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Warm hands by fire


Domarius
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Just two quick notes lest I forget:

 

**********************

 

Warm hands by fire: This is probably a special case, anyway, eventually we will have to use a stim, because the guard would still warm his hands after the player has put out the fire :)

 

**********************

 

Planned spawnargs:

 

The current planned way of having "path_lookat", "path_wait" and "path_anim" etc. setup has another problem: It seperates the "look", "wait", "play anim" things into different entities - which means it is almost impossible to have more than one of them unless you place two nodes very close to each other and the guard continues after triggering the first action on the first node.

 

Consider for instance a narrow hallway, and you want a guard to go along it, and when he passes a certain painting, he should do:

 

* look at the painting (look at, head anim)

* shake the fist (animation)

 

then continue. I am not really sure with the current setup it would be possible to do these together.

 

************************

 

There is currently no way to limit the actions at a node. Both the planned "do it only somtimes" (the random probability I go on about and Springheel thinks is needless) and a general "do it only X times" are not possible yet.

 

So for instance it would be quite cumbersome if you want a guard to run by a painting and then play some animation exactly only *once* (like when the player sees him for the first time).

 

This can be done with either scripting (complicated), or by a cunning placement of patrol nodes which are then deleted (or just never used again) etc, but it would be much easier if you could just set the "skip_after_count" "1" on the path node itself and the animation would be played only the first time the guard comes along.

 

**********************

 

The upshot of both these two spawnargs is that it should be dead easy for mappers to achieve such special effects/features, without them having to resort to build complicated path networks or scripting things. Adding a spawnarg and coding it in is rather trivial, and I'd rather do it once, then explain every week how to make a guard warm his hands by the fire :)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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@Tels: fine points, I didn't think of extinguishing the fire (hey it's early yet!)

 

It sounds like we need both, then (the nodes for conversations). I was trying to think of it in terms of shared functionality, but it does sound like, if we want dynamic/intelligent/sensible actions from the AI, they need something more than simple D3 style nodes. It'd definitely have to be flexible though; single action tricks are hardly worth adding at all.

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And you clearly didn't understand what I was talking about, because the "node in front of the fire" was exactly what I had in mind. Duh!

 

If that's the case, then your assertion that my system would require more nodes is incorrect. That seemed to be your main reason why you thought your system would work better, so now I'm confused about exactly what benefit you think your system has, or how you would address the awkward pathing issue.

 

* look at the painting (look at, head anim)

* shake the fist (animation)

 

then continue. I am not really sure with the current setup it would be possible to do these together.

 

Yes, you can. In fact, that's exactly what a path_lookat does. It directs the AI to look at a particular entity, then plays an animation (or not).

 

There is currently no way to limit the actions at a node. Both the planned "do it only somtimes" (the random probability I go on about and Springheel thinks is needless) and a general "do it only X times" are not possible yet.

 

If you're saying the functionality doesn't exist, that's also incorrect. You can use a path_cycleanim to play an animation X number of times. If you're trying to point out that the D3 code for these paths hasn't been ported over yet, that's true, but I don't see how it's relevant.

 

(the random probability I go on about and Springheel thinks is needless)

 

To be clear, I'm in favour of random probability, and have been ever since bringing up this concept back in 1994 (http://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?showtopic=463). I just think system #2 (variable chance to path to each node) is a better and more versatile way of achieving it.

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After further thought, I think a stim/response system might be preferable, IF the following can be addressed:

 

1. A stim can be used call *any* animation, not just a hardcoded one.

 

2. The stim can cause the AI to come to a certain distance from the stimming object, and cause the AI to face a certain way before playing the animation.

 

3. The stim can also control where the AI is looking.

 

 

Without those three things, I don't think it would be better than the pathnode system. How difficult would the above be?

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The Stim itself is just a stim and has no "effect" in itself. It's the response that is important, and this has to be scripted/coded anyway (either in response effect scripts or in the SDK).

 

It's not too hard to do, judging just from thinking about it.

 

Can we leave this discussion now and wait till we have a real map with such a requirement? I don't think it makes sense to discuss this here any longer without seeing the specific problem. Everybody can come up with examples to advocate the one or the other solution.

 

It's likely that jdude's map will include such a situation, and it's easier to deal with a "real" setup.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The path_anim entity is functional again now, I've ported the script code into the SDK and uploaded a new PK4. The path_lookat behaviour is more involved (I haven't done that yet), as it is coming from the NPC/ai_character classes in vanilla Doom 3. They are aimed to be used in conversions and are more complicated than the simple path_* entities used by our AI.

 

Anyway, a simple "look at this entity" behaviour is quickly implemented, but a full conversation system is more involved and needs more planning.

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Cool :) Does this mean someone can set this anim up to happen in game now?

Yes, this should be rather easy. Though I haven't checked out the actual animation in-game yet, I must admit.

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The last time I checked the animation test map (at the time of the thread of sitting at a table) all the anims seemed broke. They used to work. Anyway, I think recently Springheel has had problems getting anims to work. So I was wondering if some change in the code or something meant a difference in the setup, a new spawnarg or something that nobody knows about?

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test/animation.map was broken for a while, but it works now since greebo got path_anims working again (all the textures show up as black, but the AI are walking around doing their animations).

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