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I thought Angua modified some threshold so that minor drops were very unlikely to alert guards.

 

But as Fidcal says, the only way to know if it feels right is to test it. Unfortunately, I personally don't have much time to do that right now. I'll see what I can accomplish tonight.

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I was wondering about the noise made while holding an object, having it bump into things. I wonder if things shouldn't make noises while being held? As a blue collar worker, i have some tool or large object in my hands all day long, the last time i bumped something into a wall was........I'll get back to you when i can think of one.

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I've committed another test map: test/impact_alerts.map. This is to test impact alerts both wanted and unwanted.

 

Two guards patrol so they are at different distances from a table of moveables. Try moving stuff around while they are at different distances to get the feel of whether they alert too easily or too little.

 

The guards patrol to the chairs so you can change their path by moving either or both of the chairs.

 

Then try throwing a moveable into the side room to divert them.

 

As an aside, note that the thug is not set to patrol himself but to follow the other guard (idea suggested by angua.) He has to two path_corners bound to him. It does work with one path_corner but after an alert, while the guard resumes patrolling, the thug did not. With two linked path_corners he does seem to resume.

 

[EDIT] Both AI are blind so rely only on hearing.

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It seems important to me that the player can divert guards with medium hard objects like bottles and bowls. But as Sneaksie says, we don't want to have frustrating situations where guards alert at every tiny movement of a moveable. Dark Mod has more moveables and more physics than Thief so mappers may have to create maps accordingly and not pile a lot of moveables on a table right next to the cook. Even then, how often are we going to be rummaging through a lot of moveables in that situation? We are likely to grab loot which jumps straight into the inventory when frobbed so does not disturb anything.

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That's actually a really good point. One of the most detested things about Trespasser was that the player with all it's new fangled manipulation/body awareness abilities was like an uncoordinated, fumbling, dopey idiot. And games are hopefully moving forward toward grace in movement, not away. I'm not sure if it wouldn't be taking something away in TDM though; part of the gameplay is being quiet and careful, and if the player could slam things around with impunity, it'd probably seem more like a bug ("they couldn't even get held object to behave correctly! LOLZORS!!1") than a feature.

 

For sounds, time is tight here as well, but I'll try. Maybe it'll just be the same usual few again.

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Are impact sounds louder (or at least louder to the AI) when the collision is higher speed? That would solve a lot of the issues - we could carefully rummage a table quietly, but a thrown bowl will clank and clatter loudly and get the guard's attention

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That's actually a really good point. One of the most detested things about Trespasser was that the player with all it's new fangled manipulation/body awareness abilities was like an uncoordinated, fumbling, dopey idiot. And games are hopefully moving forward toward grace in movement, not away. I'm not sure if it wouldn't be taking something away in TDM though; part of the gameplay is being quiet and careful, and if the player could slam things around with impunity, it'd probably seem more like a bug ("they couldn't even get held object to behave correctly! LOLZORS!!1") than a feature.

 

For sounds, time is tight here as well, but I'll try. Maybe it'll just be the same usual few again.

 

I am torn on this. OOH it is fine that the player has to learn the "ropes" to use the grabber,and it is rewarding when you get things done.

 

OTOH, just sit someone who has never player Thief, not much of FPS games and never has seen the grabber and tell them to pick up a crate and set it up on some other crate. You will be astonished how many minutes that can take ...

"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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Yes, the collision sounds are already louder at higher speed (both for the player and the AI).

Below a certain minimum velocity no sound is played at all (currently a cvar, tdm_bounce_sound_min_vel, which is 80. You have to be fairly close to a surface while dropping). Between minimum and maximum velocity (the cvar tdm_bounce_sound_max_vel, which is 400. This is reached when you drop something from a little bit above eye height), the volume increases, and above maximum velocity the volume stays constant at the value defined in the def.

 

The decrease of the propagated volume between the max and min velocity is the spawn arg min_velocity_volume_decrease, which is currently 20 db.

 

I can convert the min and max velocities to spawn args if needed, and maybe the max vel or the volume decrease could be increased a bit along with the max volume in the def, to make the difference between low and high volume alerts a bit bigger.

