Guard Waypoints!

Sat 03 Oct 2015, 05:23 by bencelot



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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59 Comments


Asterparity says:

Sun 04 Oct 2015, 03:10


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.)


bencelot says:

Sun 04 Oct 2015, 04:41


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:

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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:

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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!

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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!


bencelot says:

Mon 05 Oct 2015, 04:10


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.

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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:

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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.


STM1993 says:

Mon 05 Oct 2015, 04:16


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?


bencelot says:

Mon 05 Oct 2015, 04:30


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 :)


bencelot says:

Tue 06 Oct 2015, 02:26


Got the guards actually following waypoints now!


Speculation says:

Wed 07 Oct 2015, 02:25


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bencelot says:

Thu 08 Oct 2015, 05:12


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

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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.


bencelot says:

Sun 11 Oct 2015, 04:29


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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STM1993 says:

Sun 11 Oct 2015, 05:41


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.


bencelot says:

Sun 11 Oct 2015, 07:44


Quote:
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.


bencelot says:

Mon 12 Oct 2015, 05:35


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


STM1993 says:

Mon 12 Oct 2015, 09:07


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.


bencelot says:

Mon 12 Oct 2015, 16:13


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.


bencelot says:

Mon 12 Oct 2015, 16:36


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?


Asterparity says:

Tue 13 Oct 2015, 12:49


Quote:
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.


bencelot says:

Tue 13 Oct 2015, 15:54


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.


STM1993 says:

Tue 13 Oct 2015, 17:56


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?


bencelot says:

Tue 13 Oct 2015, 18:28


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).


bencelot says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 04:03


We have a new entry! Any guesses??

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Also been working on the logic for picking up skills and chemicals. This is designed with both newbies and veterans in mind. Each account will have a record of which skills and chemicals they have picked up in the past. If a new skill or chemical is picked up then a box will popup and describe it. This will only happen once though, afterwards no popup will appear. You can see that I've decided to cut down the information displayed for skills to the bare minimum. I don't want to overwhelm newbies with text and numbers that they're just going to forget. A simple description of the skill is all that's needed to give them a general idea, they can always get more information when they hold ALT.

Also when this popup box is opened you will be immune to AI. Bots will not aim at you or be able to damage you in any way. This could probably be exploited, but as you only get the popup box once per skill/chemical it won't be much of an issue. Would take up time in speedruns anyway.

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This really is the entire purpose of this game mode though - a way to dripfeed all of the complex content to newbies. No longer will newbies be tossed into a PvP game to get slaughtered while they're hesitantly trying to read through 33 skill descriptions. When complete this singleplayer campaign will be the ultimate tutorial, and will let newbies explore and get excited about all the aweome content in the game at a slow and steady pace :D

What I need to think about and would love some suggestions for, is what ORDER should all the stuff be given to newbies? Obviously I'm not going to make a skill like Parasite Swarm be the first skill to learn. It should be something really simple and intuitive. I'm thinking Plasma Ball might be nice. Thoughts?


STM1993 says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 05:19


bencelot wrote:
We have a new entry! Any guesses??

Red DNA... probably a free skillpoint to level an unlocked skill of your choice as opposed to being forced to gain a specific skill.

bencelot wrote:
What I need to think about and would love some suggestions for, is what ORDER should all the stuff be given to newbies? Obviously I'm not going to make a skill like Parasite Swarm be the first skill to learn. It should be something really simple and intuitive. I'm thinking Plasma Ball might be nice. Thoughts?

Plasma Ball is good for the 1st skill. Just remember to teach that it is better to use it further away; the penalty is self-explanatory.
Self Repair is probably a decent 2nd skill. It heals in case a newbie makes a bad mistake and it teaches the concept of toggling.
Energize -> Phasic Bullets would be pretty fun for singleplayer, but most importantly introduces Energize for players who may have trouble aiming in PvP.

Physical could go next for teaching raw combat skills as opposed to very stealthy play. You can't really go for stealth kills for this portion, at least not until you finish the entire tutorial and unlock Mentals (so you can redo it for the stealth).

Mental could be last, starting with Invisibility. The trick is to teach newbies how to use invisibility properly (turn off, wait for penalty, attack). Should also teach the newbie to turn invisible when out of sight as opposed to when the guard can clearly see you, so the guard should continue to attack blindly if he sees you turn invisible as opposed to going behind a wall before turning invisible. Teleportation seems like a skill that could easily bypass a lot of tutorial stages, so I'd recommend leaving that for last. (EDIT: Also gonna point out that Regeneration's penalty feels very counter-intuitive to stealth)


GelatinOverlord says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 07:08


Forcefields would also be good if you want to teach defensive tactics (running down a hallway with forcefields blocking a volley or something, idk), though the same could be done with normal barrier.. The two projectile skills are a bit more active when it comes to teaching compared to Bladefury or Bullet time (or energize lel), so it'd probably be good to have at least one of them.


bencelot says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 18:01


Good suggestions! There is a hell of a lot to teach these newbies, but I'm sure it can be done. I do think that going for the most intutive skills first is the way to do things, so as you guys say SR, Plasma, Force Fields, Invis, Teleport. These are all very simple and intutive. We can start introducing complex stuff like Static Charges at later stages.

Quote:
Red DNA... probably a free skillpoint to level an unlocked skill of your choice as opposed to being forced to gain a specific skill.


Correctamundo! It simply increases you to the next level, thus giving you an extra skill point. You don't earn XP from guards, but you can from these red vials (and also zombies at the end of the round).

What I am wondering about though is when you get one of these vials should you be able to unlock ANY of the skills? Or just the ones you've discovered so far? I can see pros and cons for both:

Reasons to restrict skills to only the ones you've discovered:
1) Less confusing/overwhelming for newbies. They won't need to read through 33 skill descriptions and wonder what half of this stuff does. They'll only be able to level something they've already discovered, and thus already know what it does.
2) Adds a fun sense of progression. You actively get excited whenever you discover a new skill lying on the ground because it'll become available to you for the first time. Whereas if you have access to all 33 skills from the very start it's not really a big deal, you could have already used it before. No excitement, no mystery. Finding a new skill doesn't just unlock that skill for that round, but for the entire game!
3) It ensures that a newbies first impression of every skill is a good one. They will only be able to unlock Vampirism when I want them to, and only when the map/puzzle is designed with Vampirism in mind. Their first impression of Vamp is therefore guaranteed to be a good one where they can actually use it as intended. If instead I let them just randomly unlock it whenever they kill their first zombie and get some XP, they might get Vampirism and have no idea what it does, and wonder why on earth it's not working against zombies.

Reasons to make all skills available from the very start:
1) It's better for veterans who already know how everything works and just want to create their skill build as needed for the zombie stage.
2) There aren't any issues with maps being played out of order. I mean a newbie could join an online stealth game as their first experience instead of playing through the campaign in the correct order. With unlockable skills this might get confusing where they start off on level 8 and gain access to Invis, while the campaign is designed so that Invis shouldn't be available for the first few levels.

I dunno, thoughts welcome! Another thing I'm thinking about is should this unlock system be applied to vehicles/chemicals/weapons too? So they are restricted in the buy menu until you discover them on the ground? It has all the same pros and cons as skills above I believe, and would probably be better for consistency eitherway.

Finally, if you do pickup a new weapon or vehicle for the first time, should this popup appear and explain it a bit? There's not really much to say but we could do something like show it's raw DPS, movement speed and accuracy or something. And then maybe have a 1 sentence blurb as a tip. For example:

Quote:
New Weapon Unlocked!

(icon) AK47 $1000

DPS: 180hp/s
Movement speed: 90%
Clip Size: 30 bullets

TIP: Use barrier (CTRL) for accuracy and fire in short, sharp bursts.


or

Quote:
New Vehicle Unlocked!

(icon) Gallant $2000

Max Speed: 40 m/s
Health: 1000hp
Passengers: 2

The Gallant is a defensive all-rounder capable of withstanding bazooka fire.


Just like the skills and chemicals this would show up just once, just the first time you pickup./enter the weapon/vehicle. Again, pros/cons:

Pros:
1) Consistent with skills.
2) Really makes the entire singleplayer mode feel a lot more "complete" due to this sense of progression. Whenever you discover ANY new piece of content it's exciting as it's the first time you can use it and you now know it's available for the rest of the game.
3) It's a good opportunity to teach even more stuff.
4) Just makes it more exciting whenever you discover something new.

Cons:
1) Might be annoying to have a popup for every single new thing you discover in the game (only happens once though).


Thoughts? I'm clearly leaning towards yes on this, and think it'll be pretty good from a newbies point of view. Not only do we get to teach everything, but the game mode feels complete. If Total Buscuit for example decides to review MF and there is no one else online at the time, he's going to be looking at this campaign mode. What will he say? I think with this system the whole game feels a lot more complete with the sense of progression. Discovering anything new is exciting because it's the first time you get to use it, but from now on you have access to it in the skill and buy menus. It taps into that whole "leveling up" progression that Mutant Factions is all about, but does it in a controlled way. Furthermore it teaches as much information as possible, but instead of being a big slab of text it's drip fed to you in a new and exciting way.

THOUGHTS?! If you guys like this I'd love to help on what the descriptions should be for all the weapons and vehicles. Short and sweet.


bencelot says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 18:13


I was thinking for the weapon descriptions I could even frame it in the same way as skills, with a benefit and a penalty/ So like:

Barrett:

Perfect sniper with a long range and high bullet damage. Bullets deal more damage the further they travel.

Has a very low rate of fire and slow movement speed, making you vulnerable at close range.
(


bencelot says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 20:09


Ok I'm pretty sold on this idea now and I think I've worked out all the potential issues with it. Here's how it will work:

1) The campaign will simply be 10 official maps strung together in a particular order. There will be some light elements of story but mostly it will just be good fun puzzles organised in an increasingly difficult way (level 1 teaches Self Repair with just a few dudes to kill, level 10 teaches Parasite Swarm and has 50 dudes to kill). These will not be the exact official maps, but close copies. Asylum will be played in the 5 existing game modes, and a new official map called AsylumST will only be available in Stealth mode. It will be basically the same as Asylum just with a few tweaks to make it more linear.

2) All 10 of these new official maps will also be available for multiplayer play. You can do speedruns on them and play them co-op as well, just like Outbreak behaves at the moment. The story elements will be stripped out but all the puzzles and gameplay will be exactly the same. Players can join these servers and play these maps and in any order regardless of if they have or haven't played the campaign. When a newbie creates a new account they will be suggested to play the singleplayer campaign first, but if they insist on playing an online multiplayer game then the Stealth game mode will be reccommended to them at the top of the lobby.

3) The skill/weapon/vehicle/chemical unlocks will be based on your account and not the map. Whether you're playing the singleplayer campaign or you're playing a Stealth mode with others online, you can only access what you've already unlocked. This means that a newbie could potentially join an online game as their first experience and the map just so happens to be DowntownST. DowntownST might happen to be the 7th level in the campaign and feature puzzles that use Stolen Seekers and the Barrett. This is not as ideal as them playing the campaign first, but I can't control what they do, and it's a hell of a lot better than joining a full-on PvP game as their first experience.

4) So they will play this DowntownST map and the map will give them Stolen Seekers and the Barrett which are all that's really necessary to complete the level. From this point on they will ALWAYS have access to Barrett and Stolen Seekers. Even if they go and start playing the campaign, they will have access to Barrett and Stolen Seekers from level 1. This is ok though because level 1 will be designed with this in mind anyway. ALL levels, even level 1, will be designed to work with all possible unlocks. Afterall I want these levels to work in regular multiplayer speedruns, which vets should be able to play over and over again. It would be annoying for a vet if the online server switches to AsylumST (level 1 in the campaign) and then be restricted to just a few skills. You already know how everything works, and there is more potential variety if you are able to use all of it.

Furthermore there is extra replayability for the campaign this way too. You can play through the campaign once and unlock things as you go, but then when you finish the campaign you can play through it again and NOW you have access to everything! Whereas you might have been restricted to just Self Repair and Plasma Ball the first time through, on the replay you now have access to Invis and Teleport as well! This basically doubles the playtime of the campaign mode.

5) So how can map makers design maps when it's possible a veteran will be playing on them and have access to all weapons/skills/vehicle/chemicals? Surely the fact that a veteran has Invis unlocked is going to ruin all of your perfectly crafted puzzles, right? Wrong! Why?? Because map makers can control the location of buy zones and the red XP vials. It's that simple. Even if a vet has unlocked every weapon and skill in the game it doesn't mean anything if the map maker chooses not to give you a vial or a buy zone to use it. Without vials or buy zones you don't have access to any of this stuff anyway.

