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Sotha

Gas mines and mines in general

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Water arrows are (relatively) cheap because they're mass produced for fire brigades. Other than the special water formula (our arrows aren't elemental magic) which can be produced by the barrel, they're quite easy to make. Gas arrows, on the other hand, are expensive partially because they're illegal, and but mostly because they're rare. A world in which knock-out gas was cheap and easy to make would look very different than the setting of TDM.

 

As for why it must be cheap, there's no reason it has to be. That was in response to your comment that players won't choose mines because they are more expensive but less effective than arrows. A poison mine/trap that doesn't rely on gas would be a more believable tool and could justifiably be less expensive, killing two birds with one stone.

 

We don't need anything that would be difficult to make. Regular barks could work just fine. And a slightly altered mine model would be simple enough to make.

 

Yes, but only when they are in direct opposition to each other. Ideally, we look for a solution that addresses both.

 

Thank you for the explanation. I now think I grasp you position better. You look this from the Universe point of view, where as I am looking just at the gameplay side.

 

Okay, let us design The Tool That Grants Indirect KOs ("The Tool" from this forward).

 

*It has to be expensive, price around the gas arrow, because it has a similar gameplay effect. If was much cheaper, the player would have too common ability to KO AI without blackjacking. Elite troops with swords out would not pose a problem. The gas arrow / mine should be a single use item that is meant for careful use.

 

*Because it presents the same gameplay effect than the gas arrow, why not use gas in it? The players are already familiar with the gas. They know how it works. Why should the indirect KO effect tool be different from the direct one?

 

*Appearance. Mines look flashy. Particles and stuff. It would look... well less satisfying, if the mine was just a piece of metal with a spike. The AI would just walk on it and collapse. Gas mine with particles would probably be more satisfying visually.

 

*No possibilty for multiple KOs. The gas arrow gas cloud can drop multiple enemies with a single, but skilled hit. That is very satisfying. Same thing would be desirable with the gas mine. As I showed in the video above, the gas mine can drop several AIs. That is great and justifies higher cost. (Cost around the same price as the gas arrow.) If it was a single spike trap, it would probably neutralize just one AI and that's it.

 

*Mine disarming works presently for all the mines. If The Tool was just a metal circle with poisoned spike, the disarming would not make sense. Disarming is cool and should be present with all the Indirect Tools.

 

With this analysis, the gas effect still feels to most viable option for The Tool. At least for me.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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It has to be expensive, price around the gas arrow, because it has a similar gameplay effect.

 

Not necessarily. It could be less expensive if it were less effective. For example, a poison trap might reasonably get only a single AI. That, combined with the need for careful placement, makes it less effective than a gas arrow, and therefore it could reasonably cost half as much. There are plenty of other ways to balance this out--the amount of noise it makes, how quickly it works, etc, can all be tinkered with so that the player has meaningful choices to make.

 

Because it presents the same gameplay effect than the gas arrow, why not use gas in it? The players are already familiar with the gas.

 

Yes, that's a valid point in favour of gas.

 

Appearance. Mines look flashy. Particles and stuff. It would look... well less satisfying, if the mine was just a piece of metal with a spike. The AI would just walk on it and collapse. Gas mine with particles would probably be more satisfying visually.

 

I may have used the term caltrop at one point, but I'm not thinking of an actual metal spike. I'm thinking of something that looks like a mine with a spring-loaded arm attached. There's no reason to think it wouldn't look just as good. And I'd argue that having a gas cloud that appears five feet above the mine, or that is on the ground but KOs AI anyway, doesn't look satisfying either.

 

As I showed in the video above, the gas mine can drop several AIs. That is great and justifies higher cost. (Cost around the same price as the gas arrow.)

 

I strongly doubt anyone would choose a mine if it cost the same as an arrow version for reasons we've already discussed. I actually see it as a positive that the mine would be slightly less effective, and therefore cheaper.

 

Mine disarming works presently for all the mines. If The Tool was just a metal circle with poisoned spike, the disarming would not make sense.

 

Disarming could still work as it does now. It's still a mine, and would follow all the same rules as the existing mine. It could even tick when active. The only real difference in gameplay terms is that it's limited to one KO.

 

 

To me, making exact duplicates of something, just in a different form, is not very interesting. It's why we don't have a flash arrow or a holy water bomb. I'm on board with the idea of a non-lethal mine (and other trap ideas), I'd just like to see something plausible that's slightly different from what we already have.

 

If we can think of some kind of gas-trap idea that goes off near the AI's face, I'd be open to that too. What about something that attaches to walls?

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In deus ex 1 where were those LAMs in explosive and gas forms, which were very cool and fun to use.

 

However, to get wall attached mines to work in TDM, we would need to figure out how to have proximity detonation (or tripwires) for the mines: it won't work if the AI is required to touch it. Does anyone have a clue how it could be done?

 

If not, then we are stuck with gas mine or Poison Needle Trap Mine (what would it be called?) Also, the PNTM would need a model, and possibly even an animation for the deployment of the needle.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I think that ai have a visual stim on them by default for the purpose of them recognizing each other. So you could use this. I will check that.


