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Things that could be improved


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You wish for TDMM?

 

Do you mean "TDM Multiplayer" or "The Dark Mod Mod", lol?

 

Re the first: to be more precise, I wish for a multiplayer thieving game in the tradition of Thievery and now Thief2-MP, which can build off of TDM. If you've ever done it, it's fun. I personally love coop style on Thief2-MP with a classic big FM. Having another person with you running around a good FM is just fun... especially if the other person is another Thief fan and appreciates the gameplay the way you do.

 

But like I said before, it's not TDM. It would really be its own game and should be thought of that way, rather than trying to meld the two into one game. (Except for the fact that the most fun, IMO, is cooping on an FM; so if you can still play TDM FMs, it'd be best.)

 

So re: the second, yes, effectively I think it'd be fun to have some The Dark Mod Mods. These aren't "improvements".

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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There is no safe way to knock someone out in real life. Not with a bump on the head, not with choking. Even using a poison dart dipped in some anaesthetic would not be safe, because anaesthetics need

I find the skill in blackjacking should lie in maneuvering yourself into a position where you can knockout an AI and hide the body without getting detected by other AIs. Once you’re in that position,

Many things in TDM seem minor until you try to make them happen. Most times you sink into quicksand.

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hehe, yes I meant Dark Mod Mod. And although its lightyears away (as TDM is lightyears away from being perfected where the team could be freed up to do other fun things), yes, I think it is a nice dream to have as well.

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I wouldn't mind seeing a mod mod that transformed TDM into a Deus Ex-like cyberpunk game with really high interactivity. It would be an enormous task, but some of the functionality is already there... as are some assets (from Doom3).

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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This is not a "thing that could be improved," but more like a gameplay element I'd like to see to have some discussion.

 

My thought addresses the keyhunt issue: I always feel keyhunts a bit artificial because the player is a burglar and a master thief, who suddenly cannot pick a lock. The artificial feeling comes because I usually think that in real life I could bash this puny wooded door or force the lock using brute force, thus eliminating the need for a key. Common burglars do break doors and windows to get in.

 

So basically: why shouldn't the player be able to break doors? The player is a master thief, but he should be given an option to be a common burglar as well. Mappers could set some locked doors to be breakable: attacking the door many times with a sword would eventually "unlock" it and swing it open. If we had a busted lock/handle model, the mapper could make it replace the original working handle. Attacking the door would make a lot of noise, which would attract guards from quite far, guards within a few rooms reach should hear it (800units or so.) The broken door could get a suspicious marker, which would make the guards say "We've been robbed!" and pull out swords just like missing loot items can be set to do it.

 

The basic idea would be to give more options to the player. Unpickable doors would not be so annoying, if the player could simply force their way in if they wanted. Also maybe new kinds of FM gameplay could be possible: stories about a non-masterthief burglar.

 

If mappers could spawn/teleport suspicious markers around, this could already be done. Also it would need some kind of noise/alarm-entity (basically a speaker with a range, which the AI reacts the same way like player made noise. Door receiving damage would target this speaker.)

 

Just a thought, what do others think?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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This is not a "thing that could be improved," but more like a gameplay element I'd like to see to have some discussion.

 

My thought addresses the keyhunt issue: I always feel keyhunts a bit artificial because the player is a burglar and a master thief, who suddenly cannot pick a lock. The artificial feeling comes because I usually think that in real life I could bash this puny wooded door or force the lock using brute force, thus eliminating the need for a key. Common burglars do break doors and windows to get in.

 

So basically: why shouldn't the player be able to break doors? The player is a master thief, but he should be given an option to be a common burglar as well. Mappers could set some locked doors to be breakable: attacking the door many times with a sword would eventually "unlock" it and swing it open. If we had a busted lock/handle model, the mapper could make it replace the original working handle. Attacking the door would make a lot of noise, which would attract guards from quite far, guards within a few rooms reach should hear it (800units or so.) The broken door could get a suspicious marker, which would make the guards say "We've been robbed!" and pull out swords just like missing loot items can be set to do it.

 

The basic idea would be to give more options to the player. Unpickable doors would not be so annoying, if the player could simply force their way in if they wanted. Also maybe new kinds of FM gameplay could be possible: stories about a non-masterthief burglar.

 

If mappers could spawn/teleport suspicious markers around, this could already be done. Also it would need some kind of noise/alarm-entity (basically a speaker with a range, which the AI reacts the same way like player made noise. Door receiving damage would target this speaker.)

 

Just a thought, what do others think?

 

It's a nice idea, and I think not that hard to code in (you can already create sounds that are heard widely, "attacking a door" would be possible etc. Only problems (in the sense of "unsolved thoughts", not "a real problem") I see is:

 

* should it work automatically for every door (add a "broken doorlock" model, a health "spawnarg" and some other spawnargs to it and it goes off?) or only for specific doors?

