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A minor thought


killhour
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When I found out about this mod, it seemed like the perfect way to live out my Thief fantasies. I'm a mapper that started out on DromEd. Needless to say, it was incredibly frustrating. Well, I've been having that itch again, and I start to have dreams when I get that. Last week, I had an idea for something I would LOVE to be able to do from a gameplay perspective: swing from rope arrows.

 

The scenario I had thought out as a proof of concept was a mansion roof at night. Raining hard, and our thief using the sound to cover his footsteps while casing a way in. About 60 ft away, on the second floor, is an open window, with a shadow cast on the billowing curtains. From the shape, it is clearly a guard. While contemplating how to get in the window without alerting the guard, something catches his eye: the thick beams used to hold up the roof stick out about 10 ft from the wall. Pulling out a rope arrow, our thief wraps the end around his wrist twice, and notches up. Down on the first floor, the guests are too drunk to hear the soft *thud* as the guard's unconscious body hits the Persian rug - an unfortunate victim of a taffer's boot to the back of the head.

 

Now, this scenario is complicated, but even just the ability to gain momentum while on a rope can give birth to a whole new set of tactics - just a piece of a master thief's ever growing tool kit.

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When I found out about this mod, it seemed like the perfect way to live out my Thief fantasies. I'm a mapper that started out on DromEd.

Have you tried out Darkradiant?

 

Now, this scenario is complicated, but even just the ability to gain momentum while on a rope can give birth to a whole new set of tactics - just a piece of a master thief's ever growing tool kit.

Hmmmmmmm

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I heard its really cheap on steam.

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Let me see... 20 bucks. Not bad. Wish I wasn't a poor college student. :(

 

I know how you feel :wacko:

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Unfortunately swinging on ropes is not in the foreseeable future (but definitely possible in the long term!)

 

Alright, thanks for the quick reply on that. I'd assume it has to do with limitations of the physics engine or breaking in-progress maps? I have way too many ideas anyways. If I ever give a stupid one, feel free to slap me. :P

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I think a way to jump, grab a rope, then build momentum while on the rope (pumping legs like on a swing) would be a good goal. Are the physics available for it in D3/Tech4?

 

I KNOW it could be done in HL2/Source. :(

 

It's definitely not something we're focusing on for 1.0 release...and likely not immediately afterwards. It will probably end up being something someone outside the team codes in several years from now, after D3 is open sourced. In terms of Thief style gameplay, it's definitely not high priority...it's just an extra physics gimick.

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The physics is all there, you can already jump on to ropes that are already swinging and swing along with them. The hardest part would be just programming the player controls to make the rope swing. As NH said though, we have many other high priority tasks that have to get done first. If you know any programmers with free time to do this task, feel free to send them our way. :)

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The physics is all there, you can already jump on to ropes that are already swinging and swing along with them. The hardest part would be just programming the player controls to make the rope swing. As NH said though, we have many other high priority tasks that have to get done first. If you know any programmers with free time to do this task, feel free to send them our way. :)

 

hrm... What would be neat then, is if you held on to the end of the rope when you shot the arrow, and dropped it like a normal piece of junk inventory. If the arrow goes farther than the rope can extend, it flies out of your hands. I only have a few years of programming under my belt, but I think I could whip something like that up...

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Code-wise, the player is attached to the rope and follows where the rope goes, so you would nudge the part of the rope that the player is holding on to instead of the player. This can be done with a one-line physics function to add velocity to that setion. Then you'd have to design a control scheme for this. How would you swing to get momentum, what button would you use that isn't otherwise being used while on a rope, maybe the attack button? Would you have to time your "kick" to the rope resonance yourself and keep hitting the attack button as you swing back and forth to build up the swing, or would it all be done automatically?

 

I did some experiments where you could hold on to the end of the rope, walk around carrying it and jump off a ledge to swing on the rope, but code-wise you have to go from "rope attached to player" to "player attached to rope" the moment the player goes airborne. There were problems with the functions that are supposed to detect when you're airborne. They either detected too late or too soon compared to reality, so often the rope either fell out of your hands, or you got stuck at the edge of the ledge when you should have kept going off of it.

 

It all seems do-able, but we just don't have enough time to devote to a polished rope swinging simulation because we're working on other stuff more critical to stealth gameplay (like AI).

 

@killhour: If you want to sign up as a programming contributor and work on this task, I don't see any problem with that. Do you have experience with C++?

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Code-wise, the player is attached to the rope and follows where the rope goes, so you would nudge the part of the rope that the player is holding on to instead of the player. This can be done with a one-line physics function to add velocity to that setion. For the controls, you'd have to design a control scheme for this. How would you swing to get momentum, what button would you use that isn't otherwise being used while on a rope, maybe the attack button? Would you have to time your "kick" to the rope resonance yourself and keep hitting the attack button as you swing back and forth to build up the swing, or would it all be done automatically?

 

I did some experiments where you could hold on to the end of the rope, walk around and jump off a ledge to swing on it, but code-wise you have to go from "rope attached to player" to "player attached to rope" the moment the player goes in midair, but there were problems with the functions that are supposed to detect when you're in midair. It all seems do-able, we just don't have enough time to devote to a polished rope swinging simulation because we're working on other stuff more critical to stealth gameplay (like AI).

 

@killhour: If you want to sign up as a programming contributor and work on this task, I don't see any problem with that. Do you have experience with C++?

 

Indeed I do. I'm a second year computer science major, so it's pretty much required ;)

 

I'd actually like to help more with mapping, but I'd be happy to work on this particular task (and any others I just "can't live without")

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We're always happy to have more programmers helping out. Just contact New Horizon (who is reading this thread right now :) ) and he can help you go thru "the contributor application process." (I know that sounds painful, but when you have a largish team you need some sort of orderly process to get people set up.)

 

In the meantime, you can also check out the Doom3 SDK to see how it's generally set up. There is a lot there, the parts pertinent to ropes are probably idAFEntity_Base and idPhysics_AF classes. We added some functions to those in our codebase, but looking at the basics is still good.

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We're always happy to have more programmers helping out. Just contact New Horizon (who is reading this thread right now :) ) and he can help you go thru "the contributor application process." (I know that sounds painful, but when you have a largish team you need some sort of orderly process to get people set up.)

 

In the meantime, you can also check out the Doom3 SDK to see how it's generally set up. There is a lot there, the parts pertinent to ropes are probably idAFEntity_Base and idPhysics_AF classes. We added some functions to those in our codebase, but looking at the basics is still good.

 

Sounds good, what's the best way to reach him?

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Post a thread? PM?

 

Speaking of which... I wonder if he's managed to get to my beta mapper PM yet.

 

You have to create a beta mapper application thread in the "I want to help" area.

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Sounds good, what's the best way to reach him?

As far as I know, the instructions in this thread are still current.

 

A Private Message on these forums is probably OK too.

 

Would be great to have another programmer on board. :)

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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