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I was fooling around with a quick experiment for a dark bomb or shadow bomb if you prefer. I made a simple small cube model moveable with a large shadow volume. This works but because the cube is at the centre of the shadow volume then half the shadow is below ground and the shadow is not cast around the bomb itself but further out beyond the perimeter of the larger shadow volume.

 

If the shadow volume is raised above the origin of the bomb then there would be a problem of the bomb staying upright. I was thinking of those rounded toy bowling pins which are weighted at the bottom so they spring upright. Any ideas how we might keep a moveable always upright? An alternate would be multiple shadow volumes offset from each side of the bomb. Performance? Clipping into other rooms?

 

Mappers would just provide one or two of these and gameplay-wise they would function similar to a water arrow to create a dark area to slip through.

 

Should the bomb be re-useable so you can pick it up and re-position or use it again?

 

Should the bomb disappear and the darkness dissipate or should the shadow remain forever?

 

Should there be a particle effect such as smoke? Thick? Thin?

 

What should this bomb look like? Dark probably. But it doesn't want to clatter so it should be soft. Perhaps a dark leather bag? I also wondered about camouflage. Maybe it should look like an old boot! Who cares - they can't see it in the shadow! Well maybe if they have a torch.

 

Mmm... this dark bomb would even protect you against a torch-bearer if you keep in its shadow. It's not a fixed dark volume but casts a shadow from any light.

 

How big should it be? My experiment was 128 x 128 x 128.

 

So, you come up to a brightly lit gate with 3 or 4 mean guards. Instead of the non-stealthy flash bomb or diversionary noisemaker you might choose to lob a soft dark bomb. Low alert perhaps "What th'..." as you slip past.

 

Suggestions welcome.

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I am a not a fan of this as I'd need to suspend belief a lot to believe a working "shadow" bomb...

"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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I like the idea. There are a couple of things to consider:

 

Is a 'magic' arrow that spreads darkness fitting in the darkmod universe, which is typically pretty low on magic? I don't mind so much, but others might protest. An alternative, which you hinted at, would be a 'smoke bomb' or smoke arrow, which would perhaps be more in line with a slightly steampunk style.

 

The other thing that a smoke arrow would bring is an increased AI alertness. Seeing a dark area where there should be light might increase an AI alertness state, but seeing a cloud of smoke should make them fully alert. This would mean you would be less inclined to use this as a tool for sneaking, and more as a tool for evading once already seen. Whether used as a sneaking or evading tool, this could be done with an invisibility potion, I assume there's a reason that this hasn't been included (too magical?).

Either way, something like this definitely shouldn't be re-usable, that would tip the balance in your favour too much (that would be like having unlimited water arrows).

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Suggestions welcome.

 

I'm tired and cranky and work isn't going well.

 

To me the idea sounds daft: the player has a carryable shadow with him. Reminds me of those cartoons, where someone hides behind an object they are carrying and the guards are so stupid they don't figure out the object is moving.

 

A smoke bomb would be better. Spawns smoke particles for a large area. The player has a significant lightgem bonus in the particle radius. But then again, what is the point: the getaway game mechanic is already provided by the flashbomb... And the 'create darkness' mechanic is already provided by water arrows.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Fidcal: I like your idea as well :). But I think that your darkbomb should be expendable asset (i.e. the player should buy it, if (s)he wants to, for a relatively large sum). As for its visual effect, I vote for anti-light (or anti-lantern/anti-torch, if you wish), i.e. an object that emits darkness instead of light, with a finite time of action (just for a few seconds).

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Negative lights don't work I don't think. I'm sure I've tried that long ago. I mean, ones that subtract from the brightness of surfaces. At least I don't know of any way. Possibly when the source code is available I guess.

 

Magic and the supernatural are definitely a big part of the Dark Mod universe so no problem there. Might need another name for the bomb such as bleak crystal or death shadow or somesuch.

 

It occurs to me that some special custom undead might seem more ominous if it had a large shadow. Imagine a demon spirit wafting in and its half of the room goes dark; ambient sounds fade to silence; clouds cover the moon. Might be more atmospheric than sounds. It would probably need some special situation and not just a 10 second patrol back and forth.

 

Back on topic I'll experiment with a rounded shape with its origin offset to see if it tries to sit upright. If not, then a multi-shadow.

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I am a not a fan of this as I'd need to suspend belief a lot to believe a working "shadow" bomb...

 

Yes, I feel the same way.

 

I don't like invisibility potions, but at least that's a well-established magical effect which would accomplish the same thing. A "dark bomb" just seems bizarre from every angle--why wouldn't someone pay attention to the odd area of total darkness in the middle of the lit room?

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Yes it needs some thought how to present it.

