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MirceaKitsune

Arachnophobia vs. TDM missions with giant spiders

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So I need help with a slightly more unusual problem I often encounter in TDM. Feel free to laugh if you can't help it... in either case, I do need a solution so I can play certain missions.

 

The problem is that in real life, I have a phobia for most insects and especially spiders. Many TDM missions have giant spiders in them. Apparently, even if it's just 3D graphics on a darn screen, I cannot deal with seeing them from up close... neither dead nor alive. In the mission Alberic's Curse, I managed to progress through the catacombs by disabling sound, minimizing the window to 800 x 600, and using my wireless keyboard and mouse 2 meters away from the screen... yeah, it would have been a fun sight to see :) But even so I was still uncomfortable, and this is not a sustainable solution since I could barely see the screen enough to navigate the map (probably missed lots of loot).

 

I was wondering what options I have... apart from not playing such missions altogether, since some of them are nice and I hate missing out :( I could suggest variables to disable certain NPC's, such as spiders or rats (for those who are scared of such)... but that would be cheating since spiders can attack and block movement, plus it would break missions if any objectives depend on them.

 

If there's indeed no way to disable them, maybe there's a way to render them differently instead? Perhaps as just a waypoint (dot or square) that indicates they're there, but no 3D model and no sounds. Or a cvar to render all entities as bounding boxes instead of their 3D models, which I could temporarily use in such areas to get past the spiders. Any thoughts at all?

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At least in a game you can work on your dread in a controlled, safe way. Make a map with only spiders and dive in it!

 

Face your fear and conquer it! I dunno if phobias can be beaten, but I do know the human mind is capable of great feats.

 

But it is easy for me to say...


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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There is a list somewhere of which missions have spiders, precisely for that reason. I forget where it is exactly, though. Maybe the wiki?

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Fixing fear of spiders is harder and likely not something I'll do in the next years, since it's a hard-coded phobia I was for some reason born with. As for knowing when a mission contains them, that's not really a problem, since I just quit the mission once I notice them. Problem is that some good missions have them, and I hate being unable to play them and having to skip. So I was wondering if there is any (legit) way or a trick to stop seeing them in missions, like temporarily disabling NPC rendering.

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But it is easy for me to say...

 

...Because I am queen spider!

Edited by Goldwell

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Fixing fear of spiders is harder and likely not something I'll do in the next years, since it's a hard-coded phobia I was for some reason born with. As for knowing when a mission contains them, that's not really a problem, since I just quit the mission once I notice them. Problem is that some good missions have them, and I hate being unable to play them and having to skip. So I was wondering if there is any (legit) way or a trick to stop seeing them in missions, like temporarily disabling NPC rendering.

But wouldn't that render the mission a bit useless? I mean, if there is a spider, then the map maker intended it to be there, and removing it would probably make the places where they are present easier than they're supposed to be. I can only speculate not suffering from phobia's myself (well, i'm afraid of heights but that's not really a phobia i guess), but isn't it like watching a movie? I mean, it's much worse in the real world isn't it? Anyway, i guess as has been said, the only way to avoid them would be not to play the respective missions then, as AI's are an integral part of the missions.

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But wouldn't that render the mission a bit useless? I mean, if there is a spider, then the map maker intended it to be there, and removing it would probably make the places where they are present easier than they're supposed to be. I can only speculate not suffering from phobia's myself (well, i'm afraid of heights but that's not really a phobia i guess), but isn't it like watching a movie? I mean, it's much worse in the real world isn't it? Anyway, i guess as has been said, the only way to avoid them would be not to play the respective missions then, as AI's are an integral part of the missions.

It's weird for me as well really. I can only describe it as some spiders causing me a strong uncomfortable feeling when I see them, even if it's on a screen or drawing. I know they're just a 3D animation and don't really have a problem knowing they're next to me in-game (which I terribly would IRL), as long as I don't see them.

 

And yeah, they're obviously part of the mission and making them go away would ruin things. I guess my only choices are either not playing, or using cheat codes. Since I don't do it to cheat the map on purpose, I assume using noclip to get past such areas is excusable. Let's just hope none of them contain hidden items needed to complete the mission :)

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I suppose you might try 'r_showtris 1' in the console and put the graphics into wireframe mode until you clear past spiders.

And then 'r_showtris 0' after getting past them. They seem far less creepy when in wireframe mode.

See the following screenshot:

 

post-3285-0-21810400-1420782300_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by PranQster
  • Like 1

Linux pranqster 5.5.13-desktop-1.mga8 #1 SMP Wed Mar 25 16:52:32 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GN
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So I need help with a slightly more unusual problem I often encounter in TDM. Feel free to laugh if you can't help it... in either case, I do need a solution so I can play certain missions.