So let me give you an example. Suppose I want to design a map to teach the use of Roadster. Maybe this is on TurbineST which might be level 3 or something, and the "puzzle" is that you need to use a Roadster to jump across those massive jumps over the water. I've edited the map to close down the central bridge so only with a roadster can you get across. Now you might think "but if they've got teleportation then they'll just use that instead". But the simple trick will be to not place the red XP vial until AFTER the jump. So even though a vet might have Teleportation available, they can't actually get the skill until I give them some XP to level it up anyway. So I simply put the roadster in the map and don't put the red vial until after the jump. Then they are free to level anything they want, but I don't care because the puzzle has already been solved.

Basically maps will be designed to last about 20 minutes each and might consist of 5 stages each. The first 3 stages will be purely checkpoints, and thus you won't be able to buy anything anyway. You can only use what the map maker gives you and are no ways to break the puzzles. These first 3 stages will have fairly "puzzly" gameplay and focus on challenges to get around the guards only using what's available to you. Then maybe after stage 3 I put an XP vial down which gives you a free skill point. Now at this stage you are free to unlock whatever you've got available, but as a map maker I don't care anymore. You've already gone through the "puzzle" stage and now I don't mind if you get Invis or Teleport as there's nothing left to break. Maybe the 4th stage is just a good ol' fashioned shootout. It's not really focussed on Stealth and sneakiness and puzzle solving. It's just you vs 20 heavily armed guards and you can take them out however you please. No skill is so powerful to break this stage so it's all good anyway. Then finally we have the zombie stage, where I don't care what you use either. Use whatever you've got avaialbe to you, because you're effectively just playing Outbreak at this point and everything is already balanced to accomodate all possible skills and weapons.

So yeah, I think it's all good this way. I am really excited for this idea. It ties everything together with a great progression/unlock mechanic and it teaches all the content in a step-by-step manner. It will be glorious!


STM1993 says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 20:34


bencelot wrote:
Because map makers can control the location of buy zones and the red XP vials. It's that simple. Even if a vet has unlocked every weapon and skill in the game it doesn't mean anything if the map maker chooses not to give you a vial or a buy zone to use it. Without vials or buy zones you don't have access to any of this stuff anyway.

Ah, I forgot that its QM and that your levels will restart on each new level. I presume its lvl 0 instead of 5? Else can still unlock say, radiate or FF immediately. Particularly hard to account for the latter.


bencelot says:

Thu 15 Oct 2015, 21:37


Yup exactly, Stealth mode will always be QM and you'll always start at level 0 instead of 5. As you say you can't start at level 5 or else people will just get Invis straight away and ruin all the puzzles. Furthermore it can't be PM for the same reason, and also I want to eventually teach all 33 skills, and PM would mean you'd end up having to toggle 15 actives which would be horrible for newbies.

So you start at level 0 and guards don't award XP. The ONLY way you'll ever actually get a skillpoint then is if you pick up a red vial, or you get to the zombie stage. So map makers have complete control if/when players are able to start investing their own skills, and simply won't provide any zombie zones or XP vials if they fear it'll ruin one of their puzzles.

Also whenever you pick up a skill the game will allocate the required XP for you. So if you pick up Plasma Ball level 3, the game will give you 3 levels but then instantly spend those skill points on Plasma Ball. So you'll become level 3 but have no remaining skill points. This way when you do pick up a red vial you'll move up to level 4 and have 1 remaining point as expected.

If you are given a higher level skill like Teleportation, the game will "cheat" the system and level up Teleportation even though you technically won't have enough mental skill points.


bencelot says:

Sat 17 Oct 2015, 22:41


Alllrighty! I'm now 100% done with these spawnable objects. Good times! If you see an object which you haven't unlocked before it will display with a green glow surrounding it. When you walk into it a popup box will show telling you it's been unlocked and giving you a bit of information about it. This will happen only once per item and from that point on it will always be available to unlock/purchase the skill/chemical/weapon/vehicle. Add it all up and you get 80 unlockable items which I shall spread throughout the entire campaign. Most of these items will be positioned in situations that require you to use them right to solve the puzzle. A few items (such as super weapons) will be hidden in difficult to reach places, and will only become unlocked if players can find them! Will be fun to place a Flamethrower on an island surrounded by lava and make players wonder how on earth they can get to it.

Anyway I've just gone through and written some informative text for all the weapons and vehicles (skills and chems obviously use their existing descriptions). This text aims to both give newbies an idea of how to use the new item, but also to teach a few general principles about the game. For example I mention the use of barrier on a number of weapons (AK, UZI, M60) to drill the importance of barrier into a new players head. Here are the new text descriptions. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!

Image

Quote:

tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_LOAFER_DESC", "Slow, weak and fragile. Pretty useless as a car, but its low cost makes it a great barricade for slowing zombies. Is also a pretty sweet step for jumping over tall boxes."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_BUGGIE_DESC", "Fast, agile and affordable. Great for scouting the map - just watch out for the low health. If it starts flaming bail out or you'll burn."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_GALLANT_DESC", "Fast and durable - a great all-rounder. Can even withstand a direct shot from a Bazooka!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_PICKUP_DESC", "A good combat vehicle great for co-op drivebys. Press 3 to hop into the back seat for a full 360 degree range of shooting."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_RADARTRUCK_DESC", "Has a radar the reveals the location of nearby enemies. Lets you see through walls and spy on your enemies' movements!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_CAMPER_DESC", "Very durable for its price and with 4 seats it's great for co-op drivebys. Vehicles regenerate faster as more passengers ride in them, so the Camper can be very tough to take down!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_ROADSTER_DESC", "Extremely fast and agile. Costs a bit but if you're in a hurry there is no better vehicle!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_TORPEDO_DESC", "Comes with a ticking time bomb. Left click to toggle the timer on and off, but make sure you hop out before it explodes!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_FLATBED_DESC", "A huge truck with massive health and 5 passenger seats. The back 3 seats allow for a full 360 degree shooting range. Very expensive but with allies you are almost unstoppable!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_HORNET_DESC", "Fires 2 homing missiles that deal huge damage against vehicles and zombies. Extremely fast, agile and durable. Very expensive but when used right it's extremely dangerous."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_EXTRACTIONTRUCK_DESC", "The Extraction Truck must be taken to its extraction zone to win the Extraction game mode."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);

tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_KNIFE_DESC", "Silent and deadly. The knife kills enemies in a single shot and penetrates their barrier as well."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_GRENADE_DESC", "Lobs an explosive grenade that deals extra high damage against zombies. If a grenade explodes near a guard they will turn to look in the direction of that sound."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_FLASHBANG_DESC", "Explodes with a huge flash of light that blinds nearby enemies for a few seconds. Minimise your own flash by looking away as it explodes."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_BAZOOKA_DESC", "Fires a missile that deals huge damage against vehicles and zombies. Nearby guards will look in the direction of the explosion's sound."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_USP_DESC", "A cheap and low damage pistol. Not good as a primary weapon but with a quick draw time it's good for finishing off damaged enemies."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_DEAGLE_DESC", "With a high damage and rate of fire this makes a great sidearm - just watch out for the low ammo. Like all pistols, the bullets retain full damage no matter how far they travel."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_TASERS_DESC", "An extremely mobile superweapon that slows enemy movement speed on contact. Taser bullets are especially deadly because their damage will bypass your enemy's barrier."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_UZI_DESC", "Deals high damage per second due to its rate of fire. However its recoil is very inaccurate and must be controlled by holding barrier (CTRL) and firing in short sharp bursts."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_MP5_DESC", "Low recoil and high movement speed make this a great all-round weapon. Works best at mid-range where you can strafe around your enemies to avoid being hit."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_NAILGUN_DESC", "An extremely high damage superweapon that fires bullets that penetrate players. These bullets will also bounce off walls, allowing you hit unsuspecting enemies."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M3_DESC", "Deals huge damage capable of instantly killing enemies at point blank. However the slow rate of fire makes you vulnerable and the bullets deal very little damage at range."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_SPAS_DESC", "With a high damage and rate of fire this auto-shotgun deal massive damage per second. Works best at close range where your bullets still deal their full damage."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_BLASTCANNON_DESC", "An extremely powerful superweapon that fires explosive bullets. You can lob these bullets over walls to attack unsuspecting victims. You can also blast yourself up into the air with its explosive force by aiming at your feet."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_AK47_DESC", "Fires fast and powerful bullets best used at long range. However the recoil is horrible and must be controlled by holding barrier (CTRL) and firing in short sharp bursts."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M4A1_DESC", "Fires fast and accurate bullets that deal plenty of damage at long range. Works best at range where you can outshoot your enemies with superior accuracy and damage."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_SEEKRIFLE_DESC", "An extremely accurate superweapon that fires seeking bullets. Locking on to an enemy will cause your bullets to seek towards them, dealing fast and deadly damage."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M249_DESC", "Like all machine guns this has a huge clip size and deals extra high damage against vehicles. While it deals great damage for its price, it suffers from horrible movement inaccuracy. If you move at all you won't hit a thing."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M60_DESC", "Has a huge clip size and deals high damage, especially against vehicles. It's heavy and slow but deals solid damage against anything it hits. Activate your barrier (CTRL) for improved accuracy while moving."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_MINIGUN_DESC", "An extremely high damage superweapon that fires thousands of bullets per minute. This storm of bullets will obliterate vehicles and anything else you decide to aim at."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_RUGER_DESC", "An agile sniper with an extended viewing range and very fast moving bullets. Like all sniper rifles these bullets will deal more damage the further they travel."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M98B_DESC", "The classic sniper rifle. Fires extremely fast and accurate bullets and has a scope for increased view range. Sniper bullets gain damage the further they travel and can kill in a single shot with enough range."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_PHOTONBEAM_DESC", "An extremely long range superweapon that fires a beam of photons that penetrate enemy players and skills. Deals huge damage with extreme accuracy - the ultimate sniper rifle."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_MOLOTOV_DESC", "Tosses a flaming bottle that explodes on impact. These flames persist and deal damage to any enemies who walk through them."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_FLAREGUN_DESC", "Fires a high damage flare that sets enemy players and vehicles on fire. These players will take fire damage over time and be revealed to you for a few seconds."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_FLAMETHROWER_DESC", "An extremely deadly superweapon that shoots fire and ignites anything it touches. These flames deal additional fire damage to enemies and are extremely powerful against zombies."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);


Asterparity says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 02:32


I have a few suggestions for those descriptions. Anything I didn't mention obviously I approve of. Obviously.

On the loafer, it should be "stopping cars" instead of "slowing zombies", zombies will just jump over them, and the loafer is much more notable as a way to trap vehicles in chokepoints.

Flashbang; "Does no damage, but blinds anything looking at it when it explodes and reveals invisible mutants. Look away to avoid it."

Seeker Rifle, 'Locking on' sounds like a term for a noob trap, unless there really is this magical thing that no one's told me about.

M249, 'extra' and 'high' are used to mean the same thing here, one should be removed. Perhaps remove 'high' so that M60 sounds more awesome in comparison.

Molotov, replace "enemies" with "anything". Since it can damage players, zombies, vehicles, friendlies...


STM1993 says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 02:54


bencelot wrote:
A few items (such as super weapons) will be hidden in difficult to reach places, and will only become unlocked if players can find them! Will be fun to place a Flamethrower on an island surrounded by lava and make players wonder how on earth they can get to it.

My main concern is that a player won't have access to his full equipment by the end of a casual run of the tutorial. I like the idea of leaving a secret item that you can grab for an early unlock or an advantage, but I wouldn't want to clear the tutorial and find out I'm still missing something when I play the game proper(especially in PvP) even if it works to prevent newbies from picking something that they should avoid.

