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#1 2013-07-09 16:47:33

gyuri
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 231

An idea regarding tool use

Hi guys, I've been playing TCD since v5 (mostly building houses) and reading the forum occasionally. There's a thought I wanted to share with you all and especially with Jason, who does great work on this game.

I really understand why animals don't move when a tool is used, and it's quite important for balance, but it's just not too realistic and gives another advantage to the robber: this way he can cut his way through a house followed by a pitbull right behind him without having anything to fear (as long as he has enough tools to do so).

My suggestion is quite the opposite. Because using a tool in reality requires time, it could be like this: while you use a tool, animals (and family members) move twice. In other words, you 'freeze' for one turn. This way you would have to take care of pitbulls threatening you before cutting through walls.

Using explosives could require even more time.

What do you think?

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#2 2013-07-09 17:37:55

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

this was changed quite recently, as before you could just 'use a tool' to get a pitbull to stand next to you, ready for a good whompin' with a crowbar

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#3 2013-07-09 19:26:04

Ludicrosity
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-06-22
Posts: 144

Re: An idea regarding tool use

This sounds like an interesting idea. If tool use caused animals to move twice, that would still prevent using tools to bring pit bulls within killing distance. Dogs that started out an even number of spaces away would remain an even number of spaces away. It would also make it harder to tunnel through a wall as a means of escape as gyuri points out.

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-07-09 19:26:35)

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#4 2013-07-09 19:27:29

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

The 2 turn thing might work... maybe? But how would it work in practice? Does that mean you can never club dogs because they will kill you in the two moves you take, but you need to be within 1 space? Unless the range of crowbars is extended, then that would completely invalidate them, no?

Also, I'm worried that it might be less intuitive, especially if the tools require variable time. It's certainly common for roguelikes to have actions that take variable time, but those games usually have detailed in-game descriptions too.

I do agree that the latest animal change makes it easier to run away from pitbulls through walls. That approach, however, is often a last resort. Most likely, you'll arrive at a dead end.


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#5 2013-07-09 20:23:04

Raisane
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 36

Re: An idea regarding tool use

jere wrote:

The 2 turn thing might work... maybe? But how would it work in practice? Does that mean you can never club dogs because they will kill you in the two moves you take, but you need to be within 1 space? Unless the range of crowbars is extended, then that would completely invalidate them, no?

Also, I'm worried that it might be less intuitive, especially if the tools require variable time. It's certainly common for roguelikes to have actions that take variable time, but those games usually have detailed in-game descriptions too.

I do agree that the latest animal change makes it easier to run away from pitbulls through walls. That approach, however, is often a last resort. Most likely, you'll arrive at a dead end.

it's more like you club the dog on the first turn, then take a turn to look at the horror you did and then continue.

but do you know what this'll do?, people will just make timers, if you walk correctly 100% you'd need 25 steps, otherwise 10 doors will close before your eyes, so what now if you had to club 3 pitbulls because you screwed up? you'd no way make it in time to even put doorblockers at your target

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#6 2013-07-10 08:29:35

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

This is interesting!

I would be tempted to tie it to the 2-step action that is needed to use a tool.  In other words, pick a tool (animals move one step) then use the tool (animals move a second step).  So, the first step is getting it out of your backpack.  You know, an infinite backpack can take quite a bit of digging around to find what you need!  And if you change your mind, and decide not to use the chosen tool after all, then move lost.

Otherwise, if both animal moves simply happened after tool use (as you're suggesting), the auto-two-move timing would feel weird.  You know, there would have to be a forced 0.5-second pause between the two animal steps, during which the player would have no control.  Right now, the game has a very deliberate feel, where the speed is completely under your control at all times (every key press makes the clock tick, and there are no automated clock ticks).

Still, I do like the 2-click system for confirming tool use, where nothing happens if you click away.  Gives the game a very deliberate feel.  Not sure if I want to sacrifice that safety and deliberateness.

Also, the system I suggest (one animal move per tool-action click) would change the "dangerous distance" for animals.  An animal 2-steps away would become safely clubbable, while an animal 1 step away would no longer be (maybe that's more realistic anyway---if the animal is right next to you, it's tool late to pull out a crowbar and club it).

In general, I agree that having animals frozen during tool use doesn't feel as good as having them move.  Hmm...

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#7 2013-07-10 08:42:28

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

jasonrohrer wrote:

I would be tempted to tie it to the 2-step action that is needed to use a tool.  In other words, pick a tool (animals move one step) then use the tool (animals move a second step).  So, the first step is getting it out of your backpack.  You know, an infinite backpack can take quite a bit of digging around to find what you need!  And if you change your mind, and decide not to use the chosen tool after all, then move lost.

This would certainly make groups of pitbulls in the open more realistically dangerous. It's an interesting proposal.

What if pitbulls could attack from two tiles away? A leap for the jugular! Gotta club 'em from a safe distance.

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#8 2013-07-10 09:29:06

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

For the time being, I'm not going to change the way tool use is working.  Maybe someday, after some other stuff is ironed out.  As someone pointed out, cutting through walls with a dog on your tail is kindof a last-ditch effort, and is way more expensive than clubbing the dog anyway, so it's not exactly a strategy (maybe a heat-of-the-moment tactic).  Other times, since you can only reach 4 squares with most tools before moving, tool use during the "frozen time" between moves is pretty limited.

I realized that changing this would require changing the way recordings work (to potentially handle aborted tool use, where a tool is picked but not applied).

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#9 2013-07-10 12:59:25

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

I agree that having animals frozen during tool use doesn't feel as good as having them move.

I also agree with this.  There is something odd about a bunch of tool use happening while the house is frozen in time.  But I also appreciate the reason for the change.

Making tool use cause two (or more!) clock ticks would be a pretty big change.  I have no idea whether it would improve the game, but it's an interesting suggestion.

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#10 2013-07-10 13:46:49

gyuri
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 231

Re: An idea regarding tool use

Another possibility: you need two moves to cut through a wall. So when you use the saw on it for the first time, the wall changes to 'damaged', but you need another cut to change it to 'cut' state, where you can get through. Maybe a 'damaged' wall allows to look through it, and a 'damaged' wired wall stops conducting power, but you can't walk through yet.

(BTW maybe sometimes we could discuss cutting through wired walls with a saw... don't try this at home!)

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#11 2013-07-10 13:53:52

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

gyuri wrote:

Another possibility: you need two moves to cut through a wall. So when you use the saw on it for the first time, the wall changes to 'damaged', but you need another cut to change it to 'cut' state, where you can get through. Maybe a 'damaged' wall allows to look through it, and a 'damaged' wired wall stops conducting power, but you can't walk through yet.

(BTW maybe sometimes we could discuss cutting through wired walls with a saw... don't try this at home!)

This seems like a good solution. It would be more clear to the robber what is happening rather than taking up a turn when they select a tool.

Tools would either need to have two uses or half in price (more realistic anyway) to balance it out, and might require quite a lot of new sprites.

Last edited by colorfusion (2013-07-10 13:56:07)

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#12 2013-07-12 14:02:00

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

Re: An idea regarding tool use

Oh, wait...

Any of these ideas would bring back the problem of "using a tool to change animal distance from even to odd".  Because, you know, you could half-use a tool to get the animal to come one step closer (into clubbing range).  Or select a tool (animals step) and then abort the selection by moving.

That was the whole reason the "animals are frozen during tool use" change was made----to prevent this kind of exploit.  An animal at a dangerous distance is always at a dangerous distance, and there's nothing simple you can do to change that.

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