The Castle Doctrine Forums

Discuss the massively-multiplayer home defense game.

You are not logged in.

#1 2013-07-02 08:55:23

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

A proposal about new animal movement?

I'm being very careful not to keep tweaking the game to "defeat" the latest annoying security patterns.

However, an idea came up that makes a lot of thematic/logical sense, and seems like it would increase the tactical richness of the game.

What if animals behaved a bit like family members, in that they remained frozen in their position until they saw you?  Then they would start moving, using the current movement rules, and remain in motion after that.  So, a cat would sit there until it becomes visible, then run away from you forever.  A dog would sit there until visible and then chase you forever.

This would add a new usefulness to windows (which are currently only marginally useful for triggering a safe family escape, and otherwise mostly decorative and psychological).  It would also somewhat weaken the pure "magic dance behind concrete walls" style of house.  It would still be possible, but it would have to have weaknesses here and there where the animals would have to be seen in order to start dancing.  You could imagine a cat running away and closing doors behind it, for example.... pretty cool stuff.

What do you folks think?  Any major weaknesses in this idea?


I know that many people suggested something like this over the past few months.  It took a while for me to come around to it, but now it's sounding better and better.

Offline

#2 2013-07-02 10:55:48

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 160

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Sounds neat. But I do worry that in combination with other game elements, it
might nerf pet-based traps too far.

Since bricks break windows and kill cats, any cat-based trap can be foiled
just by chucking bricks as soon as the cat is woken up.

The situation isn't much better with dogs - you just have to brick the windows
then let the dog come to you (falling back to a corpse if necessary).

So I'd suggest at least that this be combined with reinforcing the windows to
be impervious to lobbed bricks. I also note that I've never met a cat who
couldn't dodge easily out of the way of a brick...

Even with all that, this change would make protecting families quite a bit
more expensive. But I already suspect that some tweaks should be made (I'm not
sure what) to open up new possibilities for keeping them alive, so maybe that
isn't so much of a problem.

Offline

#3 2013-07-02 11:02:54

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

As Zed says - if windows are a necessary part of any animatronics then they are too easily foiled. Perhaps the answer is to give animals an 8 (or whatever you think) tile field of awareness. That would keep any hidden mechanics within reasonanble tool reach.

Offline

#4 2013-07-02 11:08:39

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Simple fix: Animals don't cross broken windows. If they're afraid of their dead pals, then they'll also dislike stepping through shards. Makes sense to me.


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

Offline

#5 2013-07-02 11:14:03

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Getting rid of magic dances would be great for so many reasons. It makes sense. It's more intuitive. The name really says it all: magic dance. I don't think anyone likes dealing with something so opaque; it's not fun. Sure, combo locks will still be around, but at least the inputs will be clearly visible. Here are the caveats I can think of:

1. It really weakens pitbulls. Mazes often benefit from dogs coming after you when you can't see them. If there is a fork with two hallways and you go down one, it's easy for a dog to come running down the other hallway, out of sight until you turn back around: http://castlefortify.com/c/c32defb

2. I can already foresee a weak version of the magic dance surviving if pets keep moving even after they can't see you. Simply leave a 1 tile opening (e.g. glass) to get a dog to start chasing and you're good to go: http://castlefortify.com/c/4a1aebe

Of course, you could easily disable magic dances completely by getting rid of the "chasing forever" mechanic in your proposal. Any reason why it couldn't be chase on sight only?

Also, since you said "visible", I'm assuming pets wouldn't start moving if off the frame. Please clarify if this is not the case.

All things considered, I think the change is probably still worthwhile.

Last edited by jere (2013-07-02 11:20:45)


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

Offline

#6 2013-07-02 11:15:14

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Wait a minute....

If a cat MUST step on buttons behind a wall to open trapdoors or whatever, so as the robber you MUST see in through the windows and let it run to do it's thing.... and you break the windows with a brick and then kill it, well, then it doesn't do it's thing, right?

I mean, I know that you could go in and step on buttons in place of the cat at that point, but I can think of several devices back there that would make that harder to do (one way gates that the cat would have run through but would trap you in there, etc.

Anyway, most of the magic-dance style traps are not just based on an animal doing things behind the scenes that you wish you could stop, as the robber.... but also the animal doing things that are necessary for you as the robber, right?

Offline

#7 2013-07-02 11:43:42

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 160

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Right, I was thinking more about family protection. Once the robber has a corpse to fall back to, if he's careful then the only way to force him to use more guns is to release a pitbull *behind* him, between him and any corpses. The obvious way to do that is to use a pet-based trigger to open a powered door to release a pitbll. This change would make that pretty trivial (and, more importantly, cheap) to foil.

