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#1 2013-06-21 06:58:13

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

Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

I still think that somehow the benefits of v8 (balance) need to be brought back to the game which is now more about n-thick walls etc. at a certain wealth since hidden workings are hidden again.

So: how about reintroducing partial blueprints via tools!

Say you have an electrics mapping tool that shows you everything connected to a given circuit once plugged into that circuit. Plug it into a trapdoor/... in front of you, see all connected wirings, switches etc. Say it costs 2000 or so. That would make electronic houses one option but introduce a new weakness that would encourage labyrinths etc. at least at the start since a house with one power source (like mine) would be revealed almost in its entire workings. If there is more than one circuit, you could at least deduce if the current circuit is meant to kill you or if you can walk safely.

It might have to be coupled to a heatmap device showing the position of all animals in a sexy reddish glow. (also 2k?)

All would have to come together on your blueprint-map.

Those two tools would work as a limited sort of blueprint, and introduce a nice layer to the game.

One might even also introduce an echo-sounding device to reveal all walls in a given radius (though not their type). Yet I am the most sceptical about this part, in theory as well as implementation.

Taken together, this would basically add up to limited buyable blueprints, expensive enough to discourage random use against starter houses and yet provide new options of high-tech robbery for the rich kids on the block.

Thoughts?


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

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#2 2013-06-21 08:17:59

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

I've proposed granular blueprints before, similar to what you're saying here. The echo-sounding is interesting. You have to ask yourself if that'd ever be better than just blowing through a few walls though.

The thing is that "hidden workings" behind one too many walls will still be an issue with partial blueprints... especially with only getting particular circuits. Complicated electrical puzzles would require a full blueprint to be solved. The reason is that you can "connect" two unconnected circuits through pets. At that point, all circuitry, all pets, and all walls (basically everything) are vital to deciphering the puzzle. That gets me thinking that the "use a switch -> become vulnerable to full blueprints" concept is so nice. It allows both pure labyrinths and pure electrical puzzles. Then I have to remind myself that this is not a game about puzzles.


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#3 2013-06-21 08:38:19

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

jere wrote:

The reason is that you can "connect" two unconnected circuits through pets. At that point, all circuitry, all pets, and all walls (basically everything) are vital to deciphering the puzzle.

tl;dr:
I thought about this quite a bit, and it might be that, say, the first circuit releases a pet into another circuit required for later. Say you know you can open three doors in the first one but you don't know which one until you reach the trapdoors. But then you'll know the next time.

Thinking about it some more, I can conceive of something where a hidden switch chain in the back releases pets via magic dance to operate the first circuit. I couldn't be ar'ed to get something like that to work but people have done worse in v8. Fair enough. 

We keep returning to animals & switches as the problem. I recall those discussions, it seems like more of an issue now that people earn money just to buy a few ladders to get a glimpse inside a house even though they know it's too few ladders to reach the safe. Tools for information seems a logical conclusion at this point.

How about this: If the heat-mapping tool would update animal position with every time it is used (at horrendous cost of course), this could give you clues as to what animal is supposed to go where. Even without knowing every circuit. And imagine the shock if you walked deep inside a house, face some switches, use your mapping tools and only realise then that there have been 10 pitbulls trailing you through the house and your escape is blocked. smile
/tl;dr

Bottom line: I don't think the full disclosure of blueprints is the perfect fit since it has killed off the proper playing of the game as in having to move inside the house to gather information. Rather, some middle ground of more information (that requires exploration!) but less than full disclosure seems more in tune with the game. I don't mind some guessing game remaining, as long as one can have a bit more of a clue what is coming in more sophisticated houses. Then you can take chances, or leave and return with ladders if it seems too complicated.

Last edited by bey bey (2013-06-21 08:38:46)


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

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#4 2013-06-21 10:19:43

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

My thoughts on this: if we're to take seriously the idea that this is Not A
Puzzle Game, then we shouldn't be worrying too much about making optimal
houses fun to break in to. They won't be.

Instead, we should try to make them a nigh-unattainable goal - have money so
limited that you always need to cut corners, with robbers motivated by their
own poverty to look out for those vulnerabilities.

With good balancing, I hope this could be fun and continuously interesting.
Optimisation shouldn't just be about making the hardest-to-crack house - it
should be about balancing cost and difficulty, doing the most with least.

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#5 2013-06-21 10:34:29

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

zed wrote:

My thoughts on this: if we're to take seriously the idea that this is Not A
Puzzle Game, then we shouldn't be worrying too much about making optimal
houses fun to break in to. They won't be.

