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Wavinator

How many of you would make traps out of a level?

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Wavinator    2017
Just an exploration, out of curiosity: If you could rig triggers into the environment, would you bother with making up your own puzzles to trap / disable / kill enemies? Forgetting difficulty for a second, let's say you could somehow dig out a tiger trap, or even suspend a log or net above a spot on the ground. Or imagine that you could rig an industrial floor panel to suddenly swing open over a chasm. If you had weapons, but constantly had to mind ammo, would you bother getting elaborate about digging pits or getting creative with the environment. Or would you need to have absolutely NO WEAPONS in order to justify playing like this? (Again, I ask you not to be so concerned with implementation details simply because there are many ways you can implement such a feature.)

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Trapper Zoid    1370
As long as the effort in creating such traps wasn't too prohibitive, and the gameplay elements were conductive to making trap-setting worthwhile (i.e. there's a good chance that enemies would be following you, and you wouldn't have a good chance of falling into your own traps), then trap setting would be a very useful addition to a game design.

It's pretty much the same principle of setting mines in FPS games; I personally love setting ambushes for opponents that way as it removes the possibility that my avatar will get hurt. It's also a strong gameplay component of Dungeon Keeper; setting up a series of traps to lure enemies to their deaths was a lot of fun in that game.

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poss74    193
It'd certainly be a cool way to deal with your opponents. [evil] Personally, I like nothing more than laying mines all over the place in BF2 then drawing opponents in. [lol]

If you wanted to encourage the use of such traps, then limiting ammo would be the way to go, IMO, rather than taking out weapons all together: sometimes, there just ain't time to build a trap.

It may be just me, but I'd use the traps more even if there were plenty of guns 'n' ammo, just to watch someone disappear into a trap [grin]. Especially if you could see the look on their face...

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
I think it is definatley appealing to be able to use more creative options like traps.

A somewhat similar example would be the gravity gun in Half-Life 2. I personally used the gravity gun for half the game, even when ammunition was plentiful, due to it offering more creative options in destroying things, and from anecdotal evidence so did many other people.

This was to the extent of quite a bit of premeditation, much the same as you are implying in the complexity of setting up a trap. For example, I would happily drag a bench behind me for half a map simply for the fun of then being able to hit a creature with a bench instead of bullets.

In much the same way as players like to customise their character look in an RPG, I think there is the same appeal to being able to customise your chosen method of death-dealing.

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ferr    194
I think light ammo could be a consideration, but when I was initially thinking about the concept I kept in mind for some reason that I would be in the area for a very short time, that my enemies were right behind me (or atleast within a minute's run away.) This type of thinking would derail the use of traps if ammo were supplied.. hell I often have fun in FPS just using the Knife, so ammo is a definite issue. Though another way to think of it is that your enemy is not within a minute's distance from you, but you know it's out there, either you're looking for it or it's looking for you. You've been hunting or running for hours with no luck, you become tired, but you know if you go to sleep you might not wake up, so why not set up traps and alarms to protect yourself? I think this is the only way you could realistically use the trap concept, any other way would be just-doing-it-because-I-can.

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stylin    758
In addition to enemy proximity, number and type would be big factors for me as well.

Consider Pain Elemental, circa 1994. Luring an infinitely annoying creature like this into a crusher, or sealing it into a room, then detonating an explosive I have placed on a water main would please me immensely. I might, however, want to do battle with Ocarina of Time's Queen Ghoma, particularly because it's an awesome enemy, and I wouldn't want to cheapen her death.

As well, it would be satisfying to drop the floor on 20 or so marines into a pit of asps. But for a more linear, one-shot game, I'd probably want to snipe, use stealth or go in guns-a-blaze, depending on time alotted and available weapons/ammo.

:stylin:

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JimmyShimmy    127
Traps can be things of beauty or traps themslves in the games design.

They CAN be great fun and instill you with power as you watch the unsuspected get mauled/trapped in some way but it's all about weather you NEED to use them and how it will benifit you:

Traps are unique contraptions intended for special purposes-if you can just as easily shoot a guy dead with your shotgun that is packed with ammo it's use will most likely become obsolete.

