Thread: Game Mechanics - Contextual jumping, leaning, swooping and mantling - All Discussion

Game Mechanics - Contextual jumping, leaning, swooping and mantling - All Discussion

  1. #651
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    Originally Posted by DarknessFalls
    Heresy, I look forward to playing the game and finding locations where I want to jump, sometimes repeatedly as I maybe get a little higher and higher each time on an incline or something (as just one example), to reach Garrett's limits of exploration and overcoming obstacles, but can't. And reporting back to here. Hopefully, I come back empty-handed. Maybe EM has more realistic climbing (not parkour) to allow slow, arduous climbs in moments like the above, like some RPGs have (I think Oblivion and/or Morrowind did); so we don't have to hop like a pogo stick in exploration moments like this, and without invisible walls preventing exploration that should be possible. Doubtful, but possible, I suppose.

    Anyways, if you never jumped in Thief except to go across gaps and onto/off of ropes, and can't imagine any scenarios where contextual jumping might be limiting to level design and gameplay (e.g., floor puzzles, moss-to-moss jumps, attract attention), or if you don't see the impacts as a bad thing, that's great.

    PS: I would like to extend an olive branch to EM. How can we help? Hehe
    This is from B1skit's post:

    It's only when you tap the jump button while standing in the middle of a room with nothing to jump on that you DON'T jump.
    Now let's disregard the FACT that most of the "OMGZ WE DONTZ BE HABBIN DE JUMP BUTTONZ" crowd didn't even read that. The question still goes back to why do you need FREE JUMP when you can jump whenever you NEED to jump? In addition, he mentioned that you SWOOP when you press the jump even though there may be nothing to jump on. Moreover, B1skit said it's NOT contextual jumping like TLOU, TR, etc so why are you asking about contextual jumping?

    I'm sorry man, but you guys are getting worked up over nothing. I understand you have a passion and love for the game, that you want to see it do well and want to see the new game do the franchise justice, but like B1skit said, the game was designed from the ground up not needing free jump and utilizes a "dynamic collision detection system." You don't need to bunny hop like an addict. This is a new game with a different set of tools. As a player, you need to adapt to these new set of tools and use them to your advantage.

    As for exploration, B1skit also said, "You can always reach *everywhere* that it looks like you should be able to reach. If you can't reach somewhere, odds are it's because it's outside of the play area!"

  2. #652
    Will dogs(assuming they're not just caged alarms) be contextual jump points? I'm recalling jumping over spiders to evade them in the original games.

  3. #653
    Originally Posted by HERESY
    The question still goes back to why do you need FREE JUMP when you can jump whenever you NEED to jump? In addition, he mentioned that you SWOOP when you press the jump even though there may be nothing to jump on.
    And that's precisely my problem. Will pressing magic button in front of a pressure plate or any other trap make Garrett jump over and avoid triggering it or swoop in and get himself killed? And question for devs: what do you think will make us feel more like a Master Thief?
    Also, this:
    Originally Posted by Maijstral
    Will dogs(assuming they're not just caged alarms) be contextual jump points? I'm recalling jumping over spiders to evade them in the original games.

  4. #654
    Originally Posted by HERESY
    The question still goes back to why do you need FREE JUMP when you can jump whenever you NEED to jump?
    One of the main issues I have with this topic, that hasn't been talked about much is this - if EM is deciding actually where you need to jump (and thus limiting jumping to those areas only), then you can bet your life that these missions will be over-simplified, choreographed, streamlined, and will have the player on rails. The level won't be designed to give the player any freedom. You could essentially draw a map of the mission and have an X at each point where the player needs to (and is permitted to) jump.

    Now - picture trying to draw that same map for any of the original Thief levels. Impossible. Way too many possibilities, almost endless. The way they made their missions, you literally couldn't have had contextual jumping unless you cut some of the architecture out and removed multiple player paths.

    So sure, in New Thief, you can jump anywhere you need to, but I'm sure the overall opportunities to do so have been drastically reduced. But we'll see.

