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Renaming "stealth score" to "stealth penalty"

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Any thoughts about this? It's really not a score, but a penalty. It would be much nicer (and less confusing for new players) to see at the end:

Stealth penalty: 0

Maybe "penalty" is not exactly the right word though, but it seems that something like that would fit much better with what that number actually means.

Thoughts?

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Penalties are applied to something.   I don't see how that fits.

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8 hours ago, Springheel said:

Penalties are applied to something.   I don't see how that fits.

Hey, first of all thanks for all of your work! I'm having a blast with The Dark Mod and with learning DarkRadiant (I'm truly enjoying your Speed Build challenge by the way).

I agree that penalty might not be the most appropriate word.

What I meant was that the current stealth score is something that is supposed to be minimized. The breakdown of the score is actually a set of penalty points applied to different situations in which the AI was alerted, so this score is more like an "AI alerted points" (again, not the perfect words, but it's along those lines) than an actual stealth score.

It could be converted into a score if it was presented over a total. For example, 0 could be converted to 100/100, a 1 to 99/100 and so on. That way, when a user sees:

Stealth score: 97/100

they immediately understand it wasn't perfect but it was close. When they see:

Stealth score: 3 

the immediate reaction is confusion and that they played it terribly, especially the first time they see this, but again, if it was more like:

Stealth [insert word referencing something negative that needs to be minimized]: 3 

users could better understand they did minimize what was supposed to be minimized.

Anyways, just my two cents. Thanks for reading.

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The score was originally a positive score from 0-10, where 10 was a perfect run, and it went down from there. And it turned out that so many games were 0 that people just assumed it was broken, which made it kind of useless. (It also hid the fact that busts were getting overcounted, which is why it was almost always 0 and we didn't even realize it, much less fix it, until we switched to an additive score.) Then we debated increasing it to 0-100 (where 100 is a perfect run), but the thing you have to keep in mind there is "80" will mean something very different for a 10 minute contest sized mission (where it's a really bad score) vs. a 5 hour sprawling mission (where it's a great score).

So to avoid both of those issues I had the idea to make the score positive, so it can go up indefinitely. No matter how bad you are, you always get a meaningful number. And like a golf game there's a "par value" so bigger scores are okay for bigger missions but bad for small missions. So "20" just looks (accurately) like 20 in busts instead of "80" looking (inaccurately) like "80%" stealthy.

When we did that, though, we kept the name "Stealth Score" because it'd already been around for like a year or more at that point. And now it's been around for like 11 years. I understand the logic of the point. "Score" sounds like a higher value is good when it's worse. But the name has a kind of inertia at this point from being around for so long too, and most people understand what it means easily enough.


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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Heh.

I do kinda agree with the point here.

It should be "Conspicuous Score" or "Clamour Score" etc. AKA, whatever is the antonym of stealth.


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I think it is easy to come up with other words.

For instance, "Stealth flaws" or "Stealth flawness".

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How about calling it Flub score?
It just rolls off the tongue, would keep the score, and would still be shorter.

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I think "conspicuity" or "conspicuity level" would be the most fitting term (as far as I can judge that as a non-native speaker :D )

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Idea: it could actually be more fun if the system was somewhat modifiable by mappers, or maybe rewritten entirely. Like having a number of points set by mapper (e.g. 100 or 1000) where detections would deduct from the point total. Although I don't like the fact that even suspicion lvl 2 counts towards that penalty. Searches I can agree with.

Or, maybe focus on positive reinforcement, like in latest Hitman games. Get points for beating a level faster, getting more loot, getting special loot items, performing special actions and finding more secrets. That would encourage replayability, give more stuff to do for more hardcore / competitive players or even speedrunners.

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The score matches the rules for Ghosting, where they know something is there, which fits with the barks for level 2 but not for level 1. If you want to have a rule where just searches and busts count, then you can see that on the front page just by having zero searches and busts.

If you're talking about modifying it, note that it took us weeks of work to get the counting right because of the cascade problem. It's never "one bust" or "search trigger", it's a cascade of like 20 of them in a brief period that looks like "one" to the player.

But what a mapper could do is keep all of that system and just change the actual values of the points for each level though, like make them subtractive instead of additive, or make level 2 busts count for zero, etc. There's a way to get mapper scripts to talk to sourcecode, but I don't remember how to do it. The problem then is that it may be counterproductive to have a different system across maps.

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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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As an avid ghoster I do very much appreciate the stealth system we have in place at the moment. I think the increasing score system is fine, it might be a bit confusing the first time you play but you get the hang of it quickly. It's only on the end screen anyway where you have to consciously click to see the breakdown. I think the name stealth score is fine, because any word that's the opposite of stealth sounds more like an insult to the player than anything else honestly ^^

I do kind vibe with the par system, I almost wish we had a metric for each map somewhere in the menu system (or even just in the endgame screen) that shows for example your stealth score and then what "par" is, as in a number that the average player would expect to see. That's the only thing I think that is missing from our stealth score system atm, you don't really have anything to compare it to, since the maps vary so wildly it can be hard to tell if it's a good score or not. Personally only a 0 satisfies me but I'm probably in the minority on that one.

 

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I try to ghost as much as possible, and even though now I do understand how the score works. but I wouldn´t be against making it vice versa - now the smaller number is better, but it would be easier to understand if 100 (percent) would be optimal and lower score means worse rating.

Edited by Tarhiel

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One thing we might do is have the game send the server the stealth score tagged to the mission, and then it could compute a histogram that shows on the end game screen (if they're online), i.e., a bar graph of stealth scores for all players of that FM with a vertical line where the player's stealth score is, so they can see where they rate vis-a-vis the majority. That'd be cool to see and not too hard to set up.

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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 kinda like the rising stealth score. It reminds of the way linux/unix functions work: If it works properly, a return code given is 0, meaning no faults happened, everything went fine.

Any score higher than that is indicative of the number of failures that happened. This stealth score is, in my opinion, a very good way to show how many "goof-ups" you made during the mission, how severe they were, and I see it as a sort of an inverse scoring board of how "bad" your performance was, like those used in sports competitions.

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I'm glad the scores are there , but I do wish the quick read of the score system was a little more clear.

Stars are pretty universal for ratings , but I'm not sure that feels good thematically. Could work if the art looks cool / appropriate.  Maybe  instead of star icons they are like one of the glyphs or something from thief.   So 5/5 stars is like a 0-10 stealth score, ect..

In the context of a larger campaign , something like  "heat" or a bounty would be interesting. The more foul ups you make the more heat you're getting from the cops . Once gain, maybe  hard to reconcile with the medieval setting.

Edited by kingsal
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When I mentioned histogram, I was thinking of the system Opus Magnum uses. It may be easier to just show a screenshot.

smY0T1c.jpg

In our case, the x-axis would be the stealth score, each unit being a 5 or 10 point range.

The y-axis would just be the raw number of players that fell within that range, with the scale normalized to the max value.

And the player's score would be a vertical line.

I'm imagining that as an FM gets larger, the peak in the curve is going to be pushed further higher (to the right), so when the player's line appears, it's immediately apparent if they're doing better or worse than average, and how much better or worse.

 

 


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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