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Sensuki's Suggestions #019: Desynchronized Character Movement


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I have made two videos showcasing the method that was used in the Infinity Engine games to prevent the synchronized droid army look that Pillars of Eternity has for the purposes of  character movement.

 

 

The IE games used a random 0-10 frame delay (using the combat idle animation) before a unit start moving after a move command was issued. 

 

 

I believe the implementation of this is a very simple and effective method will fix the synchronized droid army look that units have when a grouped move command is issued. I also think it should be used for all creatures (as in the IE games) and not just party members.

 

The move animation could use a bit of polishing as well.

 

Previous Suggestions:

Version Review v278 bb
Cultural Gear Selection
Navmesh for AoE Targeting
Animations & Model Collision
Inventory Mockup
Dyrford Crossing Area Design
Main HUD Mockup
Beta Version Review v257 bb
Fog of War
Inventory & Item Tooltips
Combat Feedback Comparison - some stuff implemented
Re-wrote CC Class Ability Descriptions
Item Descriptions and Contextual UI Rant
Area Map Functions *IMPLEMENTED*
Main UI Tooltip Stuff *IMPLEMENTED*
Selection Circles and Targeting *Mostly IMPLEMENTED*
Vertical Sync *IMPLEMENTED*

Edited by Sensuki
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Like you know, I pointed this droid-army-movement out early on, so I'll gladly reiterate that this needs fixing. :)

 

Having played WL2 quite a lot know, I can tell they are using a random seed there.

However, it's still not enough. I reckon we need to reach the levels of the IE games here, and add better idle animations.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Not sure whether they've peeled off a bunch of animators or not, they might be working on creature polish and stuff like that atm. I assume we'll see stuff get another pass sometime soon.

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A lot of the small things in the (BioWare) IE games makes you realise how much care and attention went into them. Such a small thing like this is only noticeable by its absence but when it is absent it has a disproportionate effect. Much like the combat ready pulse animations that I never paid much attention to in BG 1 or 2 but as soon as I played IceWind Dale 2 was immediately struck by how inactive my characters seemed in combat.

 

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Absolutely true. I think Obsidian has used Icewind Dale 2 as their main influence for this kinda stuff, which is a shame as it does many things a lot worse than the other IE games.

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I agree with this.

Though, mind you Bioware IE also had their moments of everyone having perfectly syncronized animations and movements, but they werent as notiecable because of the random delays.

I would love unique movement and idle animations depending on the weapon type if they get enough time.

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I agree with Sensuki's idea, seems fairly easy to implement.

 

Related to this, why not also instead have taller characters take slightly longer footsteps, and shorter characters slightly faster? 

 

That would also help increase realism, imho.

 

I don't know how the walking animations are coded though, so maybe it's completely unrealistic. 

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Synchronized movement is ugly and must be changed for sure, but I don't believe we should always take IE games as examples just because this game is their spiritual successor, because, you know, they're a bit outdated. Random delay is also annoying, because when I give an order for the characters to move, I want them to start moving not waiting some random time and then do so. I'm no programmer but I'm sure there are more modern and impressive/natural ways to achieve this.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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I am sure this is one of those things they have already noticed and intend to change, it just probably isn't high on the priority line.  It doesn't really bother me either way but it should be mixed up a little.  Unless we want to RP a military unit!!!!

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Synchronized movement is ugly and must be changed for sure, but I don't believe we should always take IE games as examples just because this game is their spiritual successor, because, you know, they're a bit outdated. Random delay is also annoying, because when I give an order for the characters to move, I want them to start moving not waiting some random time and then do so. I'm no programmer but I'm sure there are more modern and impressive/natural ways to achieve this.

 

While I agree that the IE games shouldn't be blindly taken as the model for everything, this solution is actually quite elegant. The random (but short) delay isn't really noticeable explicitly (at least I never noticed it until Sensuki pointed it out). YMMV of course, but having played a good deal of the IE games I never found the delay the least bit annoying. Instead, it added a more weighty and realistic feel to the movement. Did you find the delay annoying in the IE games?

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While many of your suggestions have Merritt, you should eschew that list of "implemented" and otherwise suggested changes to PoE at the end of your posts. It is falsely suggestive that these changes would not have otherwise occurred, and gives the impression of unabashed vanity and braggadocio. Beta testers are here to improve the game, not add notches to our belt. Please consider omitting this conceit from your future posts.

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I've just been copy pasting my list across. The only reason I added those were to address concerns other backers were having about developers not listening:

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68191-are-they-even-listening-to-our-feedback/

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68191-are-they-even-listening-to-our-feedback/?p=1501782

 

Feel free to take it as braggadocio though, doesn't bother me.

Edited by Sensuki
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Wow ! Yes man,  that's exactly what is missing in Pillars of Eternity. It would also fix the enemies going too fast into melee fight, giving those few seconds to pause the game before everyone is moving. This is indeed an outstanding catch you got there, not many people would see what's wrong with it in PoE with such accuracy.

Edited by Gladiuss8@gmail.com
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Wow ! Yes man,  that's exactly what is missing in Pillars of Eternity. It would also fix the enemies going too fast into melee fight, giving those few seconds to pause the game before everyone is moving. This is indeed an outstanding catch you got there, not many people would see what's wrong with it in PoE with such accuracy.

 

I don't think the delays that Sensuki is describing would be nearly as long as "as few seconds".

 

A few hundred milliseconds, most likely.

 

But tbh I think it also makes sense from a ecological/RP point of view. If you assume that your main character is leading the group, it would make sense that s/he initiates the movement slightly before the rest of the party. 

Edited by Quantics
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If it doesn't upset the ai pathing in tight spaces, I'm for it.

 

 Adding a small amount of randomness should improve pathing because it will make it less likely that two characters will get to the same place at the same time. There will be individual exceptions, e.g. a character that was further away that started moving earlier than one that was closer, but on balance, it should make pathing easier to get right.

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