(also image link is broken)

Notes in green.
Quote:

tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_LOAFER_DESC", "Slow, weak and fragile. Pretty useless as a car, but its low cost makes it a great barricade for slowing zombies. Is also a pretty sweet step for jumping over tall boxes."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); Could make a point about Car explosion jumps
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_BUGGIE_DESC", "Fast, agile and affordable. Great for scouting the map - just watch out for the low health. If it starts flaming bail out or you'll burn."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_GALLANT_DESC", "Fast and durable - a great all-rounder. Can even withstand a direct shot from a Bazooka!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_PICKUP_DESC", "A good combat vehicle great for co-op drivebys. Press 3 to hop into the back seat for a full 360 degree range of shooting."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_RADARTRUCK_DESC", "Has a radar the reveals the location of nearby enemies. Lets you see through walls and spy on your enemies' movements!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_CAMPER_DESC", "Very durable for its price and with 4 seats it's great for co-op drivebys. Vehicles regenerate faster as more passengers ride in them, so the Camper can be very tough to take down!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_ROADSTER_DESC", "Extremely fast and agile. Costs a bit but if you're in a hurry there is no better vehicle!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_TORPEDO_DESC", "Comes with a ticking time bomb. Left click to toggle the timer on and off, but make sure you hop out before it explodes!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_FLATBED_DESC", "A huge truck with massive health and 5 passenger seats. The back 3 seats allow for a full 360 degree shooting range. Very expensive but with allies you are almost unstoppable!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_HORNET_DESC", "Fires 2 homing missiles that deal huge damage against vehicles and zombies. Extremely fast, agile and durable. Very expensive but when used right it's extremely dangerous."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); Misleading "extremely" for describing its speed/agility/durability. It is not faster than a Roadster and while durable is also set alight much earlier.
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_EXTRACTIONTRUCK_DESC", "The Extraction Truck must be taken to its extraction zone to win the Extraction game mode."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); Be sure to hop out after extracting!

tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_KNIFE_DESC", "Silent and deadly. The knife kills enemies in a single shot and penetrates their barrier as well."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); Newbies will question why they can't kill certain enemies in 1-hit if they have >108 HP.
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_GRENADE_DESC", "Lobs an explosive grenade that deals extra high damage against zombies. If a grenade explodes near a guard they will turn to look in the direction of that sound."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_FLASHBANG_DESC", "Explodes with a huge flash of light that blinds nearby enemies for a few seconds. Minimise your own flash by looking away as it explodes."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_BAZOOKA_DESC", "Fires a missile that deals huge damage against vehicles and zombies. Nearby guards will look in the direction of the explosion's sound."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_USP_DESC", "A cheap and low damage pistol. Not good as a primary weapon but with a quick draw time it's good for finishing off damaged enemies."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_DEAGLE_DESC", "With a high damage and rate of fire this makes a great sidearm - just watch out for the low ammo. Like all pistols, the bullets retain full damage no matter how far they travel."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); "just watch out for the low ammo and high recoil."
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_TASERS_DESC", "An extremely mobile superweapon that slows enemy movement speed on contact. Taser bullets are especially deadly because their damage will bypass your enemy's barrier."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_UZI_DESC", "Deals high damage per second due to its rate of fire. However its recoil is very inaccurate and must be controlled by holding barrier (CTRL) and firing in short sharp bursts."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_MP5_DESC", "Low recoil and high movement speed make this a great all-round weapon. Works best at mid-range where you can strafe around your enemies to avoid being hit."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_NAILGUN_DESC", "An extremely high damage superweapon that fires bullets that penetrate players. These bullets will also bounce off walls, allowing you hit unsuspecting enemies."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M3_DESC", "Deals huge damage capable of instantly killing enemies at point blank. However the slow rate of fire makes you vulnerable and the bullets deal very little damage at range."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_SPAS_DESC", "With a high damage and rate of fire this auto-shotgun deal massive damage per second. Works best at close range where your bullets still deal their full damage."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_BLASTCANNON_DESC", "An extremely powerful superweapon that fires explosive bullets. You can lob these bullets over walls to attack unsuspecting victims. You can also blast yourself up into the air with its explosive force by aiming at your feet."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); by aiming at your feet or against a wall
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_AK47_DESC", "Fires fast and powerful bullets best used at long range. However the recoil is horrible and must be controlled by holding barrier (CTRL) and firing in short sharp bursts."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M4A1_DESC", "Fires fast and accurate bullets that deal plenty of damage at long range. Works best at range where you can outshoot your enemies with superior accuracy and damage."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_SEEKRIFLE_DESC", "An extremely accurate superweapon that fires seeking bullets. Locking on to an enemy will cause your bullets to seek towards them, dealing fast and deadly damage."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M249_DESC", "Like all machine guns this has a huge clip size and deals extra high damage against vehicles. While it deals great damage for its price, it suffers from horrible movement inaccuracy. If you move at all you won't hit a thing."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M60_DESC", "Has a huge clip size and deals high damage, especially against vehicles. It's heavy and slow but deals solid damage against anything it hits. Activate your barrier (CTRL) for improved accuracy while moving."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_MINIGUN_DESC", "An extremely high damage superweapon that fires thousands of bullets per minute. This storm of bullets will obliterate vehicles and anything else you decide to aim at."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_RUGER_DESC", "An agile sniper with an extended viewing range and very fast moving bullets. Like all sniper rifles these bullets will deal more damage the further they travel."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_M98B_DESC", "The classic sniper rifle. Fires extremely fast and accurate bullets and has a scope for increased view range. Sniper bullets gain damage the further they travel and can kill in a single shot with enough range."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_PHOTONBEAM_DESC", "An extremely long range superweapon that fires a beam of photons that penetrate enemy players and skills. Deals huge damage with extreme accuracy - the ultimate sniper rifle."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_MOLOTOV_DESC", "Tosses a flaming bottle that explodes on impact. These flames persist and deal damage to any enemies who walk through them."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_FLAREGUN_DESC", "Fires a high damage flare that sets enemy players and vehicles on fire. These players will take fire damage over time and be revealed to you for a few seconds."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_FLAMETHROWER_DESC", "An extremely deadly superweapon that shoots fire and ignites anything it touches. These flames deal additional fire damage to enemies and are extremely powerful against zombies."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);


bencelot says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 03:29


Thanks for the awesome feedback guys. Notes in blue.

Asterparity wrote:
I have a few suggestions for those descriptions. Anything I didn't mention obviously I approve of. Obviously.

On the loafer, it should be "stopping cars" instead of "slowing zombies", zombies will just jump over them, and the loafer is much more notable as a way to trap vehicles in chokepoints.

I'll leave it as slowing zombies even though this is right. The reason for this is that Stealth mode is purely coop so you'll never actually be stopping a car with it anyway, and they'll probably forget the lesson by the time they play PvP. Slowing zombies however is effective and immediately useful.

Seeker Rifle, 'Locking on' sounds like a term for a noob trap, unless there really is this magical thing that no one's told me about.

Well, seek rifle actually does need to lock-on. If you just randomly spray it the bullets don't see. Only once you get the target on the player does it seek towards them.

M249, 'extra' and 'high' are used to mean the same thing here, one should be removed. Perhaps remove 'high' so that M60 sounds more awesome in comparison.

Molotov, replace "enemies" with "anything". Since it can damage players, zombies, vehicles, friendlies...

Good points, done :)



STM1993 wrote:
My main concern is that a player won't have access to his full equipment by the end of a casual run of the tutorial. I like the idea of leaving a secret item that you can grab for an early unlock or an advantage, but I wouldn't want to clear the tutorial and find out I'm still missing something when I play the game proper(especially in PvP) even if it works to prevent newbies from picking something that they should avoid.


Just to clarify this restriction and locking of items only applies to Stealth mode. It would be way too drastic of a change to lock down the PvP modes, and I don't expect everyone to play the singleplayer campaign.

This stuff will be locked down in steatlh mode though even if you finish the campaign. I think this is fine though. You might finish the campaign and realise that the Flamethrower is still locked and be like... wtf? Where's my flamethrower at?? Then you can go try find it again. You won't need it of course but players might go hunting for the sake of completion, and also if they want to compete in speedruns they'll want to have everything available to them.

The really cool thing is that this system encourages replayability. You play through the entire campaign on standard mode starting off with very limited unlocks. Then you get to the end and have unlocked everything (or close to it). You can then play through the entire campaign again but this time with everything unlocked, providing a whole new way to approach problems. Something like Teleportation I'll leave till the very last level, so when you finally get it you're like "woo I wonder how I can use this on the replay". And of course with the customisable difficulty settings you can replay on hardcore mode with everything unlocked and brand new puzzles for a whole new experience. Toss in steam achievements for finishing each difficulty level and youv'e got 10+ hours of gameplay there!"



Quote:
tt.Set("XL1000_VEHICLE_EXTRACTIONTRUCK_DESC", "The Extraction Truck must be taken to its extraction zone to win the Extraction game mode."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); Be sure to hop out after extracting!

tt.Set("XL1000_WEAPON_KNIFE_DESC", "Silent and deadly. The knife kills enemies in a single shot and penetrates their barrier as well."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt); Newbies will question why they can't kill certain enemies in 1-hit if they have >108 HP.


These are good points, although you never actually unlock these anyway so these translations don't really have a purpose :p Just put them in incase I decide to show them in the menu system at a later date.


bencelot says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 03:45


I'm getting really close to finishing all the technical stuff for this mode now. I hope to be able to release a test version soon if you guys want to tinker around in the map editor and try make some puzzles. The main thing that's left for me to do is figure out some way to convey a story. Obviously I'll need some system to put text into the map editor and have it show up. How will it show up though, I don't know. I'm not much of a writer but there should be some element of story which is conveyed, so I'll have to think of the best way to do this.

One idea I had was in the map editor you could place "text zones" which are simply areas that players can walk into. These zones have a textbox where you can type in whatever you want... maybe it's story related, maybe it's pure instructions for a tutorial level, whatever. When a player walks into one of these zones something happens to display the text. But how? Maybe when you stand inside one the Minimap buzzes and briefly turns into a TV monitor or something, and there's a dude who starts talking to you (saying whatever text you entered). Obviously this won't be voice acting, so there needs to be some non-intrusive way to say the text. The text should be non-intrusive. I don't want it to pause the game or stop gameplay in anyway, as lots of players aren't going to care about my sorry attempt at a story, and will just want to get on with the gameplay. So I'd like it if the text somehow displayed in the background if you stepped into one of these zones, and you could read it or ignore it however you please.

Another idea I mentioned earlier, which is to have simple "text objects" which are a bit like the zones above, but instead of being a zone that you walk into they're small little objects you can walk up to and press 'E' on to get some info. Like books almost, which you can open up and read. Or maybe signposts. These are also non-intrusive because you can simply choose not to read them.

Yet another idea is to have a special gangster dude who's an actual character in the story. His name is Bertworth Biggleton and he's your lab assistant and follows you around. He makes comments from time to time that fill you in what's going on in the story and helps you out with tutorial stuff too. He would also be triggered by the text zones mentioned above, just instead of the minimap talking to you a little speech bubble would appear above Bertworths head to say whatever was written. As soon as you walked into a text zone Berworth would tell you the text.

Then yet another idea is to simply not do any of this. Convey all the story when you load the map, and simply display it on the loading screen (instead of the usual game mode details). Each map could have a text box to spell out this story, or I could just hardcode it. So when you load the first map some tex would display when it's loading saying "Late one night you heard a noise.. and realised everything had gone horribly wrong!" Dun dun duuuuuuU!!!!

I dunno, ideas welcome :)


Asterparity says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 04:58


Allow NPCs that don't do anything that can generate scripted messages into the chat. Ofc it'd be hilarious if you could kill them, and then stop the messages from generating. As sort of a logical way to 'turn it off'.


STM1993 says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 05:23


Having text would be nice, although the scenario I'm thinking of wouldn't make sense if I had an NPC who talked and I certainly wouldn't want some annoying NPC following me around. (the scenario: a text in the Residence fountain that states the water is healing. Wouldn't make sense if the fountain were heavily guarded by Rebels and you have a Scientist NPC sitting right there unless he is a prisoner you must rescue.)

Also I just remembered a finer point about the stealth gamemode. HP should at least regenerate in stealth. This teaches players that they do, in fact, autoheal by default if they avoid combat for 10s, which would happen sooner or later while observing the guards. I wouldn't want to pressure newbies into thinking that in PvP they'd have to pick a healing skill like back in the old days. Outbreak should be the only exception to this rule because of the survival theme. Besides, in speedruns, waiting to regenerate would slow you down greatly.

MP can still remain non-regen for stealth since its expected to regenerate for PvP, though it does mean that Self Repair's use in stealth is diminished, but that's fine since SR can be used in combat directly & it is still faster than waiting. The last question is whether guards should autoheal as well to compensate, though I don't think its too important for guards to heal because you are already encouraged to kill the guards asap with the combo kill mechanic.


Maximilian says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 13:56


Sorry cant read all of this. Are you really trying to explain every of 33 skills, all weapons, chems and cars ? Noone will play through 1 hour tutorial. Make it like up to 12 minutes with 10 skills, few guns, chems and couple cars and thats it


bencelot says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 15:54


It's not a tutorial, it's a single player campaign. Tutorials aren't meant to be fun or last long, campaign modes are. Obviously I'm going to make this mode fun and challenging, which I think the guard killing puzzle mechanic is. When spaced out over a few hours players won't feel like they're being forced to learn anything, they'll just welcome the new content as fun unlocks and new challenges to solve.