  5. #655
    Further, how sensitive will these contextual prompts be? What if there are two obstacles very close to each other? How do I select which one to mantle? 7

    Also, I can't remember seeing this, but will we get an animation that completely removes control from the player, like the lockpicking animation?

  6. #656
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    Originally Posted by HERESY
    Why is there a need to free jump when you can jump whenever you need to jump?
    It's not about a need to jump. The very notion of a 'need to jump' comes from this approach to game design that creates a very limited and static world where things only work exactly how and when the developer has pre-empted and planned for it (and done motion capture for it). Any seasoned developer should know that no matter how well they've tried to think of everything in advance, they won't have succeeded.

    Consider having to position oneself into that context-sensitive spot to get the desired action, and the loss of immersion that results, as you can't will your character to act how you wish, when you wish it. And consider what constraints are placed on level design when it has to be tailor-made to not have these any of these special spots overlap.

    The approach taken in the original Thief allows for more varied terrain and different permutations on how you can interact with it. I don't know if Looking Glass planned for the eventuality of me leaping over a guard's head when I had the high-ground on a stair, but if I wanted to, I could. The engine gave me more flexibility and freedom to play around, which was, I think, intentional.

    Originally Posted by obliviondoll
    For me, the problem is NOT that I want to bunnyhop around everywhere. The problem is that I want the FREEDOM to do WHAT I WANT TO DO. And I want to be able to EXPERIMENT instead of having my path railroaded by what the developers and the game engine THINK I'm trying to do.
    Agreed, it's the principle of it.

  7. #657
    Originally Posted by brethren
    One of the main issues I have with this topic, that hasn't been talked about much is this - if EM is deciding actually where you need to jump (and thus limiting jumping to those areas only), then you can bet your life that these missions will be over-simplified, choreographed, streamlined, and will have the player on rails. The level won't be designed to give the player any freedom. You could essentially draw a map of the mission and have an X at each point where the player needs to (and is permitted to) jump.

    Now - picture trying to draw that same map for any of the original Thief levels. Impossible. Way too many possibilities, almost endless. The way they made their missions, you literally couldn't have had contextual jumping unless you cut some of the architecture out and removed multiple player paths.

    So sure, in New Thief, you can jump anywhere you need to, but I'm sure the overall opportunities to do so have been drastically reduced. But we'll see.
    This! Endlessly repeated every time someone starts pretending that bunny hopping is the only possible reason to want freedom of movement.

  8. #658
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    Originally Posted by HERESY
    I'm sorry man, but you guys are getting worked up over nothing. I understand you have a passion and love for the game, that you want to see it do well and want to see the new game do the franchise justice, but like B1skit said, the game was designed from the ground up not needing free jump and utilizes a "dynamic collision detection system." You don't need to bunny hop like an addict. This is a new game with a different set of tools. As a player, you need to adapt to these new set of tools and use them to your advantage.
    I understand the passion for the game, so can see why people are stressed. I'm very adaptable... so this is probably why I'm not worked up about it.



    As for exploration, B1skit also said, "You can always reach *everywhere* that it looks like you should be able to reach. If you can't reach somewhere, odds are it's because it's outside of the play area!"
    Yeah, sounds good to me.
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  9. #659
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    Originally Posted by argan1985
    Further, how sensitive will these contextual prompts be? What if there are two obstacles very close to each other? How do I select which one to mantle?

    Also, I can't remember seeing this, but will we get an animation that completely removes control from the player, like the lockpicking animation?
    At 3:09 of the e3 gameplay demo you can see that the player does not frob-highlight bodies on the ground. The interaction is not precise, so when there are several interactive objects nearby, it's not inconcievable for the ambiguous interaface to cause unpredictable behavior.

    http://youtu.be/U0KS2Hm6_oM?t=3m9s

    And speaking of that same gameplay video, I noticed that on 9:30 -it's very apparent that focus and handholding are not optional. Even though focus is not enabled and even the alert markers and contextual prompts are disabled, the claw-climbable gratings on the pillairs are highlighted in blue.

