Forum

Stealth gameplay

Non-technical talk about multiplayer and singleplayer gameplay and game design.

Moderator: InsideQC Admins

Stealth gameplay

Postby Urre » Sun May 02, 2010 10:22 am

Stealth games are fun, but I've never seen them take it to the next, ultimate level. I'd want a game where you have the entire complex infront of you as one huge seamless level, and you map areas as you make progress, possibly find maps over areas.

Also, all the interaction you make with the world is permanent. This means, guards who spot you won't forget about you as they do in other games. If they spot you somewhere, and you are unable to kill off the guards who did, they'll alert the rest of the complex that there's an intruder, and try to flush you out until they're sure you're dead. They'll remember where they last saw you, and make assumptions about where you'll turn up next.

The interesting part here is, the first guard you kill, will drop a com-radio. You'll hear all the chatter between guards about what they think you're up to. This will also be shown on the map, with indicators pointing where you were last seen, and if you have those parts of the map, indicators where they expect you to currently be.

The guards expectancy levels are also dynamic. If they spot you in the ventilation system, they'll know to expect you from vents.

Imagine Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, except more free. :)
Strap yourself up!

Look out for Twigboy.
User avatar
Urre
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:36 am
Location: Moon

Postby Sajt » Sun May 02, 2010 2:14 pm

This is similar to a "one-level game" idea I've had since 2004 (somewhat inspired by the Doom Bible) called "steal the ship", a semi-futuristic game where you enter a five or six story complex with all sorts of usual rooms (mess, bedrooms, labs, mucky basement, etc). The inhabitants all act out their normal lives like an RPG, and you are supposed to steal and fly away with one of the two big spaceships. You can do this by force or stealth or (possibly) diplomacy, if an interesting dialogue system were made. You start with no weapons though, so getting a weapon in the first place is hard. (You can use any object as a weapon to bash people with until you get your first "real" weapon.) The guards only make up a portion of the population. There are a lot of scientists. There are intercoms and an alarm system. There is a central "security HQ" which is nigh impossible to penetrate, but if you do you get to see all the security cameras and radar things and whatnot. There are escalating responses to the alarms, first the guards will look for you, then robots will come out of closets, then a SWAT team will arrive in a helicopter (which you can see coming when looking out a window). Snipers may be placed on the roofs too to hem you in.
F. A. Špork, an enlightened nobleman and a great patron of art, had a stately Baroque spa complex built on the banks of the River Labe.
Sajt
 
Posts: 1215
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:39 am

Postby Urre » Sun May 02, 2010 11:40 pm

Sounds extremly similar indeed! I'd also want there to be a point for everyones existence in the complex, and not just a bunch of guards.

I can't imagine something like this being impossible at all. Hard, sure, but an interesting challenge! I can imagine all sorts of AI LOD and stuff happening in the background, and such.
Strap yourself up!

Look out for Twigboy.
User avatar
Urre
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:36 am
Location: Moon

Postby Team Xlink » Mon May 03, 2010 2:15 am

This would be an interesting game, a really fun with with AI and depth ahead of its time even if it wasn't in the latest and greatest stuff.

Other games try to create a whole world but one thing I think they lack is the NPC interaction aspect.

For example, in Half-Life, I walk up to an NPC, that says, something like, not right now Gordon, 'm busy. Then I can walk up to another 5 scientists who say the same thing, despite being totally different looking.

Each AI having a purpose would add a whole new level of depth to the extent of a complete virtual world.

The idea of a feat that is nearly impossible but is ultimately rewarding and not required nor straightforward to do every single time you try, like Sajt's Security HQ is awesome.
Team Xlink
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:45 am
Location: Michigan

Postby gnounc » Mon May 03, 2010 2:26 am

Soooo like Splinter Cell...but with great AI?

I've always wished splinter cell had awesome AI.

Its not terrible ai, but its definately not great,
and conviction is way too linear: (

Still I love the franchise, I would love it to have intelligient AI....and more places to run and hide and more interactivity in the level.
User avatar
gnounc
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:26 am

Postby Downsider » Mon May 03, 2010 2:29 am

I don't like Conviction that much so far. I mean, it's fun, but it lacks depth and it's restricted a lot. Chaos Theory still holds the number one place in my book.
User avatar
Downsider
 
Posts: 621
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:35 am

Postby Urre » Mon May 03, 2010 4:35 am

The AI doesn't even have to be that great for this to be interesting. I was more interested in the seamless non-linear world part, where most NPC behavior is emergent rather than scripted. Nothing stopping you from having scripted events in some places here and there, it's great for variety. I've just seen very few good examples of non-linear games with scripted events.
Strap yourself up!

Look out for Twigboy.
User avatar
Urre
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:36 am
Location: Moon

Postby frag.machine » Mon May 03, 2010 12:40 pm

And don't forget the cardboard boxes. A stealth game without cardboard boxes to hide is a big no-no:
Image
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
User avatar
frag.machine
 
Posts: 2069
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:49 pm

Re: Stealth gameplay

Postby qbism » Mon May 03, 2010 4:53 pm

Urre wrote:The guards expectancy levels are also dynamic. If they spot you in the ventilation system, they'll know to expect you from vents.

Could use triggers to make AI seem smarter? If last trigger was at vent A and player was spotted, guards gather at a target near vent B.
User avatar
qbism
 
Posts: 1236
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:51 am

Postby gnounc » Tue May 04, 2010 2:40 am

Yeah conviction is flat. Splinter cell 1-3 were all spectacular...DA was terrible and conviction...is just sorta flat.
User avatar
gnounc
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:26 am

Postby Chip » Wed May 05, 2010 7:36 am

Wasn't it a StealthQuake around here, by Cocot IIRC? It could be converted to a nice stealth game.
QuakeWiki
getButterfly - WordPress Support Services
Roo Holidays

Fear not the dark, but what the dark hides.
User avatar
Chip
 
Posts: 575
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:12 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Stealth gameplay

Postby Urre » Wed May 05, 2010 8:51 am

qbism wrote:Could use triggers to make AI seem smarter? If last trigger was at vent A and player was spotted, guards gather at a target near vent B.