Now I've been thinking about how this campaign is going to work. I'll worry about story stuff later and tack that on at the end if necessary - the most important thing is gameplay. So here is how the campaign is going to work:


10 maps
We have 10 official maps which I shall reuse to save time. I'll make copies and rename them to AsylumST, BarnST, CoreST, etc. Or maybe I'll call them Stage1, Stage2, Stage3. Doesn't really matter. Point is we'll have 10 maps in order of difficulty and the campaign is finished when you finish all 10 maps in order. All of these maps will be avaialbe for multiplayer co-op play as well for speedruns and stuff, just like Outbreak.

I will try and design the maps so that they will take approximately 10 minutes for a veteran to complete on a speedrun, but maybe 30 minutes for a first-time newbie to complete, taking into account their general slowness and the fact they will die and respawn a few times. 30x10 = 300 minutes = 5 hours of gameplay, which is quite respectable for an indie singleplayer campaign and should provide good value to those who only buy the game for the singleplayer experience. Toss in replayability due to item unlocks and difficulty levels and we're talking 10+ hours of entertainment in the singleplayer alone.


80 items
36 skills + 24 weapons + 10 vehicles + 10 chemicals = 80 unlockable items.

These 80 items will be spread across all 10 maps, with 5 to 10 new items per map. Now as Max rightly points out it is too much to require the learning of all 80 items. I cannot build a puzzle for every single item in the game. Some items simply cannot be worked into a puzzle, and more importantly it will overwhelm newbies if they need to constantly be learning new things. Therefore items will be placed into 2 separate categories for achieving 2 completely different goals:

Core Items
These "core" items are the most important, common and frequently used items in the game. These are the most common skills (eg: FF, Plasma, SR, Invis), a key variety of weapons (Grenades, M3, AK47, Barrett), useful chemicals (Sonar Cells, Warp Field) and a few vehicles (Buggie, Radar Truck, Camper). These items will be chosen for two main reasons:

1) They are used a lot in PvP gameplay and need to be taught to newbies. You don't see Parasite Swarm often so there's no need to teach it, but you absolutely must teach the pros and cons of Plasma Ball. After finishing the campaign newbies should know how all these core items work and due to their popularity they will cover the vast majority of PvP situations.
2) They are simple, intuitive and easy to make puzzles out of. Again, it's hard to make a puzzle out of Parasite Swarm. But you can easily use Sonar Cells to reveal the guards and strike at the right time. Use FF to charge down a corridor against guard fire. Use Buggie to jump across a gap. Use Grenades to make them change direction and use an AK47 with limited ammo to accurately take out all of the guards for a particular stage.

So while there are 80 unlocks in total, maybe only 30 of them will be "core" items. Spread out over 5 hours of gameplay you'll unlock a new one of these core items every 10 minutes or so. Not too fast, but frequently enough to keep you interested. Furthermore these core items will be NEEDED to complete the game. Puzzles will be designed with the guards that force you to learn and use these items properly and figure out the trick. Because these items are needed they will be placed out in the open, easy to find. The puzzles will be challenging, but fairly straightfoward and possible for a newbie to finish.

Basically an average player will start a new map and find a new item. Yay, Self Repair unlocked! Then for the next 10 minutes they will be fighting guards specially designed to make use of the Self Repair skill. Then about a 3rd of the way through the map they find a Buggie, and use that to jump across a broken bridge. Then they'll find a Barrett with only 5 bullets in it and with only 5 guards to take out, and realise that they need to move backwards far enough to trigger a 1-shot kill against each guard - thus learning that snipers deal more damage over distance. That kinda thing. 30 minutes go by, new map starts.

Completionist Items
These are all the other items which aren't used in the core gameplay puzzles. These items are optional and not required to finish the round, however they will come in handy if you manage to get them. The trick however is that these items are not going to be placed out in the open. They are going to be hidden and hard to get to. This encourages exploration, full completion of the game (you'll get a Steam achievement if you unlock all items), and allows me to design some VERY difficult puzzles :D

For example I could put a Flamethrower up in the secret sniping spot in Inferno, and watch as newbies scratch their heads on how to get it. I can place a Toxic Bullets on top of a building in Downtown, which can only be accessed if you use the zombie bomb explosion to blast yourself up in the air at the right angle to land on the roof. I can place an M60 behind a wall in stage 4, which can only be accessed with Teleportation that you discover in stage 8. I can position an item that can only be accessed with a Warp Field, but require you to get a perfect 14 kill combo to get enough money to actually buy one.

Keep in mind that this is not for everyone. Some people will just play through the standard campaign and that's fine. But it is common knowledge that lots of players enjoy this completionist behaviour. It's kinda like finding all the hidden collectable items in a GTA game, or going out of your way to find all the ultimate weapons in Final Fantasy. You don't NEED any of it, but if the puzzles are entertaining it provides you with plenty of challenges to overcome.

The best part is that not only will this provide plenty of hours of extra gameplay and give you a sense of completion when you get the Steam achievement, but it will also help you for the final primary goal in this game mode:

Speedruns
Speedruns will of course work the same as Outbreak with leaderboards and whatnot. They will also be designed to reward players who have taken the time to discover all these extra items. So a brand new player could attempt a speedrun but they'll have NOTHING unlocked and not go very fast. They then might finish the campaign normally and have 30 to 40 of the most common and useful items which will help their speedrun times a lot. At least they'll be able to FF explode the zombies, use Teleportation to travel through the map faster, use their AK to swiftly take out guards instead of having to rely on a pistol or knife. But will that be the fastest? Nope.

To REALLY do well at speedruns you'll want to have everything unlocked because some of these completionist will come in very handy. Superweapons are especially vlluable against zombies and will speed up your speedrun time, but you're going to have to earn them. Again not everyone cares about speedruns, but there are plenty of players who do and for those who want to top the leaderboards you can bet they're going to go try get all these extra items. Every little bit helps.


The puzzles
As you can see we'll have 2 types of puzzles in the game. Reasonable puzzles which use the core items to kill guards and finish the game. And then crazy hard puzzles with the simple goal of finding a particular item. This provides challenges for those who want it, but will never be enough to make a player ragequit due to not being able to finish the level.

The end result of all this is that your average newbie player will learn the core 30 items in the game at a reasonable pace (every 10 minutes or so) spread out over a solid chunk of time (5 hours). At this point they'll have gotten good value from singleplayer, and they'll be much better prepared for a PvP game than any newbie is at the moment. But for some players I can provide a HUGE amount of playtime. For those who like solving puzzles, exploring, collecting items and competing on leaderboards I can provide dozens of hours of gameplay just with some well hidden items. Players will either spend hours trying to figure it out on their own, or they'll turn to the internet (this forum) to get the answers. Eitherway it's good for the community.

All I have to do is figure out which items should be core and which items are for the completionists. Then I just have to think of some fun puzzles to use and/or reach these items. This is the fun part and I'd love your help here. I'm going to put story on hold and start working on the actual puzzles and maps now. Any feedback or ideas you can provide would be greatly appreciated!


Maximilian says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 18:39


Quote:
I will try and design the maps so that they will take approximately 10 minutes for a veteran to complete on a speedrun, but maybe 30 minutes for a first-time newbie to complete, taking into account their general slowness and the fact they will die and respawn a few times. 30x10 = 300 minutes = 5 hours of gameplay, which is quite respectable for an indie singleplayer campaign and should provide good value to those who only buy the game for the singleplayer experience. Toss in replayability due to item unlocks and difficulty levels and we're talking 10+ hours of entertainment in the singleplayer alone.


5, 10 hours of sp entertainment on top of mp game ... i feel like its overly optimistic, well you wont stop till its done anyway so lets see


bencelot says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 19:08


Well we already have the multiplayer game, so just gotta make singleplayer now :) And I'm not starting from scratch here, I've already got all the systems and necessary content. Already got all 80 unlocks and all 10 maps, and the guard, zombie and bomb mechanics have been completed too. All I've gotta do is put it all together! Also the amount of singleplayer content varies based on skill level and what you want to achieve:

Veteran completing just the campaign on standard difficulty: 2 hours (10mins per map or so)
Vet completing campaign on all difficulties (for Steam achievements): 6 hours

Newb completing campaign on standard difficulty: 5 hours (they're going to die a lot more and take time to figure stuff out)
Newb completing all difficulties: 10 hours

Someone completing not only the campaign, but trying to collect all 80 items: I dunno, but easily 10+ hours. It depends on how elaborate and difficult the puzzles are. Hell, I watched you guys spend 20+ minutes simply trying to figure out the trick jump in Barn. How long will this take a newbie? Simply place the Photon Beam up there and I've already added 20 minutes to the total playtime. Again this isn't expected, but there ARE players out there crazy enough to attempt these sorts of things. Especially as the Photon Beam will actually be able to help you in speedruns and stuff.

Someone who wants to compete on leaderboards: Unlimited hours. Of course at this point it's not really singlelayer, but it's still providing value for those who care about this sorta thing (which people will once the playerbase hits).

Not including repeat attempts at speedruns I think it's fair to say there will be between 2 to 10 hours of gameplay based on your skill and the level of completion you want to achieve. For a newbie who's just bought the game they should quite easily get 5 hours of playtime, which I think is pretty good for a $10 game. Especially when you consider the hundreds of hours of multiplayer they can get if and when the servers are full. And of course that's the whole point of this. I don't care about singleplayer games nearly as much as multiplayer, that's why I spent the first 7 years focussed 100% on the multiplayer experience. But if adding singleplayer helps get more downloads and helps teach newbies in any way (which I'm sure it will) then it's good for us vets in the long run ;)


Asterparity says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 19:17


bencelot wrote:
Core Items
These "core" items are the most important, common and frequently used items in the game. These are the most common skills (eg: FF, Plasma, SR, Invis), a key variety of weapons (Grenades, M3, AK47, Barrett), useful chemicals (Sonar Cells, Warp Field) and a few vehicles (Buggie, Radar Truck, Camper). These items will be chosen for two main reasons:

1) They are used a lot in PvP gameplay and need to be taught to newbies. You don't see Parasite Swarm often so there's no need to teach it, but you absolutely must teach the pros and cons of Plasma Ball. After finishing the campaign newbies should know how all these core items work and due to their popularity they will cover the vast majority of PvP situations.
2) They are simple, intuitive and easy to make puzzles out of. Again, it's hard to make a puzzle out of Parasite Swarm. But you can easily use Sonar Cells to reveal the guards and strike at the right time. Use FF to charge down a corridor against guard fire. Use Buggie to jump across a gap. Use Grenades to make them change direction and use an AK47 with limited ammo to accurately take out all of the guards for a particular stage.


I agree, except that in my experience warp field and grenades just aren't common :P alchemic acid and moltov are much more common. Tho I'm sure you have some statistic tracker of how many times STM killed me with an mp5 or something.


STM1993 says:

Sun 18 Oct 2015, 19:45


For bare minimum core stuff (30) I recommend:
Bazooka, Tier-1 primary weapons, MP5, Barrett. [9] - bazooka for cars, the rest are the most common weapons
Gallant, Radar, Pickup. [3] - best transport, radar, seat #3
Base(QP), Alchemy, Warp Field, Sonar, Neutralizer. [6] - QP so newbies worry less about being seen with a chem, alchemy essential, warp to teach Alt+Left click, Sonar is common, Neutralizer is necessary to understand chems are invisible
Phys: Force Fields, Final Focus, Radiate, Frenzy [4] - focus is because newbies would likely benefit from the aim while Vampirism is self-explanatory
Men: Invisibility, Regeneration, Blackhole, Venom [4] - 3 of them have notable penalties.
Cyb: Plasma, Self Repair, Energize, Shockwave [4] - 2 are harder to learn, 2 are essential for newbies. BT is way too advanced to be taught.

I know you said this is a singleplayer campaign, but I think this is a perfect opportunity to select a few specific maps to serve as a very quick(ie: no more than 15min) core-only tutorial at the lowest difficulty level, and once you complete those few maps at the easiest difficulty, you can CHOOSE to move on to the singleplayer puzzles proper(which will go more in-depth). So if the number of players do pick up, they don't have to sit through several hours for a tutorial, while if the number of players don't pick up as quickly as hoped, it'd at least keep them occupied.

Anyway it'd be good to know what the map order is and what you plan to teach for each map.


bencelot says:

Mon 19 Oct 2015, 01:03


STM1993 wrote:
I know you said this is a singleplayer campaign, but I think this is a perfect opportunity to select a few specific maps to serve as a very quick(ie: no more than 15min) core-only tutorial at the lowest difficulty level, and once you complete those few maps at the easiest difficulty, you can CHOOSE to move on to the singleplayer puzzles proper(which will go more in-depth). So if the number of players do pick up, they don't have to sit through several hours for a tutorial, while if the number of players don't pick up as quickly as hoped, it'd at least keep them occupied..