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Gave some time to test/impact_alerts.map. Really hard to nail this down. My overall impression is that the extremes are problematic. On the one hand, the pot and vase are so loud that they're heard if they even bump something from across the room. This seems way too loud for enjoyable gameplay, so I'd bring that down. On the other hand, other things I'd hope I could use for diversion didn't seem loud enough. For example throwing the fork at the wall at closest pass to the AI did alert them, but didn't cause them to search. A diversion is only useful if it changes the AI's route or view angle, so in essence, you'd have to throw two things to succeed. Then again, maybe that's how it should be? We give them a noise diversion (noise arrow) for a reason. If they want to use world objects, it can be more challenging.

 

This map brought back to mind the problem where you pick something up and it self-adjusts position in the grabber, causing collision sounds, and what we can and should do about it. Where was that thread? I'll look for it.

 

Also found a potential issue if someone else can verify: AI are alerting each other with their induced collision sounds. I got them upset, then came over to reply to this thread. The whole time I was re-reading, I kept hearing the AI kicking stuff and staying full alert. After a while it was without question -- they're not calming down. Well, between watching their debug numbers and later KO'ing one guard to be sure it's between guards instead of AI alerting themselves, I think it looks like when guard A kicks something, the sound alerts guard B and vice versa. So it's like, if there's a suspiciousSound.owner (or something like that), it should be checking if owner is friendly, or if owner is the player, not just if owner is other. Make sense?

 

Edit: Wow the bottle collision or scrape sounds or physics settings are waaaaay too much. I'm just trying to set the bottle down, and while I can do so quietly with other objects, the bottle SLAMS! into the table and alerts them from all the way across the room.

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I confirm the AI are alerting each other if they accidentally kick a moveable. I'm a bit surprised because I thought the other day when I threw the cookpot in the trainer while I had notarget 1 then he ignored it. Only when I set notarget 0 did he react. That suggests there is a test but perhaps only for the player - or more likely on for deliberate acts not accidental kicks. Added it to tracker.

 

Remember these moveables are all in groups for alert sound purposes so we can only either change the whole group or move an item to another group. I'd rather not increase tiny objects like forks. I can just about accept that a guard would only mutter if a fork is thrown near his feet - but not a bowl.

 

The main problem seems to be scrapes and bumps with other objects. If I set down even a large object I can put it down near an AI carefully reasonably easily. If the code could reduce or even eliminate alert propagation for a held object it still might bump other objects and anyway, is that what we want? It could be tested by moving a medium object to the small group (or even just use a fork) and see if that is as bad.

 

We need to test increasing angua's tdm_bounce_sound_min_vel - perhaps just scraping objects around they exceed 80 at the moment.

 

Plan B: if we can't fix this in time, which potentially could be fixed after Release 1: no diversions or noisy tableware?

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I confirm the AI are alerting each other if they accidentally kick a moveable. I'm a bit surprised because I thought the other day when I threw the cookpot in the trainer while I had notarget 1 then he ignored it. Only when I set notarget 0 did he react. That suggests there is a test but perhaps only for the player - or more likely on for deliberate acts not accidental kicks. Added it to tracker.

 

I think that AI should go investigate (or at last do a "Huh? what was that noise") when another AI makes noise, however, when one AI kicks a bottle on the ground across the room, I am not sure that would be a good way to alert other AI.

 

But then, if we completely disable the alert if the AI kicks the bottle, but not the player, the AI would "cheat". It would magically know that the bottle came from the Thief instead the Guard even if both are not in view when throwing the bottle.

 

So a better check would be:

 

* noise source - can I see the person where the object came from? if no, go investigate, abort investigation if I see other AI (like gone around corner, encounter other friendly AI). if yes, check if it is player

 

Although it might be hard to code that if a bottle comes around a corner, that the AI goes looking around the corner, and then finds.. another AI. At this moment, what should it do? Ask "did you throw that"? Oh well.. :)

"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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Can we reduce scraping noise without affecting collision noise? Not sure on that. If so, the collisions can perhaps stay as they are, and simply dropping noise from scrapes a lot would solve a lot of the headaches in this area. Should be scrape scrape scrape but it's currently SLAM SLAM SLAM.

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First, we don't have any scrape sounds for props (other than the large rock scrape.)

 

Second, (and Ishtvan knows more about the physics setup than I do) detecting a scrape against a surface still isn't implemented. Right now its mainly detecting collision, friction, and velocity right now, but not direction against a surface normal.

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Getting interesting results with tdm_bounce_sound_min_vel set to 200 or 250. In test/impact_alerts.map I've moved the guards quite near the table. If you move things around on the table mostly the objects are silent. Now and again there is a collision but the guards most likely mutter 'what was that?' and pause, but don't come to investigate. Yet you can still divert them by throwing a bottle or bowl. This is the best I've seen so far for minimising accidental alerts yet allowing thrown diversions.