    Oh, and we did talk about the placement of loot a few years ago, extensively. Making sketches about ideal loot placement and balancing systems. The way you are supposed to improve on the original games' loot placement is to have most of it in logical places. The way you are not supposed to do it is put them in completely random places and just put in loot glint so that people could go find coins that are inexplicably on top of a pile of crates on the backyard. It's an example of the game not being designed around handholding disabled, even though EM has actually stated that the game is balanced based on zero hints. It's Skyrim and that white arrow all over again.

    But I've never been for 100% loot runs because it's an unrealistic and unimmersive goal. How could I ever know I've nabbed everything? Plus totally insane and gamey placement of loot kinda takes us back to the past, even though I disagree with it. Loot glint or online walkthroughs shouldn't be necessary. At least if there is loot that makes no sense, there should be some kind of readable, conversation or anything, that actually explains it or offers players indirect hints on where to look for hidden treasure.

  10. #660
    Originally Posted by brethren
    One of the main issues I have with this topic, that hasn't been talked about much is this - if EM is deciding actually where you need to jump (and thus limiting jumping to those areas only), then you can bet your life that these missions will be over-simplified, choreographed, streamlined, and will have the player on rails. The level won't be designed to give the player any freedom. You could essentially draw a map of the mission and have an X at each point where the player needs to (and is permitted to) jump.
    I think you might be wrong.

    It is possible that you don't actually have to decide where the player can jump when designing the level as the level assets may have a "jumpable" property. When in "range" and facing these assets (crates, walls, etc) the jump ability is active.

    It still means that you have to select a "jumpable" asset when mapping but, and this is the thing, if the assets are designed so that everything that can be jumpable is then a mapper would just be making a map and not actively thinking "lets make is so you can jump here, but not here".
    I want your brain... to make his heart... beat faster.

  11. #661
    Yo, Mirror's Edge 2 should have contextual jumping. ITS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

  12. #662
    Hi there,
    I only joined this forum for posting here, coz I wanna say my humble opinion about that whole free-jumping thing.
    I hope you don't mind if haven't read all of the pages before, but I stopped after page 7. Reading posts in a foreign language - I'm from Germany - takes a lot more of time than in your own language. But I think I've gotten most of the important facts and arguments.

    At first I'd like to give a bit of background information about myself so that you better can understand my point of view.
    I have to admit, that I didn't play Thief 1 or 2. Retrospectively I was too young when both were published. Too young to master the games' challenges and too young to even notice those games and play them later. I even think I've played Thief 1 for one time and soon rejecting from it, but that must have been a long time ago. Nowadays I don't feel the need to catch up for anything but I've read the wikipedia articles 'bout the story lines, so that I know some background..
    Anyway, I played TDS and did this again during the last days. I even admit I used a trainer/cheats just to get to know the story/the ending asap. Nevertheless I was always looking for places to loot or sneaking around guards instead of headshooting them.
    Call me a low-brow or a moron or whatever you like - I deserve it
    So far for my experiences with the Thief universe.

    But please believe me, if I assure you, that I know what stealth gaming means. Also I do know what game is really open-worlded and which is not. And yes, I greatly appreciate every bit of freedom that devs give to the players. I think, every gamer has played good games and bad games and those games you remember years later.

    When I heard there will be a new Thief a googled for some information, saw some trailers and read some articles from gaming magazines. So finally I found this forum and now I'd like to discuss what this thread is about.


    When I saw the trailers I admired the new graphics which are a huge step forward but I
    think living in the year 2013 we can expect that without being too demanding. But great compliments to the designers.
    Then I read about the story. Garrett returns (after a long time?) and the city has changed dramatically. Perfect setting for a franchise reboot. A lonesome man fighting for the rights of the poor and stealing from the rich. Well, sounds a bit like Robin Hood but I also felt reminded of Ezio Auditore, don't know why.

    That name is the keyword, because even the old Ezio seems to be able to do more jumping and climbing than Garrett. And now I wonder why it is going to be that way.