What I was thinking of doing is have a "prologue" to the story, which is the first level of the campaign and is essentially just a tutorial. It's like level 0 out of 10. It will teach the absolute basics like how to jump, barrier, change weapons, pickup off the ground etc. It will also lay the foundation of the story. I'll make a custom map from scratch and probably make it a research laboratory to thematically explain the story, how the zombie outbreak occurred etc. And yes it will only last 15 minutes or so and be extremely easy. There's no way I can cram all the core items into a 15 minute tutorial as that would be information overload, but the very basics will be taught. If they then want to continue the campaign and learn about specific items they simply need to keep playing :D But at the very least we vets can say to newbies who still have newbie shield showing "hey man, you should at least play the 1st level of the campaign to learn some basics".

STM1993 wrote:
Anyway it'd be good to know what the map order is and what you plan to teach for each map.


I'm not sure on this and would love some help deciding. To decide this I first need to figure out what skills will be taught and what order they should be taught in. This will largely determine the ordering of the maps. Barn for example is very open and will probably be the map I choose to teach sniping on. So wherever the barrett fits into the unlock plan is where Barn map will go. Downtown will teach core vehicle stuff, etc.

Asterparity wrote:
I agree, except that in my experience warp field and grenades just aren't common alchemic acid and moltov are much more common. Tho I'm sure you have some statistic tracker of how many times STM killed me with an mp5 or something.


Quote:
For bare minimum core stuff (30) I recommend:
Bazooka, Tier-1 primary weapons, MP5, Barrett. [9] - bazooka for cars, the rest are the most common weapons
Gallant, Radar, Pickup. [3] - best transport, radar, seat #3
Base(QP), Alchemy, Warp Field, Sonar, Neutralizer. [6] - QP so newbies worry less about being seen with a chem, alchemy essential, warp to teach Alt+Left click, Sonar is common, Neutralizer is necessary to understand chems are invisible
Phys: Force Fields, Final Focus, Radiate, Frenzy [4] - focus is because newbies would likely benefit from the aim while Vampirism is self-explanatory
Men: Invisibility, Regeneration, Blackhole, Venom [4] - 3 of them have notable penalties.
Cyb: Plasma, Self Repair, Energize, Shockwave [4] - 2 are harder to learn, 2 are essential for newbies. BT is way too advanced to be taught.


I just brainstormed all 80 items and have come up with a list of 35 core items that I think I should teach and make puzzles out of. Lots of these are the same as you've suggested with a few exceptions. A few things like Neutralizer I agree are very important for PvP, but they are also kinda impossible to teach in a singleplayer mode. What are you going to neutralize? I think it's ok to let players learn a few extra steps when they join their first PvP game. How Neutralizing works, how each game mode works, etc. Some things can't really be taught too well in a singleplayer mode. Likewise I would prefer to make a puzzle out of a Grenade than a Bazooka, because bazookas primary purpose is destroying vehicles, but there will be no AI driven vehicles to destroy. But I digress, let me walk y'all through my list and explain things. This is just a first draft though so if you guys disagree lemme know!


4 Types of Item
I have gone over all 80 items and placed them into 4 groups. The groups are as follows:

Core items:
1) These items are very common in the game and should be taught to newbies.
2) These items also MAKE SENSE for the Stealth game mode and can be taught in a way that is immediately useful. While Neutralizer is very important to PvP, it's very hard to teach it in a singleplayer mode, so unfortunately won't make the cut.
3) These items will be the basis of all the puzzles in the game. They MUST be used properly to defeat the guards and complete the round.
4) As a result these items will be extremely easy to find, and will be placed out in the open. Impossible to miss.
5) This mostly consists of all the low level and commonly used items in the game (tier 1 weapons, level 0 skills, etc).

Exploratory Items:
1) These items will be hidden away in corners in the map, but not hard to get to. No trick jumps or anything, but just not in plain view.
2) These are the "nice to have" items. They encourage you to explore around when playing because every so often you'll find one of these and be happy.
3) Because these items are kinda hidden no puzzle will NEED these to be completed. But on the flip side because they are somewhat accessible they must always be of some use to the player.
4) These items largely consist of the mid-tier items in the game (tier 2 weapons, level 5 skills, etc).

Secret Speedrun Items:
1) These items are very rarely used due to their cost and or level, thus they don't NEED to be taught. 90% of the time these aren't seen in PvP.
2) These items are hidden away and very tricky to get to. Secret jumps, elaborate schemes, stuff that takes hours to figure out. They're for completionists. They should be placed in spots which are visible, but hard to get to. So you see it and wonder "how do I get that??"
3) These items are also very valuable for speedruns, and incentivize both completionists and regular players to find them to get faster speedrun times.
4) This list entirely consists of $10,000 items and level 10 skills.

Useless Items:
1) There are 5 items which I figure to be useless in Stealth mode: Phys/Mental/Cyber Synergizers, Cloner and Neutralizer. There's just no real benefit to them at all in this game mode.
2) Due to their uselessness they are actually just going to confuse a newbie if they pick one up. "What the hell do I do with this?".
3) As a result these will be hidden far far away just like the secret speedrun items. But even moreso. You won't even see them from the regular route, you'll have to go hunting for them specifically to get them.
4) They will exist in the game purely for completions sake and are merely "collectors" items.


Core Items:
Weapons (mostly tier 1 weapons):

1) Grenade. Cool mechanic with guard noises, and needed to teach that explosive-type items exist in the game.
2) Flashbang. Also a cool mechanic with guard vision, and needed to explain what happens if your screen suddenly turns white in PvP.
3) Molotov. Another simple item which is easy to explain and make puzzles out of and is good fun to use.

4) USP. Most common gun in the game, simply needs to be taught.
5) Deagle. Shows that there are multiple types of pistol and that they can be good. Also a good sidearm for the frequent zombie stages.
6) UZI. Teaches core SMG mechanics and reinforces importance of barrier.
7) M3. Teaches core Shotty mechanics and will have a puzzle where you choose to attack the guards at close range instead of the obvious long route.
8) AK47. Teaches core rifle mechanics and reinforces importance of barrier (again). Has a puzzle where you choose to attack the guards from the long route.
9) SAW. Teaches core machine gun mechanics. Some sort of puzzle about not moving while shooting (also consistently the most purchased gun in the game by newbies, so might as well teach them how to use it right).
10) Barrett. Teaches core sniper mechanics. Will have a puzzle involving the increasing bullet damage over time (maybe comboed with Plasma).

11) Nailgun. Superweapon, what?? This is to give players a TASTE of what superweapons are capable of and incentivize them to hunt for the rest. It's also necessary to have at least one expensive item in the game so you always have some reason to earn cash from stealth and kill combos. Nailgun is chosen because it's bouncing bullet mechanic is the most fun and intuitive of all the superweapons (might need to nerf Nailgun against zombies slightly though as it's probably the best right now).


Skills (note that ALL of these have obvious benefits AND penalties against the guards. Also mostly level 0 skills):
1) Self Repair. Extremely common, intuitive and useful. Teaches toggling. Some puzzle involving a long stretch without health kits and you basically need to use SR to get through it.
2) Plasma Ball. Very simple to use with obvious benefits and penalty. Puzzle will involve using it at range to get 1-shot kills (probably with Barrett).
3) Energize. Often the most commonly used skill in the game, and also needed to teach:
4) Phasic Bullets. Bouncing bullets around walls to hit guards is such an obvious and fun puzzle to make use of. Has an obvious penalty.
5) Bullet Time. I actually have a pretty simple way to teach this. You simply have a corridor that guards are firing down and you need to use BT to backpedal to a little gap in the wall where you can pick up a weapon capable of firing back. BT also has such a huge impact on gameplay when used it's kinda key you know what it does. Plus it's just a really cool mechanic for new players to play with.

6) Vampirism. I kinda feel that as the most used skill in the game and a core healing skill it just needs to be here. Will also help combo and teach:
7) Frenzy. I'll make the AI follow you when activated to teach the global reveal penalty, and the puzzle is a sheer brute forcing with Vamp. True warrior style.
8) Radiate. Such a simple to use skill and very important to know what it does if stuck in one in PvP. Puzzle is using the damage through walls to reveal guard positions.
9) Force Fields. Very important skill to understand with a simple puzzle of charging down a corridor against incoming guard fire.
10) Bouncing Bullets. Although it's not super common, it's very intuitive and fun to use (singleplayer without lag :p). Also a good example of how these add-on passive skills can completely change the use of the primary skill

11) Regeneration. Extremely common healing skill, I just gotta teach it. Furthermore I can combo it awesomely with:
12) Invisibility. Some sort of perma-invis with Regen would be a great way to teach skill combos and let you stalk your way through a complex web of guards. The guards could all be standing around the Nailgun for example constantly watching it, but rotating back and forth every so often. At just the right moment when they're all looking the wrong direction you can uncast Invis to grab the gun.
13) Blade Fury. Extremely intuitive how it works with an obvious benefit and penalty. Puzzle involves either the bursting or some combo with the M3.
14) Venom Shot. All level 1 actives must be taught, and this is no exception! Can be used in similar ways as Plasma, or better yet give a really high level to use the vision stalking to strike at just the right time.
15) Teleportation. Level 10 skill what?? Same deal as Nailgun here. It's to give you a taste of the level 10 skills and incentivize finding them. This won't be made available until the very last round most likely, but when you get it you'll be all like "whoaooooo!! This is sick. I wanna replay the entire campaign now that I've got this bad boy up my sleeve". Puzzle is a simple matter of having to teleport to the other side of a guard to attack from behind.


Chemicals:
1) Base Chemicals. Very imporant chemical and also needed to buy all this cool stuff you've unlocked (as zombie bombs will be at the very end of the map). Puzzle is a simple matter of providing you with a Base Chemicals and a $3000 cash pile, but no weapon. What do?? Buy your own weapon.
2) Sonar Cells. Simple common chemical with an easy puzzle. You need to place it near a corner to watch the guard on the other side. Stick your head out at the wrong time and you die, but by watching the guard you can sneak past at the right time.
3) Flask. Another cool and useful concept to teach with a simple puzzle: Combo it up with Sonar Cells puzzle above. Instead of having 1 corner to sonar past, you have two, and must flask from one to the next.
4) Warp Field. Good fun chemical that shows the awesome potential of chems in PvP games. Puzzle is to simply warp over and otherwise impossible wall.


Vehicles:
1) Loafer. Just gotta show the shit vehicle, plus it's description teaches important concepts about jumping onto vehicles. Puzzle can involve a barricade against zombies.
2) Buggie. Serves the same role as Gallant/Roadster as fast all purpose vehicle, but I'd rather reward you with Gallant/Roadster for exploration, and give the Buggie upfront. Puzzle is simply jumping over a gap with the speed of the vehicle.
3) Radar Truck. Very important to know what this does in PvP. Puzzle is similar to Sonar Cells above, used to reveal guard motions and move at the right time.
4) Pickup. Needed to teach seat switching and the use of seat 3. Could make some great co-op puzzles with this, but even in singleplayer I could simply place you against a whole bunch of guards that can only be overcome with the vehicle protection of the 3rd seat.
5) Torpedo. Just a good fun vehicle really that will make newbies smile. Easy puzzle to blow up some guards.


Exploratory Items:
Weapons (mostly tier 2 weapons):
1) Bazooka. Serves the same role as the Grenade but hey, it's more fun to use. Gotta reward you for finding it.
2) Flare Gun. Similar role to deagle, but a bit more "exotic" and a fun thing to find through exploration.
3) MP5.
4) Spas.
5) M4A1.
6) M60.
7) Ruger. These are all the low level weapons which are simply left over. Could probably switch a few of these from the section above, but in general you should be able to discover most of these weapons anyway and the function they perform should solve a similar puzzle to the one intended for the tier 1 equivalent. For example on the map where you're learning to use the AK47 at range, I could hide an M4A1 nearby so if you find that you can use it instead to make things a bit easier. Will still serve a similar role and solve the puzzle in the same way though.

Skills (mostly level 5 skills. Also some skills here which don't quite make sense or have immediately obvious benefits/penalties against guards):
1) Static Charges. There isn't a penalty against the guards as they never barrier. All the skills above have real penalties to consider against the guards. Still it's a nice to find for a bit of extra mana.
2) Firestorm. Just a nice to find. No need to find it though as Plasma is teaching you the core concepts.
3) Shockwave. I considered making this a core skill and still might, but I figured I wouldn't for two main reasons. Firstly the main benefit of Shockwave is barrier penetration which guards don't do. Secondly shockwave is a bit of a noob trap against the zombies. A nice to find for a vet though due to the revealing property.