 

In fact, your problem isn't unusual. I have seen it crop up on TTLG several times, and for Thief, I think there is a tool to have spiders removed from missions. It would not be impossible to write something similar for Dark Mod either.


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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Hm.. if you are desperate, could this work?

 

Extract the mission .pk4.

Open mission.map in you favourite text editor.

Find&replace all spider classnames (something like "atdm:spider_large", you will need to check them from DR) into "target_null".

 

Save map file, open TDM, dmap the mission, repackage .pk4, play mission.

 

Target_null is a dummy entity that does nothing, and you are replacing all spiders with it.

 

Please test and report back.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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That's a good idea but it would work better as an addon. A custom declarations file would eliminate the need to extract missions, edit them, and repackage them. It would look something like this...

entity atdm:spider_large{
   inherit "target_null"
}

Save the text as zzz.def, copy it into a folder named def, archive the folder as zzz.pk4 and drop it in the base darkmod folder.

  • Like 1

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I think most people don't like spiders much, although not all of them are arachnophobic. But infact I guess those creatures are placed in missions to create the feeling of fear. I mean, you mostly find them in horror-themed missions, which should be scary.


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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Very useful tips, PranQster Sotha and rich_is_bored! Next time I'll try 'r_showtris 1' and see if I feel differently about them in wireframe mode. If not, I'll go with changing atdm:spider_large into target_null, and create a pk4 to do this automatically if such is indeed possible. The later sucks because it means cheating, but it's better than not playing the mission at all or going through heavy discomfort to do so.

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Fixing fear of spiders is harder and likely not something I'll do in the next years, since it's a hard-coded phobia I was for some reason born with.

I've actually read that arachnophobia is not present from birth, but is a learned fear. Given how keen some parents are to pass on their fears to their children (one arachnophobic mum I knew would wake up her four-year-old and remove him from his bedroom if she saw a spider in it), this seems fairly plausible.

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I tested the idea rich_is_bored posted, but it doesn't seem to work. I created a zzz.def file, put it in a def folder, archived the folder as a zip type archive with the name zzz.pk4, and put this in the file:

 

 

// Remove giant spiders for players with arachnophobia

entity atdm:ai_spider{
    inherit "target_null"
}

entity atdm:ai_spider_child{
    inherit "target_null"
}

entity atdm:ai_spider_huge{
    inherit "target_null"
}

entity atdm:ai_spider_huge02{
    inherit "target_null"
}

entity atdm:ai_spider_thin{
    inherit "target_null"
}

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Maybe doing it in a pk4 is upsetting it. You should just be able to put a replacement file in a darkmod/def folder without zipping it up. But then maybe you need to replace the original file by giving it the same name.

 

There's definitely a way to make it work, but clearly I don't know what it is. I'll stop thinking aloud now and leave it for someone who knows :)

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I left the script darkmod/def/zzz.def as well, but still nothing. I'll try giving it the same file name as the spider definition file, and see if that overwrites it. Hoping to do this without having to hack the missions or game data.

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I'm not sure the "inherit target_null" will be working. Maybe try:

 

 

entity atdm:ai_spider_thin {
    "hide"   "1"
}

 

--------------

Btw, I can relate to your fear, albeit for me it was the "floating eyes and shadow" in the Gatehouse. Almost couldn't play it in the evening with the dark room and so on... creepy!

 

OTOH, "getting very uncomfortable" is just a strong reaction - and I'm not sure that just hiding the source of fear will really help - I mean, it basically removes the source for the emotion - but if you remove all things that you fear, or hate, or feel uncomfortable with, then its no longer a dark, dangerous world, but more like Tetris :)


"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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This thead is concerned with a phobic reaction, not a slight discomfort that can be part of an overall positive experience.

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Fixing fear of spiders is harder and likely not something I'll do in the next years, since it's a hard-coded phobia I was for some reason born with. As for knowing when a mission contains them, that's not really a problem, since I just quit the mission once I notice them. Problem is that some good missions have them, and I hate being unable to play them and having to skip. So I was wondering if there is any (legit) way or a trick to stop seeing them in missions, like temporarily disabling NPC rendering.

I used to be afraid, and still kind of am discomforted by rats and cockroaches.

But in all honesty I think that our fears are mostly made up in our own brains. We can kill them the same way you can kill a rat or a spider. Once you realize how much those things are afraid of you and how vulnerable they are, that phobia becomes a nuissance.

 

You need some mongol exorcism of fear! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQUgtEBbPi4 TRUE MONGOLS FEAR NOTHING!

Edited by Anderson
  • Like 2

"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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