* how does the player know he can bash it in? (if it works automatically with some defaults, then that is ok, otherwise we need to mark bashable doors somehow).

* what to use for bashing? sword? can the player throw crates/hammers at it, too?

* the firearrow should also be able to break the more flimsy doors/locks

* how to signal the player "you only half-broke it, continue and it will open"?

"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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how does the player know he can bash it in? (if it works automatically with some defaults, then that is ok, otherwise we need to mark bashable doors somehow).

 

I'm not saying this is not a gameplay element that should be absolutely rejected. Have at it if you want, sure.

 

But I think that, if you do implement it, this question can be answered thusly: there shouldn't be any particular indication. It's such a terribly un-Thiefy thing to do that, you bash and make a racket at your own risk; you're going to make a shitload of noise AND it may not work at all.

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* should it work automatically for every door (add a "broken doorlock" model, a health "spawnarg" and some other spawnargs to it and it goes off?) or only for specific doors?

 

* how does the player know he can bash it in? (if it works automatically with some defaults, then that is ok, otherwise we need to mark bashable doors somehow).

 

Good questions. I was thinking that it should maybe be a special case. Like 'unpickable' is a special case, so should 'destructible' be a special case. This way no existing maps get broken. Another justification is that then the breakable door could be used as a spice here and there, and original gameplay is not altered unless the mapper wants to do so.

 

How to identify a breakable door is the big question. Maybe it has a rusty lock + door handle?

 

* what to use for bashing? sword? can the player throw crates/hammers at it, too?

Yeah, sword. I don't see how an thrown hammer could damage the door. Forcing the lock with a weapon need precision, which you do not have with thrown hammers and crates. So I'm thinking about breaking the lock, not utterly destroying the door into toothpicks.

 

Broadheads should probably be ineffective.

 

* the firearrow should also be able to break the more flimsy doors/locks

Certainly, anything that causes a lot of damage would destroy locks. I'm thinking of new use to explosive mines as well: door charges, detonated with a broadhead arrow. Breaking and entering has never been this fun (and noisy).

 

* how to signal the player "you only half-broke it, continue and it will open"?

 

15% damage, dent decal appears on the lock

50% damage, a big crack appears.

100% lock breaks. Remove dent decal, remove crack decal, totally busted lock+handle replace the original ones.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I'm not saying this is not a gameplay element that should be absolutely rejected. Have at it if you want, sure.

 

But I think that, if you do implement it, this question can be answered thusly: there shouldn't be any particular indication. It's such a terribly un-Thiefy thing to do that, you bash and make a racket at your own risk; you're going to make a shitload of noise AND it may not work at all.

 

Yeah, that possible a good idea, I was just thinking about the lines of "1 in 100 doors is bashable, which is it?" That will not be fun, like "search for the key in 100 rooms" is not fun. We shouldn't make it too easy for the player, but it should not be frustrating, either. If you think about it, we also make "openable" doors highlight, while unopenable doors are not highlighting, simple to avoid that the player spends hours searching for a key that never exists.

 

Technically, you could make "bashable" doors always the flimsy ones, e.g. partly-see-through, or so. However, that would also limit it's usefulness to such doors, and due to performance (if a door closes 100%, the visportal can close, too) these doors are used seldom.

 

Anyway, it is an interesting idea.

"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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Yeah, sword. I don't see how an thrown hammer could damage the door. Forcing the lock with a weapon need precision, which you do not have with thrown hammers and crates. So I'm thinking about breaking the lock, not utterly destroying the door into toothpicks.

 

I think that one wouldn't use an expensive sword, more something like a small hammer (which the player doesn't have tho). The sword would easily get damaged on a steel lock, and that is not someone would risk in real life. You'd more easily "kick" the door in. What you need is blunt force for a large area, not sharp force like cutting with a sword.

 

What could work is an extra animation "bash in with sword pummel". However, it also means an extra key.

 

Broadheads should probably be ineffective.

 

Yeah.

 

Certainly, anything that causes a lot of damage would destroy locks. I'm thinking of new use to explosive mines as well: door charges, detonated with a broadhead arrow. Breaking and entering has never been this fun (and noisy).

 

:)

 

15% damage, dent decal appears on the lock

50% damage, a big crack appears.

100% lock breaks. Remove dent decal, remove crack decal, totally busted lock+handle replace the original ones.

 

Yeah, that would work.

 

If we go the "destroy lock" route and "use an extra key for that", then it could be added to any locks, we only need to specify how the player knows it is one of these (or if he should just try every door lock until he finds out which it is).

