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Hold Your Breath?


ZylonBane

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I hate to say I'm serious, but that would be an interesting destraction technique

I presented this general idea to the team a long time ago. I felt we should be able to hit a hot-key to have the character say a subtle, "Ahem..." from the shadows, or clear his nose inhale "*sniff*" or a little clear-your-throat *cough*. Some noise or grumble to distract and then you dart out of there. There would be 10 or 20 subtle vocal/whistle distractions he would randomly rotate through. Distractions that would be low-key and professionally implemented; not cheesy. It was shot down, so if it's desired, it will likely need to be implemented through a fan-mission author rather than us. I'm with you, though.. it would be kinda neat to be able to do this.

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The more I think about this, the more it occurs to me that these alternative gameplay techniques, because they are so sui generis (that is, really only useful for the one puzzle they were created for), are probably best addressed with inventory-frobbing something you pick up just in the context of that mission ... so like a little whistle or bird-call you can carry (which T2 actually *did* have, although not for general use, but it seems easy to rig something like that up) or a rag or even better a painter's-mouth-cover that (some readable suggests) is useful for covering your mouth to avoid/filter breathing in fumes, and then you can get the idea that when you inv-frob it, it covers your mouth, effectively holding or filtering your breath until you frob it off (remember GATI had something like a chemical rag to frob-knock a person out) ... and each mapper could custom make such objects him/herself.

 

I was never that keen on a special key anyway and just ran with it to be devil's advocate a little (an inv-frobbable object seems much more preferable). But automatic breath-holding also rubs me the wrong way ... but maybe it just means I'd personally tend to mimick gasrooms DX or Thief style (with scattered stims) and not even have to deal with it.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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The more I think about this, the more it occurs to me that these alternative gameplay techniques, because they are so sui generis

Congratulations, you win a complimentary cockpunch for using an obscure latin phrase where "unique" would have served just as well, and another one for using it wrong (something is either sui generis or not, there are no degrees).

 

But automatic breath-holding also rubs me the wrong way ... but maybe it just means I'd personally tend to mimick gasrooms DX or Thief style (with scattered stims) and not even have to deal with it.

As already noted, repeatedly, classic-style gas damage would be supported via corrosive gas.

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There are enough hapless newbies in TTLG that require your services to be dishing them out here (one just asked in ThiefGen "why can't we remake the T1/T2 levels in T3 with its leet graphics already?" and I wondered when you'd pop up) ... but anyway, just to play your game:

 

"Unique" wouldn't capture what I meant at all. It's not just that the features I was talking about (whistle-blowing, breath-holding) are *unlike* other, existing features. You could say the same thing about jumping and leaning, e.g., if you were starting from scratch (say it's 1997), you already have jumping, and now you are debating whether leaning should also be a part of the interface. You wouldn't want to strike it out *merely* because it was different from jumping, and thus unique to the present interface.

 

The term "sui generis" gets much closer to what is really problematic about whistle-blowing and breath-holding as distinguished from jumping and leaning. It's not the relative feature of "uniqueness", that is, different relative to other things already there, which could be totally arbitrary depending on the order you add features. It's that whistle-blowing and breath-holding create and only fit into their own, self-contained little interface-universe, that is, they only fit into a special class particular to just themselves and no other feature. The dictionary supports my distinction, I think, although it is a little ambivalent (a legal dictionary would do it even better, but anyway) :

 

Unique: Being the only one of its kind [i.e., nothing like it]

 

Sui generis: Etymology: Latin, of its own kind, literally "to itself-categorized / -originated / or -generated": constituting a class alone : unique or particular to itself

 

It's the "to itself-generated" and "particular to itself" parts that I'm specifically relying on, which goes further than mere "uniqueness". For the features of which I spoke, you would only ever use them for very discrete tasks/puzzles which, in turn, only specially call on just those features, whereas jumping and leaning have very general versatility in any situation, so they aren't particular to just themselves. You wouldn't create them just to work their own, self-contained interface-contexts. There are lots of times you'd want tojump or lean, not just in "specifically-created jumping/leaning puzzles". So while leaning could be "unique" in a particular context (my hypothetical above), it could never be sui generis in the (admittedly technical) way I'm using the term. There is perhaps no exact term that captures this "special to it's own, specially created, self-contained interface-context", but sui generis really hits the nail on the head IMO (much more so than being merely "unique" as in different from all the other features) and at any rate comes much closer than any term I could think of. Since it is a technical term, maybe people use it differently in different contexts, but the way I was using it, it fits right in specifically with the *legal* use of the term. (And as for being obscure, it isn't for me because I use it in law all the time. But I admit that it isn't in common use in normal conversation. I used it anyway because I thought that the technical understanding of it, as I've tried to explain here by distinguishing it from "unique", really fit this situation well. And now I've explained why.)

