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#1 2013-04-20 10:26:01

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

One object to take the edge of happy dancing

After playing a few hours, I find myself stuck in two "modes" of gaming:  Either trying to crack stacked houses after having died because of some misfortune or then building up a house but being dicouraged from any burglary because of that tendency towards cheap doggie switches / leap of faith items etc.
(I don't bother with the complicated locking systems - I just leave.)

I have a quick suggestion to make this MUCH less of a bother without changing much about the current gameplay:

My proposal is to introduce a cat as an inventory item that can be placed anywhere and will then speed away attracting the attention of the dogs i.e. triggering hidden switches. It would probably have to cease being interesting to the dogs after a few steps (or upon death obviously).

I do love the leap-of-faith as a construction principle, yet I have no interest anymore in simply trying out which field a player has rigged in what way. An item like a cat would be a cheap way to find out if that first step is designed to kill you or not and being able to exit alive if it's not designed in a way to give the player a fighting chance. Considering that players take along multiple guns, torches etc., it also seems in the spirit of the game.

Sound reasonable?


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#2 2013-04-20 20:36:31

dalleck
Member
Registered: 2013-04-13
Posts: 250

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

+1

Yes I have always felt such an item would tip the balance of fairness over towards the thieves.  Too many houses rely on this blind faith and it seems unfair that the only way to find out is putting your body on the line.
A cat seems like a reasonable item to attract dogs, but the cat is already a house item.  Perhaps it is a spray bottle of pheromones instead which only gives you one square of dog movement and does not remain behind.


The rich aren't safe. Nobody is safe. -jere                   ...but the smell wafts out from the pit, obviously. - Jason Rohrer

And the more dickish they are, the more I feel like beating a house to destruction after finally figuring it out. -bey bey

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#3 2013-04-21 04:09:45

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

Perhaps instead of a new item, drugged meat could be thrown on the ground to attract the dogs?
The price would have to be increased if this were to happen though.

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#4 2013-04-21 04:11:16

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

Idk, I just like the idea of a robber carrying a cat in his pockets to be fried instead of him. Ha ha. And it wouldn't require new sprites or new behaviour.

There could be something high-techy like a robotic cat, but it resonates less with the low-tech feel of the game.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#5 2013-04-21 16:42:48

votekick
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 8

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

colorfusion wrote:

Perhaps instead of a new item, drugged meat could be thrown on the ground to attract the dogs?
The price would have to be increased if this were to happen though.

Why not the best of both worlds? A drugged cat!

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#6 2013-05-06 18:36:44

realitysconcierge
Member
Registered: 2013-05-06
Posts: 29

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

really, i think the only thing we need to take the edge off is a counter to offline electric grates.

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#7 2013-05-07 00:44:14

DrNoid
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 56

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

A way to counter turned-off electric grates would just result in the grates becoming 9-deep. That would actually be bad, since it results in less space for an interesting puzzle.
I think the best counter to those is a map. That will instantly make 99% of all dance-houses easily robbable and I look forward to seeing which designs will last longest.

What we do need a fix for is dogs on the entrance tile.

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#8 2013-05-07 01:25:18

realitysconcierge
Member
Registered: 2013-05-06
Posts: 29

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

DrNoid wrote:

A way to counter turned-off electric grates would just result in the grates becoming 9-deep. That would actually be bad, since it results in less space for an interesting puzzle.
I think the best counter to those is a map. That will instantly make 99% of all dance-houses easily robbable and I look forward to seeing which designs will last longest.

What we do need a fix for is dogs on the entrance tile.

You do have a point.

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#9 2013-05-07 19:24:06

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

DrNoid wrote:

A way to counter turned-off electric grates would just result in the grates becoming 9-deep. That would actually be bad, since it results in less space for an interesting puzzle.
I think the best counter to those is a map. That will instantly make 99% of all dance-houses easily robbable and I look forward to seeing which designs will last longest.

What we do need a fix for is dogs on the entrance tile.

A map would also make many other houses far too easy, including traps that aren't simple brute force to solve and are well-made and fun to try. It also would make any psychological aspects of a trap worthless; a decoy route that breaks the trap behind the scenes would be spotted and not gone down, along with rendering grates unconnected to power and the like worthless as deterrents.

On the other hand, a map of only wiring, pressure plates, and voltage triggered switches might be fairer. It would allow somebody to see the code of a combo lock, but not figure out how to beat a better-designed house, as they wouldn't be able to see all of the dogs, doors, etc. as well. I can already think of a good house design for this; beatable, but not impossible. It just takes a bit of thinking, even with a map of wires.

As for dogs on the entrance tile, an item like stun gas that has an area of effect, including the tile where you're standing, might be a fix. To stop this from being overpowered, it could stop working after a certain number of moves, allowing the player to simply walk past the dogs at the entrance and continue on once they get back up.


Current life: Not dead, but I have no clue who I am
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 149 Paintings!

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#10 2013-05-07 20:29:24

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: One object to take the edge of happy dancing

Dogs on the entrance tile is a simple bug (they should never be able to step on the welcome mat like they do).

I hear you about maps and their effect.

The problem is that any kind of partial map (only wiring) would still allow for a guessing game (even a wall-maze with many branches could have 1000s of possible paths).  Guessing games are not interesting to play.  They require trial and error, not intelligence.  You are guaranteed to die a lot during the process, meaning that you can only attempt such a house if you have nothing to lose (when you are rich, you stop playing as a result).

Finally, cheaters are just sniffing the protocol (or hacking their client) to get the map anyway, and there's no way to detect this.  The client has to know where the dogs are (to move them!), so the information has to be there.

Psychological tricks, on the other hand, ARE still possible with a map.  Fake switches are still confusing, and so on.

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