 

When I first read about it, I was more thinking about "kick door in". Most simple wooden doors might not be kickable (real wood is quite strong), but the modern equivalent of "two papers glued on a core of wood shreedings" can be kicked in very easily. Even if the lock holds, you have enough space to crawl through to the lower third of the door. (Fun what you can learn when an office near you gets robbed :)

"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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In T1/T2, you had

  1. doors that could be bashed down: typically poor-looking wooden ones, suspectible to weapon stims, spawning sawdust particles (technically "blood") and emitting a specific "breaking down noise" when hit;
  2. and doors that were invulnerable to weapons but could be blown open with a fire stim (mine, fire arrow, explosive charge or powder keg). These simply unlocked and opened when dealt sufficient damage.

In both cases, doors had a specific number of hit points. Those that could never be allowed to open could just be set to a ridiculous limit (like 999 instead of the customary 15 or 20) or even the stim removed.

 

If this feature is implemented, TDM could conceivably add its own flavour - permanent and suspicious damage or soot decals, for instance.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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In T1/T2, you had..

 

-Yeah, I remember the T2 mission where the player breaks in a mansion to discover the city watch captain was killed (Truart? Can't remember..) I remember a door in the upper floor, which I didn't have the key to and it couldn't be picked. In frustration I hacked the door with the sword a few times, and ho! The door opened. I think it just unlocked. That was nice. My main inspiration for this discussion, actually. ^_^

 

 

think that one wouldn't use an expensive sword, more something like a small hammer (which the player doesn't have tho). The sword would easily get damaged on a steel lock, and that is not someone would risk in real life. You'd more easily "kick" the door in. What you need is blunt force for a large area, not sharp force like cutting with a sword.

 

What could work is an extra animation "bash in with sword pummel". However, it also means an extra key.

 

Is it worthwhile to add new keys and animations just for simple feature like this?

 

It is a steampunk setting with walking steam robots. Maybe the sword is treated with a special adamantinium/mithril alloy, which makes the tip extremely effective against particularily weak and thin metallic objects like flimsy locks? ;) Therefore the lock needs to be cut/pierced with the sword.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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There's an alternate quick fix that doesn't need any extra code possibly.

 


  •  
  • We create a crowbar model - easy even for a mapper to make and export as an .ase
  • We assign the model to a key entity.
  • We enable the key to open the doors we want to be breakable in our FM, eg, all wood but not metal if that's what we want.
  • We assign to those doors a new smash unlock sound - maybe crate impact would do as a placeholder

.

 

Mmmm... well the player could relock the door with the crowbar so maybe it needs a script or code to remove the used_by property after. Or maybe a spawnarg on the door unlock_once. You would also get the wrong key sound on other doors but that might not be so bad.

 

Some years ago I came home from work to find my front door broken in but the damage was barely noticeable. I've also shouldered open a couple of doors in the past, once when I locked myself out and once when a neighbour locked herself out. Again very little noticeable damage - in fact the door was still lockable albeit weakened. But then again, these were all Yale locks not the old bolt types.

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If this feature is implemented, TDM could conceivably add its own flavour - permanent and suspicious damage or soot decals, for instance.

Both should be possible and with a little bit of clever thinking the fracturing into bits part can also be made to look quite nice (I think, havent looked at if we have access to what I'm thinking of). Decals and such should be possible through code. I've been interested in the same idea for a while now, if there's no one else interested I'll trrryyyy get taki to have a look at it, soon as he's done writing his masters stuff (early jan).

 

Other than that Melan, I got 116mb of textures up and into the svn, however sadly a day after the cutoff for 1.03, so they'll be in 1.04 and I'll do my best to finish up the rest of them before then, as well as adding in a number of new doors and (wait for it!) door handles hopefully. But since I did essentially delay your kind donations, I'd like to ask if you have any areas that you think we can improve on texture wise? You have a great eye for these things :)

 

I'm also thinking of revising some NPC clothing, I noticed a few of them look pretty dated, while the model geometry looks rather good. So maybe some suggestions in that area would be good too.

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Other than that Melan, I got 116mb of textures up and into the svn, however sadly a day after the cutoff for 1.03, so they'll be in 1.04 and I'll do my best to finish up the rest of them before then, as well as adding in a number of new doors and (wait for it!) door handles hopefully. But since I did essentially delay your kind donations, I'd like to ask if you have any areas that you think we can improve on texture wise? You have a great eye for these things :)

Unfortunate, but such is life. Delays happen - let's just hope 1.04 comes requires less time to come out than 1.03.

 

What do you mean WRT texture improvements? Upgrading existing textures or adding new ones? I will have some of the latter as time permits (probably after finishing the revised RttC) - some easier to contribute, some still in need of proper tiling etc. I also have some prefabs ready for the time your repository opens for business, and again, will add more of them as RTTC is completed..

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Is it worthwhile to add new keys and animations just for simple feature like this?

 

I think a "bash backwards with sword and pummel" animation would just be nice to see. Also a new "key" might be just "use", e.g. have the sword out, press "use" instead of "attack", and the player plays this animation. For bonus points, this animation could also "stun" enemies (or hurt them in a small way), so it would be really dual-use, and be natural.

