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How to escape a prison cell?


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#1 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:14 PM

Hey everyone

 

the game I'm currently working on is about escaping a prison, in a low-fantasy medieval-like universe.

 

here's how it looks so far (the HUD is a placeholder, the level's is a WIP and the character still needs a proper prisoner-like hair)

eprison-150x150.jpg

 

if I'm able to complete all the features I want without cutting anything it'll offer one-handed swordfighting, fist fighting, an oblivion/skyrim-like inventory system, a randomly generated dungeon (the prison itself), a stealth factor and suitable AI. As bonus it might also offer an online scoreboard with a ranking based on time to escape, number of guards killed (both for killing much, and for killing little), etc.

 

anyway to make things a little more interesting, lately I've been toying with the idea of including the usually overlooked but apreciated feature of allowing the player to solve a problem in multiple ways.

However the game is still down to escaping a prison, which you can do by force (easier to get killed since there's no health regen) or using stealth (though, get caught and you'll have a horde of guards upon you).

There's also the option of maybe freeing a few prisoners out of their cells (the player character is a POW, so it's not like you'd be freeing criminal scum), and once freed they would pretty much follow you everywhere and help with fighting guards - though coding an AI for friendly followers usually ends up as something clumsy, specially having a stealth factor.

 

And finally, maybe the option of escaping your prison cell in multiple ways, but the problem is how.

My initial idea is that after some time of scratching the walls for loose rocks in the cement, he's able to tear a couple off and eventually build two lockpicks out of grinding them. Of course if you start the game with the lockpicks already at hand there's no need for a different way to escape the cell. If on the other hand I were to include different options that are not too obvious would force the player to think, but then needing a grinding mini-game is just silly, saying he instantly got two lockpicks after scratching the walls sounds silly too, and a black screen with the text 'some days later' just sounds too easy and uninvolving.

I don't want the whole 'escaping' to seem like something very easy to do, after all the jailors are not idiots.

 

so besides my initial idea (which might just be silly itself!), I've thought about the typical 'fake you're super ill, wait for the guard to open the cell and ambush him', but this one seems very instant in nature while choosing to grind stones to build lockpicks seems like a longer-term plan, so it doesn't seem to me that they can fit together as 'decisions'

 

I'm looking for some input here. what other ways can you guys come up to for escaping a prison cell?

and in general, ideas to allow different choices would be good too. and better if they don't require too much extra dev effort smile.png


Edited by Chosker, 21 March 2013 - 06:18 PM.

Chosker - Developer of Elium - Prison Escape


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#2 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5055

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

How about seducing a guard?


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#3 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1861

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:00 PM

How about digging your way out?

Or the classical saw in cake which gets used on the metal bars of the window?

Or the McGyver method of making some kind of explosive device, hiding somewhere and boom?

Or the method from that film where Shawn Connery makes a lasso out of bedlinen to reach that lever to open a whole cell row in alcatraz?

Or the climb on other prisoner to reach high window method from Maniac Mansion?

Or the classical scratch weak part of wall with a spoon method till you get to hidden passage behind the cell?

Or the classical grab little metal piece to use it as lookpick later method?

Or the have huge muscles and just rip apart your handcuffs and attack the guard Rambo method?

Or the let Zak wait till the dumb-o-nator sucked out all his knowledge and the aliens let him free cause he forgot everything method?unsure.png



#4 jay_s   Members   -  Reputation: 178

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:40 PM

One idea I can think of while looking at your screenshot is to allow the prisoner, or player in this case, to blow out the flames of the torches on the wall to darken the room. Once that's done, the player should hide in one of the two corners on either side of the cell so that when a guard walks by and notices the dark cell, he is not able to see the player in the corner to the left/right of the cell door. Upon the clumsy guard opening the door to see what's going on, the player then has the option to attack the guard and make his escape.

 

This would be my best idea of getting out of a cell in midevil times without spending months planning the escape.



#5 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4750

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:57 PM

Hm, I think that freeing "criminal scum" would provide much diversity to the game and make the relation in the group of prisoners more tense.

