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Challenging lockpicking process

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231 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think of this system ?

    • Very good, I want that !
      6
    • Not bad.
      16
    • Better than nothing.
      10
    • Nothing would be better than that !
      3
    • Don't care.
      8
    • Project Eternity becomes "Lockpicking: The Lockpickening" ? Just no.
      188
  2. 2. Suggestions ?

    • More complexity !
      9
    • Less complexity !
      117
    • More character skill influence !
      77
    • More player intelligence influence !
      38
    • More freedom of action !
      25
    • More guided process !
      7
    • The cake is a lie !
      89


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I am not a fan of elements which do not relate to the game world.

How does it "not relate" to the game world if you have to deal i.e. with parts of a lock of a chest in that game world? Elaborate (or maybe not)

they generally pause the game (enemy patrols galantly waiting for you to place a lockpick in required position, fun?)

So you have problems with any action that pauses play? Especially in RTwP, right, lollercakez? (That's not even mentioning that you can always implement it without pause)

and require, usually, nothing, *nothing* but same set of repetitive actions which add nothing to the game.

Again, if it has been done repetitive and simplistic in the past, noone's to say it can't be improved. What detailed lockpicking adds to the game subjectively is up to your opinion; objectively, it adds challenge.

And that not to mention that in party based RPG, I may not even be a thief who's all immersed in challenging lockpicking process; my companion is.

You're contradicting yourself. In a party based RPG, obviously you're controlling a group, so what's your problem with controlling your thief's share of the work? Unless you're advocating for full AI that picks locks automatically (and fights automatically, ressurects automatically, etc... so you can leave the PC alone for a while and come back when the game has beaten itself).

 

Seriously though, I didn't advocate for character skills to be left out, so the success of picking a lock would still rely on the skill of your thief friend.

A good puzzle is one which does't get repeated.

Alas, that's so rarely seen. Which is one reason why I personally would like to see dexterity (as in my own dexterity) based lockpicking.

Unique locks with puzzle elements can exist. But I'm not interested in playing a puzzle every time I'm opening peasant's barn door to steal his pitchfork.

And why exactly should that barn be outfitted with a lock in the first place, hmm? :)

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So you have problems with any action that pauses play? Especially in RTwP, right, lollercakez?

In a party based RPG, obviously you're controlling a group, so what's

your problem with controlling your thief's share of the work?

Pausing combat allows player to allocate actions, it does not allow to carry them out (and breaking the lock is an action). The same goes for controlling the group; you're giving commands, not following them.

Edited by Shadenuat

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Pausing combat allows player to allocate actions, it does not allow to carry them out (and breaking the lock is an action). The same goes for controlling the group; you're giving commands, not following them.

So your main concern is you don't want lockpicking to pause the game. That should be doable, m i rite?

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Well, I also don't like twitch elements in my calm strategic RPGs with pause (and cup of hot chocolate).

 

Now eat me.

Edited by Shadenuat

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I'm not sure what you are on about.

 

In my opinion lockpicking, or at least a lockpicking minigame, is not integral to an RPG and I think most people, even the original poster would agree.

I'm on about the flawed logic of "Some people hate this, so it obviously has no reason to ever exist."

 

What happens to be your opinion is also true, as an RPG can be made without lockpicking and it remains an RPG. Hell, you could make a game set in a world without the invention of locks. Do you know what's equally non-integral to an RPG? A lack of complexity in lock-picking.

 

Half the people playing RPGs probably don't want to bother with a specific class, no matter how fun you make it. It obviously doesn't follow that we should only implement classes if more than 70% of the player populous wants to play them. Every class isn't integral to an RPG, and yet various ones get implemented in various games, and no one decides that their very existence has ruined the whole game while they play through without ever having to play a given class that they dislike.

featurecreep.txt

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featurecreep.txt

Your filename response both frightens and confuses me.

Lephys, you're such a sophist it hurts. In isometric party based game, a locked door or a trap is just a small part of strategical challenge of the dungeon or encounter; they are often present and numerous. Imagine you'll have to go through a minigame to disarm every trap in Irenicus dungeon or open every door in Maevar's guild. You'll hate the game, the developers who made it and your keyboard and mouse when you'll be finishing the first three or four of those.

Firstly, I apologize for reasoning seeming so hard to be flawed, in your mind, that it has caused you physical pain. That wasn't my intention, and could I have foreseen it, I would have.