That'd be one way to do it, but it doesn't really match my design philosophy, I believe in more dynamic solutions. You're pretty close though, I'd do it using a navigation system, which is the same as used by the NPC's. They'll look up the closest navigation node to where they spotted you, and calculate where you could possibly end up next using the same navigation routines they use to get around. If they can't find another way around, they might consider you cornered and wait you out or slowly advance, perhaps even shout out "We got him cornered in Double Max cell-block 3 showers!" on the radio. This is when you sneak into the floorwell, come up behind them, and slit their throats one by one :)

What I meant earlier though, was that the guards might not even have thought of you entering the ventilation system, or the floorwell in the above example, so they won't include those waypoints in their searches. Once they've spotted you to do such a thing, they will attempt to figure out where the vents can lead. I'm thinking that they'd have more trouble figuring out where you've gone if you enter a vent, but they'll atleast be on the lookout for vent entrances/exits, and guard those a bit more if possible.

Later on in the game they might deploy droids which enter the vents and hunt you down :)
Strap yourself up!

Look out for Twigboy.
User avatar
Urre
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:36 am
Location: Moon

Postby Arkage » Thu May 06, 2010 7:11 pm

Sounds like an inserting idea.

One thing I always found weird in most games is that you can kill a group of enmeys and none of them get scared that their friends have just been killed, they just keep shooting at you.

I think some system where the enemy has a moral level and that killing them will have an effect on it. So that some times when you encounter them they may charge you blindly shooting widely at screaming for revenge for all of their friends that you kill or on the flip side when they see you they will back of in terror because they know you have killed alot of the other guards. Of course not ever enemy should react the same but I think would give it a great sense of realism and make you actions have some effects.

Also adding on to that having the option to sabotage equipment around the base will effect the moral as well. For example you can disconnect a vending machine and when a guard trys to get a drink and fail it increases his anger level and that could result in him not as observant. It could also effect their patrol routes so that if you want to lure them away from an area just break a computer in a different area and some guards may get reassigned to that area to keep an eye out.

It would add quite a nice layer of immersion I think.
User avatar
Arkage
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:17 pm

Postby frag.machine » Thu May 06, 2010 8:39 pm

Agreed.

Regarding the current AI status in most games, I think the industry could do a lot better without great effort. I'll take Prototype as a typical example: the AI is so poorly coded that you can walk by the street carrying a rifle or RPG without being noticed by the surrounding military; or, you can morph/disguise in front of civilians without bigger consequences beyond one eventual scream; finally, you can enter a military base, consume the base commander in front of everyone, escape to cancel the strike team and come back as the consumed commander one minute later and nobody gives a flying "f" to that. Putting this all together, the immersion factor is greatly flawed by this lack of awareness of the surrounding environment.
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
User avatar
frag.machine
 
Posts: 2069
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:49 pm

Postby Sajt » Thu May 06, 2010 9:29 pm

It's fun to theorize about more realistic and complex AI, but there's probably a reason many games don't include such things.

First of all, the game can become too difficult. Especially a game in which you are intended to fight dozens of enemies and come out alive. When each individual enemy becomes more competent and more clever, it becomes harder.

Related to that, the game can become frustrating. When AI is sneaky, the player will often be hit without knowing where from, or attacked from behind. Or an enemy marksman who picks a good hiding spot will easily get shots away before the player can locate him.

And finally, complicated AI can, to the player, be indistinguishable from random or even buggy behaviour. Such things as Arkage's example of minute changes in an enemy's "anger" level, possibly in conjunction with other dynamic attributes, will never be perceptible to the player. He will never be able to notice patterns, and will often become frustrated. The only remedies are 1) to dumb down the behaviours and make them obvious, for example to make the enemies say out loud "I'm really mad!"; or 2) explain it in the readme so the player has a starting point to understand what is random/buggy behaviour and what is the programmed AI behaviour (the latter being what he should pay attention to for learning patterns). It doesn't help that most game players are conditioned for bad AI, and will refuse to recognize advanced AI most times, passing it off as random or glitchy behaviour and complaining about it.

Oh, and of course, there's the "problem" that complex/emergent AI takes control away from the game/level designer, but that is not a negative thing to us, because we aren't of the Half-Life school of linearity, anyway!

However, all these "compromises" don't sit well with me, and probably not you either. I still want to make sophisticated AI systems based on reality, and I would like nothing more than to include in the readme only the disclaimer "this game has advanced AI, forget what you have learned from other games and treat the AIs as you would real people". I always hate the heavy-handed approach of games like FEAR, which has somewhat "advanced" AI, but the enemies always tend to announce all their decisions out loud: "Flank him!" or "I see a flashlight!". But still, if you design a game from the start with an advanced level of AI in mind, and keep the areas roomy enough and the enemies not too numerous, you should be able to train the player to always look over his shoulder for sneaking enemies, and to forget the old method of "clear a room once, it's safe forever". And if the game is still too stressful to play, add subtle AI handicaps like louder footsteps and slower decision making (and of course a well-designed difficulty slider), but nothing so heavy-handed as fear.
F. A. Špork, an enlightened nobleman and a great patron of art, had a stately Baroque spa complex built on the banks of the River Labe.
Sajt
 
Posts: 1215
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:39 am

Next

Return to Gameplay & Design

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest