1. #221
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    I actually don't mind if the main character doesn't have top notch animations. Sure it's always better to see meticulously hand-crafted animations but I'd rather see this time and resources spent on more important things like AI, especially in stealth games.
    Same. Despite so many advancements elsewhere, AI in most games is still pretty underwhelming. At this point, I'm not sure why. I think it's for the sake of accessibility - really advanced AI could be complicated/frustrating for a more casual player...but that's what difficulty settings are for.

    I can imagine how scary it is. But having some constructive feedback is what will help you progress and get better at it.
    Take your time to polish your game, I think a lot of us would be glad to try it someday.
    But if it's just for me, I can omit a bunch of features that I never use... lol

    Yeah we all miss that, I can't stop dreaming about a real and solid revival of the stealth genre...
    Maybe someday! They really should, though. With so many similar games out there, a real stealth game would definitely stand out.
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  2. #222
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Same. Despite so many advancements elsewhere, AI in most games is still pretty underwhelming. At this point, I'm not sure why. I think it's for the sake of accessibility - really advanced AI could be complicated/frustrating for a more casual player...but that's what difficulty settings are for.
    Sadly since games with bad AI sell well, they won't invest any money into modernizing and improving AI. And even difficulty settings are not what they used to be, in a lot of games playing in a higher difficulty just increases the number of enemies or their health bar, or gives the player less ammo.
    But in my opinion it's not about making first and foremost a really smart AI, it's about making its reactions more realistic and more challenging.
    Let's get rid of enemies being continuously distracted by the player throwing a rock or a coin, of those not reacting to a missing colleague, and of those forgetting the player's presence after an alarm. Let's modernize these mechanics and give the AI a permanent memory ! This new feature by itself would be a revolution in stealth games. Players would have to adapt the way they play if they get detected, they wouldn't be able to overuse distractions, would have to be more careful and guards would be smarter and react better thanks to all the information they would accumulate throughout the mission.
    I'm not a developer but I think this could be doable, and it would change the way stealth games are done and played a lot. In some ways I even feel that's how stealth games would be today if the genre didn't go the wrong way.
    And maybe a deep learning AI system could be applied to pathfinding. Therefore helping AI to move through open environments during higher alert stages, having for example some of the AI efficiently protecting all the building entry and exit points to imprison the player inside the building whilst the rest of the AI would be investigating each room looking for the intruder.
    But I'll keep dreaming...

    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    But if it's just for me, I can omit a bunch of features that I never use... lol
    Haha, true and I would probably do the same if I know how to develop a game.
    But if you're making this game for you then it means it must be a hardcore stealth game so maybe this game might interest some people here ^^

    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Maybe someday! They really should, though. With so many similar games out there, a real stealth game would definitely stand out.
    Definitely. Niche genres like isometric tactical stealth games are coming back since the release of Shadow Tactics while this genre was abandoned since more than a decade before that.
    Microsoft is trying to revive the RTS genre with the incoming Age of Empires 4 and I'm sure it will be successful.
    So stealth genre can definitely make a strong comeback if games are done the right way and addressed to the right audience, there's still a lot of players loving this genre and waiting for new games.
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  3. #223
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    War Mongrels launch trailer, the game is out today:



    The two previous parts of the trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMFv5g-ooSM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qzA-8EDZPE
     1 people found this helpful
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  4. #224
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    Sadly since games with bad AI sell well, they won't invest any money into modernizing and improving AI. And even difficulty settings are not what they used to be, in a lot of games playing in a higher difficulty just increases the number of enemies or their health bar, or gives the player less ammo.
    But in my opinion it's not about making first and foremost a really smart AI, it's about making its reactions more realistic and more challenging.
    Yep! We see a lot of enhanced awareness, which is okay, but the enemies are still dumb. I'd still like to see personality/experience types, and link those to behaviors and awareness. Minions could be more skittish, but with a smaller detection radius (especially with subtle sound distractions, for example), while senior guards should more bold, with much higher awareness. It would at least give some variety, but could certainly impact gameplay in a meaningful way, too. Just adding helmets or armor to the same AI doesn't really change anything if you're trying to ghost anyway (unless they lower the awareness of the dudes in helmets...though I don't remember that being a thing lol).

