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Everything posted by demagogue

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In fairness, they were uploaded more than 11 years ago. And it's the ultimate destiny of all tutorials eventually.
  4. We already have FMs that feature Moorish traders, so yes.
  5. This is an old issue. It's not straightforward to pass the calling entity to a script, because it's technically the "player" that's being passed to the script (the thing frobbing the button, not the button itself, or whatever it is). You can't get the button's spwanargs because the script has no idea what button called it, since the player was the calling entity. (You can get the player's spawnargs, but what good is that?!) So when you want conditional calls to the same script becomes a big mess, since the same player is always passed; how do you get the conditional value in? Tels actually fixed it, or made a version of a call that would pass the button directly instead, which was great. But IIRC it broke a puzzle in one FM so the idea was torched. I proposed we could just make a new kind of button that passes itself directly under that new system as a parallel thing (i.e., "pass the frobbee not the frobber" as a parallel call type to "pass the frobber", and a different type of button for each one) so it doesn't break that FM, but I guess by that time the momentum for it was dead, or maybe that idea wouldn't work. Too bad as it'd be a really nice thing for mappers to have. I think there's a way around it, but I can never remember what it is, so it can't be that intuitive by comparison. Edit: Oh that's right. Yes, you just put the value in as a spawnarg to some dummy object and then getKey it into the script, although then you still need two steps (one to setKey it into the object and one to getKey it into a script; remember the script doesn't know which button to getKey either, so you can't just tell it to getKey "the button you want"), so it's still annoying. Be better if the script could just take it directly from the arbitrary calling button! But alas! Edit2: Note though I had issues with this years and years ago, so I don't know if any functionality or methods were developed after I looked into it back then. Edit3: I guess I should have read the wiki entry. So I gather with a "call" "scriptname" set on a button you can use "ent_button.<function>" in the script (instead of the old "$player1.<function>"), so the script get the spawnargs directly off the calling button / ent_button. If you can do that, then this is what me & Tels were talking about. I believe the catch is you're making your own buttons with this functionality instead of the vanilla functionality of buttons, which is fine under the circumstances, but this is the part that needs to be communicated, I guess. Thanks for that wiki entry by the way, Dragofer. We'd be even more confused without it!
  6. IIRC GOG either gave us a flat no or didn't respond when we asked. But your Bloodlines patch isn't really analogous since in technical terms it's going to be a Bloodlines mod, so it's all still under Bloodline's license. Troika is the legal entity that's controlling the IP and legally responsible for how it licenses mods. (And their response to the assets were them just the typical laziness towards mods. What matters isn't that part, but who they can counter-sue if somebody sues them ... and even then just as a formal matter. Evidently practically speaking they didn't see it as a risk. And even if Steam or GOG don't see TDM as a practical risk, I'm sure they don't, they still have to have that formality in place.) We can't do that since we cut the legal link to id when we went standalone.
  7. I already looked all this up earlier (and maybe already posted it here). IIRC I was going to re-state it in this thread last week or so, but then thought I didn't need to go into all the details. If we did create an entity, there's not much to debate that it should be under Canada law (where we have the most important members, so we're likely to always have someone engaged with an address there). And IIRC there was two basic options for our kind of situation, a non-profit and a trust. And I thought of those two, the trust is the one that fit a little better. There'd need to be a set of trustees. They're not claiming to own the game, only that they're responsible for its best interest for the public's benefit. So we'd pick a set of people we could, well, trust. And then there are some pretty basic duties like reporting, rules for voting, etc., nothing too bad. Since no money is really involved, I don't think fedicuary duties really apply. But I looked into this ages ago, so I'd have to remind myself of all the details, and I could be misremembering it just now. Yes, I think it's mostly come down to needing a champion in the inner circle, and we can't exactly have someone outside the inner circle making decisions about it; cf. the trust thing again. I don't think it's any big conspiracy, just maybe a good amount of contentment with where we are with the game already.
  8. You could probably make a room with robots in Dark Radiant much faster than finding a mission like that.
  9. You can use them in T2X if you want to see how they play.
  10. Well, 4 or 5 photos per room, or corner of a room, or piece of furniture, or whatever thing you're building right at that moment, or basically what you have open on the side of the screen at a time while you have the editor running (i.e., laying down the concrete stage), out of a collection of 100s. In the inspiration (laying down the fertilizer) stage, you should definitely collect as many reference photos as you can find for each scene or object you have.
