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New Blackjack System (Download description in first post)


Obsttorte
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Hey ho.

 

I am currently working on an alternative approach to blackjacking that doesn't rely on animation based hit collision, as it is now. Part of this approach is that the player gets a feedback on whether he can knockout the enemy in front of him via a suitable animation. As I am not familiar with neither modeling nor animating I would humbly ask for someone to help me out here.

What I need is an animation that starts in the blackjack's idle state. The blackjack should then be slightly raised.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

=========================================

To test this out you can run the tdm_installer, select custom version and then select the dev16599-10071 dev build that can be found under dev/2.11.

In addition you have to use this custom manifest url: http://ftp.thedarkmod.com/custom_builds/blackjack/manifest.iniz

The ko indication can be toggled via the cvar tdm_blackjack_indicate.

=========================================

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This is a much needed improvement!

2 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

What I need is an animation that starts in the blackjack's idle state. The blackjack should then be slightly raised.

I can probably get you what you need. I started making new animations for the black a while ago so I'll dig them up and see if my set up will work with the core content. At the very least, I can get you something simple to start with.

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56 minutes ago, kingsal said:

I started making new animations for the black a while ago so I'll dig them up and see if my set up will work with the core content. At the very least, I can get you something simple to start with.

That would be great. Thank you very much. :)

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@ObsttorteOkay! My custom blackjack has a fully rigged hand so it's not compatible with the core, but that's okay. Once you get the prototype working we can go back and do nice animations and model updates. 

I've attached a duplicate of the idle animation with a higher pose. If you need more frames to work with just let me know. I imagine the final ready animation will be about 10 frames; so roughly half a second but it just depends on what looks and feels right .

EDIT: Added a 10 frame version if you need it.

ready.md5anim

ready10.md5anim

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@kingsalWorks like a charme, perfect, thanks

:)

Will fine tune it and provide a prototype.

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@kingsalIt appears that each frame of the animations you provided are identical. Is this intentional or an export fault? Is it possible to create a version of the 10 frame animation that is actually animated (so there is a movement from the initial position to the final pose)?

Thanks in advance.

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1 hour ago, Obsttorte said:

@kingsalIt appears that each frame of the animations you provided are identical. Is this intentional or an export fault? Is it possible to create a version of the 10 frame animation that is actually animated (so there is a movement from the initial position to the final pose)?

Thanks in advance.

You'd probably want a lowering animation, too?

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34 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

You'd probably want a lowering animation, too?

Well, theoretically I can just revert the raising animation. Or I invert a lowering animation to get a raising one, if you have one spare. :D

The current issue is that as stated the animation is basically a one shot. It's better then nothing considering it is still in a proof-of-concept state, though. In the end two different animations for raising and lowering could spice things up, though.

Unfortunately I haven't found the time and motivation to get into Blender yet despite having a thick book standing around that screams "read me, you lazy taffer". :P So I can't really judge on how long it takes to create those anims.

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@ObsttorteThis was intentional since I just quickly copied the idle and raised it. I can do a raise and lower animation though. Will send something over soon.

 

Edit: they will still be temporary quick anims but they might help visualize the concept. 😀

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2 hours ago, kingsal said:

ready10.md5anim


@ObsttorteHere is the anim with all 10 frames (still WIP )

That pretty much nails it. Thank you.

While working on it I also thought it would be good to rethink the knockout conditions, as this has been confusing in the past (all in one wash so to speak). The current setup includes the following rules:

  • Guards with helmets can not be knocked out from the front, but guards with helmets can.

So the helmet protects the guard from beeing knocked out from the only direction that is NOT covered by a helmet?! Not to mention that the helmets guards are wearing often are shaped like a hat - they don't really protect the neck.

  • Guards that have their weapons drawn have a reduced knockoutability (probably not a word :P ). Guards without helmets can only be knocked out from the back (as opposed to all sides), guards with helmets not at all.

So wielding a sword in front of you protects your back?!

  • In this regard unarmed ai can always be knocked out, as they don't have a weapon to protect their neck ;)

I have two issues with the current setup:

  1. It is unintuitive: A big helmet protecting the neck as the elite guards wear it is obvious to cause protection against knockouts. A helmet only covering the top of the head is not so much. A weapon not at all. You cannot expect players to remember game rules that rarely apply (depending on how often players attempt knockouts) and are counterintuitive.
  2. It is not clear why it is necessary to distinguish between four different cases in regards to knockouts: elite guards - helmeted guards - non-helmeted guards - civilians. It would especially imply that mappers take this into consideration while placing guards. I know I didn't when I made my maps (I only expected a difference between elite guards and regular ones). What is the gameplay benefit of this?

I would therefore propose a different approach:

AI is only knockoutable from the back. Personally 3 out of 4 ko's I perform are from the front, as I just have to wait in the dark and lean forward. It has been an exploit in the original games and is so here.

AI is not knockoutable if they are either ko immune (elite guards and undead) or if they can see the player (alert state 5). The latter means that once the ai stops seeing the player, for example because he threw a flashbomb, a knockout can be performed, which makes the flashbombs and other means for temporarely escaping the ai more useful (compared to reloading).

The implementation is currently script based. This allows for simple testing it later by placing it as a mod. The source code has several parts that are refering to ko's, so implementing it there will be more work which is only worth starting once we have agreed on something. Testing and tweaking it makes sense therefore.

Feedback and thoughts are welcome.

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Ok. So here is a first prototype. There is still finetuning needed, but you get the idea. Just place the pk4 in your darkmod folder and start any fm.