4) Disabling Drop. Good nice to find, but not game-changing enough to spend 10 minutes of puzzles upon.
5) Spike Trap. Not necessarily useful against the guards but massively useful against zombies. You'll really feel happy if you find this one and realise what it does for you in the zombie stages. A good reward for exploration.
6) Dash. A nice to have.
7) Black Hole. I couldn't really think of a decent puzzle for this one. Black hole works great in PvP because enemies are constantly strafing and escaping and being able to slow this is very useful. But against guards I don't see it solving any puzzles. I'll try place this is an somewhat easy to find spot incase players want to play around with it but don't think I can make any puzzles for it. Open to ideas!

8) Bloody gains. Just a nice to have, doesn't impact gameplay in PvP too drastically.
9) Final Focus. Considered this one but figured it wasn't too useful against the guards. Both the benefit and the penalty affect your accuracy, which is a huge factor in PvP against a strafing opponent. But against the guards they are mostly predictable and easy to hit anyway. Ideas welcome for puzzles though.
10) Clip Magnet. Just a nice to have, similar to Spike Trap. A good reward for exploring when it comes to zombies.

Chemicals:
1) Alchemic Acid. This is a very important chemical but I just can't think of a good puzzle for it yet. Ideas welcome! If we can think of one I'll make it core.

Vehicles:
1) Gallant.
2) Roadster.
3) Camper. These are just nice all round vehicles, but their lessons are already taught by the core vehicles above. Buggie is given to you for free, but you have to search around a bit if you wanna get the Gallant or the Roadster. It's your reward for exploring. Plus I could design a puzzle that involves jumping across a gap in the Buggie but then immediately dodging an enemy Bazooka shot, teaching the power bazooka has over vehicles. But if you manage to find the hidden Gallant you can use that instead to make things a bit easier.


Secret Speedrun Items (all the $10,000 items and level 10 skills except Nailgun and Teleportation):
Weapons ($10,000 superweapons):
1) Tasers.
2) Blast Cannon.
3) Seek Rifle.
4) Minigun.
5) Photon Beam.
6) Flamethrower. Simple stuff, these are the superweapons and these are hidden. You will see a Flamethrower up on top of a building somewhere and think how the hell do I get that?? Now we're talking real trick jumps and super elaborate puzzles to get these. But you'll want them because they are the most powerful weapons in the game and also very useful if you want to speedrun against zombies. When players finish the campaign for the first time they should ideally have unlocked all weapons except for these. They'll have the Nailgun which they know to be awesome and wonder where they missed these other superweapons and go back for them. They're like the "Knights of the Round" summon in FF7. Hard to get to but damn worth it! Because these are superweapons they are by definition rare and thus not commonly seen in PvP gameplay, so no lessons that NEED to be taught.

Skills (lvl 10 skills):
1) Lasing Orb.
2) Microvolt.
3) Stolen Seekers.

4) Parasite Swarm.
5) Stagnation.
6) Assault Armor.

7) Darkness.
8) Infection. Again, these are all the top-tier skills. Players will have everything unlocked besides these and wonder where they are. They are by definition rare in combat and don't need to be taught, and lots of these are very handy for speedruns too (Microvolt and Infection especially).

Chemicals ($10,000 upgrades):
1) Toxic Bullets.
2) Bionic Gas.
3) Quick Pouring. Again, the $10,000 elite items are all hidden away. Rare in PvP so not critical to be taught, but useful in speedruns so worth searching for.

Vehicles ($10,000 vehicles):
1) Flat Bed.
2) Hornet. Same deal as the other $10,000 elite items mentioned above.


Useless Items:
1) Physical Synergizer.
2) Mental Synergizer.
3) Cybernetic Synergizer. No real use for Stealth mode and just confusing for newbies. Hide away as a purely collectors item.

4) Cloner.
5) Neutralizer. I'd love to teach these but I can't think of how. And I cannot place something with no use within the reach of casual players. They'll pick up a Cloner/Neutralizer, read the description and find no possible way to apply this knowledge. Just too confusing if it doesn't do anything. The only people who should every discover these are people who are HUNTING for them, purely for the sake of completion. If anyone can think of ways to teach these I'm all ears, but I have no ideas yet.


Putting it All Together
Map Structure:
Ok so we have 35 core items here, give or take a few if you guys can think up some good ideas to teach some more. Spread over 10 maps (11 including the prologue/tutorial) and we are looking at introducing 3 new core items per map. Each map hopefully takes 30 minutes or so, so players will get a new core item every 10 minutes. A good rate to learn new things, constantly drip feeding the player with new content but not overwhelming them with information.

Now plenty of the exploratory items are add-ons (firestorm onto Plasma) or replacements (M4A1 instead of AK47) for the core items. So wherever these core items go the corresponding exploratory item should probably be placed nearby. This means that the puzzle can be solved in the same way regardless, but it might be a bit easier if you search around a bit and find an extra item.

So each map is going to have 3 main puzzles, but will consist of multiple stages. If I introduce a new puzzle I'm not going to do it for just one stage. I want to have one stage which introduces the new skill and teaches the mechanic in a simple way, with just a few guards. But then after that, after you "get it" I want to give the player 2 or 3 more stages which are fun and challenging and really let you get the hang of things. This way players feel rewarded for learning and solving the puzzle, and they are more likely to remember the lessons they've learned as well.

Unlock Order:
So given our list of 35 core skills, what order should they be unlocked in the campaign? Well there are a few things to consider:

1) The SUPER simple and essential skills must come at the start. Self Repair, Plasma Ball, etc. Really intutive simple way to learn how skills work.
2) Certain "puzzle breaking" skills must come at the end. Something like Invis or Teleportation should be made available in the final levels of the campaign, because otherwise players will just use these to sneak behind guards on every stage and avoid playing the puzzle proper. These come at the end after you've learned everything and can then go on to replay the campaign entirely on hardcore mode.
3) Unlocks that combo well together should be introduced together. This is a great opportunity to teach classic combos like sniper+plasma, or M3+BF.
4) I'm toying with the idea of unlocking things one skill-tree at a time. Cyber first (SR and Plasma are super intuitive), Physical second, and Mental last (Teleportation and Invis must come last). This might be a good way to reinforce the idea of skill trees into newbies minds, as they watch how the unlocks fill up their skill menu.
5) Vehicles and chemicals should be sprinkled through the maps at a fairly even pace, every 2nd map or so. Just to keep the gameplay fresh.
6) Nailgun probably needs to come in around level 4 or so, just so you have something to spend your hard earned cash on.

Anyway that's as far as I've thought so far. I will start brainstorming the actual specific puzzles now and try come up with an ordering. Feedback welcome!!


STM1993 says:

Mon 19 Oct 2015, 04:47


bencelot wrote:
4) USP. Most common gun in the game, simply needs to be taught.
5) Deagle. Shows that there are multiple types of pistol and that they can be good. Also a good sidearm for the frequent zombie stages.

Fair enough, but these 2's first introduction should come together in the same stage and immediately preceding each other.

bencelot wrote:
10) Barrett. Teaches core sniper mechanics. Will have a puzzle involving the increasing bullet damage over time (maybe comboed with Plasma).

For this, you could have several guards, but have 1-2 of them hiding behind a wall, whom you can only hit if you use plasma.

bencelot wrote:
11) Nailgun. Superweapon

I suppose it is the best superweapon to teach. I think Energize/Phasic should probably come AFTER nailgun to leave the best impression, as well as to avoid giving the idea of energizing superweapons since it is not recommended.

bencelot wrote:
5) Bullet Time. I actually have a pretty simple way to teach this. You simply have a corridor that guards are firing down and you need to use BT to backpedal to a little gap in the wall where you can pick up a weapon capable of firing back. BT also has such a huge impact on gameplay when used it's kinda key you know what it does.

Ah okay. And then maybe one more puzzle where there's a guard who is impossible to kill in direct combat + constantly strafing, you're supposed to outrange him with homing bullets by cooking bullets with BT?

bencelot wrote:
4) Warp Field. Good fun chemical that shows the awesome potential of chems in PvP games. Puzzle is to simply warp over and otherwise impossible wall.

To me more importantly it teaches people HOW to use it, since all other chemicals are passive, this is the only one which is active.

bencelot wrote:
1) Bazooka. Serves the same role as the Grenade but hey, it's more fun to use. Gotta reward you for finding it.
...
3) MP5.

For Bazooka as you mentioned later in the post you could make the enemy guard use it against a Buggy (or Gallant if you found it hidden in the stage). Then allow players to pick it up upon killing the guard if they manage to find a way to get to his location. That'd be good enough, but you could then have a puzzle section where normally, you'd have to backstab the guards who have very long but narrow vision, but you can 'bypass' it by using the Bazooka to snipe 1-shot the Loafer in their center (you wouldn't otherwise be able to blow up the loafer without them turning to face you and sniping back at you).

For MP5 the reason why I want it to be a core weapon is because it is the most straight-forward tier-2 weapon to use in the game. Even if it doesn't teach anything new, it does tell newbies that THIS is the tier-2 weapon to turn to if you don't know what to buy. I highly recommend putting it in a section where you need to do some heavy run & gunning. I highly doubt it'd diminish the impact of the nailgun as long as the MP5 comes AFTER the nailgun.

bencelot wrote:
1) Alchemic Acid. This is a very important chemical but I just can't think of a good puzzle for it yet. Ideas welcome! If we can think of one I'll make it core.

In the beginning of the stage, you are given only an alchemic acid & a base. There are 3 guards - 2 armed with M3s, the last one armed with a sniper. The shotgunners are easy to deal with, but here's the problem:
* The shotguns have no ammo, and even if they did...
* Last guard is out of shotgun range. You can see him, but you can't hit him.
What you have to do is sell the shotguns with alchemy(refilling them would be silly), spend the 1k on an AK-47 (or Ruger if you picked it up previously) and shoot him down. You could have a variant where you have to buy a Barrett instead, but I suppose having access to a Barrett early on is not a good idea.

bencelot wrote:
7) Black Hole. I couldn't really think of a decent puzzle for this one. Black hole works great in PvP because enemies are constantly strafing and escaping and being able to slow this is very useful. But against guards I don't see it solving any puzzles. I'll try place this is an somewhat easy to find spot incase players want to play around with it but don't think I can make any puzzles for it. Open to ideas!

I think any puzzles with blackhole should revolve around disrupting the guard's waypoint. I'm working on the assumption that Blackhole doesn't alert the guard but will still cause him to be slowed and pulled towards you. No specific design comes to mind though.

bencelot wrote:
5) Neutralizer. I'd love to teach these but I can't think of how. And I cannot place something with no use within the reach of casual players. They'll pick up a Cloner/Neutralizer, read the description and find no possible way to apply this knowledge. Just too confusing if it doesn't do anything. The only people who should every discover these are people who are HUNTING for them, purely for the sake of completion. If anyone can think of ways to teach these I'm all ears, but I have no ideas yet.

Actually, aren't guards just player characters with different graphics and a lack of barrier? Can't you just allow guards to be armed with chemicals and then command him to use his version of the 'C' key to place a chemical at a waypoint? With this as the basis I have a way to teach neutralizing.

You are standing near a window after activating a checkpoint. You see this guard with an unusually long FOV carrying a strange payload, walking to a spot, and apparently placing it at a chokepoint, then running off. Now, ahead of this chokepoint is another set of guards, but you won't see them until you are at the chokepoint. You head down to the chokepoint and come across a neutralizer along the way.

Normally, you would sit at the chokepoint and observe the guards for at least 5s. The guards won't ever face your direction. SUDDENLY, the chemical guard appears and shoots you down in one shot! How does he know you're there?!

Turns out he placed a Sonar Cell right in the chokepoint, and when he left, he was actually going to a hiding spot and FACING the sonar cell - i.e. he can see you. You have a few seconds to quickly use the neutralizer to destroy the sonar - thereafter the confused guard will arrive... whereupon you can knife him. The rest of the puzzle can be designed flexibly.

This won't be a 1-puzzle deal too. You could use the guards to place secret hidden chems along with secret neutralizers as a source of secret cash, could also do a puzzle where you need to lure guards to a location and steal their cache of weapons for a long puzzle but realize that the weapons will disappear, a cloner puzzle, a guard with a bionic gas etc.


bencelot says:

Mon 19 Oct 2015, 05:34


Good ideas! Cheers!

Quote:
Fair enough, but these 2's first introduction should come together in the same stage and immediately preceding each other.


Wondering why you think this should be? I'd have thought if anything splitting them apart would be better. I was thinking that the tutorial level should introduce: USP, M3 & Self Repair. These give you the bare basic concepts of weapons and skills, switching weapons, toggling skills, etc. Good opportunity to get USP out of the way here.

