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Things that could be improved


Berny
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I tried many times to get a swinging hanging corpse but it does not seem possible yet. Any movement and the ragdoll gets agitated and breaks free and falls.

 

Well, do you mean attaching a regular ragdoll to something like a rope?

 

Doom3 has hanging flourescent lights that can be bashed to swing, it's like 2-3 bones, the last one with a collision box the size of the light. Not an AI ragdoll with 12+ collision bones linked up...

I think ragdolls can get an 'internal struggle' going. Move one bone and another reacts... That's probably why it's hard to attach to anything.

 

On a light it's only one collision box and is just limited by how the bones move, but the base has no collision data... So that ugly chain of events never starts.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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You could put a player_clip & monster_clip brush around the AI, close enough to give the illusion the player is bumping into the body but covering him so there's no collision.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I tried various things. At one time I had an invisible harness which I had to increase until eventually I had a complete box but still the AI went into twitches and convulsions.

 

I did sometimes get it looking great but it was unstable and unuseable.

 

One thing I didn't know about then was saveRagdolls. I'm doubtful though it would help because it's still a ragdoll. Even if possible I think the correct right is either new code, eg, bindFromJoint neck or freeze_joints 1 or a new stiff AI model. Ishtvan did make those melee dummies but they had arms outstretched - but something like that might work. Or like the statues only properly skinned.

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guards noticing doors being opened/closed (ESPECIALLY if it happens right in front of them!)

 

I'm confused why this doesn't happen because I was looking at the source today and I see where there is AI to make the guards notice an opened door that's not supposed to be open:

 

 

 

[/size]
// Is it supposed to be closed?
if (!stimSource->spawnArgs.GetBool(AIUSE_SHOULDBECLOSED_KEY))
{
	// door is not supposed to be closed, ignore
	return;
}

// Is it open?
if (!door->IsOpen())
{
	// ignore closed doors
	return;
}

// Vocalize that see something out of place
memory.lastTimeVisualStimBark = gameLocal.time;
owner->commSubsystem->AddCommTask(
	CommunicationTaskPtr(new SingleBarkTask("snd_foundOpenDoor"))
);
gameLocal.Printf("That door isn't supposed to be open!\n");

[size=2]
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As you can see from that code, the door needs the spawnarg "AIUSE_SHOULDBECLOSED_KEY" set to "1" otherwise the AI ignores it, which (I believe) is the default. If so, the mapper would have to turn it on by hand for each door (which is probably a good thing because maps have a lot of doors, not all of which all AI should care about, but just the ones the mapper thinks are important for it).

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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As you can see from that code, the door needs the spawnarg "AIUSE_SHOULDBECLOSED_KEY" set to "1" otherwise the AI ignores it, which (I believe) is the default. If so, the mapper would have to turn it on by hand for each door (which is probably a good thing because maps have a lot of doors, not all of which all AI should care about, but just the ones the mapper thinks are important for it).

 

ooh got it...thanks for the clarification

 

It's interesting because looking at the code it looks like there's a lot of interesting AI going on, but the results are that sometimes the AI doesn't seem too smart. I wonder part of it is these flags are not being used enough. But maybe there's still some refining of the AI to do to make it start looking good. But the foundation is there I believe.

Edited by Nazrix
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I had the idea it was not working yet else I might have used it. Just too many things to keep up with and remember.

 

One problem is that players might not know which doors will be noticed. One might for example only use it once on a vault door which is supposed to be double locked for the weekend with a secret combination. But wouldn't the guard notice if the manager's office door was also left open overnight? Maybe the cleaners left it open. So it affects gameplay because there is no hard and fast rule to judge. The same applies to noticing missing loot. One would almost need to mark doors that are being watched with some special sign. Unless one plays strict real life rules I think this is difficult to implement. Perhaps the mapper can include in the readme or briefing or objectives: "don't leave security doors open" for instance.

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Ah, I'm starting to like this!

 

I like the fact that it is in the engine.

 

I like the idea that it might be indicated only in the briefing so we don't have to have some goofy in-game decal (though, on 2nd thought, maybe a "keep door closed" sign isn't so out-of-reality?).

 

I also like the idea that it may be just the kind of thing that a good thief should be able to figure out; we would rely on the mappers to use sparingly and on the kind of things that would raise suspicion or alarm...

 

Good stuff. Good catch, Nazrix. Good going programmers.

 

(Now, please, someone in the know say something about the arrow-pinning-the-door-closed thing... at some point, eh?)

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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Yeah me too. That's why I like it. Still I anticipate there will plenty that don't/won't/wouldn't. So hopefully it can be used sparingly at least for the kinds of things that should be flagged. Maybe even a system for blanket flagging according to difficulty level?

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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I think Fidcal's right. The main issue is the PLAYER knowing which doors are troublesome. I too try to close all doors unless I want one for a quick escape...

 

And it should be obvious which doors are more likely to gather interest of guards, safes, the locked door of the captian of guard, etc... Not kitchen/closet doors.

But the issue with that is that each author probably has their own idea of which doors are important (it's not like a dev team saying NEVER have a kitchen door raise alert). Every map by every author is it's own special case.