  • Raising/Lowering of the blackjack will indicate whether an ai can be knocked out
  • ai can be knocked out only from behind
  • elite guards, undead and those at alert state 5 (can see player) cannot be knocked out

Kudos to @kingsalfor the animations.zzz_blackjack.pk4

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Awesome! Will try it out when I have a chance. 
 

I might be misunderstanding something , but I think any unaltered guard should be KO able from the front/ side (accept full helmeted guards). There are cases where this makes sense and actually feels pretty sneaky even if its an exploit. Also changing this might be too much of a departure from the current set up. 
 

I also agree with the helmet problem. Ive never been able to keep track of what helmet does what. The only distinction I am able to make is a full helmeted guard (with faceplate) cannot be KOd. All the rest should behave the same in my opinion. The standard helmeted guard’s only advantage is they can’t be killed with a single headshot. 
 

All these helmet rules are pretty granular and very hard to read imo. :)

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2 hours ago, kingsal said:

I might be misunderstanding something , but I think any unaltered guard should be KO able from the front/ side (accept full helmeted guards).

Well, the angle under which an ai can be ko'ed is discussable, of course. I would assume that it makes most sense both gameplay and immersion wise if the player is still somewhat in the back of the ai, though, so the angles shouldn't be too extreme.

It's only partially a departure as (1) helmeted guards are already not ko-able from the front and (2) this is actually spawnarg controlled. So mappers and even players can already change it. :)

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Quote

ai can be knocked out only from behind

While I applaud the idea of an animation aid for players, I'm not sure why that should change the rules for how blackjacking has worked previously.  Civilian AI and unalerted guards without helmets have always been vulnerable to KO from any direction.

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Oh my god, I can't believe blackjacking can be fun, finally. This is heading in the right direction.

May I suggest that the action should, perhaps, be player driven?

Player presses the attack button and gets your (kingsal) animation. Player keeps pressing the attack button and only when the KO is an OK, the player gets the full raised animation. Player releases the attack button for the attack.

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1 hour ago, Springheel said:

I'm not sure why that should change the rules for how blackjacking has worked previously.  Civilian AI and unalerted guards without helmets have always been vulnerable to KO from any direction.

As argued above:

  • I am not convinced that the majority of the players or even the mappers is really aware of the differences between how different ai are ko-able. Especially due to how unlogical it is. Why are helmets that don't protect the neck or weapons drawn supposed to influence whether and from what angle an enemy can be knocked out?
  • KO's from the front are an exploit imho. If you can only blackjack from behind you have take lighting and the surface below into consideration, and if the ai is patroling the whole surrounding. If you can ko from the front, you can basically wait in the darkness while they come walking towards you. This makes patroling ai actually less of a treat then non-patroling ones.

It is of course argueable what "from behind" or "from the front" are suppossed to mean, so where we draw the line. But a guard walking straight at the player should be considered a treat, not an opportunity.

15 minutes ago, snatcher said:

Player presses the attack button and gets your (kingsal) animation. Player keeps pressing the attack button and only when the KO is an OK, the player gets the full raised animation. Player releases the attack button for the attack.

That sounds tedious. Players would need to hold down the button until they are in the right spot, and eventually they don't want to execute a blackjack once they find the spot. The animation is really intented as a visual helper. Some players may not even use it.

35 minutes ago, snatcher said:

Hi Obsttorte,

I am sorry but I don't understand. The blackjack never raises, only reacts on key release, and I cannot KO anyone.

What am I missing, please? 🤨

 

29 minutes ago, snatcher said:

Ok, Ok! I see it now! It seems I can only KO guards with helmets though. Regardless, it looks and feels really good!

Probably a conflict with some of the mods you are using?!

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4 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

would need to hold down the button until they are in the right spot, and eventually they don't want to execute a blackjack once they find the spot. The animation is really intented as a visual helper. Some players may not even use it.

Let's agree to disagree 😉

4 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

Probably a conflict with some of the mods you are using?!

Negative, Sir. I will let other report their findings.

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@Obsttorte Right on. I know the KO cones can be altered by mappers so we'll have to leave those settings in tact. 

2 hours ago, Springheel said:

While I applaud the idea of an animation aid for players, I'm not sure why that should change the rules for how blackjacking has worked previously.  Civilian AI and unalerted guards without helmets have always been vulnerable to KO from any direction.

I agree , introducing new rules to KO isn't necessary to get this to idea to work. Im totally on board for separating the hit detection from the animations though, as that system is probably the cause of the blackjack being unreliable. 

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Sorry just clarify, I agree with this statement:

2 hours ago, Springheel said:

Civilian AI and unalerted guards without helmets have always been vulnerable to KO from any direction.

Imo, we should leave the rules as they are and just focus on the known issues with the blackjack.

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I can focus on implementing a version that uses the current ruleset.

Nevertheless I consider it worth mentioning that said ruleset is an issue and has been brought up for discussion in the past, and the only way I am aware of to actually get to know it is to read it up in the wiki. Due to the fact that the game comes with a tutorial mission I am not sure that a lot of players consider looking at the wiki (I did not when I started playing TDM).

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56 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

Nevertheless I consider it worth mentioning that said ruleset is an issue and has been brought up for discussion in the past, and the only way I am aware of to actually get to know it is to read it up in the wiki. Due to the fact that the game comes with a tutorial mission I am not sure that a lot of players consider looking at the wiki

The rules are also explained in the tutorial mission.  It's also one of the loading screen tips of both starting missions. 

And while there have been one or two vocal opponents to the current ruleset, I think they would be far outweighed by the number of people complaining if a core mechanic suddenly started behaving differently without warning.

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