Then I was thinking of having you hang with the USP for the next round or two, constantly spawning USP everywhere (already unlocked so won't make a flashy popup. You'll simply pick it up as a sidearm). Then on level 3 or so introduce this badass deagle that does way more damage vs baddies.


Quote:
For this, you could have several guards, but have 1-2 of them hiding behind a wall, whom you can only hit if you use plasma.


This is a good idea. I'm thinking I will teach plasma in a few places. I think after Self Repair, Plasma is the most intutive point and click skill there is. So it would be a great skill to introduce on level 1. So on level 0 you get SR, and on level 1 you get SR again and Plasma. Teaches you how to manage multiple skills. And at this early stage we're simply using Plasma as a way to deal skill damage and show how useful this can be. Your idea of using the splash damage to hit a dude around a corner is great for this.

Then at level 5 or something when I introduce barrett I can reintroduce Plasma and require you to get 1 shot kills with it. I think it's important to reintroduce old items from time to time. It makes the player feel a sense of familiarity and progess. They pickup a Plasma Ball and this time they're like "oh cool, I remember this one". Level 5 Firestorm might be nice to introduce at this second time as well to get them sexy double shots going.

Quote:
Ah okay. And then maybe one more puzzle where there's a guard who is impossible to kill in direct combat + constantly strafing, you're supposed to outrange him with homing bullets by cooking bullets with BT?


Image

I'm sure this is possible ;)

Quote:
For Bazooka as you mentioned later in the post you could make the enemy guard use it against a Buggy (or Gallant if you found it hidden in the stage). Then allow players to pick it up upon killing the guard if they manage to find a way to get to his location


This is a good idea. The cool thing about this system is that something is only UNLOCKED if you get it from the actual unlock on the ground. If you get it from a guard it won't unlock, it will be purely temporary. So I can "tease" players with weapons. Maybe even give them a taste of a Flamethrower or something, but it's not unlocked.

Quote:
That'd be good enough, but you could then have a puzzle section where normally, you'd have to backstab the guards who have very long but narrow vision, but you can 'bypass' it by using the Bazooka to snipe 1-shot the Loafer in their center (you wouldn't otherwise be able to blow up the loafer without them turning to face you and sniping back at you).


Absolutely love this 1-shotting a loafer puzzle. Not only could the insta-kill give you some sweet stealth kills (no guards get alerted), but it reminds me of blowing up those explosive barrels in Half Life. And of course teaches the power of vehicle explosions.

Also designing puzzles that can be "bypassed" is very important too. Especially when it relies on hidden items or items that come later in the campaign. This adds replayability. For example with my Bullet Time scenario where you must run down the corridor with BT for cover, I could make it that if you got Stolen Seekers (maybe at a later stage) you could cast SS at the very last second to send all those bullets back at the bad guys for the insta-kill, thus saving you speedrun time. Having multiple ways to solve a puzzle (or improve upon it) is key for replayability.

Quote:
For MP5 the reason why I want it to be a core weapon is because it is the most straight-forward tier-2 weapon to use in the game. Even if it doesn't teach anything new, it does tell newbies that THIS is the tier-2 weapon to turn to if you don't know what to buy. I highly recommend putting it in a section where you need to do some heavy run & gunning. I highly doubt it'd diminish the impact of the nailgun as long as the MP5 comes AFTER the nailgun.


Yup fair enough. Not every stage needs to be an elaborate puzzle. There needs to be some good ol' fashioned action shoot outs as well, and MP5 would be perfect for this. Might be a good one to pair up with Frenzy and Vampirism. I could possibly even tie this into the "story" somehow. A big showdown where you are infiltrating the Rebel stronghold.

Quote:
In the beginning of the stage, you are given only an alchemic acid & a base. There are 3 guards - 2 armed with M3s, the last one armed with a sniper. The shotgunners are easy to deal with, but here's the problem:
* The shotguns have no ammo, and even if they did...
* Last guard is out of shotgun range. You can see him, but you can't hit him.
What you have to do is sell the shotguns with alchemy(refilling them would be silly), spend the 1k on an AK-47 (or Ruger if you picked it up previously) and shoot him down. You could have a variant where you have to buy a Barrett instead, but I suppose having access to a Barrett early on is not a good idea.


I thought about doing something like this and will probably try find a way to make this work. Alchemic Acid is very important to understand. My main concern however is the WAY you can fail here. If a player fails during a shootout it's ok - the round instantly restarts and you try again. But if a player fails because they just make a stupid and irreverable decision (accidentally rebuy ammo for the M3, buy the wrong gun, etc etc) then it's kinda unsatisfying I feel. They'll just be like "hmm.. I don't know what's going on and why can't I kill this guy". I'd hate for the player to have to manually commit suicide to try again and buy the right thing. So if I was to do this there'd have to be some sort of time element to this, to ensure that IF a player makes a mistake they'd get killed off naturally. I suppose this can always be done by having a heavily armed guard on a very slow patrol that goes right to where the player is standing, ensuring sooner or later the player will face and die to this guy unless he is able to do X first (get past the sniper guard). I'm sure we can work it out.

Worst case scenario we don't make a puzzle that NEEDS the use of Acid, but drastically benefits from it somehow. Better yet if we can make use the acid to not only complete guard puzzles, but complete a puzzle that awards just enough cash to buy a warp field and use that to get to a secret location to unlock a superweapon or something.

Quote:
Turns out he placed a Sonar Cell right in the chokepoint, and when he left, he was actually going to a hiding spot and FACING the sonar cell - i.e. he can see you. You have a few seconds to quickly use the neutralizer to destroy the sonar - thereafter the confused guard will arrive... whereupon you can knife him. The rest of the puzzle can be designed flexibly.


Interesting. I hadn't considered that the chemicals would actually help the guards. I thought if I was ever going to find a way to make Neutralizer work it'd simply be to gain the cash reward and use that to do whatever, similar to Acid above. But this would be even better. Of course it all hinges on the ability for guards to place chemicals, which I'll have to look in to.

Also I was thinking that there might be a way I can get Cloner to work in co-op modes. Not sure how yet but it is possible to configure whether objects spawn or not based on the number of players. Maybe in 2+ player games Cloners actually will spawn as exploratory items alongside another chemical. There'd have to be some incentive to have 2 of the same chemical however. Might be able to work some elaborate puzzle with warp fields or something..


STM1993 says:

Mon 19 Oct 2015, 06:46


bencelot wrote:
Image
I'm sure this is possible ;)

Why not both? That gif only demonstrates that BT can cook bullets, but not that it grants seek. The seek part is pretty important for PvP.

bencelot wrote:
I thought about doing something like this and will probably try find a way to make this work. Alchemic Acid is very important to understand. My main concern however is the WAY you can fail here. If a player fails during a shootout it's ok - the round instantly restarts and you try again. But if a player fails because they just make a stupid and irreverable decision (accidentally rebuy ammo for the M3, buy the wrong gun, etc etc) then it's kinda unsatisfying I feel. They'll just be like "hmm.. I don't know what's going on and why can't I kill this guy". I'd hate for the player to have to manually commit suicide to try again and buy the right thing. So if I was to do this there'd have to be some sort of time element to this, to ensure that IF a player makes a mistake they'd get killed off naturally. I suppose this can always be done by having a heavily armed guard on a very slow patrol that goes right to where the player is standing, ensuring sooner or later the player will face and die to this guy unless he is able to do X first (get past the sniper guard). I'm sure we can work it out.

Actually, I'm not too concerned about the mistakes in my scenario. The key thing is that the 3rd guard is within normal view distance between 25-56m - all guns except the shotguns can hit him, and you only have a knife or the shotguns on the floor. Even if you have spread, you will hit the guard eventually with your full clips of ammo, and its not like he'd realize he is being shot at unless you actually hit him or you are firing close to him (which you are not).

As for the currency issue, even if you refilled your gun or bought the wrong gun, you still have a chance. Suppose the shotguns are M3s. The two M3s are worth $500 each in the acid, total $1000. No more, no less. Suppose a few scenarios:
A) Oops, I bought the wrong tier-1 gun.
I can still try killing the guard (see above). It works. Especially since the guard would literally only have 1 hp. I'll get to pick up another gun later on for the next checkpoint, so it ultimately doesn't matter what I bought. I can also use the suggestion in scenario B.

B) I sold one of the M3s and refilled the other OR I rebought the M3.
Sell off the shotgun I'm carrying. Get $500. With $500 I can only buy a grenade, molotov, flashbang or USP. Except the flashbang, they'd all do the trick, and most players would click the USP. In the very unlikely event I do buy the wrong gun twice in a row, I've only myself to blame and I can commit suicide by simply walking towards the guard, no need to use the self-kill function. Besides, the time limit guard won't really solve the issue. If I made 2 mistakes in a row too quickly, I still have to get myself killed by running to either guard. If I do the correct thing too slow, I still die.

EDIT: Last but not least, I put this scenario as the first puzzle in the stage, so if you screwed up, you can just restart.


Asterparity says:

Mon 19 Oct 2015, 13:19


bencelot wrote:
7) Black Hole. I couldn't really think of a decent puzzle for this one. Black hole works great in PvP because enemies are constantly strafing and escaping and being able to slow this is very useful. But against guards I don't see it solving any puzzles. I'll try place this is an somewhat easy to find spot incase players want to play around with it but don't think I can make any puzzles for it. Open to ideas!


Black hole is a nice thing to have when using Bouncing Bullets or Stolen Seekers(IE, when you want to be shot at). For that kind of puzzle, I just see yourself having no guns and a path of un-knifable guards. I think Black Hole makes a good exploratory item for that scenario.


bencelot says:

Sat 24 Oct 2015, 05:32


First look at text zones and scripting guards! Story time! http://www.twitch.tv/bencelot/v/22139789


STM1993 says:

Sat 24 Oct 2015, 05:50


Summary:
* Stealth mode video. The map featured is a completely new map called "Laboratory", which will be used as the 1st map for the tutorial/campaign.
* There will be a variant of Stealth mode called Campaign, so you won't have to deal with the freezetime and such, so it becomes more of a story.
* The guards can talk! And if you shoot them they will take 33% damage and also talk back.
* When you pick up objects for the first time, you'd hear the newbie checklist sound and get the popup + unlocked. The popup will not show up again unless you leave the round without clearing it. Comment: Use respectUp.wav instead, newbie checklist sounds too annoying here.
* Hurt tiles now deal damage to barrier at 1/2 the rate. This is vital for the 2 barrier puzzles in the map. Comment: Mentioned that players might get frustrated if they screwed up the first barrier section and coming to the 2nd section with 1hp, having to redo the whole thing again.
* Self Repair section teaches using skills and how to toggle on/off. Comment: The 2nd guard would probably need to repeat the text about toggling. If there is a 2nd SR section, make sure to stress that you can toggle off again.
* Update to UI - there is now some white text saying "Queue Skills", and also "1-5 F1-F5" slots for the skill rows.
* By default, players will now always sprint. Holding down shift will now cause you to walk instead of pressing once for toggling.
* There are alternate ways to complete the stage and secret paths to take to unlock other stuff.
* Comment: "You shall not pass" guard's FOV seems to be buggy.
* Comment: That last guard is deaf in a special way - he can hear you if you sprint past him, but he would only look at the location where he initially hears you, not track the continuous sprinting that the player is doing.
* The last part of the video when Bencelot talks about the Text Zones in map editor got cut off.
* Qwerty mentioned he wants to be able to make gangsters shoot at each other to simulate a war, and then turn to shoot you if you just run out. Also make them able to move, not just stand still.

By the way Bence, I think it would be best if you just proceed with modifying official maps that were created by community members for Campaign use. In this case, since its pretty much a tutorial, it would be better if the format and stuff are all standardized and designed by 1 person to avoid inconsistencies (plus we don't know what you have planned for the other official maps). We can handle the portions that won't be used in the basic Campaign.


GelatinOverlord says:

Sat 24 Oct 2015, 06:26


STM1993 wrote:

* Qwerty mentioned he wants to be able to make gangsters shoot at each other to simulate a war, and then turn to shoot you if you just run out. Also make them able to move, not just stand still.

More like be able to shoot at a specific angle at specific times. Not necessarily at eachother. Like having rebel gangsters shoot at targets for practice at a rebel camp, or shooting at the cover where a sci gangster is hiding.


bencelot says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 02:16


Hey dudies, I haven't updated for a while because I've been doing menu stuff and it takes forever. But I've finally finished all that and the whole campaign STRUCTURE is complete. Whatever do I mean??

Image

1) The database now keeps track of your progress through each campaign. There are 4 separate campaigns you can play for the 4 difficulty levels. You can start on either Playful or Standard, but can only play Hardcore and Insane after completing the campaign before it. When you stop playing the game records your progress and when you come back you'll continue right where you left off.

