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Flash arrow: Yay or nay?


MirceaKitsune

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To make testing even easier, I found this technique will work well (thanks @Dragofer for the suggestion): Just place the pk4 in any FM you're actively playing, then in-game open the console with the ~ key and use the following cheat code:

spawn atdm:ammo_flasharrow inv_ammo_amount 50

This spawns an arrow in front of the player which gives you 50 flash arrows when picked up. No need to modify any map and add ammo items to test it.

 

Edited by MirceaKitsune
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2 hours ago, darksilence said:

 

That's how it all starts... Then comes the minimap and question marks above guards' heads.

No, you don't have to go that far either, but although Garret is quite skilled with the bow, capable of extinguishing torches in the range of maximum range, not throwing things, with an aim that approaches zero, apart of the range like a little child of few meters, which also isn't very realistic. For this reason at this point a line would be of great help for an accurate launch, even in Tomb Rider there is,

Edited by Zerg Rush

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10 hours ago, Zerg Rush said:

To improve the function of throwing objects, perhaps it would be desirable to mark the planned path with a line as in some other games.

GrAhoKU.jpg

 

Not necessarily a bad idea? Probably easy to implement with a particle effect. That might make everything too simple and lazy for the player still. Anyway it's kind of its own feature and discussion which would involve all of the arrows.

3 hours ago, darksilence said:

 

That's how it all starts... Then comes the minimap and question marks above guards' heads.

Minimap doesn't sound like a horrible idea in theory, I just don't see anyone struggling with the effort of implementing something so hideously difficult from multiple points of view. As for icons above AI, those would only make sense if complex dialogue and interaction with AI is ever implemented... something I maaaay do as a mod now that I'm such good friends with the scripting system, I had certain ideas in mind such as trading with AI :) But this too is its own separate discussion... might open a thread since it would be worth talking about it before I'd decide to spend time working on another addon.

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I don't think that minimaps in TDM Missions make much sense, because the multilevel ways, between Sewers and Rooftops, the use of minimaps anyway is limited, if they are not in 3D.  But this would be more annoying than useful, taking up screen space.

Not so good idea

zxqjfGm.png

Edited by Zerg Rush

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I think UI elements should be considered if the alternative is to require an immediate reload on failure, which is a tedious and frustrating process.

Minimaps, quest markers... these might make the game easier but there is nothing that requires a reload if you don't have them. If you get lost, you might have to spend some time wandering around or checking your main map, but you don't irreversibly lose any resources. Furthermore, these UI elements give the player information they shouldn't automatically have. If the task is to find a particular piece of loot, it makes the whole thing rather pointless if the exact location is marked on the map or with a hovering quest marker before you even enter the mansion.

With thrown objects, it depends on precisely what you are throwing and why. If the only purpose is to bash a bottle against a wall to distract a guard, the aim doesn't matter very much. If, on the other hand, you have to throw a specific object into a particular location (and potentially lose the object if you miss), then having to repeatedly reload after every failure is annoying. In this case, some kind of aiming hint might be advisable.

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Opting for mini-maps and accurate maps in general is either forgetting or not knowing the long-time tradition of Thief games having inaccurate maps, so players can make a mental map out what they explored themselves. In this context in game maps are just a template.

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Oh... there is the option of having the mapper draw a minimap image, which the engine then knows how to position and rotate based on the player's orientation in the world: This shouldn't be hard to do with a script and custom GUI definition. The true nightmare would be the engine learning to generate it automatically using brush and model information on the map, which would obviously be the only way to have it working universally in all FM's including existing ones. My take on that is "this would be cool but good luck getting anyone to do it".

But yeah this discussion needs its own thread if anything. Right now I'd appreciate it if someone could please test the pk4 I updated again, potentially share some screenshots or a Youtube video of how the arrow looks in a complex map and how it's helping the player gameplay wise. As a reminder, the new functionality turns this into a flare arrow as well, usable to light dark spots at a distance without turning on your lantern and alerting guards to your location.

Don't want to be pushy but I don't like feeling that work with potential (be it mine or anyone else's) might go to waste and be forgotten in a corner, even if I started some addons out of my own initiative. If I could spend hours creating and tweaking those changes I'm sure someone can spend 10 minutes relaxing with the pk4 to see how it works and share suggestions :) See my previous post on how to spawn the ammo in any FM without even needing to edit a map to place it manually.

 

Edited by MirceaKitsune
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I think that the normal map of greater missions is enough, maybe marking tha position in the map (You are here) can be an improvement. In smaler missions a map isn't needed anyway. I still think that a minipap is more annoying than useful, even an optional transparent overlay map, as in the old games would be more useful.

 

gK93GGK.png

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You're tempting me to open a separate thread about the minimap to get this back on topic. And I warn you that if I do I'll talk about the engine procedurally sketching its image from brushes and static entity models... per portal zone to generate different maps and switch them with area. Do you want the developers to deal with knowing that someone legitimately brought up such a thing 😄

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21 hours ago, MirceaKitsune said:

[...] I'll talk about the engine procedurally sketching its image from brushes and static entity models... per portal zone to generate different maps and switch them with area.

As geometry doesn't change that often, the maps could be generated by dmap.

