Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums

Interaction with objects


snatcher
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

Three suggestions.

First, my advise for the developers is to enable the "Show Frob Helper" setting by default in new installs. Attempting to highlight those little coins with pinpoint accuracy without any reference is no fun, at least, in my experience: it took me a few (frustrating) weeks to find out this feature even existed. The helper is an unintrusive but efficient aid that players can disable anytime and I would let newcomers know the feature exists right out of the box.

Second, and here is the meat of the topic: to make frobable items stand out in a slightly different way. See, because of lightning in TDM many times it is difficult to tell if an object is frobable or not, and frobable objects become even more elusive if you are close to a light source or using the lantern. Is that highlighted or not? (you know the drill: step back or move the mouse around).

In order to keep things simple I suggest a subtle but effective blinking effect or fade in/out animation when objects are within reach. This shouldn't be too difficult to implement considering we would "only" have to increase/decrease the brightness levels in a sequence with the help of a timer. Never miss a painting again!

EDIT -  you can see it in action here:

(It's a +5MB gif that can take some time load)

TDM_frob.gif

 

Third, speaking of interaction with objects, I suggest the inclusion into the core mod of Goldwell's loot animations found in his fantastic Noble Affairs mission. Looting is an essential part of TDM and I find Goldwell's animations quite fulfilling and rewarding.

Cheers!

Edited by snatcher
  • Like 1

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, snatcher said:

First, my advise for the developers is to enable the "Show Frob Helper" setting by default in new installs. Attempting to highlight those little coins with pinpoint accuracy without any reference is no fun, at least, in my experience: it took me a few (frustrating) weeks to find out this feature even existed. The helper is an unintrusive but efficient aid that players can disable anytime and I would let newcomers know the feature exists right out of the box.

Agreed. Although good luck convincing the "UI should be so minimal that it's practically non-existent" crowd.

2 hours ago, snatcher said:

Second, and here is the meat of the topic: to make frobable items stand out in a slightly different way. See, because of lightning in TDM many times it is difficult to tell if an object is frobable or not, and frobable objects become even more elusive if you are close to a light source or using the lantern. Is that highlighted or not? (you know the drill: step back or move the mouse around).

Agreed. It is a well-known problem that has been widely reported, but finding a replacement that everybody agrees is better is turning out to be something of a challenge.

2 hours ago, snatcher said:

In order to keep things simple I suggest a subtle but effective blinking effect or fade in/out animation when objects are within reach. This shouldn't be too difficult to implement considering we would "only" have to increase/decrease the brightness levels in a sequence with the help of a timer. Never miss a painting again!

It turns out that it isn't actually all that simple, when you consider that the highlight needs to be visible in both bright and dim light, must handle depth correctly (i.e. not make hidden switches behind desks suddenly jump out at the player), and mustn't produce ugly Z fighting or other weird effects when highlighting doors which have alpha materials and decals applied (e.g. hinges). There have been several proposed replacements which have worked very well in some situations but turned out to be inadequate in others due to one or more of these issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What comes to my mind is the Thief 4 grabbing animations, and while those look nice at first, they actually just get immersion breaking after a while. They could make a nice gameplay option that you can toggle.

...but maybe I'm wrong, and Goldwell's animations are something else entirely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, snatcher said:

First, my advise for the developers is to enable the "Show Frob Helper" setting by default in new installs.

I didn't try it out yet, but, I'm a bit reluctant about making it default. You have to consider that it is a new feature, and that it's rather arguable if the majority of people really want to have stuff like that as a default.

I don't see an issue in making it not default, and having an option to activate it in the settings (just like it is now). What's the problem with that? First thing I do on a new install is browse through the options, and see how I want to set up the game. Every player is free to do so.

Edited by chakkman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, datiswous said:

What are loot animations?

Loot is thrown at you when you grab it. Quite gratifying, imho. Check the mission out. It may get old though, as Nort points out. Don't know. Make it optional?