Commandos 1+2 is one of the few franchises I can say implemented traps well. The levels did not always lend for their use but the inclusion of sound vibrations via walking/running and shooting and the steady/stealthy progression needed equalled 'need traps'.

It's all about how they work, how you are able to interact with the environment and their real usefulness-if you are gonna have traps they MUST have a real use in the game.

Using the 'Driver' in 'Commandos 2: Men of courage' you could set up a trip wire, fire a gun thus making a near by gaurd run to check it out and watch with great delight as he trips up and knocks himself unconcious-of course then you can either tie him up, rob him of his cloths/weapons or kill him quietly.

Why the above WAS great fun/worked is because:

1) The gaurd NEEDED to be killed as they sound alarms when they spot you and your probably dead meat

2) The inclusion of sound reverberations and with the element of surpirse in your hands you feel very much in control and can mess with them abit-make a noise and watch them turn their heads/sigh in disbelief-it's simple intricacies like this that are great fun because when you act you get a RE-action just like in real life-it's fun hitting a character who tells you to 'stop it!' but if they scream in terror ala GTA/HL then you feel satisfied because it's realistic-the less RE-actions to get in a game the more your reminded that you ARE playing a game.

3) Like I said previously as the gaurd is knocked cold you can rob his cloths, take his weaoons, tie him up/kill him-you are his GOD and you can take the gun/ammo to increase your chances or take his cloths to disguise yourself.

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zike22    163
Hells yea...Rambo style (First Blood).

Traps are suppose to be a major feature in the Far Cry game for consoles.

I'd use traps based on not only how much ammo i had but health, I imaigine it's a stealther way of getting rid on eneimes. It's also depends on how lon it would take/difficulty.

But you know what would really great...If there was a trap where you can knock a player into a pull of sharks, with "fricken" layers beams on their heads...You know, like in Austin Powers

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TechnoGoth    2937
There was a ps1 game called Deception 3 - Dark Delusion which was trap/rpg game. Basically there where 3 types of traps wall, ceiling, and floor each tied to a button on the controller there player could only have one trap of each time at a time. The player built traps by choosing a type, a device and an element. So combing pendulum and impact would create giant hammer ceiling trap that would knock enemies across the room. Placing the traps consisted of pausing the game and deciding where in the current room you wanted to place your three traps. Traps where activated but pressing their corresponding button after which you had to wait for them to recharge before using them again, traps could also be linked to form combos and take advantage of room hazards. The game consisted of a series of levels where you had to use traps to kill a number enemies before they killed you, traps where your only weapons.

It was really interesting idea for a game and created a very different type of gaming experience. So I would be all for an interesting trap aspect to the game the question of course is how it's handled, and where does it fit into the game?

Why am I building these traps? Is there a reason why I can't just leave the alien infested ruin? Generally if your using traps that means your involved in one of three activates:
1) Guerilla Activity.
2) Long term defense.
3) Holding out against superior enemies for some period of time.

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Gyrthok    412
Techmo's whole Deception series is built around the exclusive use of traps against Heroes. While i haven't managed to play the first two, Deception 3 was pretty fun, running around and dropping them into pits, or throwing boulders down flights of stairs. XD

I think the more options the player has with his environment the better, since it helps foster greater tactics and more diverse playstyles. With Triggered explosives in Planetside, people often set traps around corners, in Control Room's, and some unlikely places, sometimes even using themselves as bait to lure someone in. ;D

The thing with that though is that it takes time to swap between your "trap" trigger and your weapons, so its difficult to wield both at the same time effectively, requring careful timing to make sure you kill him with the trap, or dumping it alltogether in favor or your weapons.

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Wavinator    2017
Thanks for the great responses. Follow up question:

Let's say that you're a squad fighting another squad for control of ruins which you've mined and trapped. You both need to gain control of a room in order to get expensive equipment out, and keep playing cat & mouse trying to block each other off.

Should there be a game mechanism whereby the other squad gets smarter at noticing and disabling your traps as time passes?

If you set a mine, for instance, they'll trigger it from a distance; if you've created a deadfall, they'll jump over it; etc.

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makeshiftwings    398
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Thanks for the great responses. Follow up question:

Let's say that you're a squad fighting another squad for control of ruins which you've mined and trapped. You both need to gain control of a room in order to get expensive equipment out, and keep playing cat & mouse trying to block each other off.

