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Things that could be improved


Berny

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Is an additional inventory item needed? It seems you guys are trying to simplify key selection by making it more complicated.

 

How about a context aware solution? If you have the required key in your inventory the door opens and if some sort of feedback is required the game can cycle through the inventory and select the required key for you.

 

You retain all the separate keys while eliminating the need to cycle through them. Thoughts?

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The phrase that comes to my mind is "streamlining". And the thought that comes to my mind when I think about streamlining is "Thank God there is actually a modern game that doesn't do that sort of thing."

Edited by Melan

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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Yes, TDS did the keyring idea, and it was generally disliked.

 

One thing about TDM that is making the problem worse, however, is the property that makes keys undroppable by default. Once I know I have no more use for a key, I'd like to drop it, or put it back where I found it, but I can't. This was done to protect players from their own stupidity, since they might, in a row, 1) accidently drop an inventory key into their hands without noticing, then 2) accidently drop or throw the key away and 3) fail to pick the key back up again. That kind of hand-holding seems totally unnecessary to me.

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Aha! So droppable keys are a possibility? I wonder how much it would take to hack them in... in Dromed, it would be a matter of modifying an archetype suitably high up in the object hierarchy.

 

(The issue with TDM keys is that they don't stand out as much as TDP/TMA ones which, although unrealistic with their garish metallic colours, were very easy to identify visually. There is a tradeoff there...)

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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Aha! So droppable keys are a possibility?

 

Totally. You just have to add the spawnarg "droppable" "1" (or something like that). My belief is that they should be droppable by default, and mappers can set particularly important keys to be undroppable. Why should I be stuck carrying around and cycling through two or three chest keys when I've already opened the chests?

 

Being able to drop unneeded keys would go a long way towards reducing the amount of key-cycling in maps.

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Thank you. That goes straight in my "small things I need to know" file. :)

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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Yes, TDS did the keyring idea, and it was generally disliked.

 

It wasn't even so much a keyring in TDS, it was just 'auto unlocking' if you had the key. The player had no option to select it at all, that's what was loathed. The game did everything for you.

 

Now, a key ring would be different. It was used in a Thief 2 fan mission and people really liked it. Any key you picked up was automatically added to your key ring, but you still had to select the key ring to open the door. Kept clutter down, but still maintained player interaction.

 

I implemented a keyring in the TDS editor with some hack around tactics and it worked quite well. No reason the TDS Dev's couldn't have done it. It was just over simplification.

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I'm not a huge fan of the droppable keys, I don't trust myself with that kind of power :laugh:

 

I believe the whole inventory system could be redesigned into something more dynamical. A suggestion that I've seen working in some game: Holding middle mouse button shows up a menu in the form of a wheel with a few basic groups, each leading to an action (or item) or a group of actions (or items), creating a navigation system.

 

Examples! hold middle click -> slide left (key chain icon) -> release button -> list of keys! (they can be aranged in a pretty wheel or something). Another example (and this would be SO USEFUL) middle click -> move downwards (flashbomb icon) -> release button -> *FLASH*. Simple and fast enough so that one could fire it with a spasm of the arm on the spot. And so on...

 

I have no idea how hard would be to implement such a system but, hell, cycling through every single item in the inventory linearly is way too 1997

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I like cycling through individual keys actually, kinda fun to get the right key I found in basement or maid's chambers, the secret lock or whatever. A keyring would sorta rob that from me I think. I definitely like drop-able keys, should be default, the mission designer can make certain keys undroppable if they want. Good level design will allow me to know pretty well when a key is no longer needed.

 

Paranoid players might keep every key forever though, so I can certainly understand why they would want a keyring instead of cycling through tons of keys in a large mission.

 

Maybe some sort of compromise system?

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The FM series that did the keyring right - CoSaS. Keyring has a number indicating amount of keys held, all keys are named and recorded in the map/notes system. The compromise should be that if you don't have enough keys in your fan mission to justify using a keyring, you don't enable it or do the scripting needed to make it work.