    Let's get rid of enemies being continuously distracted by the player throwing a rock or a coin, of those not reacting to a missing colleague, and of those forgetting the player's presence after an alarm.
    That last one can be bad for the opposite reason too, though - when they never stop freaking out after you hide. At some point, they should think you've left. They can and should behave differently, but when you leave the game for an hour and come back to them still shouting about you...eh. IMO, if you get to that point, let them do a sweep, increase numbers, something, and then go back to "normal" at a higher awareness level.

    Let's modernize these mechanics and give the AI a permanent memory ! This new feature by itself would be a revolution in stealth games. Players would have to adapt the way they play if they get detected, they wouldn't be able to overuse distractions, would have to be more careful and guards would be smarter and react better thanks to all the information they would accumulate throughout the mission.
    Agreed. I do want some good distraction options that enemies respond to and then dismiss (like a cell phone ring), but only initially. Reuse/overuse should tier their suspicion up, even if they're passive.

    Definitely. Niche genres like isometric tactical stealth games are coming back since the release of Shadow Tactics while this genre was abandoned since more than a decade before that.
    Microsoft is trying to revive the RTS genre with the incoming Age of Empires 4 and I'm sure it will be successful.
    So stealth genre can definitely make a strong comeback if games are done the right way and addressed to the right audience, there's still a lot of players loving this genre and waiting for new games.
    I think so too. We're kind of the forgotten market...
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  5. #225
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Yep! We see a lot of enhanced awareness, which is okay, but the enemies are still dumb. I'd still like to see personality/experience types, and link those to behaviors and awareness. Minions could be more skittish, but with a smaller detection radius (especially with subtle sound distractions, for example), while senior guards should more bold, with much higher awareness. It would at least give some variety, but could certainly impact gameplay in a meaningful way, too. Just adding helmets or armor to the same AI doesn't really change anything if you're trying to ghost anyway (unless they lower the awareness of the dudes in helmets...though I don't remember that being a thing lol).
    I don't remember it either, haha. Anyway I entirely agree. There must be more challenging gameplay elements for those who play ghost, heavy soldiers from Blacklist are not a solution for them and by the way they don't feel natural nor credible. Guards putting helmets or bulletproof vests is more credible but still don't solve anything for ghost players.
    I suggest that stealth games should get rid of the attention arrow (never knew how to name it^^) that has invaded all games since a decade and made stealth easier and binary. I prefer the old system with different steps of suspicion which felt less artificial and more credible. And yes, suspicion should definitely become sharper according to the NPC status, therefore making the game harder and more challenging for ghost players.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    That last one can be bad for the opposite reason too, though - when they never stop freaking out after you hide. At some point, they should think you've left. They can and should behave differently, but when you leave the game for an hour and come back to them still shouting about you...eh. IMO, if you get to that point, let them do a sweep, increase numbers, something, and then go back to "normal" at a higher awareness level.
    No, of course I don't want enemies to remain in full alert. This would not make the game fun to play and it would be a terrible solution.
    As I was suggesting in one of my previous comments (I don't remember in which thread), enemies should go into research mode after the alert mode. This research mode would be limited in time. Enemies would split up, some of them would secure and barricade the entry points while the other ones would team up and clear each room of the building, and eventually bring a dog with them. So during a certain amount of time the player would feel like a prey, trying to find a solution to hide or leave the building before continuing the mission.
    Once this research mode would be over, guards would not forget that an intruder has been detected earlier but they would go back to their routine. Though they would increase the number of guards at strategic points (like access points to the building, server room, boss's office, around villain main characters,...). Besides guards would be more careful, there may be reinforcement as you suggest or communicate more between them about suspicious events. And there could be references in dialogues to what happened when Sam interrogates a guard.
    I'm not saying it would be easy to do but imo that would incredibly increase immersion.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Agreed. I do want some good distraction options that enemies respond to and then dismiss (like a cell phone ring), but only initially. Reuse/overuse should tier their suspicion up, even if they're passive.
    Yes, there should be more natural and human behaviour in response to player's actions. Same goes with being in a corner and distracting every guard coming, and neutralizing all of them the same way. NPCs should be aware of other NPCs and what happens to them. If a guard sees at least two bodies laying on the ground next to another then he should stop, wait or call for reinforcement and once they're here, they should team up, investigate and go to help these two uncounscious guards. Same if a guard has no more news from one of his colleagues or if he doesn't answer to his walkie-talkie, guards should team up in duo or trio and investigate.
    I liked how Batman Arkham games did that when enemies were in full alert, it was in a different configuration but that was bringing more challenge.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    I think so too. We're kind of the forgotten market...
    We're hidden in the dark now, no one sees us and everybody forgot about us. But they will remember us and trigger the alarm... hopefully
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  6. #226
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    I don't remember it either, haha. Anyway I entirely agree. There must be more challenging gameplay elements for those who play ghost, heavy soldiers from Blacklist are not a solution for them and by the way they don't feel natural nor credible. Guards putting helmets or bulletproof vests is more credible but still don't solve anything for ghost players.
    Yeah, if I'm detected I just restart anyway.