  11. Yes it's often a good idea to line up like 4 or 5 inspiration photos and basically copy the ideas from different parts of each one. The other thing that helped me with my FM was making each room part of the story ... like "this family is rich, and the father is obsessive, so he should have x, y, and z furniture laid out in this particular style, and he'd hoard things like this.... He'd be reading through a bunch of books researching, so he'd have his chair like this, and all these books laid around it like this, with a pen and lots of notes strewn around them like this..." Or, this is where the meeting or a murder happened that was sort of cleaned up, but not so well, so there should be these things laid out that hint to that history... When you think about designing rooms as part of visual story telling, then that can give you a lot of ideas. Even if it's not explicitly made clear to the player, just thinking about designing areas like that will make them visually more interesting. They may not know exactly who these people are or what happened here, but they'll get a sense that they're somebody, and something interesting happened here. Speaking of a image like that, I've been noticing that there are a ton of 3D architectural models, and different knickknacks, little decorative things, that people are releasing for free at different places like on cgtrader, turbosquid, etc., especially a lot if it's for non-commercial purposes. Like if you filter objects on cgtrader to "free" at 20 a page, there's something like 7000 pages which is like, what, 140,000 free models.... And a lot of them are entire rooms (I mean "1 free object" can be an entire living room-bed room set) which contain 20 or 50 objects by themselves, any one object of which you can also use. You have to check the license for using them, but when they're free, then the license isn't usually an issue, just simple things like giving credit, which we should always do anyway. There's nothing really stopping us from dropping them into our FMs.
  12. Would it kill you to post about normal things that normal people are into once in a while, like football games, graphics cards, the latest trends in movies and music, or funny things that cats do?
  13. NoClip has put out a fantastic retrospective of the Thief games that interviews a lot of the creators on how the game was designed. Edit: New things I learned (or had forgotten & learned again)... - The whole magic system was geared around the 4 elements, which they later played down as such, but they also made up the original arrows, air/gas, water, earth/moss, fire... But noise & rope arrows were too useful to leave out. - A major design idea was "active stealth", one idea of which was creating distractions and negotiating "safe spaces", and a major inspiration was Ken Levine's experience with sub sims, where you can release noise makers and use thermal layers to slip past, both of which had natural extensions in Thief gameplay. - The other game LGS was making right at the same time as TDP was a Golf game. For that game, they had to fill a lot of dead space with commentator patter, which fed directly into using guard patter to fill time since the player was avoiding most things. - I also respected Randy's postmortem of TDS. It was pretty clear he was just as crushed by the design flaws that the rest of the community was (the body awareness supreme backfire, the heartbreaking necessity to break up the levels to meet the XBox memory limits, the render woes & being stuck with a wonky engine, etc.), and I think he did a good job of explained how and why they happened. More or less, he made design decisions before getting all the relevant information that affected what they could do, and some decisions (like body awareness) just didn't work in practice like they may have looked on paper. I can't be too upset. Some good levels and moments still came out of that game, I still love Randy's levels & design thinking (generally), I can understand and very much sympathize with his position and (ultimately mistaken) thinking and intuitions, which I might well have gone along with myself if I were a team member, and above all ... if TDS hadn't been what it was, we probably wouldn't have Darkmod now, and I'm really, really happy we have Darkmod.
  14. People had already started making missions in 2009 after the demos came out but couldn't finish them until the game was complete, and it was just the first year, so I think a lot of people had a lot of ideas they had been building up and could finally work on. We did have a good number of contests that first year too, I think. This is an empirical question though. If one really wanted to know, they could actually look at the 2010 FMs one by one and think about why they came out that year but not others like it in later years.
  15. Incidentally, I tried design the Stealth Score & Alert stats (their presentation, I mean) to be most useful for ghosters. So the thing is a lot of level 1 alerts are literally impossible to avoid (it's when a guard mumbles about a sound, but they don't know anything is there yet & they keep walking on as normal), and they wouldn't count under the classic Ghosting rules. So I purposefully didn't count them towards the Stealth Score. So the idea is, if you get a zero stealth score, then you've ghosted under the traditional rules. The reason to still add the alerts is that, if the FM actually allows it, you could try to even avoid level 1 alerts, and the stats page would let you know if you were successful. So to summarize, if you get a zero Stealth Score, you've ghosted under the traditional rules. If you get zero alerts period, then you've hardcore ghosted under rules even stricter than the traditional rules. And of course the number of saves and loads check if you've Ironman'd it. If anything is still missing, it's tracking if you used any tools or potions. If you don't, then that's part of the hardcore ghost rules. (And if you do, then that's chemical ghosting iirc.) There's not really room to add that, but perhaps, we could add a simple "P" or "T", or maybe "No Potions" and "No Tools", after the word "Alert" to signify that have not used Potions or Tools. (It's also something that could go on Page 2 of the stats screen.) There hasn't really been demand for it because ghosters are good at giving their own self reports, but it's something we might do to give them that signifier for the record.
