Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums

[Feature Proposal] Frob to Use World Item


Daft Mugi

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, Daft Mugi said:

I am an old, tired, broken man at this point. This feature has aged me 14 years already -- at least.

You will grow wiser and stronger! And a long grey beard.

3 hours ago, ChronA said:

We just need to get rid of the manipulate button and this archaic "Frob" terminology. Everything can be handled consistently through just a combination of short and long clicks. Short click to Activate/Use objects and long click to manipulate them.

We cannot just get rid of the "Use" key, we need it to deal with the inventory: drink potions, read notes, throw flashbombs... TDM was built with two independent keys in mind (frob to touch and use to interact) because Thief was limited in this regard. In Thief the devs opted to hide the inventory after a period of time to prevent players from using items unintentionally too often. Did they solve the problem? They kinda solve their problem, but how frustrating it is to look for that item that many times 😊

"Use" is not going away anytime soon in TDM and new players will have to learn of its existence no matter what.

Edited by snatcher

TDM Modpack 4.0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding a slider for the "Hold Frob to Use" setting, my main concern is that players would have trouble knowing what it represents and what a good value would be for them. Sliders are pretty good for things that require fine tuning to a small degree, such as mouse sensitivity or head bob. But the hold-frob delay doesn't seem to require that level of precision.

For a while, I played with a display that showed how long I pressed frob. I very rarely went over 350 while trying to be slow on purpose. I was usually at 80-180. Sometimes I'd make a mistake and hit 230-280.

With hold-frob delay, three values -- 200, 300, 400 -- are likely enough to cover most players. A delay of 300 by default, 200 for those who want it more responsive, and 400 for those who want it slower.

Given that, how about using presets with descriptive names in the tooltip and UI options?

Quick, Normal, Slow: the delay before performing an
alternate interaction when holding down the
(frob/interact) key.

Disabled: Original TDM behavior.

With hidden delay values:

  • Quick - 200
  • Normal - 300
  • Slow - 400

This will save the player from having to overthink it. If they are having trouble, they can choose the slower one. If they are frustrated by it being slow, they can choose the faster one.

hold-frob-menu-setting-v8.thumb.jpg.f2275fe108419cb3006300f741a1d11a.jpg

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, datiswous said:

Why is there no frob-hold for dragging bodies?

I'd like to better understand what you want.

The design of dragging bodies is to hold frob (key down) to drag and release frob (key up) to let go. That way it's impossible to walk away while unintentionally dragging a body. Plus, it's quick to grab and move several body limbs in rapid succession. This is thought to provide a better experience, especially for new players.

Towards the beginning of this thread, I created a "tdm_frobhold_drag_body_behavior" cvar.
https://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/22198-feature-proposal-frob-to-use-world-item/&do=findComment&comment=487580

"tdm_frobhold_drag_body_behavior", default:"1"                                                     
Which drag body behavior?                                                                                
  1 --- on frob key up, drop body (limb).
  0 --- on second frob, drop body (limb), TDM v2.11 (and prior) behavior.

That cvar was removed shortly afterwards, because it was said that it wasn't needed.

With that cvar set to 0, a second frob would be required to let go of the body. Is that the behavior that you want? If so, I can add that cvar back.

Also, I saw elsewhere that you want the ability to revert back to the old way. If you mean that all of the controls match TDM 2.11, that can be done with "tdm_frobhold_delay 0" and there will be a menu setting to disable it as well.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, datiswous said:

Yeah could you do that? I don't think it hurts to have that cvar.

I've updated the non-TDM installer builds with that added cvar.

Set "tdm_frobhold_drag_body_behavior 0". Please let me know if that works well for you.

The updated builds can be found here:

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/19/2023 at 11:49 AM, ChronA said:

Hold your horses everyone! We are going about this entirely wrong!

This was a bit of a joke from me by the way. (Maybe in bad taste). My purpose was to point out incrementalism has value in itself. No one is completely happy with the compromises in the pseudo final version we have arrived at, but it seems to be good enough. So let's all stop whining about the parts that didn't go our way before Daft Mugi keels over.

