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#1 Re: Main Forum » Prevent Broken Impossible Houses » 2013-05-22 22:42:30

Blip wrote:
DrNoid wrote:

It's probably not a hack at all, but a house that becomes impossible once robbed. I think the dog used to be on the other side of the switch, as with the dog there you can just walk over the traps. However, once 1 robber has done that, and reached the vault, the new position of the dog is stored, making the house impossible to rob.

Actually, this house's state could not be due to a previous robbery. If it was, the first, supposedly successful, robber would have first walked right and to the vault. For that switch to be inactive, as it is, it would have initially been active, before the pit bull would walk over it. This means that the electric floor would have power initially, making the house unbeatable by its owner. Therefore, they must have used a modified client to verify their house, before there was a safeguard against it. I bet that, if Jason checks the tapes, that's what he would find.

Non-sticking switches don't get their state saved. Check the wiki.

#2 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-22 23:36:16

CastlePi wrote:
segarch wrote:

I have definitely seen people try to hack my electric floor trap ( by going back and forth 90 or so times, and then dying.  At the time I was like, what the hell do they think they're doing?
So I'd be cautious about a system that doesn't create a narrow window for success (unless I'm missing something here)

I optimized your version and got this:
It is 130$ cheaper an there is only one move where you can pass over the e-floor.

I wounder how you could improve this. If you are willing to die a few times you can easily break this...
Chase the timing cat to the corner, then he stays there until you step on the doormat. If the robbers are stepping back and forward between just two squares, they might never activate the switches.

#3 Re: Main Forum » More thoughts on too-hard houses » 2013-04-20 07:07:43

jasonrohrer wrote:

Regarding players starting with $0 or borrowed money....  big question:  where would money come from in the game?

A different question that could be asked is: where should money be going to? I suppose the answer is mostly personal opinion, but to me it seems clear: the rich should get ever richer, and the poor should be stuck a desperate race to try and get ahead and get a good security setup before they end up losing everything, again. So I'd suggest a scheme where income is based on leaderboard rank. As a side effect, this would a) balance the impulse to spend all your cash on fortifications (or paintings, since they don't add to your score) when doing so will decrease your rank and therefore earning potential, and b) reduce the amount of money to be had from abandoned houses.

jasonrohrer wrote:

Imagine a world-wide restart, where every player starts $2000 in debt and needs to pay it back.

At the moment, it seems that a fair share of the money in top players' stashes comes from the starting $2000 of other players, either in the form of guns & blow torches or from open homes, and I feel like that's not quite right - imo most of that $2000 should be going towards building your first house, so I thought that there could be some way to enforce that, and there's something about the concept of a homeowner turning to a life of crime that made me jump to the conclusion that he would be in debt.

Another thing I wanted to mention is: if the starting funds are supposed to be a source of liquidity, remember that any other change that will affect the spawn rate will also affect the amount of money coming into the world.

#4 Re: Main Forum » More thoughts on too-hard houses » 2013-04-17 07:39:19

jasonrohrer wrote:

There's also the possibility of making maps visually distinct (blue print look and feel, flat 2D, symbols)

One of the main reasons I like the idea of maps is because I look forward to seeing how you're going to design them.

My experience with posting a map of my house for people to look at is:
Before anyone who had seen the map could figure it out, someone else had solved it in game - without ever seeing a map of the whole house - by coming in 100 times and figuring it out trial-and-error style, one section at a time.
What I would like, assuming we do get maps or something similar to make brutish designs unfeasible, would be some way to keep people from essentially brute-forcing houses that are supposed to be puzzles.
Basically, I just think it's really unfair that when I have 50k in my house I have to scare myself half to death each time I leave the house, but someone else can come in with hundreds of characters whose deaths will be meaningless and explore the place with impunity.
When you can save time by clicking suicide (to get $2000 free) rather than walking back to the exit (to return to your house with $0 in it), I'm pretty sure it means that death is too cheap.

The suggestion I have, then, is to start new characters with no cash, but with $2000 of credit in building supplies, and needing to earn another $2000+ (without anyone stealing it from them) to pay off their debt before they can start buying tools or get access to any maps.

#5 Re: Main Forum » $332 & $336 Houses?!? » 2013-04-16 22:57:38

One thing to note is that some of these (Trexler at least, I remember from my bug report) are affected by the bug that when the wife (any family member is affected, but the wife is relevant here - her corpse holds money that can't be picked up) dies without a clear path to the door, her death doesn't get registered properly, so you can only ever steal half of his money - so you'd see his house up there twice as often as you'd expect. Or possibly even more: if the wife's death hasn't properly taken effect, maybe they're still earning double paychecks?