 

What if someone turns on you? Tries to murder you or another prisoner? Is secretly a guard that wants to sabotage your escape? And so on. That way freeing other prisoners won't be always an instant win. It could go well or it could go wrong.

 

As for the escape. I'd say something along the lines of what jay_s said. Maybe someone checks on you every day. The prisoner finds a loose rock in the walls. So when the guy gets inside the cell the prisoner knows him out with the rock (or kills him gruesomely and gets a "What I am doing!?" moment).

 

The guy who checks on the prisoner should be some lackey with maybe a torch and nothing else of value on him, not a guard, otherwise the prisoner could grab their equipment.

 

The prisoner has to move out of the cell fast because the guards will be looking for the guy that got knocked out/killed. So you have your motive to get the player going.


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#6 Plethora   Members   -  Reputation: 679

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:31 PM

Perhaps the prisoner could discover a way to communicate with the prisoner in the next cell and through cooperation they could devise an escape plan.  Maybe there is one item in each cell that if used together could allow escape.  For added fun, have communication available on either side but have one npc be "good" and would help the player escape, and the other be "bad" and would leave the player in the dust as soon as he was out himself.  If so leave some subtle hints as to the possibility of nefarious intent.

 

Something else to consider... having multiple ways available to escape the cell makes it possible to fail an attempt in some way.  Like with the above scenario, maybe you give over your half of the escape item to the bad guy and he just screws out of there.  Well that attempt just failed... that shouldn't be game over.  Choosing badly cost you time, but there are other methods available to you.


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#7 Mercurialol   Members   -  Reputation: 221

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:31 AM

Seduce the insane female prisoner in the neighbour cell by taunting her with a cockroach you found crawling on the floor. When she comes to the door( read: bars) segregating your cells and starts screaming, bang her head to the bars and take her hairpin to lockpick the cell door. Unfortunately, the doors are kinda sealed and you can't open them no matter what. Although you can pick the lock to the neighbour cell where you find... (do continue smile.png )


Edited by Mercurialol, 22 March 2013 - 02:32 AM.


#8 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:28 AM

some great input here!

 

ok let me set some extra bases:

as I said, anything that doesn't require too much extra dev effort is more likely to be of use. actively talking with other prisoners would require me to code a dialogue system which I definately don't have time for. for 'other prisoners' to work they'd just act as they would (and maybe emit voice sounds)

 

that said, here we go

 

How about seducing a guard?

Seduce the insane female prisoner in the neighbour cell by taunting her with a cockroach you found crawling on the floor. When she comes to the door( read: bars) segregating your cells and starts screaming, bang her head to the bars and take her hairpin to lockpick the cell door. [...]

well the prisoner is a male and the guards are males. I can't spend extra time to make a female character, female clothes, and female versions of the armors that are/willbe in the game.

plus, using sex to get out of a prison? there can't be a more used cliche smile.png

 

 

How about digging your way out?

Or the classical saw in cake which gets used on the metal bars of the window?

Or the McGyver method of making some kind of explosive device, hiding somewhere and boom?

Or the method from that film where Shawn Connery makes a lasso out of bedlinen to reach that lever to open a whole cell row in alcatraz?

Or the climb on other prisoner to reach high window method from Maniac Mansion?

Or the classical scratch weak part of wall with a spoon method till you get to hidden passage behind the cell?

Or the classical grab little metal piece to use it as lookpick later method?

Or the have huge muscles and just rip apart your handcuffs and attack the guard Rambo method?

Or the let Zak wait till the dumb-o-nator sucked out all his knowledge and the aliens let him free cause he forgot everything method?unsure.png

you have no visitors, explosives don't even exist, and you're not handcuffed but there's a door instead. and you're stripped of everything (no metal pieces available - yet the idea of fabricating a lockpick is what I already have)

the cell has no levers (it's a medieval cell - works with a key). and it doesn't have hidden passages or windows either, it's a prison that's deep underground.