 

Secondly, oh good, we're using our powers of imagination now, are we? Like the ones we use when designing things like video games that have virtual, non-existent worlds? Splendid! Okay, okay, challenge time!

 

Imagine you'll sometimes have to go through a rather well-designed minigame (that isn't limited to only what other games have already used, code-for-code) to disarm only the most difficult traps or pick the most difficult locks on doors and chests.

 

You'll enjoy the game, and be thankful for the developers' effort, and you'll hug your keyboard and mouse for allowing you to experience the range of difficulty inherent to lockpicking/trap disarming. Well, unless you irrationally want locked things and traps to serve the purpose of delaying/impeding you while doing so for as close to no amount of time as possible.

 

Let me put it this way... I don't want my Rogue to take 5 seconds to pick both the simplest lock in the game AND the most complicated lock ever created in the entire world of P:E. So, rather than have complex locks have me staring at my character for 20 seconds, I'd rather be able to actually contribute to the speed with which they are picked.

 

Look at combat. Sometimes you get those "We can't let you live *kill*" options in dialogue, and they're handled instantly. Why? Because all you're doing is slitting someone's throat. Same as a simple lock. Poke a lockpick in, and you're done. But then, what's this? Some ridiculously skilled adversary who's impeding my path? Well, my character knows how to fight him, but it's complex enough that the game turns control over to the player.

 

Obviously combat tends to take longer and be more perilous, etc, than lockpicking ever should. So, is it really hurting anyone for some manner of tumbler interface to pop up when the lock is even a challenge for your skilled lockpickist, and require upwards of 10 seconds of your time? I mean, is that really so infeasible?

 

And seriously, what's with all the "Do you really want to have to play a minigame 1,000 times, that takes 15 hours, and is super lame and dull and never changes?" responses? No. I could ask if you really want to fight NOTHING but rats the entire game, numbering in the millions, but I'm not going to, because it's so blatantly obvious that A) that's nowhere near the optimal game design for an RPG's beastiary/enemies, and B) the developers are obviously going to try for the best game design they can achieve.

 

The same classic games you're referencing also have doors that aren't pickable, and either require a specific key or some mechanism or de-enchantment to open, and finding whatever it is you need takes WAYYYYYYY longer than a multi-second minigame interface does.

 

Point out the flaws in other lockpicking minigames all you want, and let's constructively discuss how to make one that doesn't suck. Or, maybe that would be too irrational, because I'm such a Sophist.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Imagine you'll sometimes have to go through a rather well-designed minigame

Minigame is still a minigame, no matter how well designed it is, it is a little game inside the game, which repeats itself and requiers twitchy actions to solve it. It breaks order>follow gameplay, and if it repeats itself, it's still sucks ass. Hence *the name*.

If you want in your game a chest with runes you have to desipher, or a safe you have to crack by listening to sound puzzle, say so. But stop using that retarded next-game term which puts everyone on their toes, because it has a baggage of suckiness draggin behind it.

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Quest for glory V had a very fun trap disarming mechanic. It may have been terribly unrealistic, but it was really part of the greek-esque world, and I really enjoyed it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qXZmQvDB-I&t=49m57s

 

click to 49 minutes 57 seconds

Edited by JFSOCC
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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In a civilized setting with observers present, I think that successful stealth should be a prerequisite for lockpicking. Different locales and environments should have different stealth minimum requirements. If you can't pick a lock under the circumstances without having a very small (1%) chance of being observed, then the attempt should just auto-abort. Come back when it is dark or raining, or use a potion of invisibility.

 

Alternatively, lockpicking a door belonging to a particular faction will just run the risk of decreasing your favor with that faction. You need to make a stealth check based on the circumstances to avoid the negative result. (The game probably shouldn't even notify you at the time; you'd get a notice later on.)

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Minigame is still a minigame, no matter how well designed it is, it is a little game inside the game, which repeats itself and requiers twitchy actions to solve it. It breaks order>follow gameplay, and if it repeats itself, it's still sucks ass. Hence *the name*.

If you want in your game a chest with runes you have to desipher, or a safe you have to crack by listening to sound puzzle, say so. But stop using that retarded next-game term which puts everyone on their toes, because it has a baggage of suckiness draggin behind it.

I actually hate the term, as it always evokes an extremely narrow range of criteria in people's minds that causes them to adamantly insist that such a thing is impossible to use for things like lockpicking in an RPG. But, you know, everyone else is already tossing it around, so I thought it best to use the term and explain the specifics to which I was referring than to get everyone on a different page with a different term (already tried that with "interactive interface" in another thread, and it didn't work at all.)

