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#1 2013-05-27 17:45:58

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

state info text on blueprints

I think there's a little bug with blueprints:

At the time of writing, Howard Mark Jones' house has two electric floors with fried chihuahuas on them. However, in the blueprint interface these squares are described just as "electric floor / chihuahua", misleadingly suggesting that they're alive. (I read the debug output to see that they're fried - the code is "110,71:3!". Also, I fried them when I robbed the house ;) )

Last edited by zed (2013-05-27 17:48:36)

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#2 2013-05-27 22:26:15

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: state info text on blueprints

jasonrohrer wrote:

You see the current state of the house (like where dogs are, etc.), but you don't see whether things in the house are modified or not (like, you can't tell the difference between living and dead dogs on the map).  This is partly for simplicity of implementation (so I don't have to make blueprint versions of each and every thing in the game, fried pitbull, crippled pitbull, etc.), and partly for thematic reasons (because a dead dog wouldn't be in the blueprints).  So, a cut-through wall just looks like a normal wall in the blueprint (thematically, damaged stuff is not shown in blueprints).

Source: link

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#3 2013-05-27 22:32:18

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: state info text on blueprints

Also that's my house, you thief!

How come you can't rob it again? tongue

Anyway, I need to rethink the design to include family protection. This one was made soon after reset when there was still only $2000 starting credit, however it held for like 100 tries 60+ deaths before it was breached. And now it's still going strong...

Last edited by Matrix (2013-05-27 22:34:20)

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#4 2013-05-28 05:28:15

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: state info text on blueprints

Ah. Hmm. That may make some sense thematically, but I fear it's only a matter of time before people figure out how to use it to start making bitlocks again - with the hidden information now being which (say) chihuahuas are fried. I can imagine setting something like that up without too much difficulty.

For now - apologies for having broadcast what should have been hidden information about your house, Matrix. Also - that was the trickiest house I've seen so far, the first to actually pose a real challenge. After failing to get my head around it on paper, I actually made a mock-up of the critical elements in my own house, and experimented with various techniques until I finally hit upon the right combination of moves.

I won't do it again, just to give other players a chance!

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#5 2013-05-28 13:52:45

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: state info text on blueprints

zed wrote:

For now - apologies for having broadcast what should have been hidden information about your house, Matrix.

Nah no worries lol. I just left it there to confuse others. If you think about it, if the power source is working those chihuahuas can't be alive anyway - or - if they are alive there is no power in my house anymore wink

zed wrote:

Also - that was the trickiest house I've seen so far, the first to actually pose a real challenge. After failing to get my head around it on paper, I actually made a mock-up of the critical elements in my own house, and experimented with various techniques until I finally hit upon the right combination of moves.

Now this is really interesting... that's exactly how I would do it wink The current design is weak against full visibility, which you pretty much achieved by mocking it inside your own house. I knew exactly that if someone does that or if someone has a modded client with no fog it will get breached fast. But that's ok, it gives me more motivation to improve it.

zed wrote:

I won't do it again, just to give other players a chance!

Nah don't worry, you can go for it. I need to start from scratch anyway, since I plan to protect the family on the next try.

zed wrote:

Ah. Hmm. That may make some sense thematically, but I fear it's only a matter of time before people figure out how to use it to start making bitlocks again - with the hidden information now being which (say) chihuahuas are fried. I can imagine setting something like that up without too much difficulty.

This!

It's pretty much the new way of doing guessing games (= combo locks). Of course it's harder to pull off than it was in v5, but it's potentially more powerful and more rewarding, because you can trick people into death when they are sure (based on the map) that they are playing it safe. The design decision to not show the damage status of tiles basically moved the uncertainty from "invisible" in v5 to "unreliable" in v6.

It's still early to tell how this will affect the metagame, because at the moment players are still not (ab)using this trick, but given enough time I think we will see more of it. The idea is interesting though, because it gives you a reason to develop your house further after a robbery (I actually like this part of it). The house becomes stronger (because of misleading info) if you rebuild instead of restarting. And now that the family can be protected (with the right design choices) rebuilding is actually a viable strategy.

Last edited by Matrix (2013-05-28 14:09:41)

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#6 2013-05-29 03:47:38

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

Re: state info text on blueprints

Wow, indeed, this opens up some really clever misdirections if you cooperate with someone else!
For instance, you build two vertical bitlocks above each other, with a wooden wall in between. Then you get your henchman to rob you, and during that robbery he saws though that wall. All your victims think those two bitlocks are independent, while in reality they are one large bitlock!

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#7 2013-05-29 08:06:19

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

Re: state info text on blueprints

Yeah, this is a possibility.

However, as DrNoid points out, it would require collaboration from a robber to pull off (or VERY clever planning).  Regardless, it essentially is a one-time-robbable strategy (even if you collaborate, your collaborator has to make off with half of your money or kill a family member for it to work). 