 

14 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

It turns out that it isn't actually all that simple, when you consider that the highlight needs to be visible in both bright and dim light, must handle depth correctly (i.e. not make hidden switches behind desks suddenly jump out at the player), and mustn't produce ugly Z fighting or other weird effects when highlighting doors which have alpha materials and decals applied (e.g. hinges). There have been several proposed replacements which have worked very well in some situations but turned out to be inadequate in others due to one or more of these issues.

Please excuse my uneducated guess. I can see there is more to it than meets the eye.

The current default frob highlighting is a pretty good compromise: it fits the atmosphere and blends well in most scenarios. I have been playing around with the r_frobOutlineXXX options and I don't quite like any configuration I came up with. It is either too much or just pointless, no middle ground. I don't want the game to blatantly tell me hey, here is something. I want to "kind of find it".

The idea is about keeping what works - current defaults - but toy with brightness up and down to make frobable objects "alive" when starring at them.

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, snatcher said:

Loot is thrown at you when you grab it. Quite gratifying, imho. Check the mission out. It may get old though, as Nort points out. Don't know. Make it optional?

Sounds like a script (i.e. every mission maker can use it in his mission if he wants to).

Frankly, it sounds more like a visual gimmick to me. I played Noble Affairs, but, don't remember that.

I'll give the frob highlighting a go next time I play TDM. I understand what you mean about frobbing the loot, it can be a bit of pain, but, I always got it in the end. Except for the loot which wasn't frobbable. :) (It happens in some missions)

Edited by chakkman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Nort said:

The pixel frob helper is really, really helpful. Why on Earth would anyone have anything against making that a default?

Sooner or later you will find loot hidden in such places where the frob helper can not touch it and it still can be frobbed, therefore in my Unofficial Patch I have replaced it with the dark frob outline, which works fine in bright and dark light conditions, and as far as I remember, only wasn't added to the core mod, because it was left out in the one critical poll...

Edited by wesp5
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, chakkman said:

[...] Frankly, it sounds more like a visual gimmick to me. I played Noble Affairs, but, don't remember that.

It indeed is a (very subtle but effective) visual gimmick. Nothing else and nothing more. Little details add up.

 

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried the frob helper before and wasn't impressed. Maybe I should try again. I think it"s from 2.09 or older, so not really a new feature.

It does make the game easier, so I wouldn't set it on as default. It's a bummer that with such things you really have to try before you understand what it does. This is also why it should not be on by default. People simply woukdn't know wat the dot in screen does.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Sooner or later you will find loot hidden in such places where the frob helper can not touch it and it still can be frobbed, therefore in my Unofficial Patch I have replaced it with the dark frob outline, which works fine in bright and dark light conditions, and as far as I remember, only wasn't added to the core mod, because it was left out in the one critical poll...

Oh, so the frob helper works in a different way than the default system? Strange. That sounds like the frob helper needs fixing first then.

Edited by Nort
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, datiswous said:

It does make the game easier, so I wouldn't set it on as default. It's a bummer that with such things you really have to try before you understand what it does. This is also why it should not be on by default. People simply woukdn't know wat the dot in screen does.

Fixing an issue isn't the same as making the game easier, honestly. The frobbing has always had its limitations and can become frustrating. For the very same reason there is a mantle key. Nobody complains that that makes the game easier.

And regarding the second point. There are tooltips displayed in the menu, in this case:

"Makes interaction with small objects easier by temporarely displaying a small white dot."

So, what is the white dot for?! 🤔

10 hours ago, datiswous said:

What are loot animations?

It basically moves the loot and other items towards the player a bit before putting it in the inventory upon frob, thus underlining the impression of actually taking it the way it was done in the Dishonored games. And yes, it is a script I've created at request by Goldwell.

  • Like 1

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

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Obsttorte said:

It basically moves the loot and other items towards the player a bit before putting it in the inventory upon frob, thus underlining the impression of actually taking it the way it was done in the Dishonored games. And yes, it is a script I've created at request by Goldwell.

