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#1 2013-09-05 09:27:45

ibax
Member
Registered: 2013-09-05
Posts: 3

My ideas - Make the house a home

I feel the game is more of a dungeon than a home; for this reason there's a lot of grief with magic dances, and combo locks, I respect the game for what it is but it feels endless in its search for balance and perhaps needs a overhaul.

The aspect feels obvious in that people do not want their money lost more than creating eventful and enjoyable inhabitants. Very few can appreciate the work that goes into these mindful death-traps because most of the robbers [New players mostly] die within a few steps and just frustrates.

The game is intently harsh and for this reason people feel the need to create unsolvable mazes just to survive.

You could say that's life and people will go to lengths to protect their wealth and family, but never to the extremes of having a house filled with 50 pitfalls, 20 switches of death ect ... wouldn't the families life be a misery?

---

I feel the direction will be best suited where the player wants to invite robbers into their house increasing [exploration and discovery], which in turn grants rewards [Maybe monetary gain from police most wanted], [loot left by robber] [Reputation ect...] - Clearly no one would want to get robbed in real life, but having systems in place, confidence can be built that even if an intruder did enter that they will fail.

+ I think the wealth of the house should be based on the wealth it took to create it. Thus it's more rewarding to rob the house with most esteem than a new player who hasn't got a chance.

+ Perhaps the addition of furniture [Bookcases] [Draws] [Cupboards] [Rugs] - Includes hidden keys, switches. - But also the furniture increases the wealth of the overall house.

+ Add lighting [Lamps] - By using these an illusion can be made by focusing what the robber can see, alluring them into traps and taking their attention away from what they should be looking at.

+ A surveillance camera or trip wires which boasts a timer in which the police will arrive.

+ Give the player money to create a house and time to perpare it; instead of having corridors with, power switch, electric floor ect ... create a welcoming environment which adds the element of surprise and uncertainty. If a player enters a house and sees the usual bulldog, animal trap they leave and no progression is made, if they enter and see a welcoming environment it's more enticing to explore and if the houseowner made it well enough, to trap the robber/ kill.

I'll end this post for now as it may be lost on people and I don't want to continue until I hear feedback.

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#2 2013-09-05 10:07:25

Blip
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Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I feel like that the house in TCD is supposed to be more of a means for gameplay and not a realistic home. However, I think that some ideas here are actually quite good, especially that of a "welcoming environment". It would make the game feel more tense; if you walked into a seemingly innocuous room, but suddenly the doors locked and pit bulls poured in from the walls, that would be really cool. Despite this, I've seen something like that done in houses already (a room that seems like the way to the vault, but locks you in and kills you), and I feel that making changes like the ones proposed wouldn't change the incentives from simply building what people are building now.


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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#3 2013-09-05 10:26:25

ibax
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Registered: 2013-09-05
Posts: 3

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I think an element could be added to the game as well, with the mass amounts of money the player could decorate their home to show their success at the game, pure asthetics in cases, ect ... wall paintings.

The realistic home with aesthetics would arise from the fortune of the player, the house in fact being a trophy of his/her success.

If there were to be furniture added, the placement would be in a design so natural to us anyhow that it would feature the realistic of a house anyhow. If you implement a police system, then having furniture well placed and concealed would lead the robber to [search] furniture with no merit ect wasting time ... that only impede his/her success before the police arrive.

The gameplay is from the addition of furniture, [Search n find]

My idea doesn't feel like a perfect solution or anything, clearly since a guy could just create a house with 500 cupboards n 1 key, but I'll work on some ideas

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#4 2013-09-05 10:36:04

ibax
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Registered: 2013-09-05
Posts: 3

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

Maybe the spam of 500 cupboards would be recognised by a [Money based on the house wealth] system and that house wouldn't be worth robbing at all; Which you may think is what we want, but ...

The player won't have much recognition for their wealth, little success will be shown. He may rob loads of house and have money, but what is the point of having loads of money, if for one you can't do anything but build a 500 box maze, with the money hopefully an incentive of creating challenges arise perhaps.

If the player cared about their house as much as they did their vault and wife the perhaps some solutions could be made; player hub maybe?

