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Things that could be improved


Berny
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I've filed a bugtracker for the issue. The view angle depending blind spot works basically. The only thing I couldn't get to work is to take the orientation into account, as with the eye-patch carrying ai.

The issue is that the unrotated fov isn't always pointing forward for all ai (whoever thought that would be clever 😕  ). It does so for humans, but it points downwards for spiders for example. I've tried to figure out a way to get the required info from the data available, but thus far no luck. I am not sure whether it is a real issue though, as the only usecase is the eye-patch gui. If those have a symmetrical blind spot the world would probably not stop turning.

The 30 degree cone one get by standard ai is actually big enough. It easely allows you to get close up to 40 doom units to the ai, if not closer (blackjacking distance is 56, pickpocketing is 40).

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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

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23 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

I see two possible solutions:

  1. Avoid any animations like that as idle animations
  2. Introduce an additional check to explicitely exclude the possibility of the ai to see anything behind itself (behind in respective to its bodies orientation).

3. Fix the animation.
This isn't a bug in the engine. It is acting like intended. The issue is with an animation, that didn't take player expectaions into account.

4. Close as "intended behavior".
It probably happened to me too. But normally the AI gets blackjacked before it happens. And it is part of "getting good" to learn to anticipate odd behavior of AI like sudden changes of direction, looking behind, relighting light switches, reacting to open doors, sometimes leaning so far forward, that it can actually see behind itself...

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Giving the AI variable behavior and expecting the player to take that into account is good, but there are still intuitive assumptions the game should strive to never violate. I think that for nearly every stealth game out there, the player should be able to believe that they're safe from visual detection so long as they're standing (or crouching) directly behind the observer and can maintain that relative position, just as Thief players expect to be virtually invisible while in a "perfect shadow".

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@Oktokolo There is no point in "anticipating behaviour" if it is completely random and leads to players quicksaving before approaching ai, just to quickload again on failure and repeat the exact same pattern that works this time just because a different random animation got played. And of course you can try to knockout any ai before it detects you, but that more or less neglects the whole purpose of pickpocketing.

The player needs to have a chance to anticipate, some information that helps him to decide upon. When a guard is going to relight a light, it will significantly move apart a typical route, and the light won't shine immediately, but an animation is played accompanied by spark particles and sound. If it is an electric light you can see the ai approaching a switch. So there it is clear what will happen and so you can anticipate.

A change of direction is normally within the shapes of the surrounding level geometry, so it makes sense and can be expected. A stationary guard that sometimes turns around will (if properly setup) do so often enough that the player is aware of that behaviour before getting close enough, so he can adjust his tactic.

The issue here is a completely different one and, what is also important, not intented! This happens only with one animation for a specific class of ai. So it can easely happen that even a long time player doesn't even notice this behaviour. How do you expect someone to anticipate that under such circumstances?!

5 hours ago, Oktokolo said:

3. Fix the animation.
This isn't a bug in the engine. It is acting like intended. The issue is with an animation, that didn't take player expectaions into account.

The problem is that in the future every modeler making an animation would have to made aware of this, which is not likely to happen. So on the long run we would be going to run into this issue over and over again.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

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On 9/3/2022 at 2:30 PM, Obsttorte said:

So, blocking the ai's vision backwards does do the trick. The question is what we should define as behind. We can either use a constant angle, which makes the implementation simple (like in finished :) ) or we could make it depending on the ai's vision, which would need a bit more love.

Some ai' have there horizontal vision modified, either because they wear a helmet or a cape or because they have an eyepatch. It may not be necessary to take these things into account as the play may not end up within the viewcones of those special cases anyways. Thoughts?

 

"The question is what we should define as behind."

actualy that is what i mean with my compass awareness remark. the ai has to know a direction frontal or at the back. for walking a route after it got off it needs to know direction which i call a compass since thats a tool used by this game and ofcourse it aligns with eg north.

you talk about vision-awereness, i talk about routing awareness and i think both are connected.

Edited by CrisiusXIII
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when saving the actual body state of the player is saved but the KEYS responsable Not.

meaning that if you hold the F key and thus lean forward and then do a quicksave F4 then after F9 to load you will STAY in the forward leaning position until you press F again...

shooting an arrow seems to work different since then i have to click the mouse while loading to hold the arrow else it WILL be shot after all...

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5 hours ago, CrisiusXIII said:

meaning that if you hold the F key and thus lean forward and then do a quicksave F4 then after F9 to load you will STAY in the forward leaning position until you press F again...

That's funny (and a bug, of course). I may take a look.

5 hours ago, CrisiusXIII said:

for walking a route after it got off it needs to know direction [...]

you talk about vision-awereness, i talk about routing awareness and i think both are connected.

No, the ai does not have to know the direction or where north is, nor do they have a concept of front. Both issues are not connected in any way. (My comment wasn't aimed at any of that, it was about how to handly the eye-patch special case).

In regards to vision, there is a direction of the head model that is defined as forward, and the code checks whether the player is within a cone centered around that direction (in addition to some other conditions).

Pathfinding is done via an abstraction of the level geometry. It's basically a table that contains information on what the shortest route between different areas is, and which areas need to be traversed in what order to get from one point to another. What appears to be a movement like in real life is basically a sliding into a specific direction, that the model was previously turned towards, and an animation played (a bit like when you move a chess figure, only animated).

 

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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  • 3 weeks later...

if i put a crate on the path they see it but get 'confused' meaning it jumpwalks over it in a funny way. with some direction awareness it could walk around the obstacle or not attempt to sit when a crate is placed on a chair or bench. It does not necesary needs to see what is taking the space of the route as long as it can react on it.