    I suggest that stealth games should get rid of the attention arrow (never knew how to name it^^) that has invaded all games since a decade and made stealth easier and binary. I prefer the old system with different steps of suspicion which felt less artificial and more credible.
    Communicating detection was more based on audio cues before, which I liked. We still have them, but they're so aggressive now. And then with the arrow thing, it's too much. I prefer subtle, like the noise The Last of Us 2 uses.

    As I was suggesting in one of my previous comments (I don't remember in which thread), enemies should go into research mode after the alert mode. This research mode would be limited in time. Enemies would split up, some of them would secure and barricade the entry points while the other ones would team up and clear each room of the building, and eventually bring a dog with them. So during a certain amount of time the player would feel like a prey, trying to find a solution to hide or leave the building before continuing the mission.
    Once this research mode would be over, guards would not forget that an intruder has been detected earlier but they would go back to their routine. Though they would increase the number of guards at strategic points (like access points to the building, server room, boss's office, around villain main characters,...). Besides guards would be more careful, there may be reinforcement as you suggest or communicate more between them about suspicious events. And there could be references in dialogues to what happened when Sam interrogates a guard.
    I'm not saying it would be easy to do but imo that would incredibly increase immersion.
    I'm with you on all of that (except maybe the dogs...but that's me lol). I wonder how it might work to have playstyle decide the configuration for the next mission, and implement some of those added challenges accordingly. I'm not big on wasting resources to support a full assault style, but ghost and panther play differently and having specific challenges for those could be nice.

    Yes, there should be more natural and human behaviour in response to player's actions. Same goes with being in a corner and distracting every guard coming, and neutralizing all of them the same way. NPCs should be aware of other NPCs and what happens to them. If a guard sees at least two bodies laying on the ground next to another then he should stop, wait or call for reinforcement and once they're here, they should team up, investigate and go to help these two uncounscious guards. Same if a guard has no more news from one of his colleagues or if he doesn't answer to his walkie-talkie, guards should team up in duo or trio and investigate.
    I liked how Batman Arkham games did that when enemies were in full alert, it was in a different configuration but that was bringing more challenge.
    I agree with you, but I will say there is something stupidly fun about luring ten guys in a row in the same doorway, and getting a nice big body pile... lol
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  7. #227
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Yeah, if I'm detected I just restart anyway.
    Like many stealth players do and I count myself in
    But I would like to see that old habit being broken by suggesting to players a challenging sequence that would make them want to continue after a detection instead of reloading a save. That's why I talked about that research mode (that I also call "hunted mode") and the other sequence that follows it in my previous comment. Because I think these would be very specific and unique sequences where stealth players would be highly challenged by the game and tested for their true stealth skills. And surviving to these sequences without having been seen would feel rewarding for players. And we could even find a way to count it or reward the player for having succeeded during the end of mission statistics screen.
    Stealth players usually like to be perfectionist during their gameplay session. Save sc*mming is not a bad thing of course but who knows, offering a challenging solution to these stealth players might encourage them to rely less on their saves. And it would probably make the game more immersive for them.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Communicating detection was more based on audio cues before, which I liked. We still have them, but they're so aggressive now. And then with the arrow thing, it's too much. I prefer subtle, like the noise The Last of Us 2 uses.
    I didn't play The Last of Us 2 yet but I heard a lot of praise about its gameplay, I'll need to play it someday.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    I'm with you on all of that (except maybe the dogs...but that's me lol). I wonder how it might work to have playstyle decide the configuration for the next mission, and implement some of those added challenges accordingly. I'm not big on wasting resources to support a full assault style, but ghost and panther play differently and having specific challenges for those could be nice.
    I knew you would say that about the dog, haha.
    What do you mean by having a playstyle that decide the configuration for the next mission ? You mean that your playstyle during a mission would influence the AI and its behaviour during the next mission ?
    And what type of specific challenges ?