Last edited by ibax (2013-09-05 10:36:42)

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#5 2013-09-08 07:55:47

metaldev
Member
Registered: 2013-06-04
Posts: 22

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I would like the idea of cupboards etc, if it were something you can steal from too.  You can steal the china, and maybe a lamp etc.  The idea of being able to hide money in the couch though...   This would change the game a whole lot though, not sure if that is a direction that Jason would want.

I really like this idea:
- surveillance camera or trip wire that brings on the police.
I was hoping that jason would put police in houses that have already been robbed or where someone died,  that way it would make it that much harder to rob again (right now you get robbed once you basically lose).

Anyway i think just being able to color the floor (carpet) would go a long way towards what you are saying.

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#6 2013-09-09 14:53:21

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I've considered this kind of thing, but I've decided it goes too far in the direction that other games have already pushed.   Club Penguin, Minecraft, etc.  Where it's all about "surface" customization.

The point of this game is to make player generated content actually matter to gameplay.

I have thought about security cameras and alarms to call police, etc.  But I'm being really careful to eliminate redundancy in gameplay systems.  If the police just trap the player, and there are other ways to trap the player already, then they are redundant.

I have thought about money being stashed in multiple places, but I worry about it turning into a "minesweeper" kind of thing where you have to open every cupboard.

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#7 2013-10-16 07:27:01

Dantheman
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Registered: 2013-10-13
Posts: 31

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

ibax wrote:

+ Add lighting [Lamps] - By using these an illusion can be made by focusing what the robber can see, alluring them into traps and taking their attention away from what they should be looking at.


Lighting seems a very good idea. I can imagine that lights could be hooked up to circuits, so that the player could be cast suddenly into darkness. If you cannot see anything, you are in very serious trouble.

A flash light tool could be made available that lights up a certain number of squares before you. It could have a battery that will last a certain number of steps. For example, a hundred or so.

A problem is that while having a house completely dark and then making people rob it with a flash light makes some sense thematically, it is not so convincing if you consider that the wife and children are home and are hardly likely to be sitting in pitch black. So, perhaps make lights relatively cheap to place, and mandate that your family are on lit up squares. Although, if lights require a power source then this effectively mandates that all people buy one, and they are pretty expensive.


Get out of my house!

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#8 2013-10-16 07:40:14

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I thought about lighting early on, but decided to keep it simple instead.

The point of keeping it simple is that many of the emergent dynamics are the same regardless of the seeming complexity of the underlying systems.  You can spend a lot of time building and balancing bells and whistles that really don't end up mattering very much.  Better to focus on the core, simple systems and devote more energy there.

Thus, when people talk about extra floors in the house, or multiple exits, or having to carry stuff from the vault back to the door...

These things add complexity to the game (and extra things to explain, and extra things for players to understand) without actually changing the dynamics of the game in a fundamental way.

Lighting would look cool, but it would be hard and time-consuming for me to implement, and I don't think it would be a game-changer in terms of dynamics.

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#9 2013-10-27 05:28:23

awesomebill
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Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I would just like to bump this. House plants, sofas, tvs, and possibly other floor tiles to choose from, would all be welcome additions to the game. It wont, and does not need to change the game play. It would however change the feel of the game, and would, especially in the later game, have a great affect on the build and layout of my dungeon.

     Really these are all features that I assumed were coming anyways. The games that you mentioned that you are afraid of being like, are all games that I like. Initially that's what drew me to your game. In many ways this is a super striped down, super refined pvp voxel rogue-like. And its great for that, there is no filler to the gameplay, no world for players to get lost in, only pvp combat via player made homes.(although there should maybe be just a little filler) Just don't strip the gameplay down to the bare bones. Please give us more optional miscellaneous tiles, they will be used and appreciated, I assure you.

Last edited by awesomebill (2013-10-27 06:25:39)

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#10 2013-10-28 16:04:23

awesomebill
Member
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

bumping this as it seems to be quickly falling down the list in favor of exploit reports. An exploit free game is important, but we really need some more meat on the bones in the way of house designs. I would kill for just a few house plants to dress up my entrance.

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#11 2013-10-28 16:23:08

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

Well.... I'm sorry to disappoint, but that's just not the kind of game that I'm interested in making.

There are plenty of other games that have hats and rugs and wallpaper and those kinds of things for "player expression".