I know it might sound like I'm forcing things here and reducing the options, but for me a lack of common sense breaks immersion. and who'd ever build an underground prison with a secret passage / vent pipeline / etc?

the emperor passageway in Oblivion? too much of a coincidence if you ask me. oh and you're then set free as you almost prevented the murder of the emperor who dreamed of you, and they don't even consider why you were in prison in the first place. yeah, no.

 

 

 

 

One idea I can think of while looking at your screenshot is to allow the prisoner, or player in this case, to blow out the flames of the torches on the wall to darken the room. Once that's done, the player should hide in one of the two corners on either side of the cell so that when a guard walks by and notices the dark cell, he is not able to see the player in the corner to the left/right of the cell door. Upon the clumsy guard opening the door to see what's going on, the player then has the option to attack the guard and make his escape.

 

This would be my best idea of getting out of a cell in midevil times without spending months planning the escape.

this sounds similar to my 'i feel sick, come look at me' idea, though this one is much better!

 

 

Hm, I think that freeing "criminal scum" would provide much diversity to the game and make the relation in the group of prisoners more tense.

 

What if someone turns on you? Tries to murder you or another prisoner? Is secretly a guard that wants to sabotage your escape? And so on. That way freeing other prisoners won't be always an instant win. It could go well or it could go wrong.

 

As for the escape. I'd say something along the lines of what jay_s said. Maybe someone checks on you every day. The prisoner finds a loose rock in the walls. So when the guy gets inside the cell the prisoner knows him out with the rock (or kills him gruesomely and gets a "What I am doing!?" moment).

 

The guy who checks on the prisoner should be some lackey with maybe a torch and nothing else of value on him, not a guard, otherwise the prisoner could grab their equipment.

 

The prisoner has to move out of the cell fast because the guards will be looking for the guy that got knocked out/killed. So you have your motive to get the player going.

untrustworthy prisoners, that's quite interesting. i'll keep it in mind and if coding a decent friendly AI doesn't prove too much of a hassle I'll put it in.

 

well the thing about long-term plans is it conflicts with the pace of the game. I didn't explain this thoroughly at first, but the game is really more of an action game and most of it should take place when you're already out of your cell.

also part of the idea is that when you kill any guard you're able to loot him and use his equipment, you'll now be armed with a sword and wear some armor (this is already implemented in the game) - so killing a guard instead of a lackey is no problem.

a "what am I doing?" moment wouldn't fit though, the prisoner is a soldier made POW and you're expected to kill lots of guards on your way out anyway.

 

 

Perhaps the prisoner could discover a way to communicate with the prisoner in the next cell and through cooperation they could devise an escape plan.  Maybe there is one item in each cell that if used together could allow escape.  For added fun, have communication available on either side but have one npc be "good" and would help the player escape, and the other be "bad" and would leave the player in the dust as soon as he was out himself.  If so leave some subtle hints as to the possibility of nefarious intent.

 

Something else to consider... having multiple ways available to escape the cell makes it possible to fail an attempt in some way.  Like with the above scenario, maybe you give over your half of the escape item to the bad guy and he just screws out of there.  Well that attempt just failed... that shouldn't be game over.  Choosing badly cost you time, but there are other methods available to you.

both interesting ideas.

I might be able to get away with "prisoner co-op" without coding a dialogue system. the problem is really devising the "escape plan" which is the big point in this thread after all. remember the escape plan is really just how to escape the prison cell and not the whole prison (you were taken in blindfolded, which explains why you have no notion of the prison at all - something needed because the prison is randomly generated)

and if you're left out in your cell and eventually escape, it might be interesting to find the guy and take revenge or even find him already dead.

to make it more interesting and add replay value I could just make it one co-op prisoner, and the scenario of him helping you or screwing you would change randomly when a new game starts.

 

also having the possibility of failing in your attempt sounds great! and for added fun I could code it in such a way that every time you start a new game the options as to which ones will fail will be shuffled!

 

 

 

ok I'm adding some of your suggestions and some new of my own. 