Instead, we should try to make them a nigh-unattainable goal - have money so
limited that you always need to cut corners, with robbers motivated by their
own poverty to look out for those vulnerabilities.

With good balancing, I hope this could be fun and continuously interesting.
Optimisation shouldn't just be about making the hardest-to-crack house - it
should be about balancing cost and difficulty, doing the most with least.

I am fully on board with TCD not being a puzzle game, BUT I'd say the game will only flourish if it is some kind of fun to play, not in the sense of puzzles but in the sense of a good balance of home-defense and robbery. Blueprints from the start meant that nobody was playing anymore but rather solving puzzles. Making some information accessible from within the house would eliminate the puzzle feeling but give robbers a bit more information against those blocks of concrete or electric-welcome-mats that are just annoying.

Every time cash was limited, things just turned for the worse. (The combo of starting cash and permanent damage saw cheap houses being razed to the ground etc.)


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

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#6 2013-06-21 11:04:26

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Right; really I meant that jere's first reaction, which would also have been mine - to think of ways of designing which would defeat this kind of tool - isn't necessarily the end of it. As long as it's expensive to do, the tool would still serve a purpose.

I don't really know whether I like the idea of these scouting tools or not... if things can be balanced such that properly hiding your logic is too expensive, so just cutting through walls is all you need to scout, then that would be neater. I'd say sort the economic problems first (including the abuse of initial money), then think again.

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#7 2013-06-21 12:23:06

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Well, the hidden idea behind this (I think) is that with 30x30 squares it would solve some of the deeper problems of the game as we see them now, since a multicircuit house would prohibit 20 thick walls for example - the space wouldn't permit it, so the enhanced electro-security would come at the cost of "only" say 8-thick walls and thus give you another weakness to players in the wealthier segment, that's why I said "balance".

As for tool-scouting: I honestly tried a few houses with up to 10k in cash (which is hard enough to come by) ONLY to scout and didn't get to a point where I could see anything but more pits or more concrete. If the cash were THAT abundant on the other hand, the same level of random destruction would hit the better houses as well and we'd soon be left with nothing but rubble judging from recent history.

I also think the cashflow etc. is the bigger problem at the moment, by why not have some other thoughts along the way. wink

After all: If the game is more fun, more people might play it and the cashflow would be better. big_smile


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

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#8 2013-06-21 14:17:13

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Hmm. Actually, what about bringing back the idea of stopping metal walls being
conducting? Then any hidden logic would have to have a vulnerable path of
wooden walls leading to it.

That wouldn't help with the classic "magic dance on entrance" setups where the
logic is behind a row of trapdoors / electric floors, though.

Which leads me to an idea which is probably stupid, but just might not be:
require complete circuits for power. So wiring would be single-strand rather
than the current double-strand, and a tile gets power iff it is contained in a
complete non-self-intersecting loop of conductive tiles starting at a power
source. Relays would work like transistors.

That way, you couldn't have rows of trapdoors with the electrics hidden
behind.

Could this work? Would it be far too complicated?

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#9 2013-06-21 14:36:41

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

I see how the change to only wooden conducting walls would make trapdoor-setups etc. a bit pointless and (thus) destroy electronics as a defense strategy (just bring saws), but I kind of find some electronics an interesting and viable development, it just needs some counterbalance.

That's why I like my idea better (naturally wink ), just plug something into the floor to see the power. It would DEFINITELY work if you make it so that only ONE power source can be placed, which was a good suggestion before and makes some too crazy setups impossible. And for something as essential as power, only being allowed to have one seems an acceptable restriction. A lot of electronics is still viable with this (I did my so far not properly broken house with one power source.)

By the way, "relays would work like transistors" is Chinese to a theology major like me, but once blip or you, Zed, demonstrate what that means practically, I could also use that I guess. You're the whizzkids. wink


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

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#10 2013-06-21 15:16:24

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Well it wouldn't make trapdoors useless - once the wires are sawed through, the trapdoors aren't going to get powered... I was thinking more that it would just make scouting out the logic easier.

With one power supply and a wiring-analysis tool, you've basically just got a complicated interface to wiring-only purchasable blueprints. Seems a bit blunt.

"relays would work like transistors" was a bit cryptic wink
I guess what I should have meant is that any complete circuit including the north side triggers the switch on/off.

