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Flash arrow: Yay or nay?

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@wesp5: The general opinion back in the day was that for many players searching the inventory for the correct key was part of the immersion and automizing this process is no good idea, so it will not make it to the core mod unless those opinions have changed.


In regards to the files: The video is 6 1/2 years old, I haven't found anything in my mapping thread or the newbie thread. I'll see whether I can find it on my harddrive, but can't promise anything.

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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On 11/6/2020 at 6:08 AM, Obsttorte said:

Regarding the useful/lessness of flash bombs and mines: I don't think that those items are useless per se, but that those, similar to many other items the player has at his disposal, aren't as useful as they could be due to the way most missions are designed. Almost all of them are ghostable, or relatively close to that. There is rarely a situation, where using an item really gives you an advantage, especially for advanced players who are familiar with stealth games. Flash arrows, emp arrows or whatever else will suffer the same issue if mappers using them won't create their missions in a way that encourages their usage. I hardly see this happening, but I may be proven wrong.

Yes, my impression is that Thief's flashbombs were intended partly as escape tools (indicated e.g. by the 'ace up my sleeve'), which doesn't go well with the time needed to draw the bow. The flash arrow idea probably does go better with a player-versus-undead scenario, like the holy swords that occasionally turn up in Thief FMs.

Edited by VanishedOne
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Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...


- louder scream when you're dying

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Aaaand here's a working pk4! Super easy as expected, just define a new arrow then give it the same result def as the flashbomb. I edited in a different arrow model and texture too, the little details and effects still need tweaking... since this color is unused and common to describe lightning I went with purple / pink for now.





From my testing the arrow works exactly as intended, and this could just be considered the final functionality as far as I'm concerned: It temporarily spawns a bright flash, making the guard say "ah a flash" rub his eyes and cease searching for a few seconds. Note that it can in fact blind the player too... however this only happens if the player shoots it right in front of them, if you shoot it in front of something over 3 meters away (as you always will) it only causes a short white haze.


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I figured white would be a better color in the end considering that's the colorization of the flash itself. I improved the material and textures slightly so the arrow tip looks bright and like it's blinking, as well as creating a proper GUI icon that represents the aspect of the tip correctly.

In addition I figured I'd mix things up a bit from a gameplay perspective too; I made the tip glow so the arrow will also draw a bit of attention. While having the Flash arrow selected, you'll become more visible similarly to holding the Fire arrow, but to a much lesser extent (only 3 lightgem levels instead of 15). This means that using it will ever so slightly make you more noticeable if a guard is standing nearby, though it won't completely blow your cover if you're hidden in complete darkness.



Anyone here a FM developer? I'd like to see this added to a mission to be tested in practice. Perhaps share a video if you do that, I'd love to see how the idea works!


Edited by MirceaKitsune
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Starting from this thread I went into the other direction as I think one flash item is enough, especially as holding down the use key can make you throw a flashbomb quite far anyway. So I changed the flashmine into an "electric mine", which will knockout single NPCs stepping onto it because to me this is much more usefull! Right now it makes a blue light and a buzzing sound, but I would like to add a blue aura around the affected NPC. Can anybody remember if this used somewhere already? I have the feeling some ghosts showed such an aura, but I can't remember the mission to take a look how it was done. Also robots, spiders and undead are not affected as this would make it too powerfull...

Edited by wesp5
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As far as I can see the robots in TDM are steam based machines and could work be seen as a faraday cage too. But if you can tell me how to add STIM_KNOCKOUT to robots. I'll try to add it :)!

Edited by wesp5
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As a general rule: I think other alternative ideas are very good to consider! For the purpose of this thread though, especially now that I managed to get a working patch, I'd like to focus on the functionality in the pk4 I posted. If such an arrow can become a default feature, extra functionality could be added to it now or later.

Like I said I think the flash part of the arrow works perfectly with my implementation, as in it's exactly the result I wanted. On top of this functionality, I agree the arrow could have the effect of knocking out electrical lights temporarily or making them blink. I wonder if for this there's an additional stim I can add to the result def; Could anyone suggest the sr settings I'd need to use for electric lights? If it helps to have it readily available for examination, here's the result def of the flash arrow:

entityDef atdm:result_arrow_flasharrow
	"inherit"			"atdm:result_arrow_base"

	// Define a new scriptobject
	"scriptobject"		"result_flashbomb"

	// parametric particles -- temp
	"model_dud"			"flashbomb.prt"

	// placeholder arrow break sound for now
	"snd_dud"			"tdm_flashbomb"

	"def_flashlight"	"atdm:light_flashbomb"		// The spawned light if the flash is not directly in sight

	"gui"				"guis/playertools/flashbomb.gui"

	"copy_bind"			"0"

	//warning: changing remove_delay cuts the particle off in mid-animation!
	"remove_delay"		"5"

	"sr_type_1"					"24"		// STIM_FLASH -> script/tdm_stim_response.script
	"sr_radius_1"				"500"		// Radius in Doom 3 units
	"sr_falloffexponent_1"		"1"
	"sr_duration_1"				"100"		// stim duration 100 ms
	"sr_time_interval_1"		"120"		// fires only once

As far as knocking out robots goes, the only robot so far being the steambot, I think that makes sense too. But for this to work, the steambot also needs to be changed to allow a sr response for taking it down, which my arrow would then need to call (same thing as for the electric lights).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great idea!

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:



Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game




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