I think an argument could be made that Skyrim's controls might be theoretically more optimal than TDM's adapted Thief scheme. Skyrim does have potions, readables, consumable items, and real time inventory management; if not in the official game then in some of its million mods. It seems to work well and about 10-20 million gamers are deeply familiar with it. But it would be a gargantuan task to completely rework TDM to fit that template, and it would alienate a lot of us who are used to the traditional ways.

Better to take a few pointed lessons where they are most applicable and work slowly to optimize what we have inherited. But neither should we rest on our laurels. As I alluded to before, "gimmicks" like TDM's ragdoll bodies and physics object manipulation were still kind of cool in the early 2010s, but now day-they feel positively retro--and not always in a good way. It wouldn't hurt to have a hard think about what features actually contribute to the enduring appeal of TDM, versus which ones might be holding it back from charming an even wider audience. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, ChronA said:

As I alluded to before, "gimmicks" like TDM's ragdoll bodies and physics object manipulation were still kind of cool in the early 2010s, but now day-they feel positively retro--and not always in a good way. It wouldn't hurt to have a hard think about what features actually contribute to the enduring appeal of TDM, versus which ones might be holding it back from charming an even wider audience. 

What are you talking about? The body (and item) manipulation feature is super cool and still relevant in TDM (and I hope elsewhere too). There's lots of potential. This post has no function and makes you look bad. Go play Deus Ex 2 or something.

Edited by datiswous
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, ChronA said:

I think an argument could be made that Skyrim's controls might be theoretically more optimal than TDM's adapted Thief scheme. Skyrim does have potions, readables, consumable items, and real time inventory management; if not in the official game then in some of its million mods. It seems to work well and about 10-20 million gamers are deeply familiar with it.

Doesn't Skyrim have a "Use Inventory Item" key? A lot of other games have something like it additional to "Use world".

Edited by wesp5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, datiswous said:

The body (and item) manipulation feature is super cool and still relevant in TDM

Show me some receipts then. Cool features are cool because they create cool moments and stories.

For example, mantling is super cool. If a guard is chasing you and there is a low roof nearby you can mantle up to make a clutch escape. And maybe then you find a hidden vent or something and your entire approach to the level changes. That's a cool moment and a cool story.

Similarly, pinching out candles is super cool because it can create moments where the player needs to rush across a room and pinch out a candle before an enemy rounds spots them, changing how the player will approach the room.

And I will freely admit, stacking boxes and planks with TDM's physics objects system is super cool. It opens up a lot of platforming possibilities.

But where is the equivalent for the ragdoll bodies or being able to pick up and turn over every apparently-not-silver teapot? Ragdoll bodies could be cool if, for example, you could stuff bodies into chests or under beds to hide them. However I don't think anyone does that. Usually it won't work because the body won't fit and you will make a huge racket in the process of trying. In fact it is super-lame because it seems like TDM should allow that kind of gameplay with the ragdolls feature, but it doesn't.

Same with object manipulation. What does picking up and manipulate every (non-valuable) plate, hat, cup, and apple actually let you do? You can throw them to distract guards, but that would also be true if they just went into your inventory, like bottles in other stealth games. There could also be loot or important items hidden under them, except in practice it can't be anything important because TDM's object selection is imprecise and its collisions tend to send objects flying or clipping into the world. So what we actually gets is coins and purses hidden under hats... gripping.

 

Edit: Note, I'm not saying these gimmicky features should be removed though. That would break back compatibility with older missions, which no one wants. But we should stop giving object manipulation place-of-pride over more impactful mechanics like shouldering bodies in our tutorials, FMs, and default control bindings. 

Edited by ChronA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are my thoughts on version 20-Oct:

Consideration: as a general rule, the vast majority of players will never know what a cvar is, much less how they work. I don't consider cvars an option because after a while, people forget what they changed, how and probably why.

- Snuffing out candles feels very natural and I don't personally perceive players could unintentionally put them out often. The risk is there though, especially for people with especial needs.