Offline

#8 2013-07-02 11:56:29

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Hmm... but can't he walk past some windows on the way to the family, "turning on" various animals back there, which would then run around behind the scenes and open doors behind the robber as he nears the family?

Pit bulls behind one window are dangerous, right?

Also, the brick can only reach 5 tiles, so I think a cat behind a window could still be "safe" in many circumstances.

Yes, it would make this kind of house design much knottier, but knots are good.

The big change here is that animals won't be able to move invisibly deep in the bowels of your house. 

It was a very cool moment, back in v3 or something, before the alpha, when we discovered that emergent property.  Like, whoa!  Look at this fiendish black box that I just built!  But for a new player, it was always like... um, is that a bug?  How is that possible?  There are even a few video reviews where the reviewer is totally puzzled by this kind of invisible, off-screen behavior.  Now at least you'll have to lay eyes on the culprit animal before it causes trouble....

Offline

#9 2013-07-02 12:06:19

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 160

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Nevermind. It's a good change. I say do it, and leave the problem (which I'm fairly sure it will become apparent is a problem) with protecting against careful murderers for later.

Offline

#10 2013-07-02 12:26:59

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Seems like a good change. Keep in mind this would change loads though; even things like timers, and it might make chiwawas and cats (which are only really used step on switches) a bit less useful.

Offline

#11 2013-07-02 12:32:33

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

even things like timers

True. Heh, I've sometimes thought a clock tile would be really interesting (i.e a switch that is ON every other turn). Yea, that could be used for some hidden electronics, but at least it wouldn't be dependent on your movement.


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

Offline

#12 2013-07-02 12:45:37

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Also as a side effect I think this will help thwart hackers that just set all tiles to non vision blocking, as (unless it uses a separate script thing) dogs will start moving when they shouldn't and the server won't allow their run to pass.

Offline

#13 2013-07-02 13:14:07

jearr
Member
Registered: 2013-04-18
Posts: 42

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Turning off fog of war?!  That would explain several mysterious robberies I've seen. 

I'm in favor of sight-activation or distance-activation of pets.  I love that pets trigger buttons and I think it is one of the core trap mechanics, but magic dances can make for very un-fun houses. 

There is at least one way in which this change might also make your basic pitbull a bit stronger.  Currently, dancing around in front of a door is a viable way to check if there is a dog that can path to you somewhere beyond the door.  If there is, then you simply don't step through the door and you are safe from it with no tools used.  If you have to see the dog before it activates, then doors become more ominous, since you cannot close them(strange), and opening the door may release a dog.  This would allow a new kind of simple no-electronics dog trap.

Offline

#14 2013-07-02 15:09:26

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

just for clairty, once an animal has seen you, it begins moving. even if you get to the other end of the map, behind so many layers of walls, it is still following you, right?

colorfusion wrote:

it might make chiwawas and cats (which are only really used step on switches) a bit less useful.

there have been quite a few houses where you had to 'surf' on a pile of chuaiauiauiauas to get past a mob of angry pitbulls!

Offline

#15 2013-07-02 17:17:10

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

I support it, but to a certain extent one of the best effective traps for poor players was the pitbull in close vicinity (yet unseen) who follows the player if he goes a certain way. Line-of-sight only would kill this. If I see a pitbull behind windows I know whats going on.


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

Offline

#16 2013-07-03 03:20:48

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

This will change everything.

Can we also add only-on-when-stood-on buttons(or as some may call, spring-loaded) with this as well?

These two things will make crafting house traps completely new.


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

Offline

#17 2013-07-03 05:08:40

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Pressure plates!

Offline

#18 2013-07-03 07:49:07

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Yeah, the idea is that the dog would follow you from all the way across the map, through 30 walls, once it has seen you.  But it has to see you before it starts this behavior (before that, it stands still doing nothing).

Momentary pressure plates are not compatible with the way the transition engine is implemented, unfortunately.

Offline

#19 2013-07-03 15:19:14

segarch
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 59

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

I think it's definitely worth trying out.  Very similar to the blueprint release, it will completely change the gameplay in a way that we can't currently fathom.  But it seems to me that it will move things in a way that feel more fair for the explorer, and create more tension and surprise in general. 

Maybe it will have more of a feeling of "I am exploring an unpredictable cavern with hidden beasts" rather than "I'm inside a sadomasochistic grandfather clock". tongue

Anyways, trying it out and seeing what happens will end up a learning experience for all of us.


