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 Post subject: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Sat 03 Oct 2015, 05:23 
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Finally got something new to show! The past few days have just been brainstorming and setting up boring menu stuff, but today's coding was great. I added waypoint and guard spawning locations to the map editor. These will be used in the upcoming campaign and Stealth game mode. Basically you can set a location of a guard, and then set a series of waypoints for him to follow. You can configure how long he stands at each waypoint and in what direction he will look when he gets there. Because the guard AI will have cone-shaped vision players can learn these movement patterns and strike at the right moment when the guards back is turned. Check out these piccies!

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Sun 04 Oct 2015, 03:10 
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Glorious progress! Do the gangsters immediately turn towards the next waypoint, and is there an option to have them look somewhere seperate to which way they're traveling? (IE, someone walking by who wants to check side corridors while moving.)

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Sun 04 Oct 2015, 04:41 
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I haven't actually coded in the AI part yet, just doing map editor stuff. Here's how you'll basically set up a map:

Image

So you'll have a map like this (obviously just a shitty test map). There are 4 bombs, but 3 of them are white. What's it mean? These are purely checkpoints. No swarm, no zombies, no explosion. Simply walk into it and it beeps. The yellow bomb is a normal Outbreak bomb, which I've put at the end as the "final showdown". You can see the settings I've configured for it.

So what's the point of a checkpoint then if there are no zombies? Well it does 2 main things. Firstly whenever you die you will respawn at the previous checkpoint. So this will be very useful as the maps get longer and harder. But the other thing it does is controls which guards spawn and when. Check it:

Image

Notice how all of these guards have a 1 on them? Up the top this is configured by the "Protecting Bomb" slider. Basically what this means is that these guards will spawn as soon as bomb number 1 becomes active. So you go through the map in stages:

1) You start a new bomb and all the guards for that bomb spawn into existence. They come in at the exact location set, wait for the exact time, then follow their waypoint paths exactly. You can see you also configure their weapon, damage, health, etc.

2) You must kill all the guards for that bomb before you are allowed to trigger it. This bomb has 5 guards and will display with a dot for each guard still alive. Once you've killed all the guards you can trigger the bomb.

3) When you trigger the bomb zombies will spawn and you fight them as per usual Outbreak rules till the bomb explodes. If it's a checkpoint the bomb doesn't explode, it just beeps.. but it's as if you've finished the bomb instantly.

4) Repeat.

Now you can see I've given an example of how to actually take out these guards. The most important mechanics of how guards work are:

1) Guards follow waypoints religiously. If you die and respawn at the last checkpoint, the guards will respawn to their exact starting locations. They will always move in the same way. This precision allows map makers to set up "puzzles" of guard movement that you must figure out.

2) Guards have directional vision, unlike players, zombies and gangsters. They will probably be displayed with a cone to show their field of view. If you stand behind one they won't attack you unless their waypoint makes them turn around to see you. They'll notice you if they get damaged or hear a gunshot too. Gotta be stealthy!

3) Guards also require a direct line of sight to see you. So you can see I've placed some boxes there for you to hide behind. This gives you the advantage as you can see over the 2m box but the guards cannot. So you can hide behind the box, wait for him to come down (1.2s), then stand there for 2s, then when he turns around you can rush up for the knife in the back.

4) Guards are hard! They're not like gangsters. Also guards are treated the same as human players when it comes to weapon and skill damage multipliers. This is to train newbies on the general effectiveness of skills and weapons in PvP combat. Guards can have configured health and damage, but for the most part I'd like to keep these at default. 100hp is good so players get a feel for how many UZI shots to kill a player etc.. the damage multipler can be changed for difficulty controls. Point is, guards are hard. You WILL die to a point blank M3 blast to the face unless you time your attack right.

5) When you kill a guard he will drop the weapon he's carrying with the specified amount of ammo. This again gives map makers huge control. You can see I've given that first guard down the bottom 30 ammo, which in an M3 (with 8 bullets per clip) would translate into 3 clips and then 6 bullets in the clip. Although if I was doing this properly I'd probably only make the M3 drop with 4 bullets in it or something to make it a lot harder. So you have to knife this dude, grab his M3, then with your 4 bullets kill the next guy, then take his gun cause the M3 will run outta ammo, etc etc..

6) You can see these Diff 1, 2, 3, 4 and Play 1, 2, 3, 4 checkboxes. These are filters that must be met for the guard to spawn. They stand for difficulty and players. So for example I might place a guard and check all 4 difficulty boxes. But next to him I might place another guard and only check difficulty 3 (hardcore) and difficulty 4 (insane). This means that this extra guard will only show up if you're playing a round on those difficulty settings, making the game harder.

