeping it lower res isn't so bad for really distant stuff. Also you want to break it up in Blender into increasingly large chunks going outwards, and it'll be a little more failsafe in the import, and I imagine it helps with the framerate, but I haven't tested it. Edit: Oh what the hell... Here is a quick demo without the bells and whistles yet. This is what you can do in literally 15 or 20 minutes once you know what you're doing. And it doesn't take much to imagine what you can do from here to make it even more lifelike... Well, you'd replace the trees with UE's foliage tool. Things like cranes & utility poles should get replaced with models. Throw some procedural traffic & pedestrians in. For the nearest buildings you'd want to rip them individually right over them to get the maximum resolution. You'd also want to focus on the city center where the resolution for every building is highest, etc.
  20. I've been playing with this, as UE5 has already been released in early access. It's really cool. You can rip an entire city off of Go*gle maps, like a 10km x 10km chunk of terrain, get it into UE5, maybe throw in a little fog and light rain, some lit windows in the shaders, make the sea a realistic sea shader, then pick a really high building and model a posh apartment in the penthouse using all the free & amazing arc-vis assets out there, give it massive windows with rain streaking down, and take in the urban landscape. For someone that started building with dromed, which originally had like 1000 poly limit after which objects would just stop being rendered, it's literally awe inspiring to look over an entire city of 1000s to 10,000s of buildings or so, chugging however many millions of tris, and it still be fluid at 40 fps or whatever. You shouldn't take that too lightly. It really feels like were at a new stage in gaming. And the quick demo I made up like that is still only about 1.5 GB. The geometry you can rip off of Go*gle maps is already optimized so it's highest poly closest to the place you take it and falls off. Then you can add higher poly geometry to some distant places by hand. If you were smart about it, you could keep a game under 10 or 20 GB and still look pretty amazing.
  21. Yeah "volume" was just the spawnarg name I picked since it's being handled by my own code, not Doom3's, and at the time I honestly didn't know what the "s_" stood for (I'm still not entirely sure; it's not "speaker" is it?) and I didn't want to use it incorrectly. Regarding "- change the volume to your liking in the copy's sound shader declaration.", in his post he says he want to make it louder. In that case, it's probably better to find the actual sound file itself, make a copy of that (either with a new name & soundshader, or maybe even with the same name and, packed in the pk4, it just replaces the original, same shader and all) and then boost the volume of that in something like Audacity, since if you do it through the soundshader it's Doom3 boosting the volume on the fly, which might clip or not sound as good as doing it through a proper sound editor.
  22. Me and Tels were working on the volume slider for ambients & I remember around that time we were thinking about volume, and that's around when we updated the wiki for it and that language got in. I also can't remember who wrote it exactly, but I remember being one of the editors paying attention to it. It was a long time ago. I do remember the way volume generally works is the ambient should natively be at the maximum level, 100%, because volume modulation works best when it's cranking a volume down. It's possible to crank volume up, but then things get really fiddly and you get clipping. But in the early days IIRC, some sounds were getting in that were too quiet because whomever made them weren't appreciating that concept, so we were foreseeing updates with some sounds being made louder. And we'd had a few examples of things like that happening with the system that hammered that point in. Oh, also, if it's talking about the ambient speaker (the Info_Location object is also the object that's playing the sound, if you didn't know, not exactly a speaker, well it inherits a speaker in its .def, but anyway with spawnargs as if it were a speaker), if you set volume on the object itself, which I technically allowed the author to do with a spawnarg, it's going to affect every single ambient it plays. Well even aside from that, as a general principle, it's best to set volume through the soundshader and not via the speaker, in the sense that it's more robust to future updates (e.g., it's easier to drop in a new sound & control its volume without having to track down dependencies out there you have to change along with it) which is a kind of design principle in game development generally, or any software development. Or something like that. It was literally like a decade ago we were playing with that by now, and I like talking about it because it reminds me that I actually did something useful for this mod in my day. XD Edit: Actually, you know what may have happened? This happened a lot, especially with me & Tels, but could have been Orb too. I'd write a sentence about volume in the wiki, meaning the kind of stuff I was talking about above. (I mean that was originally my wiki entry, so I was kind of possessive with it & thought I should be the one updating it when we had changes like that.) Then Tels or Orb would come and edit it to be more precise or to "explain" why (they thought) it was saying not to mess with the volume spawnarg (with a completely different explanation), but thinking about factors that were basically completely different from what I was thinking about when I wrote the first version, and they thought I was really trying to say this other thing, and so they'd actually change it to say that. Then to me it seemed a little out of place, since it's not really talking about what I thought people should be concerned about anymore and bringing up these other issues out of left field it seemed to me. But then I wouldn't want to edit it back because they also had their own valid point to make & it wasn't really that big of a deal to make waves about it, and I needed their help & participation, and I was self-conscious since my point & skill weren't as technical as theirs, etc. This reads like it may have been that kind of situation. But again, a long time ago, lol.
  23. I had an idea like this before, but I have too many ideas of other things I'd make before this kind of thing. But to answer your question, I think TDM could do it well and I'd be interested in somebody trying it. I think the closest you get to this style of gameplay in actual FMs would be mansion missions, where the gated progression is more naturally explained, so Metroidvania style. A lot of the classic mansion missions in T2 & TDM could be seen like this. Some T2 mansion FMs, which are more puzzle-like than usual, come to mind like Lord Alan's Fortress & Mansion of Dr. Dragon. I guess open city levels might fit the bill too, like Midnight at Merkbell (Calendra's Legacy) and Seven Sisters. In TDM authors tend to be more story-focused, so not as gamey & mazey in the progression. There might be some, but I'd have to think about it.
  24. In fairness, they were uploaded more than 11 years ago. And it's the ultimate destiny of all tutorials eventually.
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