 

you start in your prison cell and you can do one of the following:

- "use" a spot in the wall to take a couple of loose rocks, the screen goes black for a second and now you have a lockpick and can open the cell door (sounds too easy!)

- blow the torch to call the attention of the guard/lackey/physician so he enters the cell to check in on you (ok but how do you blow it off?)

- use help from the neighbor prisoner, who after escaping can either help you back or leave you to rot (ok but how does he actually open the prison cell?)

- take a hay stick off your haystack bed, set it on fire bringing it near the torch and throw it back to the haystack to call the attention of the guard/lackey/physician so he enters the cell to check in on you

- just wait some game time for the guard/lackey/physician to enter the cell to check in on you

 

half of these options can be used for a successful escape and the other half will fail, which will be shuffled randomly by the game code when the game starts.

 

for any of the options above you can either do one of the following two options:

- carve/take a loose rock out of the wall and use as weapon (gotta make it in some way that it doesn't conflict with the 'loose rocks lockpick' option)

- just use your fists to fight

 

after that the next situation happens as one of the following two options:

- if you walk cautiously you see the guard sleeping and you can easily kill him (neck-breaking cutscene!)
- else he just hears you, sees you and tries to stop/kill you

 

and then all of the following:

- you can loot the first guard you kill and use his equipment - though wearing his armor and boots will make you make more noise, bad idea if you're going stealth

- you can decide to free some prisoners (up to 3) from that group of cells, which you now have the keys for. you can free an annoying idiot that will make the game overall harder, a useful partner, or a bastard that will try to turn you in in hopes of making terms with justice - you can choose which one to free but you will of course not know who is who - or you can free them all and break havoc

- try find a way out, either by force or by stealth

 

 

I'm still afraid the difference between the short-term and long-term nature of some of the escaping plans just feels weird

otherwise, keep em coming!


Edited by Chosker, 22 March 2013 - 07:41 AM.

Chosker - Developer of Elium - Prison Escape


#9 ArticFalcon   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:39 AM

For this the best thing to to is watch films and TV shows and try to get some inspiration. There are lots of films and TV shows on breaking out of prison. Either find a way someone does it and use it or edit it and make it your own.



#10 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3414

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

The first objective you need to determine is this.

 

Is the only way out of the cell through the gate/door?

If it is not then what other aspects are you going to make available...for example a small open sewer pipe used for toiletries, or the ability to bend bars or carve holes through the rock.

 

The simplest form of escape has always been through the door -- it is an obvious hole in an otherwise sealed environment.

 --------------------------------------

 

The second objective you need to determine is how much you are able to interact with the environment outside of your cell i.e. can you reach outside the bars, can you throw things very far outside of your celll.

 

---------------------------------------

 

The third objective you need to determine is what assets do I have at hand this can include bedding i.e. sheets to be torn to make ropes or lassoos, your own clothes for that matter, what type of bedding do you have, what type of lighting do you have is it a flame as in you have the tool for fire, is it electicity i.e. you can electrify the door at the right moment. What types of insects are in the cell...for example if you pull all the legs off one side of a cockroach they will always hugh the wall on the legless side and can drag a thread behind them i.e. you now have a physical contact with the guy next door. Are the sewer pipes open in which case can you talk to others through the pipes. this particular list is limited only to how well you can utilise the elements within your environment.

 

---------------------------------------

 

The fourth objective is determing the guards patterns and what procedures they do in sudden events. For example the guy in the cell next door dies...what happens...can you recreate it yourself and take advantage or will you lassoo the guard as he/she walks past drag them to the bars and in reach of you. This can include talking to them which might elicit further information that can aid you such as the fact that a second guard waits outside the door.

 

---------------------------------------

Achieve the above objectives and you can make a plan that will work....unless of course you just suck at making plans :P

 

 

 

Hope this helps :)



#11 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:10 AM

Based on the image, I would start with an inventory.  

 - Hands, fingernails.