What's even cooler is the players checkboxes. This allows map makers to set up TRUE COOPERATIVE SCENARIOS!!!!!one How do I mean? Well in singleplayer you might have just 1 guard. But if there are 2 players in the server you might have 2 guards, which happen to be criss crossing their waypoints. These 2 guards might be configured to be IMPOSSIBLE for a single player to take out, you'd kill one but die to the other. But because there are 2 of you (and the map maker knows this) you will be able to both shoot your own target at the same time and take them both out by working together. Holy shit this is going to be cool. There is SO much potential here. Well made maps will be really fun to play coop and 1, 2, 3 and 4+ player games will all feel completely different and require different strats to figure out. HUNNNGH, the coop is real!

Image

Ok now just to give an example of the level of control map makers have here. I didn't actually think about these values, I just placed whatever down, but it actually happens to work out well anyway. I will try and explain the madness of my maths and show you how to solve this "puzzle".

1) You (purple line) finish off the first bomb and move onto the next stage, hiding behind the box. I have made sure from the previous bomb you have no weapons. Only your knife. Also both of these guards are armed with Photon Beams with x9001 damage multipliers. Basically if they see you AT ALL, you are instantly dead. So you need to get 2 knifey knifey backstabs without being seen.

2) First of all you need to hide for as long as these guys are looking your way. From the random values I tossed down this works out to 8s. The first 3s are covered by the guard on the left, then as soon as he turns south the guard on the right turns around and starts coming your way. The map editor conveniently shows that this will take 2s and then he'll look left for another 3s. Total wait time of 8s.

3) Then you finally get your chance, but you need to be fast! The guard down the bottom is already heading to the right and he will start heading north in exactly 1.7s. Once he starts heading north he'll see you and kill you. So what you need to do is sprint across to quickly knife the top guy in the back, then run back to the box for safety, and wait for the other guard to loop around. Alternatively you could try knife the top dude in the back, then loop around to knife the other guy as well, but you'll need to do it all in under 1.7s. Again, these values are completely random but the puzzle works out anyway. But this would be a great opportunity for the map maker to provide the player with Level 1 Teleport just before the puzzle. This way players would be able to utilize the teleport skill to close the distance in just the nick of time, and score signficantly faster on speedruns.

Anyway this is all still very much in development but you get the idea. It won't all be puzzles like this of course, it's all up to the map maker. You could just spawn a Minigun on the ground and then chuck 20 guards to mow down. Good maps will have a nice blend of action and stealth. Should make for a pretty fun singleplayer mode I think!

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 05 Oct 2015, 04:10 
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Another good day of coding today! Today I did 3 main things:

1) I got the guard LOS system working. You can now sneak up behind guards and they won't see you until you enter their cone of vision. Once a guard sees you the cone indicator will disappear and the guard will gain full 360 degree vision for the next 5s.

Image

2) I reworked the ammo system a little bit and made it a bit more user friendly. It still works on a clip system in the sense that if you reload you lose all remaining bullets in the clip. But you can now pick up individual bullets and add them to your supply. This means you can have an "odd number" of bullets in supply so that your final reload will only give you whatever is left. To make this easier to see I've changed the weapon display to now show total remaining bullets instead of remaining clips. As you can see I have 30 + 104 remaining bullets in my AK.

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3) I made the display of weapons on the ground better. Weapons which have ammo in them now display larger, with a white glow, and they spin around in circles too. You want these weapons to be easily visible because you can always take ammo from them, unlike before. When a weapon is completely empty it shows as before:

Image

The reason for all of this change was to make the guard killing gameplay ultra smooth. To give a good challenge each guard will normally drop a gun with only a few bullets in it. Before this would have been a hassle as you'd need to manually pick each gun up (because if it had 4 bullets in it none of those bullets would transfer, only whole clips did). Now you can just grab the first guys gun and then blast your way through them all, picking up the ammo automatically wherever you see a glowing spinny shotgun and ignoring all the rest.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 05 Oct 2015, 04:16 
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Quick questions: will the guards drop guns that will always have the full ammo, or will they run the gun dry if you let them keep shooting?
Any difference in appearance between superweapons and regular weapons now that both have the white glow?
Wouldn't the spinning and glow be very distracting in PvP?

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 05 Oct 2015, 04:30 
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Guards have infinite ammo, and when they die the gun is dropped with the exact configurable amount.

Supweapons now have a green glow (energize is still yellow). And as for PvP I don't think it's distracting. I think it's quite a bit better actually, as it's easier to find the weapons especially when they're covered in blood decals and stuff. Easier for newbies too :)

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2015, 02:26 
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Got the guards actually following waypoints now!