 

The fact remains that your description of a minigame is narrower than the actual scope of what can and cannot be a minigame. Much the same way that all horses are organisms, but not all organisms are horses. Your examples are minigames, but minigames are not restricted to only your examples. Your criteria aren't even true, for one thing.

 

If it repeats, it sucks? Well, the SAME dice roll occurs every time you get to a lock, and you either pick it or you don't. Does that mean that minigame-less mechanic sucks? Combat repeats itself. Does it suck? And if you're going to respond to that with "But combat's different almost every time!," then I'd say "Why not lockpicking, then?". Also, requires twitchy actions to solve it? Explain how the lockpicking in Bethesda games requires twitchy actions. Please. If anything, it requires THE OPPOSITE of twitchy actions. You have to very carefully move the lockpick to locate the correct position for the lock to open.

 

About the only thing you said that's true is "a minigame is a minigame, no matter how well-designed it is." Which is true, but isn't very useful information. Obviously, you meant it as "a minigame is still sucky no matter how well-designed it is," which is silly. You're simply jaded by ill-implemented minigame-esque things in RPGs, and you don't want to bother with even attempting to fathom how they could be done better.

 

You're basically pulling the "I dated like 7 different people, and they all sucked. PEOPLE JUST SUCK, AND THERE ARE NO GOOD PEOPLE!" reasoning, which isn't very good reasoning at all.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Explain how the lockpicking in Bethesda games requires twitchy actions.

Locks in F3/Skyrim are even worse than twitchy games (like runes in Amalur), they are just mindless trial and error repeated hundreds of times which add nothing to the game but sinking even more time in the flawed mechanics and savescumming.

 

"Why not lockpicking, then?"

It's an interesting question. The answer is in what the game is focused on. And for these types of games the meat of the gameplay is combat. For most RPGs it is so, that's why so many rulebooks even in PnP games have all of their system work around resolving combat. Same would be true for P:E. People would prefer developers create 50 more new monsters than 50 completely different types of locks, which poll shows pretty well. Because everyone fought monsters in IE games, but not everyone even had a thief in party.

Not that OP's idea could't work in any game. It could work in a game like Thief 4.

 

you don't want to bother with even attempting to fathom how they could be done better

Why should I? It's not that there will be any in P:E [TROLLFACE]

 

You're placing too much value on the process instead of resolution. The real value of lockpicking in RPGs is't the challenge of picking a lock, or a process of picking one. It's the possibilites you get by reaching that what lies behind that door or inside that chest. And that is the part of lockpicking which should have most effort put in, not raising tumblers or twitching wire in a keyhole.

Edited by Shadenuat

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It's an interesting question. The answer is in what the game is focused on. And for these types of games the meat of the gameplay is combat.

"There should be no minigames so the game can focus on combat. These games happen to focus on combat so there's no room for minigames." Sounds like a str...
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"There should be no minigames so the game can focus on combat.

 

There should be no minigames because they are now, as in modern game design, a flawed concept of synthetic, timesinking gameplay completely unrelated to the real, core gameplay, the one which actually resolves things. Like combat resolving conflict, character progression and plot, or dialogue resolving character growing (and plot too).

Someone, somewhere decided that picking a few strings of code out of a screen full of moving numbers and syllables is relaxing to the poor player tired of shoothing baddies and as much as fun. I say **** that guy.

Edited by Shadenuat

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There should be no minigames because they are now, as in modern game design, a flawed concept of synthetic, timesinking gameplay

In your world:

 

minigames: flawed concept

 

putting some points into a skill, then clicking on skill icon: pinnacle of design

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minigames: flawed concept

Yes.

 

putting some points into a skill, then clicking on skill icon: pinnacle of design

It is an appropriate design for a game like P:E, yes. Point investment involves strategy on a level of building your party, while clicking also involves exploration and possibility of dealing with the owner of property broken, at least it should.

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It is an appropriate design for a game like P:E, yes. Point investment involves strategy on a level of building your party,

which misses the point because noone argued for a system that doesn't involve character skill in some way. Quite the opposite actually. What I'm proposing is making ALL skills more complex to execute than clicking a simple button (well, most of them). Alchemy is another skill that lends itself well to minigames for example.

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What I'm proposing is making ALL skills more complex to execute

And you're doing it wrong, because you think that clicking more buttons matters. It does't; making anything more complex by adding more isolated mechanics to it (minigames) will result in failure.