#6 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-13 03:19:50

Daniel wrote:

Oh my god!  We had a time-space collision and destroyed each other on the server!  I think I cracked it about 7:00am here in West Australia, which is 9am east coast and probably, what, 10am for you?  I sent Jason the recording of the crash, and it was luckily right as I started the game up.  Does this mean you didn't get to see the tape of my successful attempt?

And no, I didn't realise this map was here on the forum.  As I was playing the map I was thinking "this is great, I hope I can thank the guy who made this level", and I even thought it may have been set up by Jason himself as it  was so fair and interesting to solve.  But yeah, it took me around 6-7 hours to solve.  I did use a gun and a saw in the end, but this was just to expedite running through the first part of the maze.  As I said it took many many tries to connect the power to killing the dog at the base!  I really wanted to post the recording of my run, but the recorded file it is part of is many hours of playing and I couldn't find a way to edit it.  It would be great if someone knows a way to do this.

Ok, it turns out that my house didn't get deleted. When I saw the error message, I exited immediately without clicking anything, and sent the report in straight away. In Jason's reply he said that what happened is that the client checked back in with the server, but the response was incredibly slow and the client sent a second check in message, but then the response from the first one finally arrived, causing an error, so I suppose that the server maybe didn't realize that I'd even had an error. So I'm not sure what happened to your house then.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I finally got to see your tape. Here's the record: I still don't know how you got that electric floor lit: as you can see from my run, how it's meant to work is that you chase the cat across the entire screen, and then the cat steps on the switch one turn after you fry the dog, which is supposed to disable it. Edit: ok I see the problem now - turning on that last pair of switches bypasses the middle rail entirely. I was trying not to break the pattern roll. Someone bypassed an earlier version of the same design (where I'd left a clear path straight through the maze) by setting up the correct combination and then backtracking across the maze itself to kill the dog.

That's really cool that you solved it without the map. I remember shortly after I posted the map I saw some tapes (which I now think would have been some of your earlier attempts, based on the times you've told me) where the burglar seemed much more confident than others had been - stepping into that nook with a switch behind an electric floor, for example - and I remember worrying that I might have shared too much, that it might be less fun if you already knew the entire layout.

#7 Re: Main Forum » Facepalm inducing deaths » 2013-04-12 14:39:40

You might not know that if you go back to the front door you can return to construction mode without locking-in and paying for any changes you've made so far.

In my last house I had one place that would lock you in about half way through, but after dying twice to that design I added a way to disable that trap, except that unlocking the exit also meant releasing a pit-bull that would chase me to the door. It was quite exciting, and made testing a lot easier, because I didn't need to create an exit path for myself each time.

#8 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-12 03:33:34

Daniel wrote:
Daniel wrote:

Segarch - Played through your map last night for hours.  Brilliant stuff, really enjoyed cracking it.  I loved the dog-door stuff down the bottom, took me many deaths to correctly find the way to take there.

I did use tools in the final run through of it, but that was just a time-saver, and I think I worked it all out and could do it without tools.  Really fair and enjoyable level to try, far more interesting than a combo-lock anyway smile  It must have taken you some time to create all that!

Anyways cheers and sorry I took all your money.  If it is any consolation, the away from home bug killed my house and all the money I stole from you this morning, so I am back to zilch again smile

Keep up the good work mate!

Sorry, that is Bgorven's map.. Whoops!  Anyways good work fella!

Ok, that's quite interesting. I checked into my house this morning (about 14 hours ago now - I'm in NZ) and realized that someone was pretty close to cracking it, went into the house and made some changes, tested them, back out the front door, and when I got back to construction mode I saw the "You have died due to inactivity" screen. If I'm understanding this right that means that you were robbing my house while I was fixing it, and when the server found out its mistake it killed us both in an attempted cover-up.
I suppose it might help if we let Jason know that our crashes might be related.

Anyway, I'm really glad you liked my maze, and I'm pretty glad you solved it, too. Whenever I get rich I start feeling like Henry Jones Jr.
I mean: I do love curating my deathtrap, but I still sometimes itch to be out there playing Indiana.

Just to check: you did make use of the info that I posted here to solve it, right?

#9 Re: Main Forum » Earn robbers money on kill » 2013-04-11 17:20:45

The biggest winners of such a scheme would be the same type of unfun houses that are already OP.

#10 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-11 14:54:39

ukuko wrote:

I don't see any power going to either set of powered trapdoors. Maybe I'm missing something...