 

Can't make a screen shot of the keyring notes page.

post-3727-127723827464_thumb.png

Edited by jaxa
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I'm not a huge fan of the droppable keys, I don't trust myself with that kind of power :laugh:

 

I believe the whole inventory system could be redesigned into something more dynamical. A suggestion that I've seen working in some game: Holding middle mouse button shows up a menu in the form of a wheel with a few basic groups, each leading to an action (or item) or a group of actions (or items), creating a navigation system.

 

Examples! hold middle click -> slide left (key chain icon) -> release button -> list of keys! (they can be aranged in a pretty wheel or something). Another example (and this would be SO USEFUL) middle click -> move downwards (flashbomb icon) -> release button -> *FLASH*. Simple and fast enough so that one could fire it with a spasm of the arm on the spot. And so on...

 

I have no idea how hard would be to implement such a system but, hell, cycling through every single item in the inventory linearly is way too 1997

 

 

I love this idea!! like in crysis you can walk and change your 'power' without touching the keybord with your right (or second) hand. In TDM you loose a bit of your control while searching through keys or items...

 

This would be very dynamic, but a drastic change! (faster gameplay) - personally, i like such an idea! - btw, this could be just an addition to the other system, not just a replacement.

 

for the keychain, why not create both? a keychain AND seperate keys, if you like to through them away, do it, if you like to open a door, choose the individual key or the keychain!

 

-

 

the best thing would be if you can put keys on the keychain on your own, and release them if you want, but with which button... "r" ?

 

 

Edited by Berny
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The FM series that did the keyring right - CoSaS. Keyring has a number indicating amount of keys held...

 

Ahhh, cool. :) Couldn't remember the name, thanks. Good missions.

 

Their approach was my inspiration for how I did it in T3EnhancED level editor...but the option to use normal keys was also there. It would have depended on how the FM author chose to handle them.

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I don't think we should change anything that affects existing maps so for good or bad the existing keys should remain undroppable. But a new set of droppable versions of those key entities that simply inherit from them but are named eg in a 'droppable folder within keys as plain_key_droppable whatever. The idea is that it alerts the mapper to think when creating a key. If it is not mission critical then choose a droppable. This also gives the player a clue - hey! if this key is not droppable then it's probably important. This could be done very easily for the next update whereas keyring code is low priority compared to some serious stuff that needs doing so don't hold your breath for that.

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Well I'm afraid to add my two cents as this all appears to be covered (and I'm probably due for some negative rep for my foolishness ;)) but instead of a "Drop Key" how about a "Other Pocket" function... If I were a Thief I would put keys that aren't currently relevant into another pocket rather than dropping them...

 

The "Other Pocket" could have any other inventory item that isn't readily needed...

 

You could even use the same interface as the main inventory and call them pocket 1 and pocket 2 so you could toggle between two lists of items that are configured to your liking...

 

(eh... I guess the Group configuration accomplishes this... I've never been bothered that much by the default inventory system so I haven't played around with it too much...)

Edited by nbohr1more

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I think keys should be droppable by default too.

I don't think making them so in future updates is going to break any existing map because it's not a game-affecting change and the future benefits outweigh the costs, but if you want to make a new set of keys defaulting droppable I guess it's virtually cost-less to do that too.

 

I'm also thinking a dog on a chain might work too if the origin was at the chain end (buried in the pole*) and that origin was made immovable, and the AI just stayed unbreakably within the circumference and it's all baked-animation (maybe a script event could break it from the chain and it becomes free-roaming on special occasions.) If the player walks within the circumference, the chain just shoves him out of the way like a real chain would. Would probably disable the KO'd body being pick-upable too (or maybe just if on chain, but enabled if free-roaming).

 

*I'd say make the pole part of the AI too even, but it'd be more versatile to allow different kinds, so scratch that.

 

Edit: BTW, this reminds me that in Endorphin, there's a feature for creating animations of ropes and chains where you put a constraint on one end and various forces on it, and it computes how it dangles around. Sounds like exactly what this situation calls for.