Share castle designs: http://castlefortify.com
Let me know about any Castle Fortify issues here: https://github.com/SethArchambault/CastleFortify/issues
Contributing is easy!  Check the readme: https://github.com/SethArchambault/CastleFortify
Twitter: @SethArchambault

Offline

#20 2013-07-03 16:49:20

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Okay!  Yeah, I'll get this new behavior in place sometime in the next few days.  We'll see how it goes.

Offline

#21 2013-07-03 16:54:03

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Brilliant.

Stupid question: Might it be possible to send out email notifiers of new versions? (Opt-in or just to all users with an opt-out.)


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

Offline

#22 2013-07-03 16:57:26

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Umm... yeah, I'm supposed to be doing that already.

But I don't want to annoy *everyone* with minor versions that are still really in progress....  so I always put it off until the time feels right, and it's been a long time since I sent one out (everything has been so in flux for so long, it always seems like the game is *almost ready* to bring 3800 people back into.... but not yet).

There's a way to "subscribe" to the news forum, though.  I haven't tried it myself, but I'm guessing it will send you an email for each new news post?

http://thecastledoctrine.net/forums/mis … ribe&fid=4

Not sure if it will send you an email for each reply to a thread, though.  That would be annoying!

Offline

#23 2013-07-04 04:44:43

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Fair enough, 3800 is a lot of people. Might be the right moment, might not.

How about just sending an email to all registered users on the forum for know (if there is an easy feature for that)? A lot fewer people but it's something. wink


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

Offline

#24 2013-07-04 04:58:43

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

jasonrohrer wrote:

Yeah, the idea is that the dog would follow you from all the way across the map, through 30 walls, once it has seen you.  But it has to see you before it starts this behavior (before that, it stands still doing nothing).

Momentary pressure plates are not compatible with the way the transition engine is implemented, unfortunately.

Ok, I am not going to let up on pressure plates just yet...

Are you saying implementing pressure plates is challenging or impossible?  I was thinking about this today during my monotonous job, and granted I am no coder, I thought something like this may work:
------
MY ZANY CODE IDEA:

Pressure plates have three(3) states, lets call them PPlate_0, PPlate_1 and PPlate_2PPlate_0 is an off state (up), PPlate_1 & PPlate_2 both display as an on state (down), but only PPlate_1 is treated as "on" during the electricity pass, PPlate_2 is essentially a transitional state.

So as I see it, there are a couple of phases to each turn:  Robber moves (or acts), then pets move (or don't) and then switches etc. are checked and electricity calculated for that turn.

When a (1) robber, (2) pet or (3) brick interacts with a PPlate_0, it changes into a PPlate_1.  During the electricity phase, PPlate_1's are treated as on.  After electricity is calculated a simple subroutine runs which turns all PPlate_1's into PPlate_2's and all PPlate_2's into PPlate_0's.

Simultaneously during each pass, PPlate_2's are checked for interaction, and if they interact with a (1) robber, (2) pet or (3) brick, then they are changed back into PPlate_1's, resuming their life span as 'on'.

This then creates plates which are only on for a turn, then switch off afterwards, unless a robber, pet or brick are on it.

In my mind it seems pretty simple, or am I being too code-naive?

Last edited by dalleck (2013-07-04 05:01:30)


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

Offline

#25 2013-07-04 07:05:38

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

Re: A proposal about new animal movement?

Oh, sorry, I was mistaken about how that part of the engine works.  Long ago, stuff used to be only triggered by the presence of a mobile (not the absence), but that changed at some point to let an animal block a door that's trying to close (and then allow the door to finish closing after the animal leaves).

So, there are both "mobile" and "noMobile" trigger conditions now.

I was thinking back to the days when I was implementing switches, and there wasn't a "noMobile" trigger condition back then.


Anyway, yes it is possible, and not hard.  However, I'm still wondering how useful and interesting they would be....  You know, given that nothing happens in this game when you're not moving, so it's not like anything is happening while you're standing on a pressure plate.  It's only interesting if something happens exactly as you step on or off, in those two moves.  I'm trying to avoid a lot of duplicate functionality in the house objects (keep it simple, avoid "kitchen sink" design style).

SO....

Can you demonstrate (via Castle Fortify.... just use a light in place of a pressure plate or something) an interesting mini-design that uses pressure plates but would NOT be possible to emulate without them?   (You know, two dogs walking behind each other turn a regular switch into the same behavior as a pressure plate, right?)

Maybe something where every time you hit the plate, a "dog dispenser" lets one more dog out?  I dunno...

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB 1.5.8