 

This:

In a civilized setting with observers present, I think that successful stealth should be a prerequisite for lockpicking.

Or this:

Alternatively, lockpicking a door belonging to a particular faction will

just run the risk of decreasing your favor with that faction

Is how you make skills more complex, true. Not minigames.

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Gotta head off to work so sorry in advance if the thread turns on to other topics later on but I don't have time to skim :-p

 

To the OP however I'd say that it's honestly just far too many skills governing 1 action. I mean it would be like breaking down speech craft into, pitch, empathy, lying, presentation and topical knowledge. The whole idea is that speech craft encompasses all of those things making you good at getting what you want through dialogue. A lock picking skill takes all of those smaller parts into account in and of itself. If you go down that road where lock picking has 4-5 sub-skills do you then do that for everything?

I'm all for a minigame of some sort, I did enjoy lock picking in thief the dark project. Still I'd want a minigame to be optional because I'm not sure how well it would fit into a game like this and I'm sure not everybody enjoys them. Basically have it so if you meet the minimum skill requirements to pick the locked object it starts up a minigame and you open it once completed. Otherwise toggle minigame off in the options menu and just roll to see if you pick the lock.


K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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And you're doing it wrong, because you think that clicking more buttons matters.

If you add a mechanic to a skill that requires more thought and gives more varied challenges to the player, that's an incline.

It does't; making anything more complex by adding more isolated mechanics to it (minigames) will result in failure.

claims with no substantiation result in failure.

 

Is how you make skills more complex, true. Not minigames.

Are you aware that "lockpicking requiring stealth" is, if the stealth part is well done and challenging (like in a stealth game, not like IE games), it's a minigame in itself?

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If you add a mechanic to a skill that requires more thought and gives more varied challenges to the player, that's an incline.

Too bad repetitive twitchy actions or trial-and-error confined puzzles don't require any thought.

 

Are you aware that "lockpicking requiring stealth" is, if the stealth

part is well done and challenging (like in a stealth game, not like IE

games), it's a minigame in itself?

Something which is not isolated from core gameplay and mechanics that much ceases to be a minigame.

This is a minigame: http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/573686-kingdoms-of-amalur-reckoning-xbox-360-screenshot-this-mini.jpg

 

(like in a stealth game, not like IE

games

If you combine IE stealth (not very complex) with NPCs making Search checks against you (not very complex) and reaction modifiers/reputation/guards (a bit complex), you get = actually complex, multilayered gameplay. That's good designer's magic, and you don't need locks with five positions and one hundred difficulty levels for that.

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Too bad repetitive twitchy actions or trial-and-error confined puzzles don't require any thought.

Too bad you're arguing in circles, we already had this discussion. If the minigame is repetitive or not is a matter of design, it's not inherent. If it requires more twitch skills than thought, that's perfectly fine though. Not everyone has fat stubby fingers and cannot into controls.

 

Something which is not isolated from core gameplay and mechanics that much ceases to be a minigame.

Your definition of what's "core gameplay" is entirely arbitrary. If character development is an important factor in the game, and a character's skill level is important in the act of lockpicking (no matter how that act is resolved) then there's no isolation, anywhere.

If you combine IE stealth (not very complex) with NPCs making Search checks against you (not very complex) and reaction modifiers/reputation/guards (a bit complex), you get = actually complex, multilayered gameplay. That's good designer's magic, and you don't need locks with five positions and one hundred difficulty levels for that.

Not sure what you're arguing here, I liked rjshae's idea and I'm not saying that if this is how it works, there should be tumbler manipulation on top of that. Edited by Sacred_Path

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Too bad you're arguing in circles, we already had this discussion. If

the minigame is repetitive or not is a matter of design, it's not

inherent. If it requires more twitch skills than thought, that's

perfectly fine though. Not everyone has fat stubby fingers and cannot

into controls.

You based your argument on a fact that intelligence and complexity are good and minigames can help with that, if you're withdrawing that because "twitch is fine too", you should't have made that point to begin with.

 

Your definition of what's "core gameplay" is entirely arbitrary.

We're talking about IE games, and IE games successor. We know what their core gameplay was like.