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Wed 07 Oct 2015, 02:25 
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Rawr gimma donationz z linkz nowz

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2015, 05:12 
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Did a bit of streaming today to show off what I've got so far, you can check it out here (there is no sound cause of Coldplay copyright. Next time I'll turn off music to get the sound effects going): http://www.twitch.tv/bencelot/v/19639244

Skip to 4:20 for when I finally get past the first stage :D

Image

So this is still very early days, I need to do lots more graphical work, plus add in pickupable weapons/skills/cash/hp/mana etc etc... and then of course use actual maps and make an entire campaign out of it! But I'm getting there and finally at a point where the mode is playable.

The core "stealth" mechanic is shown in this video and I think it's pretty fun! You can see how I configured the guards in the map editor and then how they patrol those points in the game. I didn't put much thought into the patrol points yet though. The only "puzzle" that I put in is on stage 1, where you can kill a dude, grab his grenade, and then can use the sound of the exploding grenade to make the flamethrower guard turn so you can get behind him. But that's super simple stuff.. just wait till skills get involved! But yeah you get the idea.

What I need to do is think up some overall arching goal as well. Like the way I think I'm going to do it is have a few points on each map (note this map is tiny, on a map like Downtown there will be way more stages). And the FINAL bomb will be a zombie one, as a kind of showdown. Now what I've got so far is that you cannot buy guns anywhere except from a zombie-enabled bomb which will be at the end. So I think I'd like to have some sort of system where you earn bonus cash for every assassination you make against a guard. If you can kill him without him seeing you (and going red) then you get +$1000 or something. This will be good because I can balance the rounds just right so that if you get a flawless run you'll reach the Outbreak bomb with over $10,000 and be able to purchase a superweapon for super fast zombie killing, which is good for speedruns :) Anyway that's a long ways off yet but all ideas are welcome!

For skills I've decided that in this game mode you will never ever unlock skills. All skills will be provided by the map maker and picked up off the ground. This has two main benefits. Firstly it gives map makers total control, and prevents someone exploiting the map with Invis or something. Secondly it makes things a lot simpler for newbies (this is a glorified tutorial afterall). No need to read a shitload of skill descriptions. Just pick up and go! But for weapons/chemicals/vehicles I do think being able to buy them is important. That will be a good thing to learn. Just gotta figure out a good way to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 04:29 
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More sexyness today. I added a whole bunch of spawnable objects. We have health kits, mana pots, weapons, vehicles, chemicals and cash piles! Map makers have so much control over how the game plays now. Just like the guards that protect them, these objects can be configured to spawn on certain checkpoints and for certain difficulty levels. So in the standard difficulty you might discover an MP5 with 60 bullets in it, but on Insane difficulty you might only find a Deagle, or nothing at all!

There is a special rule for how all of these discoverable objects work with co-op. They can be picked up by all players. So if there is a mana pot then ALL players can use this mana pot once each. Same for weapons, cash piles etc. Vehicles are the only exception as there is only 1 vehicle spawned, but seeing as players can ride shotgun in a vehicle anyway it's all good. The whole point of this is to encourage cooperation and prevent one player from taking all the loot away from their allies.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 05:41 
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bencelot wrote:
There is a special rule for how all of these discoverable objects work with co-op. They can be picked up by all players. So if there is a mana pot then ALL players can use this mana pot once each. Same for weapons, cash piles etc. Vehicles are the only exception as there is only 1 vehicle spawned, but seeing as players can ride shotgun in a vehicle anyway it's all good. The whole point of this is to encourage cooperation and prevent one player from taking all the loot away from their allies.

http://i.imgur.com/P9EXj1E.jpg

That means if I can't place 1 shotgun, 1 ruger and hope 2 players will decide between them who will take what according to the situation ahead, they can both take the same gun.

Gotta say the syringe still looks like a sword and the flask still looks kinda plastic as Qwerty said. No idea what the syringe does.
Medkit must be health, I assume that blue blob is for mana? Its not immediately obvious.
And I personally thought the gold coin pile was alchemic acid, should probably use the cash texture instead of gold coin texture, or at least spread the coins out a bit so they don't look like golden bubbles.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct 2015, 07:44 
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That means if I can't place 1 shotgun, 1 ruger and hope 2 players will decide between them who will take what according to the situation ahead, they can both take the same gun.


I considered this but I think it's ok. Consider that you can only hold 1 primary weapon at a time anyway. So you could design plenty of coop situations that require one dude to have a Ruger and the other to have a Shotgun. If they both take the shotgun they'll die to the long range guard, and if they both take the Ruger they'll die to the close range guards. So players will still need to coordinate like this.