 

I've now got it working a little better using an inverted shadow sphere. Now it doesn't matter which way up the bomb lands.

 

However it is a shadow not darkness so although it creates an igloo of dark if it overlaps a torch on the wall then that light will be inside. If a torch-carrying guard comes along his light does not penetrate the sphere but if he steps inside then it lights up inside. That might be alleviated with several nested spheres.

 

But it might need to be a wall. The player throws it to one side of a light to cast a shadow. But then the problem is alignment. No way to align the wall the way you want that I can think of except a large cube - but that throws shadows all around itself. It might be possible to bind a wall to the bomb using that bind orientation spawnarg. Possibly the bomb has a line across its top to show the shadow alignment. But I can't think of any way of turning it. I think if it's a north south wall then it remains north south however you throw the bomb.

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Fidcal I <3 you: It sounds super difficult technically but I love that main staff on the Dark Mod are still considering new equipment!

 

Honestly though I miss the speed potions for running away from accidentally alerted guards and the Invisibility potions for getting through very tough areas. I guess a Shadow Arrow would be my favourite way of doing this without detection, especially since I find Gas Arrows a lot harder to use in TDM than in Thief for knocking out more than one guard in a gateway.

"No proposition Euclid wrote,

No formulae the text-books know,

Will turn the bullet from your coat,

Or ward the tulwar's downward blow

Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can—

The odds are on the cheaper man."

 

From 'Arithmetic on the Frontier' by Rudyard Kipling

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Issues I see in visuals.

 

It will cast multiple shadows if there are multiple lights, It would be possible to lower light gem levels across an entire area if placed right.

 

The edges will be sharp which will break the illusion of magic imo. Maybe in addition black smoke could help soften the edges.

 

Overall a pretty cool idea though.

 

Should definitely be a one use, maybe 10 seconds. Enough time for a quick sneak through, not long enough to cause issues with 'why is this dark spot here right under the torch... More of a reverse flash.

Of course making it fade, how to?

And like a flash, maybe alerts guards, but maybe not as much as a flash.

 

Would be like when a guard catches a quick glimpse of you... what was that in the shadows? Somewhat dismisable.

But a flash bomb is not so easy to dismiss.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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What might be interesting is if it were like the equivalent of an invisibility potion, but location-based instead of agent-based. That is, every object & AI (or maybe just AI, K.I.S.S.) inside the volume would be made invisible while inside the volume for a duration. So it wouldn't be like an inexplicable dark blotch in the middle of a room, but normal looking from the outside. It *works* like a shadow bomb, but doesn't look like anything (maybe a faint particle effect).

 

And even if an AI walked through it they might not notice. But if they saw another AI walk through it they'd see him flicker out and that would be suspicious. (Might make a temporary absence marker at the moment something disappears that kills itself a second later, but if a guard is looking right at it, he can "see" it and go on alert.)

 

BTW, on the topic of alt arrows, don't forget the T2X arrows too. The two decent ones I remember were: Confusion arrows, where you hit an AI they'll change to your team, attacking surrounding guards; & Ice arrows, turns water into a horizontal block of floating ice.

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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What might be interesting is if it were like the equivalent of an invisibility potion, but location-based instead of agent-based. That is, every object & AI (or maybe just AI, K.I.S.S.) inside the volume would be made invisible while inside the volume for a duration. So it wouldn't be like an inexplicable dark blotch in the middle of a room, but normal looking from the outside. It *works* like a shadow bomb, but doesn't look like anything (maybe a faint particle effect).

 

And even if an AI walked through it they might not notice. But if they saw another AI walk through it they'd see him flicker out and that would be suspicious. (Might make a temporary absence marker at the moment something disappears that kills itself a second later, but if a guard is looking right at it, he can "see" it and go on alert.)

 

BTW, on the topic of alt arrows, don't forget the T2X arrows too. The two decent ones I remember were: Confusion arrows, where you hit an AI they'll change to your team, attacking surrounding guards; & Ice arrows, turns water into a horizontal block of floating ice.

 

Yes, the main problem with a shadow volume is the hard edge. I really hope one day we can have negative light values that are subtracted from surface brightness. If the light fades into a dark shadow in the corner it would be more natural than a hard round black shadow. Might be fun to experiment with multiple rapidly oscillating shadow spheres to blur the edge.