Should there be a game mechanism whereby the other squad gets smarter at noticing and disabling your traps as time passes?

If you set a mine, for instance, they'll trigger it from a distance; if you've created a deadfall, they'll jump over it; etc.


Yes, but I think it's a delicate balance. In games where it's TOO easy to set up some kind of trap for the enemy to walk into, I feel like I'm cheating by abusing the crappy AI. In some games, if you put some mines down, there is no way for the AI enemy to actually notice them or do anything particular about them; your chance of blowing them up depends entirely on whether the random pathfinding algorithm has them run right through the minefield or get stuck on a wall somewhere.

Having the enemy AI actually notice the traps/mines and visually/audibly make that known to the player ("Hey, look out! A trap!", or springing a bear trap by shooting it) would be really cool. But if they were too good, it would either be frustrating, or lead you into looking for loopholes in the enemy AI, which would again make players think using traps was a "cheap" win.

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Just an exploration, out of curiosity: If you could rig triggers into the environment, would you bother with making up your own puzzles to trap / disable / kill enemies?


Yeah, it gives variety of control over the environment so you are not reliant on solely predesigned weapons or tools/utilities. It gives the player more creative freedom to design their own solutions withing games.

Quote:

If you had weapons, but constantly had to *find* ammo, would you bother getting elaborate about digging pits or getting creative with the environment. Or would you need to have absolutely NO WEAPONS in order to justify playing like this?


Do both, why one of the other, you'd satisfy a larger array of player's different approaches to play. I read something about this in The Theory of Fun by Raph Koster which may apply here, but naturally, I can't recall it right now. A scan through the doc should turn it up pretty easily.

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Should there be a game mechanism whereby the other squad gets smarter at noticing and disabling your traps as time passes?


I think it would be fun, as long as it was controllable as a selection from the configs, like, "Let opposition get cleverer/faster/deadlier in response to your defense designs"

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by WavinatorShould there be a game mechanism whereby the other squad gets smarter at noticing and disabling your traps as time passes?
No, I dont think so.

From the sound of the scenario, it doesnt really sound like there would actually be time to really learn how to spot traps. I would agree with something as low level as only two states (1. not searching 2. searching for traps), but having a squad "somehow learn" to spot traps feels like cheating, to me.

I would suggest instead of simply making the enemy smarter to provide extra challenge, a more appropriate option might be perhaps to look at level design. Rather than getting progressively smarter at searching, instead turn the problem around and design the terrain to make it progressively harder to hide your traps.

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bdc256    154
It would also work if setting traps would effect the game later. If you trap someone perhase they are picked up by your side and brainwashed to help you.
They could:
Suport you in a later level.
Give you a new gun.
Unlock a part of a level.
You can be camafloged as the later
ect.

Something like that would make it cool.

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Gyrthok    412
Surprisingly people i play against fall for the same traps a couple of times, if not repeatedly before they catch on. I think it would be a little tricky to have them learn, but in Planetside there are only so many tactics to use to avoid traps so I could see it being possible. They'll skate the edge of the wall to avoid any explosives just around the corner, or throw EMP grenades into rooms before going in, etc.

The thing i've learned however is how to exploit them knowing towards my own ends. If I kill them enough that they start to always throw an EMP into the control room, then i wait with my gun out for them to toss in their grenade, and then blow a hole in them during the time it takes them to switch back to their guns, or i wait outside and trail behind them and wait for the right moment to strike. Gameplay becomes more deceptive and complex when you manipulate peoples expectations towards your own ends.

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bdc256    154
It would also work if setting traps would effect the game later. If you trap someone perhase they are picked up by your side and brainwashed to help you.
They could:
Suport you in a later level.
Give you a new gun.
Unlock a part of a level.
You can be camafloged as the later
ect.

Something like that would make it cool.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
wheel of time - www.wotmaps.com
is worth a look. FPS using UT engine with traps built into it's CTF style mode. You had to go around your base and place the traps to defend against invading troops. Things like pits, spikes, mines etc.


I think the key thing to look at is why you might be setting traps?
Usually - the games i've set traps in - it's because my character is too weak to take on the enemy.