 - Shirt, Belt, Pants

 - Torch (Split into Club, Metal Bits(shielding), Flame, Fuel Source)

 - Potentially any loose material (Mud, potential Rock, rock bits)

 - Hair.

 

To be honest, the torch inside the room seems out of place.  Based on the logic you spoke about, who would put an ad-hoc version of a flaming mace in a prisoners cell?

 

Not that you'll take that suggestion, but I'll present some ideas that presume the torch is not in the room, however there still is one across the hall, well out of reach.

 

1, Gain rope.  

 - - Use Belt

 - - Turn Pants into shorts, by tearing strips off and tying them together.

 

2, Gain Torch

 - - Tie Lasso with rope.  hook it on the torch across the hall.  pull it back.  

 

3, Gain Rock

 - - feel the wall around the room, bumping pieces of it, until you find a lose piece.  work with it to remove it.

 

4, Gain Tools.

 - - Hit the metal of the torch with the rock until it breaks off. Makes a lot of noise, brings guards, losses fire/light.

 

5, Gain Tools with less noise.

 - - Blow out the torch and wrap your shirt in it.  Loses light.  Now hit with the rock, quieter, but not quiet enough.  Guards still come, though you get a moment more.

 

 

6, Gain dirt.  

 - - Scrape dirt off the ground, corners, walls, etc...  Collect a small handful of it, presuming damp/mud like.

 

 

7, Gain tools with near silence

 - - Repeat step 5, but this time place the dirt under it, to make less noise from the ground impacts.

 

(Given the nature of the game, you might want a worry bar, essentially a bar that rises as you worry about guards, traps, etc...  I.e. too much noise, coming up to a corner, etc...  Even though it won't do much for the game, players will quickly learn that it helps measure their actions, and they can choose lighter actions when replaying the same area.  (presuming numerous devastating fails.)

 

8, Gain Tools and Fire with near silence.

 - - repeat step 7, but carefully remove the fire/fuel source first.  - presume a split of a Wooden club, a metal bowl for holding the fuel, and the metal wrapping that also helps hold the fuel/fire, but now you can see light earlier.

 

9, open the cell.

 - - use the metal bits (tools) to open work with the door.  - doesn't work, guard comes by notices torch, you die.

 

10, Open the cell better. 

 - - Put the fuel/fire back into the metal bowl and carry that to hold the light.  pick the lock,   Before completing the lock pick, the bowl gets too hot, AOOHH! your drop it clank, guard comes, you die.  (essentially all my plans leave you defenseless, even with the club, until you can get out of the cell instead of being a fish in a barrel.)

 

11, Open the cell, succeed.

 - - Repeat step 10, but this time carry the bowl in the fabric from your shirt. it lights the way and doesn't get too hot.  This time, you pick the lock before a guard shows up.

 

12, Open the cell door

 - - CREEEEEEEAKKKKKK!  loud creaking noise brings guards.  But you don't have a club in hand

 

13, Open the door quieter

 - - Squeeze the dirt clump to get a finer mud liquid out, directly over the hinges, and work it into them.  When opening, there is still a noise, but not as loud.

 

You should leave the room with a club, a metal bowl of fire, a rope looped through your belt (from your pants shreddings), metal bits, and a bit of mud (where to put it though)

 - - Bit of dirt is in hand under bowl of fire?

 - - Bit of dirt is smeared all over you as a bit of camouflage?

 

If you have the dirt clump it can be thrown in eyes/face of a guard to distract them.

 

 

Some additional possibilities.  

 

1) Sleeping guard just down the hall, keys or weapon in ropes reach?  

2) using belt or shredded pants rope, produce noose, be ready for guard as they pass.  (this would be for more of a brawl type game)

3) Use the metal bits to remove the pins from the door hinges.

4) Complete the first part, attempt to reassemble the torch, put it back on the wall, use dirt to stuff up the key hole, so it doesn't latch again and shut the door.  Wait for the guard to pass and then follow them quietly.  