Yeah, a wire connecting the lower right sticky switch. The map had 50k in it when I posted it, so while I didn't make any intentional mistakes, understand that I didn't have a lot of motivation to be meticulous.

This map also (hopefully) fixes the bug where you could power the traps without visiting the 4 dogs.

Edit: Thanks, Matrix. Seth any chance of adding the ability to import that type of text grid to the tool? It's easier for me to do a line-by-line transcription into a skinny notepad window next to the game client than to input it using mouseclicks.

#11 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-11 08:08:58

The doormat in CastleFortify seems to be off by one.

#12 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-11 08:02:30
Yeah there was a pretty major error above the entry area where I'd forgotten to show how the power supply was connected to the actual maze, and a couple of other small things.
Here's what I transcribed from in-game, which should be quite accurate, in case there are any other mistakes:

C - Child
▓ - Wall
Z - Power source
. - Wire
░ - Wired wall
0 - Starts off
1 - Starts on
S - Sticking
| - Rotary
& - Voltage triggered
~ - Inverted
d - Door
D - Powered door
# - Electric floor
T - Trapdoor
P - Pit
b - Pitbull
c - Cat
V - Vault

▓T1...░. 0+.▓1░.. ░     ░      ▓
▓ ░▓ .▓░▓░░&░1▓ ░ ░ ░░░ ░ ░░░  ▓
▓ ▓#.10+░.░  c▓ ░ ░ ░   ░ . ░  ▓
▓ ░▓▓.▓.▓|.▓▓▓▓ ░ ░ ░ ░░░░░ ░  ▓
▓ ░bbD▓.░0░     ░TTT░.++. ░ ░  ▓
▓ ░░░▓▓ ░|▓D▓ ░░░░░░░▓░░░ ░ ░  ▓
▓.++..░..1▓0░ . ▓   .   ░.+.░  ▓
▓░▓░░ ▓▓▓░░▓░░░ ▓ ░░░ ░ ▓▓░▓▓T.▓
▓110▓.S#░ .     ▓ ░   ░.. . ▓ +▓
▓ ░.▓░▓#░ ░░░▓▓ ▓ ░ ░░░ ░S░S▓.+▓
▓.░  #░#S.▓1. ... ░.  ▓ ░~+&░0+▓
▓#░0░b▓#▓░░1░▓░▓░░S░▓ ░ ░▓░▓Z~░▓
▓ db.D▓ ░0Db░c▓.++~+. ░ .  T▓D░▓
▓Cd ░░▓ ░░▓▓░0░.▓░▓▓░▓░▓░░░T▓bb▓
>Cd ░0#   ░. D▓ ░.  . . ▓T T▓bb▓
▓ d ░▓░░░ ░▓░░▓ ░ ░░S▓░ ▓T░░░░░▓
▓#░0░   ░ ░ .   ░   ░b░ ▓T  . P▓
▓ ▓░░ ▓ ░ ░ ░░░░S░░ ░b░.S▓▓▓░  ▓
▓ Z1  ▓ 1#░    .~+++░ . ░.. . P▓
▓T▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░. ▓▓▓▓
▓T░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░. ▓▓▓▓▓
▓T▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓  ▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓T▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓  ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓T▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓  ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓T▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓  ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓TTTT                 TTTTTTTTT▓
▓b # SS.▓
▓S.+.+.. ...................0 V▓

If you can find a way to bypass the maze using tools, please do let me know though, so I can fix it. I really do want to see someone solve it properly.

#13 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-11 05:49:32

Thanks for the info. I'll try to make it harder to reach that point.

#15 Re: Main Forum » Dealing with too-hard houses » 2013-04-10 16:41:18

For the record, I am 100% in favor of buyable maps.
The only reason I suggested wiring diagrams instead is that I was trying to think of a compromise that would still allow me to get out and rob some houses (I am very proud of my current house, and terrified of losing it to uncontrollable circumstances), without making house designers feel completely helpless.

Anyway, another way of looking at this is that combolocks are weak to brute force, so what tools could you give players that would make brute force attacks more practical or fun. My answer here would be scripts. I don't necessarily mean 'scripting' in the computer sense - even just static move lists that can be generated by the player and bound to hotkeys would make the act of enumerating every possible combination of a lock a lot quicker, and have some other uses besides.

#16 Re: Main Forum » UX suggestions - include yours » 2013-04-10 02:45:53

To be able to put myself first in line to enter my own house when someone's robbing it and they take more than 30 minutes (!) and somebody else starts robbing it straight away before I get a chance to replace that chihuahua with a pit bull.

#17 Re: Main Forum » What is the point of paintings? » 2013-04-10 02:01:06

(How much) Do paintings add to the value of your house on the leaderboard?