- In my opinion, the probabilities of unintentionally dropping bodies while operating doors is considerable, specially when the frob distance of doors is reduced.

- Moving a leg of a body aside is ok but dragging or toying with bodies is no fun anymore therefore the feature is gone for (old and) new players.

I personally see more cons than pros and I don't feel I can do anything new, faster or better. It actually is a little confusing that I can do a same thing in different ways now. I am convinced this is a missed opportunity and a common place exists but...

Having said all that, if I was a new player I guess I would have to do with what I am given and there's no way for me to tell if I would have felt that something was off or missing therefore: if this change is to take TDM to new heights I will rewire my brain. I would just appreciate that the shortcomings are properly and honestly acknowledged, instead of telling tales.

Fun fact: we now have three different keys to drop bodies.

TDM Modpack 4.0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, snatcher said:

- Snuffing out candles feels very natural and I don't personally perceive players could unintentionally put them out often.

Is this bound to frob or long-frob now? Because I remember the recent mission where you had to place burning candles on a table which would be rather difficult if frob would snuff them out. I don't know if it had a slow match or flint to help. But I completely agree about the cvars, if something isn't set in the options menu, I will never use a cvar to change it!

Edited by wesp5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, ChronA said:

Show me some receipts then. Cool features are cool because they create cool moments and stories.

For example, mantling is super cool. If a guard is chasing you and there is a low roof nearby you can mantle up to make a clutch escape. And maybe then you find a hidden vent or something and your entire approach to the level changes. That's a cool moment and a cool story.

Similarly, pinching out candles is super cool because it can create moments where the player needs to rush across a room and pinch out a candle before an enemy rounds spots them, changing how the player will approach the room.

And I will freely admit, stacking boxes and planks with TDM's physics objects system is super cool. It opens up a lot of platforming possibilities.

But where is the equivalent for the ragdoll bodies or being able to pick up and turn over every apparently-not-silver teapot? Ragdoll bodies could be cool if, for example, you could stuff bodies into chests or under beds to hide them. However I don't think anyone does that. Usually it won't work because the body won't fit and you will make a huge racket in the process of trying. In fact it is super-lame because it seems like TDM should allow that kind of gameplay with the ragdolls feature, but it doesn't.

Same with object manipulation. What does picking up and manipulate every (non-valuable) plate, hat, cup, and apple actually let you do? You can throw them to distract guards, but that would also be true if they just went into your inventory, like bottles in other stealth games. There could also be loot or important items hidden under them, except in practice it can't be anything important because TDM's object selection is imprecise and its collisions tend to send objects flying or clipping into the world. So what we actually gets is coins and purses hidden under hats... gripping.

 

Edit: Note, I'm not saying these gimmicky features should be removed though. That would break back compatibility with older missions, which no one wants. But we should stop giving object manipulation place-of-pride over more impactful mechanics like shouldering bodies in our tutorials, FMs, and default control bindings. 

Not sure what game you are playing but stuffing bodies out of the way and under cabinets and stuff is easy and some of us have been doing it since before you were born.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AluminumHaste said:

stuffing bodies out of the way and under cabinets and stuff is easy and some of us have been doing it since before you were born.

I have certainly done my share of awkwardly shoving bodies into dark corners and behind furniture in TDM. I don't think I've ever successfully put them inside or under furniture. TDM bodies are (rightly) pretty rigid in my experience. However, @AluminumHaste, you have repeatedly shown yourself to be the top authority and wizard on what is or isn't possible in TDM. If you want to put up one of your meme-worthy videos I will gladly eat my words on this point. I am ready to be dazzled by the dozens of ways TDM lets you hide bodies. Otherwise slow experimentation and experience must convince me.

3 hours ago, datiswous said:

Well I hide them out of sight and I need the current system for that.

I think the reason you need the current system is that TDM's un-shouldering is deliberately way more restrictive than Thief's, and the reason for that (circa 2010) was to force you to use the fancy new ragdoll dragging gimmick. You have Stockholm syndrome.

That is why I think this matter must be debated. The nays have successfully argued that we can't have easy and maximally-discoverable candle pinching because there are two or three missions where you need to move a lit candle, among dozens where you need to pinch them, and you-all will continue to argue that easy and discoverable body shouldering is a mistake because it makes life marginally harder in the occasional situations where manual body dragging is needed. But what we should be debating is a patch to make unshouldering less restrictive.

Or maybe I'm off my rocker. Unfortunately I can't prove a negative, so it is up to you to provide counter examples where these systems create fun gameplay challenges. Show me the receipts and you win.

  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, snatcher said:

Where is the prototype for long-frob / hold-frob to shoulder and unshoulder bodies?

 

Download the executable that works for you. I assume the Windows one. You unzip it to your darkmod folder (best to make a backup of the original file). Then you have to set the cvar in-game:

tdm_frobhold_drag_body_behavior 0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Hi everyone, I know I am pretty late to the party, but I have been doing some playtesting of this feature and I am honestly loving the way bodies are handled now: hold mouse to move it around, release mouse to drop it again (hold-type-grabber). It just feels very natural and somewhat authentic this way. I love it so much that I would like to see it optionally extended to all grabber-interactions. I also think that the new control scheme is a bit inconsistent because, depending on entity type, different kinds of inputs are required to achieve the same game functionality (the grabber).

Here is a table showing how different entity types are currently controlled:

Entity type Short Press Hold Button… ...Release Button
Junk Grabber Nothing Nothing
Food Grabber Eat Nothing
Loot Pick-up Nothing Nothing
Bodies Shoulder Grabber Release from Grabber
Lights Grabber Exstinguish Nothing
Tools Inventory Nothing Nothing

And here is a suggestion of how I would change it to make it consistent and to have more objects use the fun hold-type-grabber from bodies (of course the release from grabber by button release could be made optional such that a second click would release from grabber) .

Entity type Short Press Hold Button… ...Release Button (or optionally press again)
Junk Nothing Grabber Release from Grabber
Food Eat Grabber Release from Grabber
Loot Pick-up Grabber? Release from Grabber?
Bodies Shoulder Grabber Release from Grabber
Lights Exstinguish Grabber Release from Grabber
Tools Inventory Grabber? Release from Grabber?

All use-type interactions would be on short-press, whereas all grabber-interactions would be hold-type or on long press / press again. In addition to being more consistent, this control scheme also has the advantage that the grabber is always intentional, i.e., you never accidentally pick up a junk object. The only downside I can see right now is that, with the hold-type interaction, object rotation is a bit more finicky with the hold-type-grabber, because you have to press two buttons at the same time, but it's absolutely doable (I tried).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is quite litigated in the thread already whether it is particularly important or common in games for a context sensitive input be "consistent" or whether this inherently means something is intuitive - so I won't repeat my thoughts on it.

I will say It seemed like it was quite difficult to get this change as it is into the game, so while I think anything can be improved I am not sure anyone wants to go through another 10 pages, polls, etc. So I hope I don’t sound short or dismissive, it’s really not my intention, it’s just been a very long thread.

I will say if an object is frob highlighted, ie subject to an interaction prompt, if frobbing it then does not do anything or provide any feedback the game immediately feels very strange and broken. I do not think it is good a idea to have objects which can only be interacted with via long press.

The current design is around primary interactions being on short press and the secondary more situational actions being on hold, while also retaining compatibility with all legacy interactions. There is some disagreement as far as what is a "primary" interaction, but I find it pretty intuitive in practice as it is today.

There are some exceptions that did not work out in testing. I will the example of candles/lanterns - having extinguish as the primary interaction makes a lot of sense, but in practice didn't work very well. 

The game is full of extinguished candles, empty candle holders, etc that are now simple physics objects that require a long press to pickup and have no primary interaction - see issue above.