 - - This helps with the idea that if you get out, and go the direction that the patrolling guard is not, you will find it takes you almost immediately to a guard room, with others, armed.  then the patrolling guard calls out about the empty cell, and you are trapped in the path of both sets of guards, with nothing but a small wooden club for a weapon.

 - - If you follow the guard, you come up to the same spot, but now, they thing that way is cleared.  To make their rounds, they will leave out another entrance.  While they are distracted, you can take things from the edge of the room.  like a weapon, shield, change of clothes.

 - - With a changes of clothes and some batting material (could be other clothes or bags) you can sneak back to your cell again, setup a dummy in your old clothes, that looks like you sleeping in the corner.  Wait just out of site.  until the guard passes again.  Now, you can escape without sounding an alarm.  Or at least you can progress farther before that point.


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#12 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:28 AM

What would be really good, is that each time you die, and go back to a certain point, it shows flash backs of what the guards noticed/heard.  I.e. heard you hitting the torch with the rock, didn't see you in the cell/began search, torch on wall was gone, cell door was open, etc...  Even a little bit later (but not too far) things you did could still affect you.  So a great deal of the game is to make sure things are not out of place.  This will give you clues as to how to do things right, by showing you specifically what did not work.

 

 - One idea, is that when you get to the guard room, the second time, that you over hear "GO make one more round, and then you can take off for the night".  Now, you know that if you over power that guard on their trip, you can dress as them and just leave, up the stairs.  Nothing out of place.  

 - - replace the dummy in your cell, with the dead/unconscious guard, so the body isn't noticed.  

 - - Then, you start finding your way through another guard ridden cell section  That is mostly just a timing issue.  Once you get through it, you complete the level, and the past actions don't catch up with you.  The timing section after leaving the guard section, is to give the guards time to get back around, and 'notice' anything out of place, like a dead naked guard on the floor.  Once that happens, the exit to your level is sealed until the guards bring things to order, so you can fight them off, but what will ultimately will not complete the level.


Edited by Dan Violet Sagmiller, 22 March 2013 - 08:29 AM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#13 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:34 AM

Stormynature:

1. yes the door is the only way out. as I pointed out it's an underground dungeon and the builders had the common sense of not making it easy for the prisoners smile.png

2. well you could in theory interact with anything through the bars. however this is still an Action RPG and not a point and click adventure - there's meant to be player->item->world interaction and even item transformations via using them with world objects (ie. cook a raw meat in a fire and you get a cooked meat), but not as far as transforming item A with your bear hands to get item B, or using inventory item A with a inventory item B to create inventory item C.

3. since the game doesn't include a system/interface to for example take off your shirt and tear it to make a lasso, the clothing is irrelevant. other than that there's the walls that are made out of rocks, a haystack bed and a torch. it's meant to be a crude prison not one of those game prisons that have all the commodities smile.png I'd even avoid having rats because of the extra effort of modelling/texturing/animation/AI, gotta focus here.

4. there isn't really anything advanced about the guards that's already pre-set in terms of action and reaction. the idea right now is there would only be a guard in your section that would check on you if you do something weird, or a physician to check you anyway if you take too long to escape. other than that you might catch a patrolling guard that makes a visit to the section you're on. but I can build on it and script guard actions and reactions for any situation I want (which is why I compiled a list of situations on my previous reply).

 

 

Dan:

I think you're going too far with interactions, I'd need to extend my game's interaction system/interface quite a lot to make any of that work. see point 2. that I just wrote above.

 

and other than that as I said you're stripped of all your stuff: your inventory consists of only your rope belt and your shirt (pants can't be taken off)

now I do agree the torch seems out of place. I wasn't sure if to put it there but thing is, for both performance and style reasons the torch lights have a small light radius and so if there's no torch inside the cell it ends up being super dark. but I just might put more torches out and make only *their* radius bigger so that some light leaks into the cell. that would take out any option regarding the torch though.