 

As for degrees of sui generity ... this is open to hermeneutic (interpretational) debate I think. It's a strong intuition, though, and something that the term should be able to capture even under conservative hermeneutic theories. Of course, my point is valid if you just strike out the word "so" and admit no degrees of "self-containedness" among features. And with that interpretation jumping/leaning would surely be in and whistle-blowing/breath-holding would surely be out, and my point will stand. So we can both have our way on that point, no-degrees of sui generis, and everybody wins.

 

But if you don't admit degrees, then you might be missing a useful perspective buried in my use of that term. Sometimes the "self-containedness" of features really does seem to be on a scale of degree. Think about wall-hugging? Is it general-purpose to many gameplay situations or specific to its own specially-created use? It fits in a middle area, I think.

 

In fact, I'll go so far as to say: as I was using the term, I think you actually could have a sliding scale of the general-usability of interface features. Consider such a scale with one pole being "general to most if not all gameplay uses" and the other pole being "specific only to its own specially designed task which (in turn) only calls on that specific interface feature". It might look like:

 

(1) direction keys, walking

(2) weapon draw/cycle

(3) inv object draw/cycle

(4) running

(5) leaning

(6) strafing

(7) ducking

(8) wall hugging

.

.

.

(9) whistle blowing

(10) breath-holding

 

I think this way of framing decisions about what should and shouldn't be part of the general interface is very useful. And the term "sui generis" gets us closer to this understanding than any other term, including "unique". So I stand by my decision to use the term and even my non-standard application of it (although I am willing to back down on the non-standard application for my above post, which didn't require it, but nevertheless would be enriched if it did).

 

Judges, can we rescind those cockpunches and place all trial-costs on the complaining party in the form of a bucket of toilet water to the face?

 

 

 

As for multiple stim "trap" gas vs. "corrosive" (boundary) gas vs. whatever else they can imagine... Whatever. There were a number of ideas on the table, and I don't seem to recall any official, final decisions being made. But anyway, the point wasn't particular to *which form* of insta-harm gas is used, just *some* form. I'm happy to substitute multiple-stim type with "corrosive" type and the general point still stands, that I probably won't use 'auto-hold-breath' gas if it's there. So it's not such a big deal to me. The fact that corrosive gas will also be part of the default set-up, as we all know 110% guaranteed because it's been "noted, repeatedly" ... then all the better. Mainly, though, I just chose that wording because it's what I had in mind at the time, nothing more ominous than that ... and to be honest, my personal preference is *still* towards "trap" type gas than gas rooms (auto-breath-hold or corrosive), just because gas-filled rooms always struck me as a little bizarre and unnatural ... although I concede that my above post didn't explain that, but I'm telling you now.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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That scale is just how I was thinking of it all. And as a team we make our desicions based on this perceived use.

 

There is also a parallel scale on how features will be implemented.

 

1. Most essential basic features - implemented by us in the first release

2. Excellent additions to the gameplay - implemented by us in a later release

3. Something that would be cool to have - implemented by one or more members of the thief community after the official release and absorbed and accepted by the rest of the community in general.

4. Very unique "once off" features - implemented by individual authors for their FMs only

 

I feel the invisible gas falls into that last category.

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oy. the room is aflame!..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_azide

I was just doing my routine synthesis when I happened upon this much used compound. Would that constitute a trap or a gas-filled room (with hydrogen azide)? To lose some hitpoints: throw it in water, throw it in the fireplace, hold it with a bare hand, lick it, crush some and drop in soup, or touch a copper, silver, or lead table or candelabrum. ;) Many women in my city have arsenic to improve the complexion.

Quick Edit(Add): I feel the invisible gas(etc) falls into the 3rd category.

Edited by Order of the Hammer Bureaucrat
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You can come up with a specific situation where ANY feature would be useful. I can come up with scenarios where it would be necessary to kneel, stick one foot way out in front of the other, exhale suddenly, or whistle. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to add new keys so I can do them.

 

All due respect, Spring, I think you're just being obtuse. We're not discussing ANY feature, we are discussing one, and I happen to believe it could be useful. If you don't, very well, I respect and honor that, and I'll take any objection in the spirit it's given.

 

By that rationale, I should now shit on my keyboard. :P

 

Quick Edit(add): I agree with Order's quick edit!!

Edited by Hylix Ulyx
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We're not discussing ANY feature, we are discussing one, and I happen to believe it could be useful.

 

We are discussing one feature, yes. The only argument FOR it is that it there are one or two scenarios where it might be useful. Since that is equally true for ANY feature--including undesirable ones--then it cannot be considered a good reason to implement this particular feature.