#18 Re: Main Forum » Dealing with too-hard houses » 2013-04-10 00:01:34

I think it would be super hard to make a difficult maze without conductive walls - both hard to fit enough excitement in when all wiring has to run along the paths, and tough to dissuade robbers from cutting through the walls.

The premise of my current design is that robbers need to explore the entire maze to find the switch that powers the trapdoors that allow access to the vault, and wherever possible I've run the power lines through the walls so if they try to skip part of the maze they risk locking themselves out of the vault. It was designed to be tough to solve even if you start with a map of it - I don't think I could solve it just by looking at it.

My suggestion: wiring diagrams instead of full maps. I mean, you've got to assume that the type of electrician who's going to be wiring deadly electric floor traps is going to be a bit of a shady character. And gameplay-wise, I think the tradeoff of knowing that for every wire you place, you give away a bit of information about your house might be interesting too.

#19 Re: Main Forum » Spam Account List » 2013-04-09 23:34:51

Could you make a whitelist of people who have purchased the game and captcha the rest?

#20 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-07 17:44:55

I always feel like building around the door makes it hard to expand the level into a good dungeon though.
I have this dream of being able to become rich entirely through dropped items.

#21 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-07 17:09:54

Oh I see you can shoot through the diagonal gap...

OK the fixed version is only 4 squares high even though it goes right across, so not too much space lost. Thanks for the insight.

Also, if someone kills a family member and then dies to a dog the dog will start spawning inside a closed door where they died, but I'm not sure how it will behave when you start moving, whether adding a second layer of doors or an extra dog might prevent that trick, or whether I would even want to prevent it.

#22 Re: Main Forum » CastleFortify: Save and share your designs » 2013-04-07 15:53:03 is what I use when I'm trying to build a maze and I don't want to get robbed while I'm farming small houses to fund construction. It's vulnerable to suicide spam, obviously, so it's not going to protect much more than the starting cash, but it's small size means that you get plenty of space left for deathtraps.

And on the subject of making a narrow window for success: if make it so there's only a single turn window like [disable-trap wire][off switch][on switch][power], and put electric floors on 3 sides of your exit tile and the safe on the 4th side then you can only ever be robbed once. It's annoying to come home to a bunch of shorted electric floors and not even have enough money to fix them.

#23 Re: Main Forum » Mr. Walter Eugene Seay » 2013-04-07 14:55:18

I did it. I hope he enjoys watching some of my footage as much as I enjoyed making it, especially the way that I used the trap in the bottom right to kill that dog to save a crowbar and get me an extra square of vision into the vault area.

As for how I broke in: After I was pretty sure that the vault was in the lower left I set about scouting the area from every angle possible, and drew up a grid map of everything I could see, which was enough for me to realize how the lock worked: it's an s-bend where every tile of the s needs to be powered to open the doors, and there are trapdoors along the way that will kill the chihuahua if you step wrong. There's also a really nice effect where you can get the doors to open, but then as soon as you step towards them they permalock.

I got right up to the vault and then realized that it would be unfair for me to steal all that cash and just hide it behind a combo lock, so I suicided and took an hour to think up a fun map design, came back in and robbed the place. 3 hours and $10k later I forgot that there was a chihuahua behind me to toggle a switch again and electrify me. Anyway, at least I've got a good idea now for what I'm gonna build next time I steal a few bucks.

#24 Re: Main Forum » Idea - Prove your family can safely reach the exit » 2013-04-06 13:29:15

If dogs could kill, it would be enough to place a couple of pit bulls two steps away from the door such that a burglar would be forced to make a beeline for a door to close behind themselves while your family escape.

#25 Re: Main Forum » Big steals » 2013-04-06 05:21:01

Omnipotent: from the video, it looks like there is an extra square of metal next to the leftmost switch, bypassing the combolock altogether when that rail is powered.

colorfusion: you're looking at more like 70 runs for an eight bit lock (there are 70 ways to choose 4 items from a set of 8, wiki binomial coefficient), and that's assuming there's no timing component or pet magic.
I've found that just a 2 bit combo with a time limit has been enough to keep my paintings safe (for longer than I've ever stayed alive, at least), and has the added advantage of not letting you get robbed at all after someone kills a family member.

I think the main thing is that in terms of actual security it's impossible to beat a good combination lock, and all I wish is that there were some way to reward great level design instead of just stealing everything - sometimes I'll get to the end of some really exciting puzzle and start thinking “Oh what have I done? Now this guy's probably going to give up or go to combolocks” and just kill myself out of shame.

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