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Thread: “Regaining Consciousness and Applied Countermeasures”

“Regaining Consciousness and Applied Countermeasures”

  1. #1
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    “Regaining Consciousness and Applied Countermeasures”

    An idea occurred to me on another thread called “Blackjack: Should guards be able to wake up again?” I’ve taken this basic concept, and have come up with a newly expanded idea that involves implementing the new re-awakening feature and new equipment into THIEF IV.

    This new featured mechanic I call “Regaining Consciousness and Applied Countermeasures” (RCAC). Since THIEF is at its’ core a well balanced game, a countermeasure would be needed in order to keep that balance intact. Torches and fires are counteracted with water arrows, noisy surfaces with moss arrows, etc… so too could an AI’s regaining consciousness be counteracted with binds such as “Gags and Rope Ties”. This could be a grouped item or separate items for purchase, just like flash bombs, flares, etc. This would effectively immobilize and/or silence an AI if they were able to regain consciousness from being blackjacked or gassed. The possibility of regaining consciousness would probably be best if a randomized occurrence (0-1 no/yes) and duration (5-60 minutes) were implemented. The player could simply bind the unconscious AI by highlighting and right-clicking with the “gag” or “tie” or “gag & tie” as the selected item. An alternative restraining item might be magical binding vines, silk, or moss.

    The "Moss Binding" alternative

    Utilizing the moss arrow for binding is a simple and elegant solution for handling the potentially reviving unconscious AI. The moss arrow could simply be made to magically bind and gag the AI in a "moss cocoon", when shot at them while they slumber. This would give even more utility and strength to an already existing item:

    1) It enhances the utility and need of the moss arrow, bringing it up to the level of the water arrow, rather than leaving it at it's previous ancillary use as a noise dampener. Am I the only one here who buys all of the water arrows I can get and if there's any money left over maybe get some moss arrows?...Now the moss arrow becomes a primary tool, as it should be.

    2) It encourages the player to think about the consequences of violence, and to strategize accordingly...instead of a blackjack thumping spree with simple redundancy.

    3) It creates a wide variety of possible random events from a reviving AI, which would intentionally or unintentionally add a lot of spice to the game.

    The Moss Mask

    Instead of a "moss cocoon", there could be a "moss mask". If unconscious, magical moss could act as a hypnotic when resting on the face, keeping one lulled into dreams by breathing in the magical spores. This "moss mask" could make more sense as a mission-permanent countermeasure than the "moss binds", and could also be used for story as well.

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    I would suggest that the player has too much control over the environment, thus making things too easy and less challenging for many players, ultimately diminishing a deeper sense of immersion that often emerges from a lack of total control.

    Keep in mind that an AI regaining consciousness either by another AI or by a randomized timer should be scaled with difficulty and use a limited supply of "gags/ties" or "magical binds" in order to maintain balance.

    For example:

    Novice (Normal) - Unconscious AI have an unlikely chance of waking if discovered by friendly AI...AI will not wake on their own.

    Adept (Hard) - Unconscious AI have an even chance of waking if discovered by friendly AI...AI have a unlikely chance of waking on their own.

    Expert - Unconscious AI have a probable chance of waking if discovered by friendly AI...AI have an even chance of waking on their own.

    Master - Unconscious AI will wake if discovered by friendly AI...AI have a probable chance of waking on their own.

    ...or a variation thereof.

    Keep in mind, that a randomized timer of 5-60 minutes would be used, so in actuality, the player would re-encounter only a fraction of those AI who manage to revive from unconsciousness.

    The availability of "gags/ties" or moss arrows as store items could also be modified by difficulty.

    Certain AI could also be eligible or ineligible for possible reawakening as well, by design. A simple modifier could be used to determine this. A local modifier could also be used to individualize an AI's potential revival, giving even more control and creative possibilities over design...

    A players experience with undead or other unique AI could also benefit from RCAC as well. A tomb full of dormant zombies could be set to individually and randomly reawaken (or not), or some may randomly reawaken if a certain amount of noise is created within the proximity of a certain group of them, for example. This would create a unique experience every time, not being solely bound by the limitations of a scripted event.

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    DISCLAIMER: As far as “realism” is concerned, I and others have either researched or have unfortunately had firsthand experience with this to understand that it is possible for one to awaken from an unconscious state after being hit on the head with a blackjack (lead shot wrapped in leather, not a lead club) or other similar object within the typical duration of a THIEF mission. The results of the duration of unconsciousness would be variable (location of blow to the head, how hard the hit was, and the uniqueness of the individual or creature, all would come into play and yield a range of results. That being said, the feature “Regaining Consciousness and Applied Countermeasures” applies to more than just blackjacking someone. It also would apply to a gassed or sleeping individual/creature as well.