 

If you want to take that as being obtuse, fine, but it's just basic reasoning where I'm from.

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What I consider obtuse is not your underlying arguement, but the manner in which you presented it.

 

"We are discussing one feature, yes. The only argument FOR it is that it there are one or two scenarios where it might be useful. Since that is equally true for ANY feature--including undesirable ones--then it cannot be considered a good reason to implement this particular feature."

 

This is basic reasoning.

 

"You can come up with a specific situation where ANY feature would be useful. I can come up with scenarios where it would be necessary to kneel, stick one foot way out in front of the other, exhale suddenly, or whistle. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to add new keys so I can do them."

 

This is being obtuse.

 

 

Besides, what "I was driving at", my quote, and the basis of your obtuse reply, was in reference to the methodology of this particular genre, and how I felt that this particular feature could enhance that. But, as always, I've tried (though not always successfully) to present my arguements with respect; I am fully aware that not all, if any, of my arguements have any merit.

 

That being said, having a valid arguement, and condesending the person to which you are presenting that arguement, for no other the reason than to make the person seem somewhat dim for having a particular and opposite opinion from your own, is not, in and of itself, basic reasoning: this is called being a dick...from where I'm from.

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"You can come up with a specific situation where ANY feature would be useful. I can come up with scenarios where it would be necessary to kneel, stick one foot way out in front of the other, exhale suddenly, or whistle. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to add new keys so I can do them."

 

This is being obtuse.

 

No it's not, it's called presenting an argument by analogy, and actually sums up the core of this debate rather well, which is that adding a game-level feature to cover one or two specific (and fairly uncommon) map situations is not generally a good idea.

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That was not "analogy", but "example", and example punctuated to a degree that the tone becomes obtuse.

 

Analogy would be presenting his arguement by saying "that's like saying putting bullet holes in your car enhances the performance".

 

What HE did was present exaggerated examples not only to prove his point, but debase my own.

Edited by Hylix Ulyx
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:( boo hoo

 

-- 'You can come up with any number of ideas to justify a single feature; that doesn't make it a good idea'

 

-- 'You've offended me, you obtuse dick, waah waah waah.' furious.gif

 

If you really "love these discussions" and took personal offense (who knows why; the point is rather clear (and correct :P) and in no way insulting or attacking to you) to his comment, why not just fire back your opinion? Instead you resort to whining and name calling.

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I'm a little baffled, actually. If you find the argument I made above offensive, you should be glad you aren't a part of our internal team debates! ;)

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Quoth the Upright Citizens Brigade "Everyone here needs to coooooooooooooooooooooool out." Reasonable people can and will disagree. In particular, we spend alot of time arguing about things that really come down to opinion, and alot of people on these forums don't know how to write with tact. I don't know if they do it out of ignorance, or because it amuses them, but there is no reason to take it personally whatever the cause. Ultimately there are an infinite number of games we could make and everyone here, if given their druthers would likely make a different one.

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:( boo hoo

 

-- 'You can come up with any number of ideas to justify a single feature; that doesn't make it a good idea'

 

-- 'You've offended me, you obtuse dick, waah waah waah.' furious.gif

 

If you really "love these discussions" and took personal offense (who knows why; the point is rather clear (and correct :P) and in no way insulting or attacking to you) to his comment, why not just fire back your opinion? Instead you resort to whining and name calling.

 

Spoken with grace and dignity. I have been bested.

 

In particular, we spend alot of time arguing about things that really come down to opinion, and alot of people on these forums don't know how to write with tact. I don't know if they do it out of ignorance, or because it amuses them, but there is no reason to take it personally whatever the cause. Ultimately there are an infinite number of games we could make and everyone here, if given their druthers would likely make a different one.

 

Fair enough. You're right. I apologize to Spring for the outburst.

 

Hylix, if you feel so strongly about it, you should be able to come up with another scenario where it would be useful.

 

All right. Well, one scenario in particular is the use of gas arrows. If you have the ability to manually hold your breath, it would cancel the effect on the player character if set off too close. In addition, if something like a gas grenade, or proximity version, is implemented, then manual breath holding could do likewise to the preceding statement.

 

As I said before, it could also be used as a way to silence the player character within ear shot of a hostile a.i.. Of course, that would mean the A.I. would have to be programmed to react to that kind of stimulus, and I'm sure it would open up another can of worms. But with this kind of stimulus/reaction, like darkness suggested, even a whistle or grunt could then aid in steath as a distraction/luring technique, and breath holding would then be necessary in very close proximity to a hostile NPC, even without "guarded" or "alerted" status.