    I just can't get the sense of it... But first things first. I wanna try to discuss it orderly.

    Scripted actions such as contextual jumping don't need to be bad. The question is, how essential this sort of movement will be to the game. If it's essential then it should be possible to perform jumping as you wish without limitations. Else you would take away a core feature from the gamer's responsibilty and cut out content.

    In my opinion modern game design is following two trends. The first one is to build even bigger, more complex worlds that contain a lot more of stuff and (usable) details as well as more intelligent AIs as former games' worlds did.
    The second is the open-world/sandbox/non-linear style, whatever the right word is. You can explore the world beneath the story, which includes side quests on the one hand but classical exploring or sneaking around on the other hand.

    And I'm the type of gamer who expects both from a good game, especially when it is titled Thief or AC.
    Both points take effect on the mechanics:
    A big, detailed world gives more opportunities to move. In AC you can grab nearly every edge of a wall and climb it up or swing around with hanging flowerpots.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't want Thief to be an AC copy, in fact I think that AC uses this sort of possibilities given by the world design too excessive and it could benefit the game if it was less. But just think about what is possible.
    On the other hand, a freetime explorer needs enough chances to discover the world he's in. And if there are not enough advanced features of movement you can't explore the world and the sandbox-feeling is missing.
    Hopefully I clearly pointed out, why we need good game mechanics in general.

    I assume that the new city will be designed that way that there will be a lot more of climbing and walking on rooftops, as I can't imagine Garrett only being at the ground. He is more the athletic type of game character and as he doesn't show that in brutal fights he will have to do so by risky stunts and climbing action.
    That's is interpretation of his person. And by the way, if the (new) clock tower is going to be his base/refuge, why always take the stairs?

    In order to summarize it: Because of the developement of game design during the last 8 years I expect the new Garrett to have a lot more things to climb, to discover, to whatever and that needs solid game/movement mechanics. Let's talk about that and the argument that were posted here.

    I've often read the word 'immersion'. Well, in my view, that's a deep word. You need to know that the German equivalent (remember, I am German) to that word is a bit more metaphoric. Translated word by word it would mean 'dived into'. As well as you can dive into water, you can dive into a game, being fully surrounded by it. Maybe it's similar in English, that's unfortunately out of my range of understanding your language.
    But in short, in all first person games it's an indicator for how well the devs have done their job.
    Most of the pictures/trailers and other stuff published until now show, that the new Thief has the potential to succeed in that. It seems to have a interesting starting situation, a dark atmosphere in the city, maybe a heroic story and ... you can see Garrett's hands.
    Yes, you can see his hands interacting with things. What a great feature. Sorry for that cynicism. Honestly, it is great and makes the game more realistic and so on. I haven't seen enough material to say in which extent this appears in the game and if this is as key feature that needs to be praised.
    But that is not what means immersion for me. Immersion is, when your avatar does what you want him to do.
    Especially a master thief should be very agile. And now there comes a point called contextual jumping? Come on, you must be kidding. That's the first I thought.

    Thief is not or should not be the kind of game that makes you jump on or two times so that you don't need this as an extra, free usable movement. My plan of playing Thief contains jumping very often as well as leaning which I won't discuss extra.

    I mean, I just don't get the point of it.
    Someone, maybe MT wrote something like that: 'I could jump wherever I had the need to jump" - Well, with free jumping he can also. But with free jumping I can also also jump, where he had not the need to jump. And with free jump any player can jump where the devs had not the need to jump.
    Taking away that ability of free jumping causes two things:
    - the world has to be designed in a way, where every necessary jump is foreseen.
    - only the justifiable jumps are foreseen. That means that you can't always do what you want, and that means, that a possible jump action can be a hint how to solve a situation, to go what way --> linear level design?