 

But I like your idea of a volume that *works* like a shadow bomb but doesn't look like a shadow. This sphere could be faintly translucent particle effect but without coding I don't see how to hide the player in darkness. Taking your idea of confusion and misdirection (which also reminds me of jedi mind control) it might work with simply switching the player to notarget within the volume. There is a script event that functions a few console commands but I'm not sure if notarget is one of them. Alternatively change all AI to team 5 neutral. So it's not physical invisibility but mentally so enemy kind of overlook you even though their eyes see you they don't notice you. Story of my life actually. :laugh:

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What might be interesting is if it were like the equivalent of an invisibility potion, but location-based instead of agent-based. That is, every object & AI (or maybe just AI, K.I.S.S.) inside the volume would be made invisible while inside the volume for a duration. So it wouldn't be like an inexplicable dark blotch in the middle of a room, but normal looking from the outside. It *works* like a shadow bomb, but doesn't look like anything (maybe a faint particle effect).

 

And even if an AI walked through it they might not notice. But if they saw another AI walk through it they'd see him flicker out and that would be suspicious. (Might make a temporary absence marker at the moment something disappears that kills itself a second later, but if a guard is looking right at it, he can "see" it and go on alert.)

 

This is a much better idea. It is stealty and would require at least a little bit of challenge (checking the patrol routes prevent the bomb timing to intersect with 2 guards).

 

It could have some neat befuddled barks too.

 

Imagine a square room full of immobile guards/archers at the walls, and you dropping from above, but needing to time the bomb so two patrolling guards that cross the exhibit there don't cross the bomb perimeter.

Edited by i30817
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What about a 'shadow spell'. Maybe a potion.

 

It doesn't get placed on terrain but on player.

 

So you use it, it gets bound to players center (or wherever the light gem calculations are).

 

It has a black particle cloud so to AI the player looks like a dark blob, maybe slightly suspicious, but more like a ghost, not clear as to what it is.

 

It has a shadowmesh sphere at the very center that conceals the light gem.

 

So it would put the player in shadow, the player would see some black smoke around himself. The guards wouldn't see him as the light gem is dark, but they might hear him or be suspicious of the cloud.

 

It would last only 5-10 sec. So a player could make one stealthy run through a lit area but not get busted if they found a good shadow to hide in quick.

 

mmm???

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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Technically, you could create a pitch black omni "blend blend" light texture with noshadows for a kind of volumetric effect (see my "lights/shadows" shaders for examples.) It'll properly affect the lightgem as well :). Then you can fill in the inside with particles as you see fit (which can sometimes affect the lightgem strangely). There might be a way to prevent certain items from showing up in the lightgem rendershot if it is a problem at all.

yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

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Well, a shadow bomb may be a bit strange, but if you want to craft fine new tools - how about any a real thief would find useful ?

Smokebombs are a good idea, because they are a little bit different from flash bombs: They last for a while, and newly arriving guards would be also affected !

 

Just think about the possibilities: Robbing one church, but the altar is too heavily lit/guarded.

Just steal/do all there is and finish the mission with a voluminous smoke bomb to the altar, allowing for a daring theft on the altar and a quick escape !

Smokebombs can be very handy, much more so than flash bangs.

 

And: They could be augmented with pepper: Believable and useful. They could be relatively cheaply bought compared with other tools

and just cause affected AI in the cloud to slowed down/blinded etc.; coughing/sneezing/bowing of the AI should be already available, too.

 

Or you combine pepper and smoke bomb. Design two tools, just copy things together and you have a third.

 

 

If someone finds the time, how about my old request for an footstep enhancer "bomb" -> the musthave tool for the modern thief who is not eager to be surprised by carpet walking guards while picking a lock or checking out a room.

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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Pepperbomb!

 

I loved those teargas grenades in deus ex.

 

That would be cool for tdm, but you would need new ai sounds and animations to make the ai cough and sneeze in the cloud.

 

But that would be fun: throw a pepper bomb at a noble escort, drink a breath potion for immunity at the gas and rob the coughing escort and get away before they recover.

 

So many cool ideas, so little time... :.(

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Yes, I remember that crunchy moss idea and always liked it. I wonder how easy that might be to do. Maybe only need to copy moss and give the material a noise. If I remember I'll try it. Of course, it can backfire if you need to go that way yourself.

 

I also like the pepper idea. This might be a variation of the flashbomb - substitute the sneeze anim for the blind anim and also include the temporary blindness of eyes tight shut and watering in a sneezing fit. I like it. It's a kind of flash bomb without the need for an alert.

 

Just to emphasize because I suspect many overlooked it - but smoke or other particles is in the original concept musings in my first post. Definitely in the design possibilities and always was. I've been mainly exploring the howto and gameplay concept of actually throwing something that obscures the player.

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Or caltrops. Instead of crunch crunch you'd hear Ouch ouch. lol

 

Or marbles. You'd hear "Whaaaaa... wooosh thumb ...ouch my butt hurts" :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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It's perfectly possible to have a negative light by using a blendLight in filter mode with a suitably dark light texture (i.e. an inverted version of the regular biground1 image). There should be no need to use shadow meshes for this.

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