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On 8/6/2021 at 1:36 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

You're tempting me to open a separate thread about the minimap to get this back on topic. And I warn you that if I do I'll talk about the engine procedurally sketching its image from brushes and static entity models... per portal zone to generate different maps and switch them with area. Do you want the developers to deal with knowing that someone legitimately brought up such a thing 😄

Maybe this can help ¬¬

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The thing about minimaps is they're so useful that the player will look at them more than the game itself. If I play stuff like Doom, Diablo, GW1, etc. I often find myself staring at the map more than the game, and one of the reasons why I play Thief and TDM is because these are the few games that don't let you do that, so I get to enjoy exploration more. If the issue is maps being hard to tell where you are in them, Thief already solved that issue by having the general area you were in highlighted.

With throwing, I think the issue is more not being able to see the center of the screen. Even when not using the aim option on the bow, you do have a sense of where the center of the screen is from the arrow tip placement, throwing doesn't have anything at all. It's also hard to tell when you're at full throwing charge. You probably don't need a UI element for that, you can just use something like a grunt noise to say "this is the hardest you can throw."

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Agree, I think that in TDM, due to the way of play, it requires more that there is a good vision of the environment than a minimap that distracts and also occupies part of the screen that can be important.

I think that the map, which includes the broader missions, like in the Painters wife, is enough, perhaps it can mark your current location on these, which can be a good help on very large maps.

Edited by Zerg Rush

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As the song goes, YOUWANTEDTHIS! Please move all discussion about minimap support there. I shared my thoughts more in depth on how I think it can be done, feel free to complete them or add your own. Let's please talk about the flash arrow here and what you think about the last pk4 I posted.

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On 8/4/2021 at 5:44 AM, Zerg Rush said:

To improve the function of throwing objects, perhaps it would be desirable to mark the planned path with a line as in some other games.

GrAhoKU.jpg

 

I seem to recall a Duke Nukem mod (Duke Plus?) where, when the player prepares to throw a pipebomb, a small meter pops up on the screen to show the strength of the throw. The longer the attack key is held down, the further it travels. I found this pretty helpful even though I spent hours playing the game and had a general idea of the trajectory already.

 

I'm also pretty sure that TDM's thrown mines already go further if the key is held down, rather than just being quickly tapped by the player.

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  • 5 weeks later...
10 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

I know this thread is old, but you know you can hold down throw button to throw the flash bomb like, really really far?

I didn't know that actually. It's not an item I use frequently, when I did I remember it dropping at the player's feet. Thanks for the info on that!

I'd still like to salvage this arrow in some form: A new arrow for light / electricity sounds like a really fun idea honestly. I'm happy with the idea of making it a flare arrow, as I did in the last version. It could also be made into an electrical arrow to temporarily take down electric lights, though that would require more advanced scripting and I'm not putting more effort into it till I receive some feedback to know it's worth it.

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  • 1 year later...

Dear @MirceaKitsune,

I am sorry to see your flash arrow wasn't received with the excitement it probably deserved. An initial idea not always is the best idea but it can certainly lead to good ideas. You stubbornly insisted and the flash arrow eventually turned into a kind of flashlight arrow. Well done.

I am here to say thank you for sharing your ideas and more importantly, thank you for sharing your mod with us. I have many times wanted to light up an obscure area and your flashlight arrow is now part of my personal arsenal.

  • Thanks 1

TDM_Modpack_Thumb.png

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23 hours ago, snatcher said:

Dear @MirceaKitsune,

I am sorry to see your flash arrow wasn't received with the excitement it probably deserved. An initial idea not always is the best idea but it can certainly lead to good ideas. You stubbornly insisted and the flash arrow eventually turned into a kind of flashlight arrow. Well done.

I am here to say thank you for sharing your ideas and more importantly, thank you for sharing your mod with us. I have many times wanted to light up an obscure area and your flashlight arrow is now part of my personal arsenal.

Thank you as well for the kind words! I believe the last update had indeed turned it into a flare arrow as well, after other players offered feedback and suggested this would make it even more useful which I agree with. If I remember correctly, the latest version causes the same effect as the flash bomb if the arrow is shot in a guard's face, otherwise you can also shoot it at walls to illuminate the surrounding area for some time.

I'd still be very happy if this could be added to vanilla, given it feels like it will nicely complete the set of arrows with special functions we already have by adding new functionality which definitely has a purpose. With all due respect for the poor and misunderstood vine arrow, that still exists although to this day I never used one despite playing the vast majority of FM's... I'm sure the flash arrow would have a place especially with circumstantial inventive to use it :)

It's a map item so no one who considers it useless needs to have it on their map. I believe the initial complaint was that it's too similar to the flash bomb: The goal was to have an arrow version of it, but now that I added the flashlight functionality to it the arrow also serves an unique purpose making it much more different.

With 2.11 in beta and probably releasing in a few months, I would kindly ask the team to take a look and see if adding this is a possibility. I especially don't want it to remain a mod because it requires duplicating and editing the player def to add the new arrow to the weapon list of the player, meaning FM's doing it may break the player def later down the road by forcing an outdated player entity. I presume nothing broke and the same defs / scripts / etc should still be working so feel free to give it a try! I believe 1.3 was the last pk3 containing the new functionality including a fairy-dust like effect:

 

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4 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Do we have a free weapon arrow slot on the number keys?

If you use this, you won't use the flashbomb.

@MirceaKitsune I think it will only be included if there's a need for it. Maybe it's a good idea to include it in your own missions. So people get a taste for it, I think that is the route for inclusion. You could start by adding it to your released mission as an update.

Edited by datiswous
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