I do some z80 stuff myself and not so very big either. There are a few miniFM from which i hope one day they fit inside an zx128, like the bakery or the dropeye. i dont dare to think whats needed for that (poor) Z80 with 3.5 mhz.

but thats off topic. ( z88dk.org aswell 😉

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29 minutes ago, CrisiusXIII said:

if i put a crate on the path they see it but get 'confused' meaning it jumpwalks over it in a funny way. with some direction awareness it could walk around the obstacle or not attempt to sit when a crate is placed on a chair or bench. It does not necesary needs to see what is taking the space of the route as long as it can react on it.

I do some z80 stuff myself and not so very big either. There are a few miniFM from which i hope one day they fit inside an zx128, like the bakery or the dropeye. i dont dare to think whats needed for that (poor) Z80 with 3.5 mhz.

but thats off topic. ( z88dk.org aswell 😉

WTF are you talking about?

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I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Yeah... running even the tiniest TDM mission, such as The Bakery Job or Deadeye, is probably not feasible on a Spectrum ZX128.

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14 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

WTF are you talking about?

about WTF are you asking me?

maybe i play different becouse i am not a developper. that means i have a different way off view myself. probably clumsie becouse i only do some z80 and native zx basic, and some C in which i always "point wrong".and i am dyslectic and miss many mistypes regular

asfaras i understand different FM have their own libraries with gametricks. that is devellopement and some work very well and then become part of the mainsystem. did you every drop a box in front off a door in such way the door wont open anymore?? it can give you some time in some cases.

in the watchman watched there is a kitchen with benches and 1 guard sits there regular. if you put that large crate on that spot were the guards wants to sit the guards realy gets anoyed and stops thinking at all. thats why i think about avatar direction awereness and avatar position awareness. it can recognise a sword, but something that should not be here like a crate is not recognised at all.

In an above post its explained that the avatar follows a preset track and is infact mostly a picture moving over the screen. only the face has a direction but thats not awereness off map position and map direction. in my view the avatar must have SOME comparisment material=awereness to compare itself with the map and its position on it... thats more and more variables and more cpu time to check whats going on but the avatar migth be able to walk around an sudden obstacle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Main menu GUI:

The mouse hover change color should stay black, but be black bolted, instead of turning white. On bright light settings, this can't be seen anymore.

This off course an extreme example screenshot, but in general if you set the brightness and gamma higher the hover-over ui buttens get harder to see.

_testfm_2022-10-24_11_47_17.thumb.jpg.c7f26f39bf6db3706c09bd30a2eb2656.jpg

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57 minutes ago, datiswous said:

Main menu GUI:

The mouse hover change color should stay black, but be black bolted, instead of turning white. On bright light settings, this can't be seen anymore.

This off course an extreme example screenshot, but in general if you set the brightness and gamma higher the hover-over ui buttens get harder to see.

_testfm_2022-10-24_11_47_17.thumb.jpg.c7f26f39bf6db3706c09bd30a2eb2656.jpg

I guess boldening could have the side effect of shifting the text, which should be tested first

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  • 1 month later...

TDM installer:

Better organisation of versions.

It should show version and under that sections release, beta and dev. So for example:

  • 2.11
    • beta
      • beta 1
      • beta 2
    • dev
      • dev 767667
      • etc.
  • 2.10
    • stable
      • Release
    • beta
      • beta 1
      • etc.
    • dev
      • dev 88776
      • etc.

Idially it would automatically only show everything from a specific version if you click on that version.

Edited by datiswous
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Here are couple of (hopefully reasonable) suggestions:

Add a temporal tag (*) to new stockable readables until the player has turned the very last page of that readable. Many times it is difficult to tell what was read and what wasn't and furthermore some missions require the player to fully read a readable to complete or trigger a goal.

In the same line add a temporal tag (*) to yet-to-be used keys. The tag should be removed as soon as a key is used once, even if it can be further used elsewhere. The name of a key can sometimes provide clues about where to go next and knowing which key hasn't been yet used can be useful.

(*) The tag could be :

  • A word: "New" or "Unused" on the top right of the HUD icon, in example.
  • An image: a question mark icon on the top right, in example.
  • Other...
Edited by snatcher
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TDM Modpack

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And a couple more 😀

Rope arrows: Make them recoverable, just like vine arrows. Give rope arrows a second chance to prevent (to an extent) save/load scumming. I mean, if a failed rope arrow lands besides the player he/she may very well decide to pick it up instead of reloading. (I have a prototype of this for myself but it needs further refinement).

GUI: replace the "New Mission" wording with "Activate/Enable New Mission" or similar. For some reason I kept clicking on the wrong option too often till I changed it locally.

TDM Modpack

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37 minutes ago, snatcher said:

And a couple more 😀

Rope arrows: Make them recoverable, just like vine arrows. Give rope arrows a second chance to prevent (to an extent) save/load scumming. I mean, if a failed rope arrow lands besides the player he/she may very well decide to pick it up instead of reloading. (I have a prototype of this for myself but it needs further refinement).

GUI: replace the "New Mission" wording with "Activate/Enable New Mission" or similar. For some reason I kept clicking on the wrong option too often till I changed it locally.

 

Turn on the bow attached aimer, I rarely miss a shot it's so accurate.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Any chance of more Beasts, Creatures and Monsters ('common' or mythos) ?

E.g. The Common 'Burrick' AKA "Belcher", seems like every 3rd tavern is named after one...Really, yet I've never seen a live (or dead) one in TDM.

Let alone the old TDP 'mythos' creatures like the Bugbeast, Treant, ect... Yes the Elementals show up rarely and Ratmen in _1_ whole mission.

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