I'll see what I can do about the textures. I originally was going to use the chemical backpack for chemicals, but it did'nt look so good. I'll try make the existing textures better but the most important thing is that they stand out and are easy to tell apart, which I think they are.

Btw the syringe is simply how you pick up a skill. Story-wise you inject the syringe into your veins and mutate to develop whatever skill it provides.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct 2015, 05:35 
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New video, this time with sound and talking and stuff! Today I worked on the cash system and added KILL COMBOS!! Check it out :D

http://www.twitch.tv/bencelot/v/20308260

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct 2015, 09:07 
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bencelot wrote:
New video, this time with sound and talking and stuff! Today I worked on the cash system and added KILL COMBOS!! Check it out :D
http://www.twitch.tv/bencelot/v/20308260

Sexy voice bence (its kinda muffled due to the mic though).

Summary of video:
1) You earn a cash amount for killing a guard.
2) If you kill a guard without him or another guard being alerted of your presence, you gain x2 the amount. (If a 2nd guard is alerted AFTER you kill the 1st, you'd still be awarded stealth kill)
3) If you kill 2 guards in a row (combo kills), you gain x1 for the first guard, and x2 for the 2nd guard.
4) Every successive stealth/combo kill adds x1 multiplier each.

My Comments:
* It seems the amount of cash you earned is saved once you reach a checkpoint.
* Weapons dropped from guards aren't saved, only pickups are. However, I notice that pickups for the previous checkpoint will also respawn, which seems exploitable if it is kept in the final release. Would be nice if you can control whether pickups continue to respawn even when the next checkpoint is reached.
* Currently flashbang doesn't alter the guards' vision to show they are blinded; its still blue lines even if you walked infront of them when they are blinded. I'm guessing flashbang will now only work on the guards only if they can see it instead of 360 like before.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct 2015, 16:13 
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Quote:
Summary of video:
1) You earn a cash amount for killing a guard.
2) If you kill a guard without him or another guard being alerted of your presence, you gain x2 the amount. (If a 2nd guard is alerted AFTER you kill the 1st, you'd still be awarded stealth kill)
3) If you kill 2 guards in a row (combo kills), you gain x1 for the first guard, and x2 for the 2nd guard.
4) Every successive stealth/combo kill adds x1 multiplier each.


Just to clarify how it works:

1) Each guard will drop a configurable amount of cash, defaulting to $100.
2) However though stealth and combo kills you can get a multiplier on this amount. Every stealth kill increases the multiplier by 2, and every normal kill increases it by 1. The multiplier is increased when you get a kill, then multiplied with the $100.
3) If you don't get a kill for 3s then the kill combo times out and the multiplier goes back to 0 (to become x1 on your next kill for a normal payout).

So if you kill 3 guys in a row over a long period of time you will get:
100 + 100 + 100 = 300

If you kill 3 guys fast though (within 3s of each kill) you get:
100 + 200 + 300 = 600

If you kill 3 guys fast AND no one sees you (no lines turn red) you get:
200 + 400 + 600 = 1200

You can see how this scales drastically, and it is something map makers should keep in mind. But in general good maps should be designed so that they can be completed in an easy lazy way which will award little cash, but also in an advanced stealthy way which will earn a lot more. We want to reward players for being sneaky as that's just a lot more fun, and the final cash payout should be significant enough that when you reach the zombie bomb the cash different makes a difference (eg, over $10,000 if you play well, under $5000 if you don't).

Quote:
My Comments:
* It seems the amount of cash you earned is saved once you reach a checkpoint.
* Weapons dropped from guards aren't saved, only pickups are. However, I notice that pickups for the previous checkpoint will also respawn, which seems exploitable if it is kept in the final release. Would be nice if you can control whether pickups continue to respawn even when the next checkpoint is reached.
* Currently flashbang doesn't alter the guards' vision to show they are blinded; its still blue lines even if you walked infront of them when they are blinded. I'm guessing flashbang will now only work on the guards only if they can see it instead of 360 like before.


1) Correct, the cash you earn is saved on each checkpoint. When you die your cash goes back to this value. This is because all the guards are going to respawn and you could simply keep farming them for cash otherwise. So everything simply rewinds.
2) Pickup respawning (weapons, health, cash, mana, vehicles, chemicals, skills) works in 2 different ways. If you die then all pickups for the CURRENT bomb will respawn. This is because you might need those to actually solve the puzzle and map makers need to be guaranteed that they will come back. But pickups for PREVIOUS bombs won't respawn. They will simply chill there but once you pick them up they stay picked up forever.