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    I agree with you, but I will say there is something stupidly fun about luring ten guys in a row in the same doorway, and getting a nice big body pile... lol
    True haha. And it's even more funny in Hitman games where you can get crazy amounts of body pile since there is a lot of NPCs in the maps.
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  8. #228
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    Like many stealth players do and I count myself in
    But I would like to see that old habit being broken by suggesting to players a challenging sequence that would make them want to continue after a detection instead of reloading a save. That's why I talked about that research mode (that I also call "hunted mode") and the other sequence that follows it in my previous comment. Because I think these would be very specific and unique sequences where stealth players would be highly challenged by the game and tested for their true stealth skills. And surviving to these sequences without having been seen would feel rewarding for players. And we could even find a way to count it or reward the player for having succeeded during the end of mission statistics screen.
    Even as a standalone mode that could be really fun, especially in a good sandbox environment.

    Stealth players usually like to be perfectionist during their gameplay session. Save sc*mming is not a bad thing of course but who knows, offering a challenging solution to these stealth players might encourage them to rely less on their saves. And it would probably make the game more immersive for them.
    I like being able to freely save, but generally once I get my 100% most of my replays are more relaxed. Options like that would certainly add to replay value.

    I knew you would say that about the dog, haha.
    I am very consistent! lol

    What do you mean by having a playstyle that decide the configuration for the next mission ? You mean that your playstyle during a mission would influence the AI and its behaviour during the next mission ?
    Yeah, sort of like Echo.

    And what type of specific challenges ?
    I suppose you could apply it generally (how the environments might be lit, location/number/type of guards, etc,) as well as with specific objectives. Ghosts could get a hacking objective while panthers get an interrogation - things that fit the core playstyle.

    True haha. And it's even more funny in Hitman games where you can get crazy amounts of body pile since there is a lot of NPCs in the maps.
    I was pretty proud of my body piles in Conviction - the work that it took to make them when you can't carry bodies!
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  9. #229
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Even as a standalone mode that could be really fun, especially in a good sandbox environment.

    I like being able to freely save, but generally once I get my 100% most of my replays are more relaxed. Options like that would certainly add to replay value.
    No need for it to be in a separate or standalone mode, I think it could be implemented in the main singleplayer/coop modes without it impacting the way people like to play. People who like to load a previous save once they're detected would still be able to do it, while people who want a new way to make up for their mistake and challenge themselves with that "hunted mode" sequence would be able to do it as well.
    And I always considered and always will consider that manual saves are mandatory in a stealth game. People who like to save a lot should always be allowed to do it wherever and whenever they want, without limitations.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Yeah, sort of like Echo.
    Alright, I see. That game has a nice concept but sadly its gameplay is quite repetitive and the save system is a mess.

    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    I suppose you could apply it generally (how the environments might be lit, location/number/type of guards, etc,) as well as with specific objectives. Ghosts could get a hacking objective while panthers get an interrogation - things that fit the core playstyle.
    Oh alright, I see. That could make an interesting standalone mode, it would be like Deniable Ops but boosted, including concrete objectives and your playstyle having real consequences. That's a good idea and I like how your playstyle would affect the nature of the objectives and therefore giving the player a real reason to try another playstyle.


    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    I was pretty proud of my body piles in Conviction - the work that it took to make them when you can't carry bodies!
    You can indeed be proud of it, it definitely requires way more skills
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  10. #230
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    No need for it to be in a separate or standalone mode, I think it could be implemented in the main singleplayer/coop modes without it impacting the way people like to play. People who like to load a previous save once they're detected would still be able to do it, while people who want a new way to make up for their mistake and challenge themselves with that "hunted mode" sequence would be able to do it as well.
    I've actually thought about a similar sort of thing for a stealth/psychological horror game. I hadn't really considered it for Splinter Cell, but I could see it working.

    Alright, I see. That game has a nice concept but sadly its gameplay is quite repetitive and the save system is a mess.
    Yeah, I liked the concept. It had issues, no doubt, but the basic idea of playstyle impacting AI could be expanded upon and improved. It's not that we haven't had it at all in SC; I know CT had some elements of it, but IIRC they were tied to alarms. I don't do alarms.

    Oh alright, I see. That could make an interesting standalone mode, it would be like Deniable Ops but boosted, including concrete objectives and your playstyle having real consequences. That's a good idea and I like how your playstyle would affect the nature of the objectives and therefore giving the player a real reason to try another playstyle.
    Well we had hunter mode - why not hunted, too? I think it could work really well like that.

    You can indeed be proud of it, it definitely requires way more skills
    Meatshield Shuffle all the way!
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