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

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

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I like the idea of tripwires, but to me that seems more like a tool someone would use against thieves, preferrably attached to some nasty (semi-)lethal contraption.

 

However, doors? They only open when someone wants to pass through them, so attaching a gas mine to the jamb or doorhandle seems reasonable to me. Like the wall-idea, this gives it a more plausible vertical position, and no proximity detection is needed. The door opens, gas goes off, and you can be pretty sure you're going to hit someone. I was going to suggest rigging something to the doorhandle, but then I noticed that not all openable doors have door handles, so maybe attaching to the jamb at head height makes more sense.

 

(Mines used to go off when doors hit them, which was a good way of setting them, but they don't appear to anymore)

I don't know anything about the code base, but I guess the problem here is that this would require collision detection between the mine and door. If it's attached to the door/jamb instead, the open-door trigger could also trigger the mine.

 

If the item is nonremovable without setting it off (really sticky glue?), you can also manage to really mess things up for yourself if you booby-trap a door you need to use for your escape.

 

If the item is detectable by the AI (light-level?), it should also matter which side of the door it is attached to. Not remembering which door is booby-trapped gives yet another way to mess things up.

 

(First post, I know. I've played quite a lot of TDM but usually do not have much to contribute to the discussion.)

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Another possibility would be to use them as "sticky cameras" like in Splinter Cell, just without the camera. You could for example shoot them with an arrow against a wall, and then use a device in your inventory to cause it to make noises. Than, if enough ai are nearby, the player launches the gas. As long as he did not do that, he is able to retrieve the device.

 

This way the stim range could also be pretty small, causing the need for the player to aim good so they are in the right height. This way the tool would have to be a bit expensive, though, as it is pretty strong this way.


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

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

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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I like the idea of tripwires, but to me that seems more like a tool someone would use against thieves, preferrably attached to some nasty (semi-)lethal contraption.

 

 

That's a great idea for a trap in TDM. Tripwires to kill the player. If you spot it you should be able to disarm, not just jump over it. Maybe a bit to program tho cuz no AI would be able to pass through it without setting it off. It would be nice to trick the AI into running into it and killing themself.

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I would also like to have the gas mine available. I don't want to lose the gas arrow however. I never use flash bombs. Too expensive, and draw too much attention to you because of their noise. I use moss arrows, water arrows, gas arrows, and every now and then a noisemaker arrow. I love to use rope arrows, but there aren't enough missions for climbing, unless I have missed some???


Quando omni flunkus moritati" ("When all else fails, play dead")

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I know Ishtvan was working on some kind of trip-wire system that had some promise, but I don't know how far he got with it.

That's on my list of things to finish if I ever set up my desktop again (objective 1: find a desk). I finished the player interface for laying the wires/anchors and connecting them up to mines. I think a lot of that made it to SVN, but some might still be on my local HD.

 

I still had to do the actual physics of setting off the tripwire. It would be easy with static entity collision models, but I was hoping to do the more complicated moveable tripwire CM case, so that it would still work if someone did something weird/creative like put tripwires on an elevator/moving platform, or between two crates that could move.

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Seems like a working gas mine didn't make it into TDM 2.03, unless I'm mistaken?

 

I can only find it under 'Moveables' ('Player_tools' sub-category) as atdm:moveable_gasmine; however, this is just a moveable object, it cannot be inventoried or used.

 

By contrast, usable mines are listed under the primary folder 'Player_tools' and are listed as atdm:playertools_flashmine or atdm:playertools_mine.

 

Is this an oversight or is a usable gas mine still not ready for release?

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Gas mine is not in the core mod.

 

I made a custom one myself. You can copy it from Ulysses:genesis .pk4.

 

It is in def/tdm_playertools_gasmine.def. All you need is to put it in your FM def folder, IIRC, and it should be visible in DR.

 

EDIT: you also need the particle, which is located in the particles subfolder.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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It's going to be very rare that new tools make it into the core mod at this point, though mappers have come up with things for their own personal use. Personally, I'd support the inclusion of some kind of non-lethal 'mine', but a gas mine you step on has never made much sense to me.

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Thanks, Sotha. I will do that.

 

@Springheel

 

Perhaps, someone could transform a flashbomb into a gasbomb that the player can lob? The bomb is primed by the player depressing a button prior to lobbing, a timer counts down 3 seconds and then the gas is released via tiny holes that cover the entire sphere.

 

Just my thoughts on how it could work.

Edited by Dunedain19

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What makes a gas bomb significantly different from a gas arrow, other than being harder to aim?

 

The reason "mines" are useful in addition to arrows is because they are location specific, "place and forget" weapons, significantly different from a projectile.

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Thanks, Sotha. I will do that.

 

Great! I would love to see gas mines in TDM missions. It is really a shame Spring does not like them.

 

I personally love the mine mechanic, the excitement of laying a trap and watching someone to stumble in it, without me needing to lift a finger (to fire an arrow.) Or protecting a corridor with non-lethal means while you loot a room.