    Then I've read the argument that this restriction is made to e.g. avoid bunny hopping and bring more immersion into the game. Well, that's paradoxical. Taking away freedom and limiting the player's and therefore Garrett's possibilities to immerse deeper? I don't feel immersed when asking myself if I may jump here or not.
    At least, we all have to wait for the complete game before judging about its (missing) features.
    But I haven't read one single reason, that makes sense, why that restriction needs to be. Exaggerating such pratices will lead to scripted game where you don't have to think about what you do, only pressing one button when announced. This also takes away the option of failure. I can't count how often I've fallen to my death in AC because a gap was to big or there was nothing to grab where I hoped it would be.
    I think those plain little banalities can be a great part of the game experience.

    When talking about contextual leaning there were lots of good examples were you could need it and where it is probably not available. I don't want to answer to that subject, but someone countered, that leaning at a wall in the dark would not necessarily protect you from being discovered. That would be a reason for not have it in the game.
    In my opinion a good game's quality is to let me make mistakes, learn from them and develope strategies to do better next time. The more scripted actions and the less free choices you have the less fun will be with having learning effects.

    So for me, there are lots of question marks left, why free jumping isn't available and why we have to discuss about it's value to gameplay.
    I think in this discussion free jumping has become a symbol for the non-linear character current games should have. It needs very good reasons to cut away, what we have got used to during the last, let's say 15, years. At the moment I don't see those reasons and I fear that the new Thief won't enlighten me and I will be a bit disappointed.
    Let's hope we won't get to that point where people point a finger at the devs and blame them to have ruined a former video game pioneer franchise by rebooting it with silly limitations.

    If things can't be changed anymore, I hope that the devs solved it in a agreeable way.


    I hope that I was able to express my thoughts in English and didn't forget anything important.

  13. #663
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    Originally Posted by guguck15
    I've often read the word 'immersion'. Well, in my view, that's a deep word. You need to know that the German equivalent (remember, I am German) to that word is a bit more metaphoric. Translated word by word it would mean 'dived into'. As well as you can dive into water, you can dive into a game, being fully surrounded by it

    That's one meaning, but not the one being used here. In this context, to be immersed means to forget yourself.

  14. #664
    Originally Posted by Subjective Effect
    I think you might be wrong.

    It is possible that you don't actually have to decide where the player can jump when designing the level as the level assets may have a "jumpable" property. When in "range" and facing these assets (crates, walls, etc) the jump ability is active.

    It still means that you have to select a "jumpable" asset when mapping but, and this is the thing, if the assets are designed so that everything that can be jumpable is then a mapper would just be making a map and not actively thinking "lets make is so you can jump here, but not here".
    Pretty much my thoughts, too. I'm personally having a hard time trying to wrap my mind about how the thing is actually realised in the game, and Master Taffer's latest response touching the subject seems to be indicating that the issue might not be as bad as it initially sounded like it would be.

    I'm unsure what a "dynamic collision detection system" means in regards to jumping (I think it was b1skit who described the system as such), but could it mean that there are actually no static/predefined jumping hotspots? As in, the game calculates the level/object geometry in relation to the player character's position and direction it is facing in a way that decides which contextual action will be performed, for example. And I gotta admit, sliding over tables and stuff sounds pretty cool, actually.

    Since I apparantly lack understanding of the systems in place, I'm going to have try it out before I can actually decide if it's good or not - or wait for further information to form a more informed picture of it. I so much hope that EM has enough confidence in their game that they're willing to put out a playable demo - preferably a little before the release, even.
    ~You reap what you sow~

  15. #665
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    You know, I really don't NEED to type the entire alphabet at the end of every post I make, but for some reason, I feel compelled to. I know there is simply no logical reason for me to type the entire alphabet at the end of every post, but I can't stop myself.

    I don't NEED to do it, so why do it? What's the purpose? What am I gaining? What am I losing? Why can't I stop myself from this irrational behavior? Why have not the webmasters instituted an "Anti-Alphabet typing program"? Why have not the webmasters disabled my keyboard from typing any more than 4 letters of the alphabet in a row?

    Help me. I need to be controlled. Please webmasters and developers, devote your energies to stop this out of control behavior, YOU are ruining my enjoyment of this website by allowing me to type the alphabet whenever I want to.