This is a game about "player expression" coming out directly through the gameplay-crucial content that they build.  "Can player-generated content actually matter to gameplay?"  In this game, the player-generated content is the gameplay.  That's the experiment here.

Now, if there are game mechanical objects that can be added to the game, and there is a solid case for why the addition would be a truly unique (i.e., not redundant) new gameplay element, I'm up for those kinds of suggestions.

(For example, there will never be a "spiked pit" in the game, because that would function the same as the existing pit, it would just look different.  Pits are there because they are different from walls (they block the player, and animals can fall in).  Trapdoors are there because they are like doors that animals can fall into.  Electric floors are the opposite of trapdoors (deadly when on instead of deadly when off) ).

And what about paintings?  Well, they serve a gameplay purpose, in that you can track where your stolen stuff has ended up, even if it has been stolen and re-stolen, and they allow for revenge quests, etc.

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#12 2013-10-28 16:56:23

awesomebill
Member
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

Your killing me here, I understand your point, but the game is ugly at best, butt ugly. Homes are just cardboard boxes filled with dogs. You say that decoration adds no gameplay elements, I strongly disagree. If I had sofas, plants and other decorations, I would use them to make a visually appealing entrance to try and lure people in. Right now when I enter a home, I see pitbulls waiting for me at the main door, and concrete or boxhallways. If there is little money in their vault, I turn and walk right out. As long as you leave the tile set as bare-boned as it is I dont see that changing.
   
     If however you gave people some decorative elements to play with, Im confident that they would use these to build more appealing homes, with the hopes of luring people past the pretty crap, and into the deadly portion of the house. Currently its really easy to tell where your safe path ends and where the traps begin. With decorations, you can ease that transition until they unwittingly wander past my indoor garden, and stumble upon my traps. No one wants to wander into a death trap. Take minecraft for example, people don't just build death traps, they build them into their pretty homes, thus luring the foolish inside.

    So I put to you that decorations add a major element to game-play, no redundancy at all. They help you do hide your true intentions, and could help you to make areas look safer then they actually are. Also this seems like a really simple thing to implement, why are you so against it? It would not hurt the game-play one bit, only add to it. Chairs and sofas, ect, could just be treated like any other solid tile, so there would not be any programing or game-play problem to tackle should you choose to implement that.

    I really love this game, but its far too bare-boned for my taste. If the painting system was not in place (I love this btw, but need to be able to auction off my own paintings) to give me something to work for, I flat out would not play this. I think people can fall in quick love with this game, but when they see that there really is no end game, and very limited ways to express yourself im pretty sure they wind up losing interest quickly.  This has already happened in the past, this game seemed to have a large population earlier in the year, but most of them have left, and this may be part of the reason why. Perhaps you should try and poll your current player base and see what they think?

Last edited by awesomebill (2013-10-28 17:07:26)

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#13 2013-10-28 17:23:24

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I personally doubt people would be fooled into falling for death traps just by decorations if the only reason, other than aesthetics, that the decorations are used by house creators is just to lure people into death traps.

It only really works if people normally have decorations in trapless areas. Like in minecraft you'd associate chests and furnaces with an area of someone's base that is safe and that they use a lot, but with cobblestone there's no real reason to use it specifically in either trapped areas or untrapped areas so you can't use it to lure someone in. People might even learn to try to stay away from it, like obvious traps where you have a diamond block at the end of a 1 wide hallway.

I would like to decorate my house a bit, but I agree with Jason that it would just complicate things and wouldn't really fit in with the game's idea.

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#14 2013-10-28 17:32:26

awesomebill
Member
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I dont mean that decorations would be for fooling people into traps, Im more saying that they would serve to get people into your home. If your home looks nice it deserves a look. If someone pokes their head in your front door and likes what they see, there is a good chance that they will look around. Right now, I never like what I see. Its just the same ugly death trap hallway every time. Spruce that crap up a little, and I know people will look around a little more, its just human nature.

    Using minecraft as an example again, you-"hey come check out my dirt house!" me-"no, go to hell", perhaps if you had said " hey come check out my giant water temple dedicated to the god of the moon" pehaps I would have said "ok sounds good", thus giving you a chance to trap me in your awesome temple home.