You also have to handle lanterns differently, which can be toggled off/on. You could code in the TDS method which is extinguish a lit candle on frob, then it becomes a physics object (“junk” in the parlance of your table) so the primary interaction should then be grabber. There seemed in general  to be a lot of concern about keeping the code clean.

Being able to grab moveable inventory objects on hold without having to do the current dance of bringing them into inventory first and then “dropping” them - like keys and tools - could be a nice addition. Many loot objects are not moveables so these might be a bit of issue?

Edited by Wellingtoncrab
typo

-=  IRIS  =-    ♦    = SLL =

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

I will say It seemed like it was quite difficult to get this change as it is into the game, so while I think anything can be improved I am not sure anyone wants to go through another 10 pages, polls, etc. So I hope I don’t sound short or dismissive, it’s really not my intention, it’s just been a very long thread.

I get that and full disclosure: I did not read the full thread, it's just too much! 😄 I was absent in recent months, so I missed all of this.

4 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

I will say if an object is frob highlighted, ie subject to an interaction prompt, if frobbing it then does not do anything or provide any feedback the game immediately feels very strange and broken. I do not think it is good a idea to have objects which can only be interacted with via long press.

That makes a lot of sense. Although, to solve this, one could communicate via audio cue ("uh uh") that no use-type-interaction is available for that entity.

Anyway, there is an incredibly easy way to solve the inconsistency while staying true to the original control scheme and that is to simply swap shouldering and grabber.

Entity type Short Press Long Press ...Release Button
Junk Grabber Nothing Nothing
Food Grabber Eat Nothing
Loot Pick-up Nothing Nothing
Bodies Grabber Shoulder Nothing
Lights Grabber Exstinguish Nothing
Tools Inventory Nothing Nothing

This way, every interaction that was originally "frob + use" (shouldering, eat, exstinguish) will the become long-press-frob. So, the long-press simply becomes a shorthand for special action, nice and clean. While I do love the hold-type-grabber to death, I'd be willing to sacrifice it for a consistent control-scheme. (@stgatilov @Daft Mugi)

Right now, we have this weird mixture of hold-type- and toggle-type-grabber that I guarantee you, will confuse new players (and streamers). I say, either fully embrace the lovely new hold-type-grabber (which I am still all for) or drop it completely.

  • Like 1
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.


  • Recent Status Updates

    • taffernicus

      i am so euphoric to see new FMs keep coming out and I am keen to try it out in my leisure time, then suddenly my PC is spouting a couple of S.M.A.R.T errors...
      tbf i cannot afford myself to miss my network emulator image file&progress, important ebooks, hyper-v checkpoint & hyper-v export and the precious thief & TDM gamesaves. Don't fall yourself into & lay your hands on crappy SSD
       
      · 1 reply
    • OrbWeaver

      Does anyone actually use the Normalise button in the Surface inspector? Even after looking at the code I'm not quite sure what it's for.
      · 7 replies
    • Ansome

      Turns out my 15th anniversary mission idea has already been done once or twice before! I've been beaten to the punch once again, but I suppose that's to be expected when there's over 170 FMs out there, eh? I'm not complaining though, I love learning new tricks and taking inspiration from past FMs. Best of luck on your own fan missions!
      · 4 replies
    • The Black Arrow

      I wanna play Doom 3, but fhDoom has much better features than dhewm3, yet fhDoom is old, outdated and probably not supported. Damn!
      Makes me think that TDM engine for Doom 3 itself would actually be perfect.
      · 6 replies
    • Petike the Taffer

      Maybe a bit of advice ? In the FM series I'm preparing, the two main characters have the given names Toby and Agnes (it's the protagonist and deuteragonist, respectively), I've been toying with the idea of giving them family names as well, since many of the FM series have named protagonists who have surnames. Toby's from a family who were usually farriers, though he eventually wound up working as a cobbler (this serves as a daylight "front" for his night time thieving). Would it make sense if the man's popularly accepted family name was Farrier ? It's an existing, though less common English surname, and it directly refers to the profession practiced by his relatives. Your suggestions ?
      · 9 replies
×
×
  • Create New...