2) When you finish a campaign you will be added to these special new campaign leaderboards. This shows the combined time for all the stages in the campaign. I expect these will range from 2 to 10 hours based on player skill. I'm very excited about these. The current leaderboards are very spread out with no central focus point. Why care about the Asylum Outbreak time when the Barn, Core and Downtown are equally as important? But now we have 1 leaderboard to rule them all. The complete Standard campaign. Hardcore and Insane leaderboards will always be cool to place on. Players will attempt Insane simply to BE on the leaderboard, let alone do it quickly, because it will be such a great achievement.

Image

3) I've done lots of polishing to make the whole campaign feel a lot more like a story/game and less like a series of maps. Between rounds I'm now showing some stats while the map loads. I'm very excited about the "Items Discovered" stat as this will let players know that they missed some items and encourage them to explore more on the next round. Also I think I've made it very clear that you are earning experience (you get +500xp for each stage) and that it's contributing to your multiplayer profile.

4) I've also done some nice tweaks like fading into and out of black when the round ends, hiding the end of round scoreboard, and also removing the popup how to play guide when newbies first join. These things break immersion, and I want it to be a nice flow of progression.

Image

5) I've added a hell of a lot more options to get difficulty working. Guards can now have custom damage, health and ammo drop values based on what difficulty setting you are playing in. This means that Hardcore will play basically the same as Standard, but guards will deal more damage and drop less ammo. Insane even more so (and 150hp which importantly removes 1-shot knifing).

6) However in addition to these raw stat boosts I'm also able to configure guards to appear just in certain difficulty settings. So I can have an extra set of guards that appear in Hardcore but not in Standard. This makes each map play a bit differently and of course more challenging. As a general rule I will try and balance Standard for a brand new player, Hardcore for a veteran player, Insane for a masochistic player, and Playful for my grandma.

7) I have also been playing around with the text the guards say and having them say different things in Hardcore mode as well, as a fun little reward/easter egg for replaying the game. This new story content, combined with the increased difficulty, combined with the prestige of getting onto the Hardcore leaderboards, combined with the ability to replay the game with all your progressive unlocks, should provide plenty of fun when replaying the game on Hardcore and Insane modes.

Image

8) The final thing I've been doing this pas week is polishing up the first map - LaboratoryS01. I still have to add graphical stuff but I'm pretty happy with all the puzzles and story now. For a first map it's a good mix of tutorial, story, stealth and action sequences. I've got it working for all the difficulty levels as well. Should be good! I'm very close to being 100% done code-wise and just being able to smash out all 10 campaign stages. Hooray!


bencelot says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 02:26


What I'm pondering about now is how to elegantly scale for co-op. If 4 players play through this map right now it will be way too easy. There needs to be a simple and elegant system to make guards harder as more players join. Zombies already scale movement speed and souls required so they're fine, but the guards are tricky. There are a few options:

1) I already have the ability to simply configure guards to spawn based on the number of players. So I can simply chuck a whole bunch more guards to only spawn in 2, 3 and 4+ player games. And I will do this because it lets me create awesome custom made co-op puzzles. However it would take a lot of time to do this.

2) So I'd like to create some other system as well. Something configurable but on by default, which naturally scales for players. A few ideas are:
2a) Scale the health and/or damage of guards up as more players join the game. This was the old solution for Outbreak zombies, and it made things feel a bit sluggish. But it might not be so bad for the guards as each guard is MEANT to be a formidable opponent, rather than a mindless squishy zombie. Players would have to double-team guards with all their extra health to take them out fast.

2b) Respawn guards. In singleplayer each guard has just 1 life. But if there are 3 players then each guard would have 3 lives. When you kill a guard he respawns from his original position and comes at you again. This might work quite nicely, but it could be a bit weird in places as well. It would make some puzzles hard to progress through because the guard would simply respawn behind you.

I'm not sure.. ideas are welcome!


GelatinOverlord says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 03:05


bencelot wrote:
What I'm pondering about now is how to elegantly scale for co-op. If 4 players play through this map right now it will be way too easy. There needs to be a simple and elegant system to make guards harder as more players join. Zombies already scale movement speed and souls required so they're fine, but the guards are tricky. There are a few options:

1) I already have the ability to simply configure guards to spawn based on the number of players. So I can simply chuck a whole bunch more guards to only spawn in 2, 3 and 4+ player games. And I will do this because it lets me create awesome custom made co-op puzzles. However it would take a lot of time to do this.

2) So I'd like to create some other system as well. Something configurable but on by default, which naturally scales for players. A few ideas are:
2a) Scale the health and/or damage of guards up as more players join the game. This was the old solution for Outbreak zombies, and it made things feel a bit sluggish. But it might not be so bad for the guards as each guard is MEANT to be a formidable opponent, rather than a mindless squishy zombie. Players would have to double-team guards with all their extra health to take them out fast.

2b) Respawn guards. In singleplayer each guard has just 1 life. But if there are 3 players then each guard would have 3 lives. When you kill a guard he respawns from his original position and comes at you again. This might work quite nicely, but it could be a bit weird in places as well. It would make some puzzles hard to progress through because the guard would simply respawn behind you.

I'm not sure.. ideas are welcome!

Well you can make pickups one time only and have them be at a reduced quantity.. So the healthpacks/manapacks give less hp/mp, same with weapons.


Asterparity says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 03:58


I think 2) increasing the damage of the guards is the 'best' idea. Although 1) is the most ideal, you might not have the time left to accomplish that. 2)* Increasing the health of the guards could make things more boring.

2b) is an interesting idea, I however have no idea/knowledge how this would look or work out. So my opinion here will have little value.


bencelot says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 05:57


Thanks for the feedback dudes.

Qwerty, I've already added the ability to customise if unlocks (weapons, health, skills, etc) spawn or not based on player numbers, so map makers can definitely use that. That will help a lot. Also zombies already scale based on number of souls required too.

For guards option 1 is definitely the best and I'll do that when possible. But it's not just a time consuming issue, it can be a technical performance issue too. I can't have a ridiculously huge number of guards or else the game will slow down too much, so there needs to be something other than simply scaling up the number of guards as the number of co-op players goes up. But yeah it will take a lot of time this way.. When you guys make your own maps I'm sure you're not going to want to sit there placing 4x the number of guards just to accomodate more players.

t's probably something we'll need to playtest a little bit. I'm no longer liking the idea of respawning guards, because it breaks the flow of the puzzles too much. You need to be able to progress through a stage without fear of a guard respawning behind you.

A sheer scaling up of health or damage might work. Heath is the most elegant solution, because if there are 2 players it means we can dish out 2x the damage, thus 2x the health to keep things balanced. But would it be boring, I wonder. I know it was boring in Outbreak but I feel it might play differently here. Players could stealth sneak together and knife at the exact same time to get the stealth kill, etc. Not sure, we'll need to playtest it I think :)


bencelot says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 18:59


Ok thinking about this some more I have come up with the solution for coop scaling. It's basically scaling up the health, damage and ammo dropped, with cash shared equally among all living players.

1) I already have the option to place extra dudes in for more players, and will do this to create more challenging and custom made co-op puzzles. It will be awesome. There are limits to this though. If a big shootout sequence is balanced around a singleplayer battle of you vs 20 guards, then I can't just have 80 guards to accomodate for a 4 player coop. That would be technically way too expensive and would also look kinda silly as well. Therefore I also need..

2) Stats scaling. It's the only other way. Respawning guards is messy, and I can't just place extra guards for technical reasons. Thus instead of a 1v1 transforming into a 4v4, I need to have a 1v1 situation transfer into a 4v1, where that 1 guard is the EQUIVALENT of 4 guards. To do this I need the following equations:

Health must scale up linearly. 4 players means 4x the guard health.
Health = Health*P

Damage scales up half linearly, as in a true 4v4 situation the guards attack would drop off as you killed them 1 by one. Thus the equation is:
Damage = Damage*(1 + (P-1)*0.5).

Ammo drops also have to scale up linearly. If all guards have 4x the health, as a team you'll need 4x the ammo to take them out.
Ammo = Ammo*P

Finally cash also has to scale up. If a map is designed so you can just reach $10,000 by the final bomb, then it'd suck to play 4 player and only end up with $2500 each. I could simply pay out 4x the cash to the killing player, but I think I'll just do STMs idea of cash sharing and award ALL living scientists the cash reward instead of just the killer. This not only solves the scaling issue, but also makes kill stealing a non-issue too.

I think scaling the 4 stats above does a good job of scaling a guard up to the equivalent of 4 guards without running into technical issues or having to spend a shitload of time in the map editor placing all of these guards down.

3) I will have to give guards different coloured clothing to indicate if they have 100hp or more. Light purple for 100hp and less, and dark purple for those who have extra health. This lets you know that these guards can't be 1-shot killed with a knife. Also makes them look like boss monsters a bit.

4) I actually think that unlike the zombies in Outbreak, scaling up the stats of these guards will play fine against guards. In Outbreak no particular zombie has any significance so it's just a pain to have to dish out so much damage against each one. But guards are different. Every guard is positioned perfectly and must be treated with respect. If they have more health it's fine because unlike Outbreak where everyone just does their own thing, players will want to (or need to) coordinate their attacks on 1 guard at a time. If a guard is pacing back and forth and in singleplayer you need to sneak up behind him with the knife attack, the same play works in a 4 player game. BUt now the guard has 400hp instead of 100hp, so now ALL players must sneak up behind the guard for the knife attack. I think this could be quite fun, moving as a tight squad to stealth kill him at the exact same time. Anyway it's the only real options and we'll just have to playtest it. I think it'll be ok though.

5) Each guard will have a special "coop scaling multiplier" which defaults to 1. The way this works is that the final health value of a guard is actually calculated like this:

P = num players
M = coop scaling multiplier
H = original health

Final Health = H*max(1, M*P);

For those who don't code, max(1, ..) means that if M*P is less than 1, we still use a 1 value). So by default M is 1 and so the final health will scale up linearly with the number of players. But if the map maker decides to put in a second guard specifically for a 2 player scenario then they should set the M scaling value to 0.5 instead. This way the final health of each guard in a 2 player game will remain at the original health of 100hp, which it should because there is already an extra guard to make things more difficult. You don't want to have twice the number of guards AND have them both have twice the amount of health, that would be 4x more challenging for a 2 player game. Finally if map makers want they can set this M value to 0 so that even in a 100 player game, the guards health will not change. This might be necessary when the health of a guard is extremely important, like if you have a Barrett with a single bullet in it and you MUST 1-shot this dude.


Anyway, I think this should be a good way to solve the player scaling issue. Ideally server sizes will be capped at 4 players for Stealth mode, but even if more than 4 players join a server this system should scale things accordingly anyway.


Maximilian says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 21:31


Fixing nonexistent killsteal issue by awarding equal cash to all players no matter who worked for it, has as much sense as communism :P


Zero, in other words


bencelot says:

Wed 04 Nov 2015, 21:50


Haha, agreed. However at least the person who actually gets the kill on the guard is awarded the score, which lets them get their name displayed first in the leaderboards. Also dead players don't get any cash either. But the cash has to scale up somehow. The reason for the communist approach where all 4 players get 1x the cash instead of just giving 4x the cash to the killer is because of the kill combo system. The ORDER of kills matter, the first kill is worth $100, the second is worth $200, third is worth $300 as the kill combo counts up. Players would be incentivized to be the second or third player to attack instead of the first, so they could get more cash for themselves. I think this would just be awkward and slow things down. Now players don't care when they attack, as long as they do (so they get cash as well as the score bonus).


Olaroll says:

Sun 08 Nov 2015, 17:20


Stealth mode? Cool I guess but I hope there will be enough content to justify making this gamemode. Also enough features to keep the players attention.


bencelot says:

Sun 08 Nov 2015, 17:30


I hope so too Olaroll :)

I'm aiming for 12 stages in the campaign, each stage taking between 10 to 30 minutes depending on player skill. Not sure if that's possible yet but I'll see in a day or two when I finish Subway. But if I can do that we're looking at 2 to 6 hours content, which I think is great for a $10 indie game. Then we have way more replayability due to the Hardcore and Insane difficulties playing very differently from Standard mode. Also the new unlockable item system gives a good sense of exploration and progression that should give even more playtime. Toss in repeat plays to top the leaderboards and we're all good!

But all of this is speculative at the moment. But honestly though, even if there's only 1 hour of gameplay from the entire campaign, I think the fact that it will actually teach newbies how to play the game in a fun and easy way will make it worth it. The biggest problem MF has had for years is that newbs don't know what they're doing. Now I'm finally addressing that problem once and for all :)


bencelot says:

Tue 10 Nov 2015, 01:31


Image

Bouncing Bullet puzzle :D

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