    Man, if that post doesn't hit home, I don't know what will. I consider that one of my alltime best. I don't know how much more I can come up with. I'm trying my best, but you all are killin' me.
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

  16. #666
    Double Post

  17. #667
    Self deleted post. Thought better of it - Didn't want the infraction. lol.

  18. #668
    Originally Posted by Subjective Effect
    I think you might be wrong.

    It is possible that you don't actually have to decide where the player can jump when designing the level as the level assets may have a "jumpable" property. When in "range" and facing these assets (crates, walls, etc) the jump ability is active.

    It still means that you have to select a "jumpable" asset when mapping but, and this is the thing, if the assets are designed so that everything that can be jumpable is then a mapper would just be making a map and not actively thinking "lets make is so you can jump here, but not here".
    Still wondering if this is the case.

    Can anyone clarify?
    I want your brain... to make his heart... beat faster.

  19. #669
    Originally Posted by Subjective Effect
    Still wondering if this is the case.

    Can anyone clarify?
    The E3 videos make it appear that way, but the less than glowing review of the system from the Sneaky Bastards guy makes me wonder.

    If it is genuinely as well-executed as Human Revolution's cover mechanic -- another design choice I disagreed with, but found ultimately inoffensive most of the time because at least it worked every time I wanted it to -- then at least we won't have the intentionality issues of Garrett not doing what we want him to do.

    (doesn't solve the other issues that have been raised in this thread though)

  20. #670
    Originally Posted by contrarian
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Interesting, I feel compelled to do the same all the sudden...
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

    Maybe if there was a dynamic text-sensing system in the forum's software that could prevent this from happening, like you say, that would help things.

  21. #671
    Originally Posted by contrarian

    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    You're ruining the immersion!

    Edit: oh yeah...

    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPKRSTUVWXYZ

  22. #672
    I just played Amnesia and it is damn immersive and while it has almost no verticality seen in Thief, manual jumping is what makes it fun, challenging and immersive. (There is when part where there are crates in corner - you can jump on them and continue or jump from very edge to the other side - how can you do that with contextualization?)

    Also
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

  23. #673
    Originally Posted by Jonah47
    In all of the Elder Scrolls games, jumping is an important fundamental mechanic used by the player to traverse the entire game world. Without it, several destinations and secret areas would be unreachable. Not to mention, Elder Scrolls is still on top of the food chain as one of the highest selling video game series of all time.



    I'll list more then.

    Halo 1-4, Reach
    Borderlands 1-2
    Half Life 1, 2
    Bioshock 1, 2, Infinite
    Far Cry 1-3
    Rise Of The Triad
    Uncharted 1-3
    Tomb Raider
    The Elder Scrolls 1-5, Online


    Also, why exclude platformers when Thief: The Dark Project had heavy platforming elements?
    The only problem is that almost all games you just listed are awful piles of digital dirt.
    Doom 2 had no jumping, btw.

    Originally Posted by Queue2
    So that makes you, what, about ten?
    Is it 1994 right now?

  24. #674
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    Moved this post here

    What creates immersion in a game?

    -If a game doesn't let you play, you can't relate to the character or feel like you're part of the world, because you don't have the most basic freedom of humanity. The control over your own body.
    -If nothing in the game world makes sense because it's all just designed around arbitrary challenges, no amount of visual quality can make it seem real.
    -If a game constantly throws interface items in your face to remind you of information that you already know, it's hard to feel like a real person experiencing the events in the game.
    -If no human in the game behaves like a human, you feel disconnected because you're the only person in the game. This deficiency is actually componded by good graphics, because it increases inconsistency.
    -If the audiovisual design of the game isn't compelling, it's hard to think of it as a real world. But consistently inaccurate portrayal shows the general outlines of what is being portrayed, and imagination often fills in the gaps.


  25. #675
    Originally Posted by zwanzig_zwoelf
    The only problem is that almost all games you just listed are awful piles of digital dirt.
    I think a better question to ask than "are these games any good?" is "does the free jumping in these games contribute to the overall experience?".

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