    I know there has been some previous controversy over the “regaining consciousness issue”, and I respectfully ask those who somehow believe that it is unrealistic for adversaries to regain consciousness during the course of a mission, please DO NOT POST THIS ARGUMENT ON THIS THREAD, as this will distract from the intended purpose. The purpose here is to focus on GAMEPLAY and how this idea would either enhance or diminish it. I would appreciate open mindedness, reasoned arguments, and constructive comments. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Do they even move if they gets tied up, should they have an animation showing them twisting and turning to get out of the ropes. Or should they just be lying there as if they didnt wake up at all?

  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by Yaphy
    Do they even move if they gets tied up, should they have an animation showing them twisting and turning to get out of the ropes. Or should they just be lying there as if they didnt wake up at all?
    there is a certain group of people who would buy the game just to see that animation, the sort who would want the AI put into a gimp suit and locked in a box as well, T4 would probably gain an 18+ certificate because of it

  4. #4
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    I think the only good way of guards waking up would be when another guard notices that his friend is gone and he starts looking for him and finds him behind the couch with a bump on his head. Guards should be able to revive their buddies but nobody should be able to regain consciousness on their own.

    This would encourage people to really think which guards to knock out because you would need to hide them better than before. If guards could just wake up on their own, everyone would just kill them. (Especially if they implement a "silent backstab" with a dagger )

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Vae
    I know there has been some previous controversy over the “regaining consciousness issue”, and I respectfully ask those who somehow believe that it is unrealistic for adversaries to regain consciousness during the course of a mission, please DO NOT POST THIS ARGUMENT ON THIS THREAD, as this will distract from the intended purpose. The purpose here is to focus on GAMEPLAY and how this idea would either enhance or diminish it. I would appreciate open mindedness, reasoned arguments, and constructive comments. Thanks in advance.
    OK, I have a few ideas as to how this might work. Once a guard has been tied/gagged, he could be untied if he is found by friends. However, their should be a slim chance that the offending guard might wake up. As such, the player is more inclined to hide bodies (as opposed to the mass knocking out of quater in DS). This would force the player to think hard about which guards to knock out (like framed), and where to hide them. Options for frobbable lockers/wardrobes/chests etc for hiding these bodies could also be an option.
    I have played Thief DP, TMA and TDS, T2X, COSAS and FM's. This does not mean that I am in any better position to voice my opinion than anyone else.

  6. #6
    I like the idea of them waking up. Also, I'd be playing on expert from the beginning so (as long as the devs are smart about it and don't allow killing guards/civilians) killing them would not be an option.
    I could picture it working well if you bound and gagged someone and they kinda squirm and make muffled sounds.

  7. #7
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    Lay the AI right on the edge of deep enough water. When it wakes up and squirms, it will fall in and drown, and it won't count against the player. Whoops!
    Lay the AI on the edge of any long drop.
    Lay the AI under an elevator. Bring the elevator down to crush the AI. If other AI are made to use elevators, let them crush their fellow.
    Lay the AI where machinery can kill it.
    Lay an AI near a fire if chucking the AI into it counts against the player.



    Make it so if a bound AI dies, it counts against the player. May cause mystery failures.

  8. #8
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    ...or maybe a spider hears him squirming and gets him.

    If an AI is bound but not gagged, if s/he (it) were to awake enemies and allies could hear (40' radius perhaps) cries for help and react appropriately...or if s/he (it) were gagged you could hear muffled cries within 10'.

  9. #9
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    Not including being behind walls of stone and doors of metal vs. walls and doors of wood. And there's the old ambient noise masking other noises concept we'd like to have in the game.


    Can we hide it in a trunk? Underneath a bunk?
    Can we stuff it in a barrel? Leave it to its peril?

    Hm. In a closet, in a room, with a dustpan and a broom.

    To place it near a switch to flip on with a twitch?
    Or right near a pressure plate to seal its terrible fate?

    We could rest objects on the AI that make a lot of noise when dropped, and use the AI as a timer to draw other AI away, as a diversion to get into a room when arrows or throwing objects won't work. This would depend on how far into the mission the player is, and whether or not an alarm will be sounded, or if the objectives call for causing no trouble.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, different types of occlusions and ambiance would reduce and increase the sonic radius accordingly, and would make the player actively creative in finding a solution. This whole process of randomly regaining consciousness would require thoughtful countermeasures beyond the gagging and binding...this would create a lot of delightfully unexpected events...

  11. #11
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    Emergent gameplay.

  12. #12
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    Yes...

    The macro concept is having the player interact with randomized scripted events, which in turn gives birth to a multitude of unique unscripted events = a richer, more varied event experience, a possible creation of a multi-event matrix, and a massive increase in replay value. Application of this design concept is in harmony with current design principals and would magnify the THIEF experience, if implemented properly.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by jtr7
    Can we hide it in a trunk? Underneath a bunk?
    Can we stuff it in a barrel? Leave it to its peril?