Hasn't this become part of the main game in the meantime? And if not, can I use it in my patch ;)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

Fixing an issue isn't the same as making the game easier, honestly. The frobbing has always had its limitations and can become frustrating. For the very same reason there is a mantle key. Nobody complains that that makes the game easier.

True. That is because mantling up using the space is simply broken in some places/maps. At least, with the mantle key, it either works or it doesn't. Using space, you either mantle up, or you jump and alert everything around you. Which is bad.

I see this as a fundamental improvement over just mantling using space in the original games. It's nothing which makes the game easier. It's something which improves the game.

It's very arguable if a frob helper would improve the game, on the other hand. If anything, I rather see this as a comfort option, for people who need more visual indication.

I get why they implement it in modern games though. The graphics are so ridiculously detailled that you need to distinguish interactive objects from the hundreds of other objects in the room which are not interactive.

Edited by chakkman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, datiswous said:

It does make the game easier, so I wouldn't set it on as default.

That would be a valid argument if and only if the frobbing was intended to be challenging for gameplay reasons, which it isn't.

Frobbing is supposed to be trivial. It's something you are supposed to just do, without even thinking about it, just as you can pick up or manipulate objects in the real world without thinking "Is my head pointed exactly at the center of this object so that I can touch it?".

The frob helper may not be the best solution, and there may be good reasons for leaving it off by default, but "it would make frobbing too easy" is not one of them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would actually rather say that mappers should consider making the loot more accessible. E.g. I came along loads of maps where there was a small chest below the counter. Which is nice and realistic, but, if you open the chest, the lid would hardly fully open, and the loot in it is covered by the front of the chest. I'm never absolutely sure that I got all of it...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be happy with the T1/T2 mechanic whereby you automatically loot the contents of a chest when you open it.

I have no idea why this was changed in TDM. It seems like another "let's make things physically realistic for literally no gameplay reason" mechanic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

I'd be happy with the T1/T2 mechanic whereby you automatically loot the contents of a chest when you open it.

I have no idea why this was changed in TDM. It seems like another "let's make things physically realistic for literally no gameplay reason" mechanic.

Yeah, I considered making my chest of drawers prefab like that: Just click once and all the six drawers open and close, and all the loot is retrieved, but I thought that that (the manual way) was the way that Thief must have worked. Your post is making me reconsider this.

Edited by Nort
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

I have no idea why this was changed in TDM.

In some missions there's loot hidden under stuff like clothes. Personally I like to see what I loot before looting it.

24 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

The frob helper may not be the best solution, and there may be good reasons for leaving it off by default, but "it would make frobbing too easy" is not one of them.

Well, ok no, you're right. I meant finding loot becomes easier and some mappers make finding loot hard. I'm not against having this on as default.

Edited by datiswous
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But come on, datiswous: Is that really your idea of fun to open and lift the clothes of every drawer, to see if there are some coins hidden underneath? There's a reason why pixel hunting is so impopular. Is it really the point of Thief games?

Edited by Nort
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Nort said:

Yeah, I considered making my chest of drawers prefab like that: Just click once and all the six drawers open and close, and all the loot is retrieved

I think opening them all at once, might not be a bad idea (not the second part), although part of the issue is people make all these drawers frobable and then often most of them are empty.

 

34 minutes ago, chakkman said:

E.g. I came along loads of maps where there was a small chest below the counter.

Whouldn't it be useful if chests can be moved around?

Edited by datiswous
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, datiswous said:

I think opening them all at once, might not be a bad idea (not the second part)...

But then the upper drawers will block the view of the lower drawers, even if you open them into a sort of staircase. Even if you put loot in just the top drawers, the player will still try to peer into the bottom ones. The only solution would then be, to just make the two topmost drawers openable, which is kind of weird. I'd actually like to make the chest of drawers animate, opening the drawers one by one, and taking the loot as you go, with just one click, but that's pretty advanced to set up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...