* Baldurs Gate had traps (Yoshimo had a good one) although i only used it a few times.
* Diablo 2 - (assassin) plays with lots of traps.
* Dungeon Keeper traps made things fun. :) evil is good.
* Go watch Home Alone. terrible movie which i haven't seen in year - but the traps might give you ideas.


Another example of "traps" is things like baiting thrall into a bottleneck and annihilating them with my dwarves in Myth. Especially when seeding the area with mines.
The demo level for Myth 2 (that convinced me to buy the series) involved infiltrating a castle with an invisible dwarf. That dwarf could be used from the battlements to blow up troops below. You could bait them with archers - they'd come and follow and then you'd blow them up.
It's not a physical trap - but the environment works like one.

my $00.02:
Do it. Make the bad guys too powerful to easily take out with weapons. Force the player to think creatively on ways to beat them.

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sirGustav    588
Loadrunner had traps, it added a extra gameplay-points since the enemies could get out of the trap if you didn't place it good enough...

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frostburn    380
I'd use the feature, but I'd prefer to have a choice to use "normal" tactics as well. Trip wires w/grenades or claymores or gun turrets would be excellent. Pitfalls and other "low-tech" traps could be cool as well, at least in some places, but it might become silly if you can dig a pit in moments or tedious if you have to wait a long time. "Direct traps" such as luring enemies into ambushes is always a hoot.

I think that enemies should have a chance to find the traps, but they shouldn't automatically become better at it as the time passes. The difficulty of spotting the trap should be based on type of trap, terrain/environment and the skill and resources of the trapper. The NPCs should have an alertness value and a spot trap skill that increases every time the NPC or another NPC in close proximity finds a trap (or springs it). It might also be cool if the spotter could pass on some of his new-found skill, or at least alertness to other people in his squad by talking to them.
Examples:
"Watch out, there are traps in the area" -> + alertness to all who hears it.
"Loose leaves on the ground might be a pitfall" -> + spot trap skill to all.

Alertness will cause them to be more wary for everything out of the ordinary. I was going to say that it would also cause them to spot enemies (your team) more easily, but now I think it might cause them to be too focused on the ground right in front of them that they won't notice someone standing 10m in front of them. Perphas "trap-alertness" and "enemy-alertness" should be two different values. The NPC's intelligence might play a part in deciding how focused he'll become. Morale might also have an impact (didn't use it in the following example though).

Examples:
example formula: Tr-Alert+=(5+int/2); en-alert+=(-14+int)
Low int : tr-alert+=7; en-alert+= -10 ("holy crapz! I don't wanna go in no trap")
Mid int : tr-alert+=10; en-alert+= -4 ("I'd better watch my step")
High int : tr-alert+=14; en-alert+= 4 ("hmmm... the traps might be a decoy..")

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Do it. Make the bad guys too powerful to easily take out with weapons. Force the player to think creatively on ways to beat them.


Slightly off topic.. sorry

I'd rather have the game evenly balanced - 1 headshot will kill you, or you them. You'd still want to find ways to kill them without getting in the line of fire, but you have that option if you're good or brave enough.

In my planned action-RPG game I'm going to reward caution and aiming by using "spread". What I mean is that you don't hit the exact spot in the middle of the sights, but somewhere inside a circle/oval. When you're standing still or crouching the spread shrinks slowly, but when you shoot or make large movements the spread grows. Single shot or burst doesn't expand it as much as full auto. Enemies will have the same feature, so it's not given that they will hit you. If they do you'll seriously feel it (realistic damage). The Rainbow Six games used something similar.

The speed of the shrinking and min size of the spread will be determined by one or two skills/attributes/combos. The quality and type of weapon will also play a part, and I think it might be cool to reward the player for sticking to his weapon by giving him a "Personal gun" bonus. If the skill is high enough the spread will have a negative size and you'll automatically hit the most optimal place within the now inverted circle.

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litewarri    162
Trap implementation will go hand in hand with physics systems and how they're improving. Half-Life 2 was a prime example of this. You can easily set different kinds of traps, from the very fact that you're allowed to manipulate most of the environment. The explosive barrels in particular made great traps when set up correctly.

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