 

There is another more obvious use, such as steadying a drawn bow before releasing the arrow (ala splinter cell, among others).

 

All in all, I think having to manually hold your breath in any situation that would otherwise be automatic (for example swimming underwater) would bare the same benefit as having to manually open and close a door, instead of it automatically opening when you get close (I know there's been discussion of implementing more control over the way you open and close the door, to aid in stealth). In the manual version, you're given more control over your environment, and your avatar, as well as allowing the player to be more delibrate and "lucid" in his or her actions in the game.

Edited by Hylix Ulyx
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Those are good examples. I think though, it would still be something the community in general might develop, than something that is essential to our basic toolset. We've already pretty much sorted out a basic feature set, if we kept adding new ideas, this is known as "feature creep" and prevents projects from ever getting finalised.

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Fair enough. The proof being in TDM alone, the doom3 codebase is pretty robust (given all you guys have managed to do with it). I'm certain they'll be a whole plethora of little add-ins here and there to spuce up this already exceptional mod.

 

I think my first TDM certified map to introduce the new "hold-breath" key will be our anti-hero's clandestine attempt to steal rare satin toilet paper from a fringe Aristocratic Fetish-Farting Convention.

 

 

 

 

:blink:

 

 

:P

Edited by Hylix Ulyx
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Well, one scenario in particular is the use of gas arrows. If you have the ability to manually hold your breath, it would cancel the effect on the player character if set off too close.

 

I think we've already mentioned a few times in this thread that 'explosive' gas like gas arrows would not trigger automatically holding your breath, since you generally don't know they're coming. So you would indeed take damage.

 

it could also be used as a way to silence the player character within ear shot of a hostile a.i..

 

This is only useful if we make AI able to hear the player character breathing. We debated that early on but decided against it for multiple gameplay reasons.

 

There is another more obvious use, such as steadying a drawn bow before releasing the arrow

 

Using the current thief system of bow firing, that isn't necessary--your bow remains steady until you start to tire.

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I think we've already mentioned a few times in this thread that 'explosive' gas like gas arrows would not trigger automatically holding your breath, since you generally don't know they're coming. So you would indeed take damage.

 

In lieu of breath holding, I was speaking about the manual version, not the automatic. More specifically, I was referencing the player setting off a gas arrow, or allowing an AI to set off a prox gas trigger, too close to him or herself. I reread my post, and I realise that I didn't make that clear.

 

This is only useful if we make AI able to hear the player character breathing.

 

Of course, that would mean the A.I. would have to be programmed to react to that kind of stimulus, and I'm sure it would open up another can of worms.

 

That's what I said, though more generally.

 

 

Using the current thief system of bow firing, that isn't necessary--your bow remains steady until you start to tire.

 

Fair enough. That particular approach is tried and true.

Edited by Hylix Ulyx
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There is another more obvious use, such as steadying a drawn bow before releasing the arrow (ala splinter cell, among others).

This is another example of meaningless (aka "no-brainer") choice. If holding your breath steadied your aim, you would never NOT hold your breath.

 

And as already noted, if this were implemented there would be two types of gas-- a type that has to be inhaled, and a type that doesn't. Death traps, gas arrows, grenades, etc would use the latter.

 

Now that I think about it, a somewhat similar dichotomy exists in the classic Thief games as well. Consider this-- when Garrett is exposed to gas, he takes damage and can eventually die. But when AIs are exposed to gas, they just fall unconscious. So there have always been two types of gas effect. Yes, I realize this is just a natural fallout of how the game's systems were designed, but nonetheless there it is.

 

Geekwankery follows...

 

There's an informative Wiki article on chemical warfare, including the major categories of chemical agents. Of the categories given, the following are listed as having an immediate effect: Nerve, Asphyxiant/Blood, Choking/Pulmonary, and Lachrymatory. Of these, only Nerve agents are classified as a contact (and inhalation) hazard. All the rest are classified simply as inhalation hazards.

 

So, we could easily posit that knockout gas is actually a nerve agent. They work by contact and inhalation, act quickly, and "survivors of nerve agent poisoning almost invariably suffer chronic neurological damage". Hellloooo Benny.

 

For the must-be-inhaled gas, either Asphyxiant or Choking would work equally well. They're both composed of common low-tech stuff like cyanide/chlorine/arsenic, and have choking/coughing/wheezing/gasping type symptoms.

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I actually wonder whether the "instant knock-out" effect should be abandoned in favour of something more realistic and suitably low-tech - either extreme choking and blindness as with an acidic gas, or delayed collapse and incapacitation as in an asphyxiant.

 

I suspect this would be too contentious for the core toolset, but would make an interesting addition for FMs.

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