A "no accident" or "assisted playing" mode

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Gehn, lord of ages
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Re: A "no accident" or "assisted playing" mode

Post by Gehn, lord of ages » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:13 pm

Mac_Fife wrote:
Gehn, lord of ages wrote:Falling when walking around places like the broken areas in Kadish Tolesa... ...Very difficult areas, like the Gahreeson pillar jumps or the Kadish journey door...
Your examples still seem to fall into the "walking, running, jumping" category to me, so I'm struggling to see how you're differentiating here :?.
I was differentiating between "navigating around" and "walking, etc. to get to a specific spot or to get a specific goal", which I see to be a more action like reason for walking, running, and jumping (perhaps slightly encouraged by how the game will already navigate you a little bit whenever you click to take some action [well, unless you happen to be exactly aligned for pulling the lever or pushing the footpedal, which I never am], even to the point of levitating up after falling [yeah, one time I clicked on the footpedal for the bucket in the Cleft - the avatar moved into position to push it, fell off the side of the walkway, and then popped back up to step on the footpedal]).

Hmm, perhaps have two modifiers. One would be for jumping. Surfaces which you might want to jump to would have a sort of invisible cone shaped barrier (one sided if possible) that would funnel your jumps onto the nearest piece of solid ground (in case you over or under jumped, or got the angle slightly wrong). The lower the skill level you chose, the larger the cones would be. Another would be for walking near the edges of cliffs and suchlike (or anywhere without railings or invisible boundaries keeping you from falling). This would include a flat barrier (parallel with the ground) that would extend over the sides of the solid ground so you could walk closer to the edge without falling in. Again, the lower the skill level you chose, the larger this barrier would be. Both would be off by default. Also, the descriptions of the options could perhaps be worded in a way that made it clear that they were just for assisting players on the physical challenges of the game.
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Re: A "no accident" or "assisted playing" mode

Post by Mac_Fife » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:41 pm

For the jumps, a "cone" may not be necessary, but certainly an "aperture" of selectable size to jump into.

Stopping you accidentally falling off edges is maybe a trickier one to work out proper mechanics for: The problem with a collision plane is that it's binary - it's either there or it isn't. if you use a vertical plane with low height then you can bounce someone back if they walk into it, but let them fly over it if they jump, which seems fair. But thinking of the broken areas around Kadish Tolesa it gets too easy if you can just walk round leaning on the invisible barrier all the time. What might work better could be: If you bump the barrier briefly you're stopped from falling, no harm done. If you bump it repeatedly you eventually go over the edge. The "skill level" could set the number of bumps per fixed time period before the assist barrier gets dropped.
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Re: A "no accident" or "assisted playing" mode

Post by Marten » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:30 am

Sorry, I got a little busy and couldn't help to help maintain the discussion on my idea. :oops:

I don't believe hotspots are necessary for the sort of idea I'm thinking. I'm only thinking along the lines of, "how can the 'arcade' element of Uru be minimized without otherwise altering the experience?" Consider Myst V in free roam mode. You can go anywhere you need to, and there are plenty of puzzles, but you can't (or at least, shouldn't be able to) fall off an edge that doesn't lead you to somewhere you need to be; the avatar is restricted to safe movements only. Applying this idea to Uru, depending on the area, the degree of prevention would vary. Here are some conceptual examples:

* Gahreesen jump(s) - if avatar is running, and reaches edge, and jumping would land the avatar on the remote ledge - then avatar aims and jumps automatically. If avatar is slightly mis-aimed but can make the jump by changing direction, avatar direction will be adjusted automatically. If avatar walks to the edge instead of running, avatar stops and can not proceed past the edge. If avatar is running but jumping in any direction off the ledge would cause avatar to fall (no target is reachable), avatar stops and can not proceed past the edge. If the player manually presses the space bar to jump prematurely, and this action would fall off of the ledge as a result, avatar stops at the edge anyway and does not proceed past it. In other words - the avatar is guaranteed to either make the jump, or to be blocked. There is still a timing element to the puzzle - the game won't hold the avatar in place and then animate it to jump at the appropriate time - but the challenge (preciseness of avatar direction) is reduced, and the penalty for failure is especially reduced. The avatar would also be permitted to jump to the rock with the Maintainer's mark, although from there the avatar can only link back to Relto. And, the same rules apply for jumping down to the intermediate stone platform, and then down to the door.

* Kadish Tolesa, relto page - If the avatar is running in more or less the correct direction, the direction of the jump will be automatically corrected within reason, and the automatic timing of the jump ensures that the player reaches the other side of the chasm. If the avatar is walking or is at an angle that would otherwise guarantee missing the jump, the avatar doesn't jump and is blocked from falling.

* Kadish Tolesa, vault area - the player would be prevented from falling off of the walkway leading up to the vault, except along the one area where the avatar may safely drop to the railing that leads to the Journey door. Most of this railing would also carry invisible barriers on either side so the player cannot fall off accidentally, with an opening in the barriers only where the player can drop down to the Journey door. The player would not be able to run or jump off the the edge of the Journey door ledge.

* Eder Gira - no falling into the lava; you're constrained to walkways for most of it, you jump automatically if you approach the edge and you can make it to a safe place... same idea again here.

If you want a great example of a fan age where this sort of idea would be highly relevant - try Whilyam's "Maw". (Oh, how I hate jumping from crystal to crystal in that age.)
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Re: A "no accident" or "assisted playing" mode

Post by JWPlatt » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:17 pm

In "DRC Safety" mode, how about these to simplify discussion and implementation of predictive physics:

Gahreesen: Stop building rotation and align bridge positions to be able to walk across. Collisions are set to prevent fall.

Kadish and most other ages: Foot bridge (DRC approved) to tree page. More collisions, as Marten already proposes.

Gira: Foot bridge (DRC approved) to fumarole island and more collisions.

Where safe mode enables content changes like Gahreesen and Gira in the above examples, you might ask how things respond in ages where multiple avatars are present with a mix of safe and regular mode. The state of the age would depend upon its owner.
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