 

besides that, torches are glued to the wall smile.png

 

the possibility of the door making a lot or a little noise is good, but again I wouldn't know how to make the interaction for that (right now the game has a 'press some button to interact with the environment' way). and again I don't want to deviate too much to implement new features :/

 

your additional posibilities:

- guard sleeping down the hall: he's too far and the keys are only on his inventory (common sense here!)

- could work. as I said at first the game offers single handed swordfight and fist fighting. I'd just add an interaction to slam the door to produce noise instead though.

- there's no metal bits at hand

- again too complex/advanced for this game

and for the next part, that wouldn't work. the whole game is only one level. plus, the patrolling guards have quite random patterns smile.png

 

each time you die... no. flashbacks are too complex to code, and the game rebuilds all of its random elements when you die and re-start (including the whole dungeon!)

 

 

 

please guys, let's keep the interactions to a simple level smile.png


Edited by Chosker, 23 March 2013 - 04:36 AM.

Chosker - Developer of Elium - Prison Escape


#14 Yrjö P.   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1412

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

Solving the wrong problem, IMO.

You have already decided the game is going to be mostly action, and don't want to put a lot of time on crafting systems that would support an interesting initial "get out of the cell" puzzle. I don't see why you'd put in a puzzle at all, then. Just begin the game at the moment the player can get out of the cell.

Let's say the character has managed to create a lockpick and has learned to open any cell door in a reasonable amount of time (but not necessarily other doors in the prison). And let's say we want to have some "locked in" time in the game for flavor. If there are occasional guard patrols too strong to beat, but which are only alerted to the player if they see the player outside a cell, the player would have incentive (or be forced to) occasionally duck into a cell (not necessarily their own) and pretend to be locked in until the patrol has passed.

#15 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

Solving the wrong problem, IMO.

You have already decided the game is going to be mostly action, and don't want to put a lot of time on crafting systems that would support an interesting initial "get out of the cell" puzzle. I don't see why you'd put in a puzzle at all, then. Just begin the game at the moment the player can get out of the cell.

well if I wanted not to include an initial "get out of the cell" puzzle I wouldn't have made the thread in the first place. The thing is just that I don't want too much of an advanced/convoluted game system both because of dev times and because it doesn't fit the theme/genre/vision of the game. But that doesnt mean I can't have a multi-choice type of game, it just means it should be kept simple.

 

Let's say the character has managed to create a lockpick and has learned to open any cell door in a reasonable amount of time (but not necessarily other doors in the prison). And let's say we want to have some "locked in" time in the game for flavor. If there are occasional guard patrols too strong to beat, but which are only alerted to the player if they see the player outside a cell, the player would have incentive (or be forced to) occasionally duck into a cell (not necessarily their own) and pretend to be locked in until the patrol has passed.

not a bad idea, but knowing it's an Action game and you'll already be armed with a sword (and forced to fight other guards anyway) it'd be much more practical to just fight them, or if you're going for stealth just hiding in the shadows, rather than needing to lockpick other cells to hide in.


Chosker - Developer of Elium - Prison Escape


#16 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:48 AM

im back at this. the prison cell has received a small update with some small texture work and the removal of the torch.
eprison2-150x150.jpg
overall it's much darker (might seem too dark, but when running the game on fullscreen it's good)

without the torch though, my escape possibilities have shrunk. so far I have the following:
- take out a couple of loose rocks off the wall and grind them to fabricate a lockpick to open the door lock (too easy?)
- make noise to attract a guard that will open the door (need a reason why he'll do that), and you can attack him and get out (too obvious?)
- make the cell have a window to the neighbor cell, and devise a plan to help the other guy escape first and then open the door for you to get out (but I still need a way for him to actually get out) - he might actually open your cell or leave you there. (good but how does he actually go out?)
- use rock or rope across the cell bars to hit/pull the passing guard and kill him (too easy?)
- for the case where the player isn't able to find a way out, if a lot of game time passes a physician will come do a check on you accompanied by a guard, which you should attack when they open the door

willing to hear some more strategies

Edited by Chosker, 26 March 2013 - 06:50 AM.