    Also I fail to see how this could complicate the game play mechanics. Just treat a sofa like any other wall, have it block line of sight, problem solved. Implementing this could be as simple as a template swap, so Im really not seeing the complications this would cause. In a game about home design, complete lack of furnishings just makes the game seem unfinished.  I think it strongly condradicts the games idea to make a home that's not a home in anyway. I have a wife, I have kids, they need a home to grow up in, not a cardboard box filled with death traps.

Last edited by awesomebill (2013-10-28 17:40:43)

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#15 2013-10-28 17:35:07

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

awesomebill wrote:

when I enter a home, I see pitbulls waiting for me at the main door, and concrete or box hallways

If this style of home is strange to you, then apparently you haven't paid a visit to Las Cruces, New Mexico!  :-)

I'm not necessarily trying to make a game that will retain players through this or that means.  This game is, as most of my games have been, about creating a particular aesthetic experience.

There are plenty of other reasons for someone to quit the game besides lack of decorations.  What about the fact that it's soul-crushing?  That other players can come in and destroy all your hard work?  If I wanted to retain the maximum number of players, I'd have to fix all that stuff first!  And then what would I have?  The Mighty Quest for Epic (and meaningless) Loot.

As for why approximately 4580 (out of 4600) players have quit playing.... well, the game has gone from one state of "broken and unplayable" to another as players discovered this or that new, game-breaking play pattern, for the past 7 months.  I'm on revision 21 for a reason.  It was REALLY amazing in the first two weeks, by the way.... before players figured out how to build combination locks....

It's a game design problem that seems, at first, impossible to solve (when people can build whatever they want, what stops them from all building the same, optimally-hard thing?).  Maybe I've solved it now, and maybe not.  But for me, as a creator, "decorations" are the easy and uninteresting part.  I mean... take a look at any of my 17 games! 

If you think this one is ugly... well, you haven't seen anything!

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#16 2013-10-28 17:40:56

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

I think that it could play into the game thematically. Decorations would mean that people put more love and attention into their houses which will build a larger attachment. I also think some element of luring would happen - people will be more interested in exploring pretty houses.

I don't think they would complicate things game-play wise - simply make it so they can all be destroyed by anything that can destroy a wall or window so that they have no use beyond aesthetics. Put them on a separate list to other house objects so that they don't clutter it.

I certainly don't see this kind of thing as necessary, but don't see much harm coming from it and it could potentially keep a lot of players engaged with the game that otherwise wouldn't be. It would also mean there are things to spend money on once you complete the defence part of your house and have all the paintings you want.

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#17 2013-10-28 17:44:34

awesomebill
Member
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

sorry hurry up response here, have not read all of your post yet, but the difficulty is what drew people to the game. Its a rogue-like, period. Thats what makes it great, and there is nothing wrong with that aspect of the game. Anyone who plays rogue likes knows what they are getting into, none of that needs fixing, its a feature of this type of game, also did you see my previous edit about minecraft and dirt houses? I think that really sums up my main point here. A pretty house lures people in, an ugly one drives them away. Simple human nature, If i can make my house look unique, it will see more traffic.

    Im not trying to insult your game when i call it ugly. Its beta after all, its just that I came here assuming that common sense stuff like furnishings in a game where you build a house for your family, were already in the works.
    You keep going on about other game-play mechanics and things that need fixing, To me the game in its current state is awesome. The only 2 issues that I care at all about are 1 furnishings, and 2 exploits. As far as im concerned this game is ready for steam release tomorrow if you could take care of these big problems.

    The games great as is, but like I said, it completely lacks end game content. For me winning would be collecting all the paintings(or at least all the paintings i like) and making my house look pretty but still be very lethal. currently you only give me one of those options, and that's just not enough.

Last edited by awesomebill (2013-10-28 18:36:28)

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#18 2013-10-28 18:01:25

awesomebill
Member
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

joshwithguitar wrote:

It would also mean there are things to spend money on once you complete the defence part of your house and have all the paintings you want.


that right there! I did not even think of that! It would be a huge carrot on the end of that stick If I was saving up for some nice useless high end furnishings to go in my home.