You could also imagine someone rebuilding AROUND some cut wall from an earlier robbery to use it in a misleading way.  Pulling that off would involve quite a lot of cleverness and luck, of course (counting on some robber to cut some wall).

So, I'm guessing that while some people might be able to do this once in a while, it won't become a dominant strategy because it can't be done all the time (and especially not to thwart the first robbery).

My only concern is that it still leaves the game open to one last kind of "cheating":  by modding the client to show the actual map instead of the blueprints, a player could get a slight advantage in some cases by being able to see this extra information about damaged stuff.  I may figure out a way to fix this eventually (even if I don't redo all damage graphics in blueprint style, maybe the extra info could still show up in the tool tips, at least).

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#8 2013-05-29 10:08:27

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: state info text on blueprints

I think it can be done in an easily repeatable way. Sure, it would involve allowing people to rob you, costing some money, but would then leave you effectively invulnerable.

I suppose I'll have to prove the concept next life!

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#9 2013-05-29 10:10:50

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: state info text on blueprints

...but yes, putting the full info in the tooltips would be fine as a fix, at least for the case of mobiles on traps. Broken walls could do with an extra graphic, I'd say. Not sure about other cases.

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#10 2013-05-29 11:24:52

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

Re: state info text on blueprints

As a note, I thought about doing this in the days to come once there is a bit more money to be collected: Map out where you want your map to be broken, build some of the other stuff you want to have so you can finish the map once your broken elements have come in, then put your safe behind one wall to be cut through, or an electrified grid you want destroyed etc. and leave a few hundred $ in the safe. It shouldn't take long for somebody to do your breaking for you without any hazzle. This could effectively foil maps at the current stage.

Last edited by bey bey (2013-05-29 11:25:25)


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

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#11 2013-05-29 17:24:52

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: state info text on blueprints

jasonrohrer wrote:

You could also imagine someone rebuilding AROUND some cut wall from an earlier robbery to use it in a misleading way.

Yes that's what we were talking about. We were not referring to collaboration. That could be seen as a form of cheating. I am not sure. But that's definitely something to watch out for, because it might trivialize the whole "broken" map thing.

jasonrohrer wrote:

Pulling that off would involve quite a lot of cleverness and luck, of course (counting on some robber to cut some wall).

It's not hard to pull off and I don't think luck has much to do with it (maybe a little). Robbers will try to exploit a weakness in your defense thinking they are smart, while you actually put the weakness there in the first place.

Basically what bey bey posted, but let me expand on it. You need to make an annoying-to-solve design, add a few weak spots to it and protect your family well. If done right, most robbers will spot the weakness and would probably rather exploit it than figure out an annoying-to-solve design. After something gets broken you build around that (just one broken thing is already enough).

jasonrohrer wrote:

My only concern is that it still leaves the game open to one last kind of "cheating":  by modding the client to show the actual map instead of the blueprints...

Cheating will always be around. Sadly that's not the last kind of cheating. Even if the blueprints show the full initial state, cheaters can still get the "current" state after every step, cheaters can also remove the fog, cheaters can downscale the map so they see the whole house at all times, cheaters can also test solutions safely and they can do all sorts of things that I can't even think of at the moment.

As long as legitimate players don't feel too restricted by the game, it should be fine.

Updated tooltips for broken objects is a good start. Maybe thematically broken objects could be marked with a X scribble (an extra sprite) overlying broken objects. It could look like someone used a pen to mark the broken object (just mark, then you can hover over it to get the actual state from the tooltip). Thematically you probably didn't get the map from the house owner anyway... more likely from a thieves guild or another thief so it wouldn't be strange that broken objects are marked.

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#12 2013-05-30 03:06:30

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

Re: state info text on blueprints

It doesn't take much work to get some nice broken walls: I just put my safe at the visible end of a long corridor one had to walk around. Easily enough, the wall was cut through after 5 minutes. I added some other stuff and, again, it was cut through. Its especially easy at this point in time where there is almost no money in the game. There were only a few hundred $ in the safe.

Essentially, robbers preferred to use a 20$ saw to running for 20 secs. I could now use those nice broken walls to design a trick entry trap that fries you while you think you're safe and vice versa.

Knowing this, maps are useless - we'll just get a new level of dickish designs, where the top houses are protected by broken traps and only cheating helps.

I think, some kind of info on if an element is broken is essential. It would still leave some guessing game if the house is broken by design or by accident, but that's a nice feature after all.


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

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#13 2013-05-30 03:08:03

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

Re: state info text on blueprints

* the same might be done with an electrified floor; people will use water on it instead of walking across the map; using some nice timing, one could use one of those setups to get more than one design element such as a chihuaha sitting on a switch etc.


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

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#14 2013-05-30 12:57:44

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

Re: state info text on blueprints

Good idea, Matrix, about the "scribbled X" on the blueprints to show something modified.

That would thematically help it make sense to be a different color (like something "penciled in" on top after the blueprint was made).

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