 

It is a steampunk setting with walking steam robots. Maybe the sword is treated with a special adamantinium/mithril alloy, which makes the tip extremely effective against particularily weak and thin metallic objects like flimsy locks? ;) Therefore the lock needs to be cut/pierced with the sword.

 

Heh, don't spoil my cool ideas with "facts" :D

"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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Exclusive, Behind The Scenes, Headline News!

 

Did not go unnoticed.

 

:rolling-around-with-a-silly-smileyfaced-smileyface:

 

We just say such things to confuse you. :ph34r:

"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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What do you mean WRT texture improvements? Upgrading existing textures or adding new ones?

 

A bit of both, I know that vegetation textures and decals are a bit lacking, but I want to know what areas mappers are finding restrictive or what textures which we have currently are not in fitting with the general feel and could be looked at for replacement/remake.

 

Don't worry about the time, I'm more than happy to get things done myself if I know more-or-less where/what :) If you have however made stuff that you think is general purpose, I'd be more than happy to check it out and add it to TDM, even if it's just diffuses, since I like good normals and don't mind taking the time :)

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So basically: why shouldn't the player be able to break doors?

 

This topic comes up regularly every year or so, and you can probably do a search to find previous discussions.

 

But basically, there's no realistic reason why the player shouldn't be able to break doors (with his shoulder, not a short sword, which WOULD be terribly unrealistic).

 

However, it's not a realism issue. It's not even a coding issue, since code for breakable objects already exists and it probably wouldn't be difficult to set doors up that way.

 

It's a gameplay issue. Why can't a thief lockpick that door? Because the mapper doesn't WANT him to be able to lockpick it. The mapper doesn't want the player getting into that room until he's been somewhere else first. This is a classic mapping convention to control the flow of the story. Does it require some suspension of disbelief? Absolutely. But no more than not being able to hide under beds or put on a guard uniform as a disguise.

 

So sure, you could let mappers set doors to be breakable, or give the player a crowbar, but that isn't going to change the fundamental issue. Controlling access to doors is absolutely up to mappers, and as long as it's not being misused, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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I think the slashable tapestry / cobwebs would probably be more interesting for TDM missions than breakable doors. Breakable doors in Thief was always like, "I don't have the key so I'll try breaking the door in the off-chance that this is one of the very few in a very few missions that will unlock. If it doesn't work I just made a lot of noise and the guards will be coming." Whereas the majority of tapestries would be destroyed when you slashed on them, fueling my penchant for violence, and sometimes revealing a hidden switch or loot!

 

Breakable doors, particularly dodgy looking ones in abandoned buildings, could already be created using standing pieces of wood and just using the physics system. This is something like what I've seen in the beginning of the Oblivion mod Nehrim, loose collections of bricks or planks that you could push yourself through after you removed or hit a couple to dislodge them. I'm also reminded of a TDM mission where you start out in a cell and had to frob some bricks. In Thief's Gathering at the Inn and many other missions you could break structural planks with your sword, which I guess would operate similar to slashable tapestries.

 

Another question, is it just me or does sound propagation not alert guards/haunts enough? In the latest cathedral mission from Jesps

there were a bunch of haunts. I was in this empty room with like a broken chair, and a couple of planks. I banged the planks around, shot my noise arrow a couple of times, reloaded, etc. but the only things that attracted the haunt were blowing up my own mine when he was pretty close, and actually shooting the haunt with broadheads. Of course maybe the haunt is supposed to have bad hearing or something, after all his ears have rotted away,

but I thought I should bring this up.

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Can we please use spoilers when talking about recent missions? Some of us haven't played that yet, and I didn't really want to know that there were

revenants

in it.

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Just another voice here who would love to see slashable banners and bashable doors. The only problem with bashing doors is that it must be restricted at some point.There were points in T1/2 FMs where I would bash down a door, only to find nothing on the other side.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Bashing doors seems like it would require some suspension of disbelief too that nearby npc wouldn't hear something that loud and not have all the npcs on the map come over with their swords already out. I think its a little unfair since the guards have such i tiny hearing range as it is. You could probably bash all the doors open on some maps. The other thing is the door in TDM seem very solid. An unhindered chance (a minute one) to open any unbarred door seems more immediately relevant. Although, when referring to exploration in some abandoned building, thumbs up.

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Guys, I have another thing that's been bothering my since I've beta-tested Carnage's FM. I don't know if it has come up in the forum already or has been fixed by now, but right now, when torches are doused they can be re-lit. Is the same true for electrical lights? After all, some FMs rely on electrical light, and if the player switches it off, it would create some really intense moments if the lights would be back on again as soon as a guerd/servant passes by.

 

Also, how about candles? Is it possible already for AIs to re-light them?

 

 

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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