    Perhaps your not aware of the concept of in game achievements.(sarcasm of course =b) The dumbest idea in history, but good god does it work to keep people playing. Ive always set goals for myself outside of the main goal in a game. Why? because its fun! You are currently leaving very little room for this kinda of game-play,( right now its just amass money, and build a death trap) and I think that's a real shame. I can tell you right now the goal of upgrading my crappy furniture to a nice expensive and useless leather set would keep me playing for a looong time. These things also offer bragging rights. another important addition to a game that really has no end.

Last edited by awesomebill (2013-10-28 18:08:40)

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#19 2013-10-29 01:42:27

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

jasonrohrer wrote:

Now, if there are game mechanical objects that can be added to the game, and there is a solid case for why the addition would be a truly unique (i.e., not redundant) new gameplay element, I'm up for those kinds of suggestions.

Conveyer Belts - Self explanatory.  Four direction types.
Floor Boxes - Like a trapdoor that flips over when it is powered.  You could conceal a pit bull there or even use it to trap the robber if he is on it when it flips.)
Draw-bridge doors - These would take up two vertical squares and open vertically, covering the tile below it and killing the robber or pet if it opens or closes on him.
Swinging Blades - Three tiles wide, two powered wooden walls either side.  Functions like electric floor but only every other movement, ie. it swings across into the tile and into the gap in the wall either side.
Falling Floor - Can only be crossed once, after which is becomes a pit. (OP)
Fire Shooter - Takes up 5 tiles.  Shoots out flames four ways when it is powered.
Swinging Doors - Close behind you, unless a pet is directly behind, in which came it will step through and the door will close (unless a pet is behind that one...).
Fences - Can't be crossed by pets, only by robber.

Just some off the top of my head. smile


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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#20 2013-10-29 06:34:19

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

dalleck - you sound like you want the game to become about defending ancient tombs from grave robbers. Cool idea, but not this game smile. Maybe someone could make a mod and run a server?

Also, "fences" already exist - they're called "panic buttons".

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#21 2013-10-29 07:27:04

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

How about a hidden door. Looks just like a wooden wall, can be sawed through. Switch activated.

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#22 2013-10-29 09:27:20

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

Yeah, panic buttons double as fences, but that's just a technical side-effect of limiting the number of things that can be in one grid square at one time (at most two).

A "dog gate" type thing would make sense here.  Robber can step over, dogs and cats cannot (though.... there's a weird moment where the robber would be standing on top of the damn thing... I guess it would have to open and then close behind him).  Though, I guess the panic button already does just this, so I wouldn't want to add it because it would duplicate functionality.

As for many of the other things... there's a constraint where each object only occupies one grid space.  That keeps everything very clean.  Many of the multi-tile devices you describe can be emulated by a set of electric floors, or some other combo.

Falling floor can be emulated by a dog that marches along behind walls and triggers switches after you step off each trap door.  This is what I'm talking about with not adding redundant things---if we can already build it emergently with the existing atoms, we don't need to add a new atom to do it.

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#23 2013-10-29 12:06:41

awesomebill
Member
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 35

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

House furnishings are not redundant! Folks are offering up complex suggestions here, all I want is a few house plants, a gold fish, a sofa. Stupid crap that does nothing other then give me something to work for. As I stated before, a nice looking home with a pleasing entrance will entice more robbers deeper into its labyrinth. "More flies with honey", you know?

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#24 2013-10-30 02:48:40

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

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

awesomebill wrote:

House furnishings are not redundant! Folks are offering up complex suggestions here, all I want is a few house plants, a gold fish, a sofa. Stupid crap that does nothing other then give me something to work for. As I stated before, a nice looking home with a pleasing entrance will entice more robbers deeper into its labyrinth. "More flies with honey", you know?

Just edit the tile images and make them whatever you want!  For example, changing the panic button into a pot plant, the red and green lights into a couch and tv, etc.  Then upload the files as 'Furniture Mod' and share them with users that can also see them.

It's odd there isn't a a mod scene for the game yet.


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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#25 2013-10-30 03:59:12

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: My ideas - Make the house a home

Yeah, if someone was feeling ambitious they could do the whole "ancient tomb" idea as a visual mod. Pits would become spiked pits, electric floors - fire pits or swinging blades, power supplies - furnaces, wires - pipes, electric doors - Indiana Jones style sliding stone doors, pit bulls - chimpanzees, cats - lizards, the vault a chest, the wife a mummy, the shotgun a cursed sabre and ... I'm not sure about the children.

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