    Hm. In a closet, in a room, with a dustpan and a broom.

    To place it near a switch to flip on with a twitch?
    Or right near a pressure plate to seal its terrible fate?

    Yet one more reason why I love reading JTR's posts. I do agree with the concept of binding and gagging. I think it would be another great way to implement my concept of interrogation to find out otherwise unknown info.

    I also think the usage of a choloform-type of agent would be a good countermeasure. Perhaps instead of blackjackin' em, you could have a limited supply of sleeping agent, similar to the gas arrow. I dunno, perhaps ive been watching too much A&E coldcase files

  14. #14
    only reason a guard or enemy should regain consciousness within a mission is if another guard finds him and wakes him up. the countermeasure for that is simply hiding bodies better.

    but overdoing a guards ability to wake up would encourage gamers to just kill them outright and not risk the trouble, which is a level of violence that is not in keeping with the series

  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by Secondary
    overdoing a guards ability to wake up would encourage gamers to just kill them outright and not risk the trouble, which is a level of violence that is not in keeping with the series
    Untrue. The killing restrictions of the original games should be imposed on T4. Also this feature could be scaled with difficulty.

  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by jtr7
    I would be surprised if the majority liked an increase in an impeded flow through a mission and increased non-combative interaction with AIs (includes dealing with unconscious or dead bodies) versus, or in addition to, thoroughness with exploration mechanics...
    I would too, if this was only a negative damper with no experiential reward or counter-balance. Impeded flow assumes a negative, as if being held up by a fundamentally negative experience...interfering with what is considered to be positive gameplay.

    I would suggest that this is a positive and thoughtful approach to game-flow, providing a richer and more dimensional experience. Positive tension rises with a variety of thought provoking consequences, encouraging one to be tactically creative. Violence as a whole is now more meaningful and discouraged as well. Unexpected surprises that can create a multitude of unique experiences are bound to give increased enjoyment, immersion, and replayability...

  17. #17
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    Torches and fires are counteracted with water arrows, noisy surfaces with moss arrows, etc… so too could an AI’s regaining consciousness be counteracted with “Gags and Rope Ties”. This could be a grouped item or separate items for purchase, just like flash bombs, flares, etc.
    Or we could just use the unconscious guards belt, shoelaces, pants etc. to tie him up. A rope arrow could also be used.

  18. #18
    A tied up person can scream for help, that means if tieing, than really, so that they can't be loud.

    Also, I think tieing should be somehow limited, not that you just go and tie every single AI up. How much rope can you have? You better save it for when it's really needed, makes you think more.

  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by jtr7


    Can we hide it in a trunk? Underneath a bunk?
    Can we stuff it in a barrel? Leave it to its peril?

    Hm. In a closet, in a room, with a dustpan and a broom.

    To place it near a switch to flip on with a twitch?
    Or right near a pressure plate to seal its terrible fate?
    Haha! Nice poem!
    "Not all shadows are cast by light, some are cast by darkness."

  20. #20
    Epic idea. This should encourage people, to not just blackjack, every dam thing in the map. And there should be a negative impact on you if you just kill people/creatures instead. For example if your working for a client, and proceed to massacre every guard in your heist, your client might pay you less, or you might miss out on a few job offers, (possibly side missions?)

  21. #21
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    Thanks...

    You may like the "City Threat Level" (CTL) feature. I think it would work well with RCAC.

  22. #22
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    It's not a bad idea, however I'm against implementing it for every guard. How about just the "Sergeants" (distinguished by their different helmets) maybe 3-4 in each level? Instead of binding them what about just locking them in a room? If you knew you'd got a 10 minute window before they regain consciousness you could then clear the area of ordinary guards who could unlock the door. It may be a dumbed down version of reality but you would at least be able to deal with smaller numbers.

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    I still think that the idea that guards that discover an unconscious buddy could revive them would be the best alternative. It would discourage players of just throwing the body to the nearest shadow, and make it necessary to hide the body well, and it would make them think twice about taking a guard out in an area where there aren't any good hiding spots. And it wouldn't create unnecessary time constraints by making the player hurry through the mission before the guards wake up.

  24. #24
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    That's why you would need to have gags and rope ties, as they will counteract the time constraint issue, giving control back to the player and thus maintaining balance in the game.

    Also, keep in mind the value of what unscripted events would bring by having the AI potentially awaken by themselves...whether bound or not...

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    Then you'd need blindfolds too. Because if after some time of exploring you revisit the room where you left the tied-up guard, the guard has woken up and he can see you, so he's a witness. That counts as 1 on the "caught" stat. So you'll have to put him out of his misery because he made you by seeing your face.

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