But anyway, after thinking a bit about the consequences, I've decided this 'complete circuit' idea is a stupid one after all.

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#11 2013-06-21 15:44:37

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Well, all I'm saying is that once I know that wooden walls will be at both sides of some trapdoors, I'll rather bring 60 saws than 10 ladders. (At least that was my first thought.) Even if you were to flood your electronics compartment with pitbulls, bringing crowbars or drugged meat will still be cheaper than ladders. 

Even now, with metal walls, they are the weakest point in any electrical house just since they cost only a third to cut through but they don't really seem overpowered to me. 

The big problem with blueprints was that they were mandatory and starter houses were defenseless. Doing it with tools would leave it up to the builder, and the robber would have to reach the electronics first (labyrinth etc. could be a first line of defense). Putting in electronics would then come at a price, and you'd hate yourself for wasting a 2k (or even pricier) tool on a house where the switches are just decoys or random stuff. Also, unlimited tools would still leave your house vulnerable to eventual brute-forcing.

I don't know, I'm just thinking about how to make electronics one viable part of the defenses, without being the only or overpowered solution. I think a few restrictions could make that possible.

But yes, it is a bit blunt. One-power-source-restriction and 2 (or 3) expensive new tools for it to work properly. The trade-off might be more viable ecosystem.


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

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#12 2013-06-21 17:23:13

largestherb
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From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

bey bey wrote:

Even if you were to flood your electronics compartment with pitbulls, bringing crowbars or drugged meat will still be cheaper than ladders.

hint: most effective v10 walls will be chequer-board of concrete and pitbulls. bring your guns and bombs. lets see if you can reach my vault.

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#13 2013-06-21 19:03:29

nathan
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From: A ditch somewhere
Registered: 2013-06-15
Posts: 61

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

The thing is, electronics aren't always the most viable defense. If you don't have a lit of cash, you can just make a complicated, convoluted maze. For example, in my past life my house had a maze where you had to not go straight at the beginning, since there was a pit there. After that, you found out there was a dog chasing you. Then, you had to go on the right path, avoiding going straight, through a door that locked you out, and then you had to solve a dog-based puzzle. Of course, some people just brute-forced in. What can you do?


"I just robbed Mr. Rogers." -Ludicrosity "The wood is my desk, and I'm knocking it with my head." -Blip
"I'd rather pack 25 meats than 1 crowbar if you know what I mean..." -Jabloko
"This is one of the most disturbed things I have seen in quite a while. I blame global warming." -bey bey
"that seems like more resources than I'm willing to put into having my kids killed." -cbenny

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#14 2013-06-22 05:36:00

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Well, you said it yourself: If I see I house like that, I'd bring a bunch of saws and crowbars and some water etc. and usually that's enough (in v9, v10 might be different) to get to the safe, with lots of cut up walls and dogs in the process.

A safe that can only be reached with a massive investment (20+k) is the safest one can get at the moment and that means trapdoors and electronics.

V10 will be quite interesting because the more dangerous dogs will make mazes more terrifying again. After the next reset (due to death or circumstance), I'll do my best at a psychological maze.


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

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#15 2013-06-22 07:24:51

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

bey bey wrote:

V10 will be quite interesting because the more dangerous dogs will make mazes more terrifying again. After the next reset (due to death or circumstance), I'll do my best at a psychological maze.

Yep, that's gonna be the flavour of v.10, methinks...  robbers will be forced to carry guns.

Last edited by dalleck (2013-06-22 07:26:18)


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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#16 2013-06-22 07:29:21

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

dalleck wrote:
bey bey wrote:

V10 will be quite interesting because the more dangerous dogs will make mazes more terrifying again. After the next reset (due to death or circumstance), I'll do my best at a psychological maze.

Yep, that's gonna be the flavour of v.10, methinks...  robbers will be forced to now start bringing guns along.

Still, I HATE what was said about doggie-checkerboard-walls that would be impossible to cut through financially and thus incredibly overpowered (3 squares of that cost 300 to build and 2000 to take down...), so you'd almost have to take the ladder-path through a concrete block instead of cutting through the middle bit. This will make for even uglier and even harder to force houses. hmm


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

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#17 2013-06-22 07:30:59

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Ah, forget it: If dead dogs still block each other, I think it can be done with only one gun and crowbars after that just moving back and forth and taking down the dogs from the safe spot. Soooooo, checkerboards would be CHEAPER to break than concrete blocks. Better keep that quiet boys until it has been done. wink


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

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#18 2013-06-22 08:09:23

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

bey bey wrote:

Ah, forget it: If dead dogs still block each other, I think it can be done with only one gun and crowbars after that just moving back and forth and taking down the dogs from the safe spot. Soooooo, checkerboards would be CHEAPER to break than concrete blocks. Better keep that quiet boys until it has been done. wink

I don't mean for walls, I mean just getting around the maze in general.  If you have blocked yourself in and have a sleeping dog in front of you I hope you have a gun handy, and if not a rope.