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Been playing around with impact_alerts and the volumes sound pretty decent to me for the most part.

 

I have no problem at all putting things down without any noise whatsoever. Picking things up makes an annoying amount of noise until you remember the secret: make sure the object you're frobbing is below the center of your screen when you hit 'frob'. The object moves towards center screen when you frob it, so if you are looking slightly above it, it will jump up in the air (silently). If you're looking slightly below it, it will bang loudly into the table. With this trick, I was able to lift most things off the table without making any noise (though I did occasionally bang something into something else nearby).

 

The only object that struck me as off was the fork. I would think a guard on the job would react more to a fork falling onto a hard stone floor, rather than the casual mutter it evokes right now.

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Been playing around with impact_alerts and the volumes sound pretty decent to me for the most part.

 

I have no problem at all putting things down without any noise whatsoever. Picking things up makes an annoying amount of noise until you remember the secret: make sure the object you're frobbing is below the center of your screen when you hit 'frob'. The object moves towards center screen when you frob it, so if you are looking slightly above it, it will jump up in the air (silently). If you're looking slightly below it, it will bang loudly into the table. With this trick, I was able to lift most things off the table without making any noise (though I did occasionally bang something into something else nearby).

 

I think it is ok when the players need to learn a few skills (e.g. get more profiient with the grabber), otherwise the game becomes to easy with no reward.

 

The only object that struck me as off was the fork. I would think a guard on the job would react more to a fork falling onto a hard stone floor, rather than the casual mutter it evokes right now.

 

It would be a loud bang-klirr-klimper and definitely heard a loong way. It doesn't so much depend on the size of the object, but also of the material. Metal fork on tile = loud with hard echos, wood bowl on carpet - almost silent.

"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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Been playing around with impact_alerts and the volumes sound pretty decent to me for the most part.

Presumably with the default tdm_bounce_sound_min_vel ?

 

...secret: make sure the object you're frobbing is below the center of your screen when you hit 'frob'. The object moves towards center screen when you frob it, so if you are looking slightly above it, it will jump up in the air (silently). If you're looking slightly below it, it will bang loudly into the table.
That sounds like a useful tip. I'll try that. If it's a learned skill then that's what gaming is about. Probably also true then to centre left and right to get the minimum 'jump to centre'. Hey! we can call this a feature.
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I'll look at the fork - or rather its 'small hard' group. It's true one can tweak each individual entity but much better to set the group or there may be inconsistencies with overlooked entities or new entities added later. You probably find a coin and a ring is in the same group. (although very tiny hard objects can be put in 'small soft' I guess. Plus this will add to the table problem. If there is a lot of small items that cause alerts it will be much harder.

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Presumably with the default tdm_bounce_sound_min_vel ?

 

Yes.

 

Probably also true then to centre left and right to get the minimum 'jump to centre'.

 

I believe so...I think that's why I was bumping other things occasionally. I'll need to test a bit more to be sure. But I'm starting to think this 'learned skill' will solve a lot of problems.

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Yes there's definitely something in this but might still be annoying to have to use a lot of skill, patience, and focus, to investigate some items on a table. I set myself the task of clearing the table, gradually moving the items one by one to the floor away from the table. I succeeded first time with tdm_bounce_sound_min_vel 150. But then I tried the default 80 and not so easy. I typically got half way or 3/4ths but if the mind wandered slightly then bump. Something like this would make a great part of the trainer.

 

You have to think in three dimensions. I select an object that is clear in front of it, highlight, centre, move back to the max while I can still highlight (so if it jumps it should move towards me) then try to look just above the object but still highlighted so it will move up as you say. But if the max frob distance is shorter than the grabber distance then I think the object is bound to spring away from you a little.

 

This is an extreme setup though. Those guards are very close to the table now and seem to move nearer as they knock that chair. The cauldron is in the large hard group so propagates the most alert. After that I found the tankard or the bottle most noisy.

 

The AI reactions were good though and seemed to fit what I was hearing.

 

I hope you or someone tries dm_bounce_sound_min_vel 150 to compare and try the test of clearing the table, possibly with just a low alert.

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It just occurred to me that I don't remember any situation in any of the many maps we've tested having an annoying situation based on this which suggests it is not that common. The banquet table in Chalice, the diner in Crown of Penitence and so on.

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