As for isolation, the focus was not on a fact, but on "THAT MUCH". A single skill which governs a minigame won't do; a time restrictions because there are patrols walking around - that's already a bit better; a set of puzzle blocks in the minigame which set alarm to whole level - even more. But the question stands - why the **** do you need a minigame for all that? Because better design of minigame mechanics, physical mechanics (puzzle blocks, their variety, locks variety, whatever) - it does not lead to less isolation. You can't perfect tumblers&mouse cursor. Which in turn leads to

 

I liked rjshae's idea and I'm not saying that if this is how it works, there should be tumbler manipulation on top of that

a fact that if you design skill application well on a grand scale, there is no need for minigames anymore, because you get yourself a real *game*.

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You based your argument on a fact that intelligence and complexity are good and minigames can help with that, if you're withdrawing that because "twitch is fine too", you should't have made that point to begin with.

I'm not withdrawing anything, I said:

I take it, you're not a fan of twitch elements in your games/ anything that requires reactions etc.

I don't mind twitch elements in CRPGs. If the game challenges the player in different ways, I'm all for it. A lockpicking process that challenges reactions/ dexterity of the player is an obvious choice, much like an Alchemy minigame should mostly require thought.

 

We're talking about IE games, and IE games successor. We know what their core gameplay was like.

OE opened such a can of worms when they advertised a game inspired by IE it seems. Ok, so your point is that this game shouldn't feature anything that wasn't in IE. Pretty weak argument when it comes to design.

A single skill which governs a minigame won't do

Why on Earth not? In IE games, your lockpicking ability depended on exactly one thing, your lockpicking skill. Why shouldn't a minigame depend on both your reactions and your character's lockpicking skill?

a fact that if you design skill application well on a grand scale, there is no need for minigames anymore, because you get yourself a real *game*.

You're arguing semantics.

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I don't mind twitch elements in CRPGs.

Okay. To hell with you, and with them, but okay.

 

your point is that this game shouldn't feature anything that wasn't in IE. Pretty weak argument when it comes to design.

Well of course it is, when you put it *that* way. My point is that there are gameplay elements which are appropriate to one game, but innapropriate to another. Because of lots of reasons. A game with smaller set of skills can allow itself to make them more complex. A game which is more focused on a specific skill can allow itself to move it inside the core of the gameplay. A game can make some skill more complex for immersion reasons, because of protagonist, amount of party members, even camera position.

 

Why shouldn't a minigame depend on both your reactions and your character's lockpicking skill?

Because that would be completely different game. Why on earth lockpicking should depend on player reactions and skill, but swinging sword should't?

 

You're arguing semantics.

You're playing devil advocate/ass/ignoring my real points for the sake of arguing.

 

I'm tired of minigames, so I'm out of here.

Edited by Shadenuat

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My point is that there are gameplay elements which are appropriate to one game, but innapropriate to another.

This doesn't seem like an obstacle to our fab devs though. Sawyer has said they aim at making stealth more complex than in IE; the thing is, in a game with 6 party members, complex stealth for all of them doesn't seem intuitive at first. Still, I'm glad they try.

Because of lots of reasons. A game with smaller set of skills can allow itself to make them more complex. A game which is more focused on a specific skill can allow itself to move it inside the core of the gameplay.

True, there will probably be quite a number of skills in P:E. So making a minigame for ALL of them doesn't seem likely. Still:

 

- combat skills are already part of a complex process (combat)

 

- same goes for casting skills (if there are any)

 

- lockpicking and trap disarming minigames don't need to be terribly complex (see the Wizardry games)

 

- An Alchemy minigame could be the following: potions can only be identified by drinking them. The content of a bottle is downed in phases. Obviously, the more you drink, the less is left in the bottle (until it's not enough to have an effect anymore). Also, if the potion has any detrimental effect (like poison), the more you drank, the stronger the effect that you suffer. Alchemy skill could reduce the number of swigs you have to take before you know what it is. Alternatively, alchemy allows you to identify the potion right away (like IWD2). Admittedly in that case Alchemy (the skill) isn't a minigame, quite the contrary, but alchemy (the process) becomes a little more interesting. Sounds terrible probably, but my point is that minigames don't have to be terribly complex to offer some variety.

 

I'd say that skills that involve minigames should offer higher rewards than those that don't.

Because that would be completely different game. Why on earth lockpicking should depend on player reactions and skill, but swinging sword should't?

It doesn in a first person ARPG :dancing:

 

Seriously, I don't see the problem there. Combat already taxes the player in different ways; thinking about tactics and strategy (positioning, party composition, character development, spell casting, cost vs. benefit). IOW, combat tends to be fun. Picking a lock by pressing 1 button isn't fun. That's my entire point.

Edited by Sacred_Path

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