The idea is that each checkpoint is a puzzle and map makers need to provide everything that you need to complete it on that stage (with the exception of skills, because they are permanent. Everything else gets deleted though). If you don't die you can keep using the equipment from previous stages, b ut it'll never be absolutely needed.

3) I haven't really worked out flashbangs yet, but I agree that there should be some visual indication when they are flashed and/or blinded.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct 2015, 16:36 
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One thing I need to consider is how this will work in co-op mode. Should players have their own individual kill combos or should they be shared between the team?

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct 2015, 12:49 
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Should players have their own individual kill combos or should they be shared between the team?

Individual, as with a team you can premeditate elaborate kill combos that would be impossible with one person. The only way this would work is if the leaderboard is like the new speedruns, divided by how many people were playing.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct 2015, 15:54 
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The leaderboards will be like the new speedruns, divided by maps and players. It has to be this way I think. Also the map maker can configure different guards and objects to spawn based on the number of players, so the map could be completely different.

So seeing as the leaderboards will be split by players anyway, I think it might be a good idea. Pretty much for the exact reason you suggested, players can cooperate more. It'd be awesome if 4 players all sneak into position behind some guards, and then all shoot at the same time for a clean 4x combo. Also on the flip side it would probably be annoying to have someone killsteal a guard from you and cause your combo to time out. But when shared the combo will be kept alive for the whole team. The cash will only go towards the guy who gets the actual kill, but the timer would be shared to keep the combo alive.

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct 2015, 17:56 
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Its late, can't really think, but thought I'd bring up some points for discussion.
bencelot wrote:
Also on the flip side it would probably be annoying to have someone killsteal a guard from you and cause your combo to time out. But when shared the combo will be kept alive for the whole team. The cash will only go towards the guy who gets the actual kill, but the timer would be shared to keep the combo alive.

1) Might end up arguing over a role because one role may have more kill opportunities.
The responsibility is on the mapmaker to design, but remember that players can be more creative than expected and end up creating a strategy where a certain role does indeed become better.

2) Exploiting the combo meter selfishly.
* Team of 3 kills 3 guards in a combo.
* A earns 100. B earns 200. C earns 300.
* Therefore no one in the team wants to be the first to kill the guard because he'd earn less.
This issue can be solved if the cash awarded from existing kills is topped up as the combo goes up. (ie: if A kills first, he gets 100 immediately, and then when B kills, A gets an additional 100 topup)


Suppose if monetary award is completely communist in nature.
* Regardless who kills, everyone gets 100, multiplied by the combo.
* No argument over roles, only over strategies. No one left behind.
* If the whole team does well, everyone can get a superweapon at the end. Too snowbally?

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 Post subject: Re: Guard Waypoints!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct 2015, 18:28 
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Joined: Sat 14 Mar 2009, 17:50
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Gender: Male
I did consider these but I don't think it's such a big problem for 2 main reasons:

1) This is purely co-op so you're not really competing against anyone anyway. Either this mode is played singleplayer for the campaign, or it's played coop for the speedruns. And if you're playing for a speedrun all that matters is the end time, so you should do whatever is necessary to work as a team. One person earning a bit more money might actually be desirable for this end goal because it might give them just enough cash to tip over the superweapon threshold and drastically speed up the end game zombie stage.

2) Cash ultimately is used for the sole purpose of buying weapons and stuff at the end of the round, and this can all be shared. If we're playing we can let you get most of the kills against guards, but have you drop us some weapons when we get to the zombie bomb. If you end up with 6000 you're much better off buying both you and me a tier 2 gun, than you using a tier 2 gun and me using a tier 1 gun (or nothing at all).

I think that these 2 points (the ability to share items with a shared cooperative goal) mean this won't be such a big issue. But it's hard to tell till we try it. I do think that the teams that get the best speedrun times will need to cooperate and will come up with guard killing strategies that ulitmately result in the fastest time.

The only real form of competition is how the names are ordered in the leaderboards, which we could probably look into. I'm not sure how score will work yet, but I'm thinking 10 points per guard kill and 1 point per soul like in Outbreak.

If it does turn out to be an issue then we can always change things though. Perhaps a purely shared money pool is the way to do it, but we'll see. I kinda like the idea of creatively figuring out a way so that one person intentionally gets enough cash to buy a toxic bullets for example and then buffs the whole teams weapons against the zombies. This wouldn't be possible with pure cash sharing (or if it was it'd be pretty OP I think).

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Creator of Geneshift and Nik Nak Studios. Hope you enjoy the game!


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