Chosker - Developer of Elium - Prison Escape


#17 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2634

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:52 AM

You could put the torch outside the cell, have a guard sit guarding nearby (sleeping?)

Then you lasso the torch to set the guard on fire and hope he stops somewhere near a cell.

o3o


#18 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2308

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

(the player character is a POW

what other ways can you guys come up to for escaping a prison cell?

 

start with the way it could really be done.

 

loose rocks in the cement, he's able to tear a couple off and eventually build two lockpicks out of grinding them.

 

probably not happening in the real world. rather contrived. that would turn me off right there.

 

getting keys from guards would be more realistic. by pickpocket, or distraction while the keys are unattended.

 

since the setting is medieval, options are limited.

 

1. weakness in the cell (loose mortar, window bars, half barrel hinges, etc.)

 

2. unlock cell door by getting keys somehow, or getting guard to unlock door. unless there's another weakness in the cell, this is the only way out.

 

3. outside assistance. which you've ruled out.

 

4. acquiring realistic materials to pick lock. which you've ruled out.

 

5. magic, act of god, miracle, etc.    don't think these apply here.

 

all of these may be pursued solo or in cooperation with other prisoners.

 

and they may be combined together. exploit weakness in cell to establish contact with other prisoners to form plan to cause distraction and get keys.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

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#19 Chosker   Members   -  Reputation: 483

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:34 PM

Waterlimon: that actually sounds reasonable. added to the list.

 

Norman: thanks for your input, it seems you got a good grasp of what I'm looking for in terms of 'realistic and reasonable' options

yep I'm actually looking for ideas of how it could really be done :)

 

maybe I could open the idea of getting external help. however the classic "you get a key/lockpick/knife from a present delivery" is ruled out

the option to force your way out with violence when a physician comes for a check sounds unrealistic as well. I guess a substitute option could be getting your cell opened by a friend that's infiltrated the prison dressed as a guard. however that would make players ask themselves "why can't we just fake he's transferring me to a different prison and get out?" - uhm maybe we get caught just as he's opening the door and he's killed while the player gets out of the cell.

 

getting the key from pickpocketing doesn't sound too good for me. after all you're in and the guard is out the cell. having him walk close a cell door while the prisoner is just by, and actually get pickpocketed would really make him deserving of a cruel death :)

 

on to your list:

1. not a fan of this possibility overall, but I guess it's acceptable if the weakness is only at a cell-to-neighbor-cell window (not at the cell's door), so maybe you're just lucky the window is weak and the neighbor cell happens to be empty and open

2. I can't think of a reason why the guard would unlock the door. however being able to attack/kill him from inside sounds fine if executed properly (tricky)

3. ok yes I'm ruling this back in. a realistic and reasonable idea would be great here

4. it's not really ruled out, I just don't want a really obvious and unrealistic access to lockpick materials, which is why cells are pretty much empty. I know grinding rocks to create a lockpick sounds too forced/unrealistic, but that's the best I could come up with at first. what about using a rock to grind a rat/meal bone to create a lockpick?

5. right, these do not apply here. magic and the gods' involvement in the world is extremely limited in my custom world and not an option here

 

indeed these may be combined together, but since I want different options and there's only so many reasonably ways you can escape a prison cell, I'd rather not waste options by making one out of two.

and I'm looking to pursue all of the options solo except for one co-op option with a neighbor prisoner (gotta decide which option is the best for this)


Chosker - Developer of Elium - Prison Escape


#20 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1861

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:33 AM

You said its a POW. The classic thing is he gets brought to an interrogation room and there he can:

- steal a metal piece for using as a lockpick or saw or for digging under the cell wall(its likely the floor was just dirt?) later

- attack the interrogator(maybe with a hidden rock from cell wall or chair)

- someone does something crazy to attract the attention of the guards to give someone else opportunity to grab some item/more easily attack them from behind/escape while not looked at

 

The sleeping/drunk guard with keys on table/wall hook/belt you get with some lasso/stick/trained rat/whatever while he is not watching seems also a likely method in a medieval setting?






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