  16. The issue is there aren't lines to spare. The first thing we could do is get rid of the "and", and that might be enough for most all cases.
  17. We're pretty easy going, so I don't think there will be any problem. Note that the Dark Mod engine has changed quite a bit from the Doom3 engine. Like if you looked at the source code, it's about quadruple the size of the Doom3 sourcecode. So that means some of the questions you ask might have different answers for Dark Mod than there would be for vanilla Doom3. Well, some core engine things like scripting, visportals, rendering errors, and the like I think may be similar enough. But other things like AI or any system unique to TDM will be completely different. So you might have to take that into account. But it still might be better for you to ask your question here than anywhere, I suppose.
  18. I think it'd be easy to do, although it's mixing categories a bit. Looking at that list, I'm always reminded that I picked the word "suspicious" (an adjective) instead of "suspicions" (a noun), when the other two elements are nouns (searches & sightings). I think New Horizon was the one that recommended that the word "suspicions" would fit better, but we never did get around to changing it. But I have to admit, it is more consistent to the form, so it's still worth changing.
  19. I wouldn't use that iStock image. It literally comes from an image farm. Their entire business model is to trick people into infringements, find them, and ask people to pay for it. But I think nobody here was ever arguing that we should. I think Zerg is right in that last post. Someone can model the image in DR and take a screenshot and either paint from it or put a filter on it. It'd be fitting even aside from the copyright issue.
  20. I know this was already solved, but for the record the standard solution to this, the standard practice period, is that you need to always put down invisible clip brush (with the right material to get the step-sounds correct) for all non-brush walkable surfaces, bridges, uneven patch-made floors in caves and natural terrain, even uneven brush work if it's disjointed enough, etc. Just get into the habit of laying down clip brushes for anything like that every time, then AI will always be able to traverse it.
  21. The green smocked one is the female pagan. She was one of the bodies in the warehouse and one of those rough draft characters that I don't think made it into the release version. Evidently one of the last few updates (or possibly nbohr's EAX fix, which seems odd, but it's in the cards) changed or deleted some property that made her fall through the floor onto that roof and lose her head, which, if you know how AI models work is the kind of thing you might expect. There's already a good number of comments on it and anyone can see it's pretty immersion breaking. So I suppose it calls for an updated version to fix it.
  22. We used to have contests more often. They're great because they kind of naturally temper your ambitions. You have a limited time like 1 or 3 months. A few for Dromed had build-time limits (because the Dark Engine actually tracks the build time; I don't recall DR doing that though), and it'd be like 24 or 72 hours or the like, which of course you can spread out over a week or few weeks. Often there's a size limit, and it's sometimes really small. There's usually a theme so you have something to spark an idea. And the fact it's a competition can add a little motivation, for people that are competitive by nature anyway. The thing is: You don't even need a contest to set yourself those kinds of limitations. And the other thing is that contests missions are a kind of genre in themselves, and we could always use more of them. A lot of the most memorable FMs I've ever played were contest FMs.
  23. Maybe we have a vote and try to decide democratically? Unless he expressed his wishes at some point somewhere. If they're quite close to being finished, then it makes sense to have a community group everyone is comfortable with finish them off for release, with the goal of being as true & respectful to his vision as possible, so that his final work can see the light of day. And also that the situation is explained in the readme and release threads, so people will understand why they got special treatment. But it's an exceptional case so people may have different opinions about it, and it's important to be respectful whatever is decided.
  24. My eye muscles never worked for this, so I always had to do it the crosseyed route (which as you all probably know reverses the effect, innies become outies and vice versa). I remember going through a whole book of them over like an hour or whatever, and after I'd finished, I realized my eyes just stayed crossed and I couldn't flex them back straight; even after applying some effort to it, they'd just push back crossed. It stayed like that for at least a good minute or two, and I recall a few moments panicking and thinking, "Well shit. I guess this is it. They're stuck like this for good now." Fortunately they did finally ease their way back into place, and I've made sure to practice moderation in my eyecrossing antics ever since.
  25. This is a sad day for our community. He was a great inspiration for me and he'll definitely be missed. I got to work with him a little when I was helping out with some parts of the code. I really valued our discussions, and I actually learned a lot about coding from him. I think I learned even more about design from him. He was one of those rare kinds of people that has a lot of technical know-how but is also really creative & has a great artistic and design sensibility and knows how to tell a good story. I was somehow thinking he would be able to rejoin us soon, but now I just think that we were very fortunate to have had him as part of our community for as long as we did. Thank you for everything & clear skies, grayman.
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