And if you fancy digging around these suckers, well, I bet its gonna get really boring when you have to keeps doing it.

Last edited by dalleck (2013-06-22 08:15:27)


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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#19 2013-06-22 09:26:50

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

bey bey wrote:

Ah, forget it: If dead dogs still block each other, I think it can be done with only one gun and crowbars after that just moving back and forth and taking down the dogs from the safe spot. Soooooo, checkerboards would be CHEAPER to break than concrete blocks. Better keep that quiet boys until it has been done. wink

I'm thinking you could use wooden doors with dogs behind to make walls that require a crowbar then a gun to get past, and you could have multiple of these walls forcing the player to bring many guns.

Maybe I'm missing an easier way to counter them but this seems pretty powerful from the information we have.

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#20 2013-06-22 09:56:54

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Yup: you only need one gun: Shoot the first dog, for next dog move back and forth until the dog is in front of the corpse (on which you can stand), then kill dog w crowbar; rinse & repeat. If I'm not mistaken, nothing will change about the fact that live dogs can't cross dead ones so that should be viable. It is in my head, at least. Build a house around that strategy and I'll come visit. wink

That would mean that pits & concrete are still the best defense.


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

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#21 2013-06-22 10:05:19

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

bey bey wrote:

Yup: you only need one gun: Shoot the first dog, for next dog move back and forth until the dog is in front of the corpse (on which you can stand), then kill dog w crowbar; rinse & repeat. If I'm not mistaken, nothing will change about the fact that live dogs can't cross dead ones so that should be viable. It is in my head, at least. Build a house around that strategy and I'll come visit. wink

That would mean that pits & concrete are still the best defense.

It is interesting.  Of course, as you point out, one should still be able to get around a pack of dogs in a corridor quite easily, but there is now that sense of danger that if you get into that situation, especially while backtracking, that you want that gun handy.

That is why I think you will need to carry a few guns for that little bit of backup.

Last edited by dalleck (2013-06-22 10:15:35)


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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#22 2013-06-22 10:11:35

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Definitely true, or at least one of each cutting tool in the hope that you'll find a one-thick wall to escape. With a cheap-looking house, I'd probably just bring a few crowbars, meat and a bunch of saws hoping that I can always cut through some wall.


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

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#23 2013-06-22 10:17:50

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

bey bey wrote:

Yup: you only need one gun: Shoot the first dog, for next dog move back and forth until the dog is in front of the corpse (on which you can stand), then kill dog w crowbar; rinse & repeat. If I'm not mistaken, nothing will change about the fact that live dogs can't cross dead ones so that should be viable. It is in my head, at least. Build a house around that strategy and I'll come visit. wink

That would mean that pits & concrete are still the best defense.

Good point.

It could still be used either once to cost $1100 to the player, or perhaps have the walls not close together so it would either be annoying or impossible to get back to the original corpse.

Last edited by colorfusion (2013-06-22 10:18:02)

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#24 2013-06-22 10:26:44

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Yup, either way: The impenetrable dog-stuff wall is no threat - it's cheaper to cross than concrete-pit-concrete pit etc.

Corridors etc. are a different story, potentially every dog there costs you a gun if you do it right.


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

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#25 2013-06-22 14:44:49

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

Re: Bringing back the balance - mapping tools.

Regarding making metal walls NOT conducting (so that wired wood walls must lead to electronics)... wouldn't that have the same effect as making the torch the same cost as the saw?

Also, magic dance setups need not have any electronics on the outside, so no vulnerable wooden-wall paths leading to the electronics.  You know, roughly like this:

http://castlefortify.com/c/a1d1254

So only external-button setups (combo locks) would be affected.

In general, though, I decided early on to avoid "detector" type robbery tools, because I felt like it gave the game too much of a minesweeper feeling.  You could imagine animal detectors, metal detectors, etc., etc.

I do really want to encourage on-the-ground cut-through scouting, instead.

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