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 totally oppose changing anything that affects existing maps. You do not know what FMs have been made around the world that we have not even seen that might be affected. You cannot start second-guessing what and how things will affect previous maps. Mappers expect their maps to play the same. Improving, fixing, and adding new stuff is fine. Deleting a texture is wrong. Improving its quality is OK but don't replace it with a larger size that will scale wrongly in existing maps. Instead you add a new higher scale texture.

 

In the same way, as already stated, I recommend we add new versions of the existing keys. This is very very easy to do and if agreed I can do this in ten minutes. This causes the mapper to think which to choose. This would be better imo than even if we had keys droppable by default in the first place which I think is wrong. One of the first rules of good gameplay is never, ever, create the possibility of a situation where a player might play for an hour or more only to discover he can never finish the mission because a key he thought he didn't need anymore he dropped somewhere that is now unreachable.

 

The second inventory 'recycle bin' or 'inventory-manager' I've previously discussed and support several times going right back to Thief.

 

I'm unsure but from things mentioned I'm wondering if we already have a category scroll I don't know about? I mean one that scrolls around only within one category? I can't keep up with so many new things. Maybe I'd better check previous update lists. :rolleyes:

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I'm unsure but from things mentioned I'm wondering if we already have a category scroll I don't know about? I mean one that scrolls around only within one category? I can't keep up with so many new things. Maybe I'd better check previous update lists. :rolleyes:

We have such a category scroll, it's in the menus for keys and lockpicks. It can be bound to a hotkey in the console:

 

bind "k" "inventory_cycle_group Keys"

That's what I've bound it to on my system.

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Well that's great. Thanks greebo. Personally I think with that and an added set of droppable keys we have an easy fix and the keyring idea, though good (at least as an option) is even less of a priority imo. If mappers then use droppable keys mostly and only use undroppables for critical keys then few FMs will have many keys to scroll through and they can scroll them round and round like on a keyring anyway. I rest my keys. :laugh:

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I am highly in favour of droppable keys. I don't think we need handholding in cases of accidental or thoughtless dropping of keys that are needed later.

 

I'd also like the possibility to drop weapons. I never use the sword, and prefer to remove it from my inventory whenever an FM allows it (sometimes it's allowed to drop in the buyout menu, other times the drop button just doesn't work), or for missions where you have to pick up your equipment as you go, I never pick up the sword. If I end up in a situation that requires swordfighting, I've done something wrong and need to reload, according to my play style.

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But it was useful in The Alchemist even without fighting. ;) I recommend you keep it but don't use it.

 

It just occurred to me that we have a set droppable script so mappers could set a critical key to become droppable once it has unlocked its door.

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Alchemist should be next on my to-play list. :) My workaround will be to remove the keybinding for the sword.

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Could there be some sort of indication that a key has unlocked every lock associated with it? Then the player would know, and the only reason to keep the key would be just in case you want to relock things.

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One of the first rules of good gameplay is never, ever, create the possibility of a situation where a player might play for an hour or more only to discover he can never finish the mission because a key he thought he didn't need anymore he dropped somewhere that is now unreachable.

 

This situation involves two separate considerations, however. It's not whether protecting players from stupid decisions is valuable, it's whether it is *more* valuable than allowing players to sort their inventory as they see fit.

 

I am highly in favour of droppable keys. I don't think we need handholding in cases of accidental or thoughtless dropping of keys that are needed later.

 

I agree.

 

Could there be some sort of indication that a key has unlocked every lock associated with it? Then the player would know, and the only reason to keep the key would be just in case you want to relock things.

 

I wouldn't be fond of this. I don't want to be given that kind of information that my character wouldn't know; it would be like getting the loot as percentages in TDS.

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I would go for droppable keys:

 

I would hate to have an auto-unlock if I had the right key among the 6 keys I have: The building where I work, I need access to different areas, and all the keys look the same - we are not allowed to mark them, so I have to go through a number of keys to find the right one. Thats life

 

 

If I was a theif in a mansion, and lifted a number of keys off guards, and they all looked the same, then I would HAVE to try each one to a specific door, that's life - and makes opening the door more of a challange with guards patrolling

 

That auto-unlock is baby-holding hands...

 

 

my 2 cents

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