 

Perhaps, someone could transform a flashbomb into a gasbomb that the player can lob? The bomb is primed by the player depressing a button prior to lobbing, a timer counts down 3 seconds and then the gas is released via tiny holes that cover the entire sphere.

 

Making such a bomb would be pretty easy, I think. I don't see what it would be worth, since that would not be much different from the gas arrow.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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but a gas mine you step on has never made much sense to me.

Can you remind me why this was so? I remember you mentioning this in the past, but I've forgotten.

 

If you have rapidly spreading nerve gas that is released, you will drop whether the gas source hits you in the face, or in your shoes.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Okay, it's a fair point about the bomb being too similar to an arrow.

 

To take inspiration from the recent Battlefield: Hardline beta: as a Recon class, the player had access to explosive charges that could be mounted literally anywhere. When an enemy passed through the laser beam that extended from the device, it detonated.

 

So how about a wall-mounted mine that is connected to a trip wire?

 

In order to work correctly there are two steps the player must perform. Firstly, the gas wall mine must be mounted on a wall - its base would be "sticky" so once it has been rotated so that its base comes into contact with the wall, the player can then move it around (while it remains on the wall).

 

Once the player has placed it in their desired location, then a trip wire (along with a tether) will be spawned that the player must extend across the floor. The wire will be a certain length (perhaps longer ones can be bought for a premium?), which would compel the player to think strategically about where to place the wall-mounted mine.

 

After the trip wire has been set-up, when a guard crosses it, the wire is yanked from the wall-mounted gas mine, the mine shoots out a plume of gas that knockouts the guard.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Dunedain19

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I just can't really buy into gas that can knock you out by hitting your shoes--that's certainly not the kind of gas we have in arrows, which won't do anything if the gas doesn't hit the AI's face (and the coughing clearly indicates it is inhaled). If you can't knock out an AI by shooting a gas arrow at someone's feet, why would a regular mine have any chance of success? A walking AI would be well past the gas before it could reasonably spread up to his head.

 

I like the tripwire idea, but we'd need code support for something like that.

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Maybe a gas mine could have its particles move in a fast upward cone instead of an expanding sphere, to suggest that it has a different release mechanism from the gas arrow and the gas is being pushed upwards through a nozzle. Though I suppose dissipation might be a problem.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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I just can't really buy into gas that can knock you out by hitting your shoes--that's certainly not the kind of gas we have in arrows, which won't do anything if the gas doesn't hit the AI's face (and the coughing clearly indicates it is inhaled). If you can't knock out an AI by shooting a gas arrow at someone's feet, why would a regular mine have any chance of success? A walking AI would be well past the gas before it could reasonably spread up to his head.

 

I respectfully disagree. If we have steamwork gadgets and arrows that contain a bag of water/gas, it would be easy to think about rapidly spreading gas that knocks out in very low concentrations.

In real life, too, boys were making insecticides, dropped a little bit of it on the bench and immediately felt severe effects in the whole area.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_agent#The_discovery_of_nerve_agents

 

I like the tripwire idea, but we'd need code support for something like that.

Me too. It would make mines even more fun. You could drop them and they would work as usual. Or you could set up a tripwire, to expand the area trigger.

 

 

Maybe a gas mine could have its particles move in a fast upward cone instead of an expanding sphere, to suggest that it has a different release mechanism from the gas arrow and the gas is being pushed upwards through a nozzle. Though I suppose dissipation might be a problem.

 

In my gas mine, I've adjusted the particle so that the gas shoots slightly upward, like you describe.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I can't really think of anything better that wouldn't require additional code support. Maybe it's just a matter of tweaking the model and particle effect so that it doesn't look like the gas is being shot out of the mine itself, but instead is launching a small canister of gas that explodes at head level? Still seems a bit implausible to me (any canister would be just as likely to hit their foot), but there may not be a perfect solution. Maybe I'm the only one bothered by this.

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I can't really think of anything better that wouldn't require additional code support. Maybe it's just a matter of tweaking the model and particle effect so that it doesn't look like the gas is being shot out of the mine itself, but instead is launching a small canister of gas that explodes at head level? Still seems a bit implausible to me (any canister would be just as likely to hit their foot), but there may not be a perfect solution. Maybe I'm the only one bothered by this.

Well, we can always use our imagination to presume that, for example part of the gas that affects humans is actually invisible and spreads much farther than the eye can see.


"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Instead of a mine one could stick to the idea of a device that could be placed at a wall, like dunedain already suggested. This way the player could place it at head level to make it work. That's the way gas mines worked in Deus Ex, and they were pretty useful. The tripwire thingy should be doable without changing the core code. But it wouldn't be the easiest task to implement it and I wonder whether it is worth the effort.

 

From the logical points flash mines also don't make much sense me thinks. If you step onto something that emits a stronge light while you are looking forward, and therefore in a completely different direction, I can't imagine you would get blinded. ;)


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

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

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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From the logical points flash mines also don't make much sense me thinks.

 

 

I wasn't in favour of them either. :)

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