So it would be good for authors to put something in the read-me... don't leave locked doors open and obvious...

 

Same applies for loot. Obviously loot in high traffic areas like a gold statue or crown on a pedestal with alot of guards around shoud probably raise suspicion, but not a coin stack on a random table.

Then again, if that loot is an objective piece it's probably a bit cruel to make it trigger alarm, especially if the player is trying to ghost, they could leave a gold statue in a hallway but HAVE to take that special piece...

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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It sounds good in principle, but from experience I can tell you it takes balancing in practice to get the gameplay to work (guards going perpetually on alert without the player knowing why, e.g., a door 1/4 mile away that an NPC opened, isn't very fun), so it requires a mapper to turn it on and off as is right for the situation. That said, I do think it's good for mappers to know that this kind of behavior is possible for them to implement.

 

There are things that are best for the mod to handle, and things best for mappers to handle. This is in the second category IMO.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Right now door behaviour isn't working 100%. I forget the details, but I think AI get confused about who last opened the door, so they sometimes alert themselves when the door is opened by an AI (or even themselves). There actually is a door set to alert AI in one mission...Sons of Baltona? Can't remember.

 

One thing I would like to see is AI noticing doors that open right in front of them. Right now, you can swing double doors open, and an AI on the other side, staring right at them, won't even comment. We had intended to make that a Lvl 1 alert, where AI turn their head and make a comment, but we haven't gotten to it yet.

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Right now door behaviour isn't working 100%. I forget the details, but I think AI get confused about who last opened the door, so they sometimes alert themselves when the door is opened by an AI (or even themselves). There actually is a door set to alert AI in one mission...Sons of Baltona? Can't remember.

 

One thing I would like to see is AI noticing doors that open right in front of them. Right now, you can swing double doors open, and an AI on the other side, staring right at them, won't even comment. We had intended to make that a Lvl 1 alert, where AI turn their head and make a comment, but we haven't gotten to it yet.

 

I second this. It is also a bit strange that doors play a sound but AI that stands right next to them don't even comment on it.

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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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There has always been a weakness in the gameplay structure of the Thief games. Clearly, if your mission is to steal a septre which is on clear display in a big room full of guards, then the guards are going to go on full alert and do a full house search when they notice that it's missing. Regardless if you're seen or make any noise, you can't avoid alerting the guards.

I don't see this as a problem for ghosting, and I wouldn't count this as a ghosting failure, it's just inevitable, and would be incredulously unrealistic if the guards did not notice that the very item they're paid to guard had suddenly gone missing and then did nothing about it.

The best way to go would be to give the player a choice - either they can pay money to have their 'fence' aquire a cheap replica of the expensive item they're about to steal, and then replace it so at a glance the guards will notice nothing amiss, or they can just put up with the fact that at some points during their mission the guards will go on alert because of an item the player has stolen.

I prefer the latter myself, it can add a bit of excitment to a game for the guards to suddenly go on alert and start seaching, like the Blackmail mission in T2 where you're halfway up the hall to Truarts room when he's found murdered and the guards go mental.

Obviously this would only occur with the major loot items, not every random candlestick.

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I don't see this as a problem for ghosting, and I wouldn't count this as a ghosting failure, it's just inevitable, and would be incredulously unrealistic if the guards did not notice that the very item they're paid to guard had suddenly gone missing and then did nothing about it.

 

It is definitely a ghosting failure, but so what? We definitely should not be making AI behave unrealistically just to support a gameplay style that's rather unrealistic to begin with.

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Yeah, it was Chalice(Thief´s Den II). Though, there was a guard standing next to the crown (And because of that he most likely should see when the player is substituting the crown). I would´ve liked more that he is walking on patrol and watches at the crown when he ends the route.

This was the case in Crown of Penitence where a guard made alert, when a big loot-item under a flare was stolen. That was really good. So, it´s already possible and was made. As always, it´s just mappers choice.

 

And I highly appreciate what Springheel and Tels said about guards noticing doors as they were opened right next to them. I hope you can achieve this in near future.

 

That let´s me ask again about the 'tdm_door_control'-thing that allows the player to slowly open a door in stealth-mode(with the mouse-movement). Actually it´s not working on every door. Is the team still working on this feature? A less loud door-sound for this would be great, too.

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And I highly appreciate what Springheel and Tels said about guards noticing doors as they were opened right next to them. I hope you can achieve this in near future.

 

It might work if we just add a small propagated sound to the door, e.g. when the door opens and the guard is Xm away, he hears the noise and looks there respectively goes up a bit in his alert status. Depending on where he was (relaxed, already nervous) it would trigger the right response.

 

That let´s me ask again about the 'tdm_door_control'-thing that allows the player to slowly open a door in stealth-mode(with the mouse-movement). Actually it´s not working on every door. Is the team still working on this feature? A less loud door-sound for this would be great, too.

 

I thought this wasn't even started to be implemented?

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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It´s already available (via console) and working most of the time. I use it very often and I don´t wanna lose it again! It´s great!

 

Ah. In this case please check if we already have tracker entries for these (sound too loud, not always working) and if not, please submit them.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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