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someboddy

Multiplayer mode - Capture Alive(or Hostage Taking)

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someboddy    100
This is a multiplayer mode I thought to add to a game I'm planning. I think it's cool, so I post it here so you can add it to your game if you like it. This mode requires few things from the gameplay: A player(player A) must be able to reach what I call "checkmate" with another player(player B) - player A can kill player B with a little affort, and player B can't do much about it. For example, player A is pointing a gun to player B's head from a close distance, and player B's gun is pointed to somewhere else. On the slightest move of player B, player A will pull the trigger and kill player B. Player B must then surrender to player A - for example, by entering is gun to the holster. It is also important that once player B has surrounded to player A, any attempt frin player B to enter battle mode(drawing his gun again, in our example) will take time and can be noticed easily by player A. Of course, player B can try a more clever way to escape. It is also important that both player A and player B can easily and quickly notice the checkmate situation. If we want that this mode will work properly, there must be at least 3 factions in a game. That means at least 3 players in Capture Alive mode, and at least 3 teams in Team Capture Alive mode. Each player(or team) will have a base. Every player can reconize the base when he sees it, and know who owns it. A player(or team) will get points for each enemy player entering his base. A player(or team) will lose points for dying. You don't lose points for entering enemy base. You don't get points for killing other players, so the only way to earn points is to checkmate an enemy and force him to go to your base. Thats why having at least three factions is critical: a player will prefer to be taken hostage then to be killed, since losing a point will give advantage to all the other factions, while being taken hostage will give advantage only to the faction who captured him. Players will prefer to capture alive over killing for a similar reason, and because they need points in order to win. I see one major problem with this mode: in match where you need to earn certain number of points in order to win, when a faction is very close to winning, the other players will prefer to die and lose points then to be taken hostage by the leading faction and losing the game. Any comments?

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You've correctly assessed that points are all that matters to players. If you make a game with gorgeous arena, sophisticated physics and perfect controls, but the best way to get points is to stare at an untextured corner and hit the crouch button as fast as you can, that's what players will do.

But I'm not convinced that your system is the best way to go.

For one thing, you don't need three factions. Look at how F.E.A.R. handles team killing: Killing an adversary is worth five points. Dying costs you a point. Suiciding costs three points, and killing a team mate costs five points. So if you run around killing anything that moves, your TKs will cancel your kills, and you'll do no good. In fact, since dying has such a small penalty, it's better to lose a fight than to kill a squaddie, so you check your targets carefully.

Say a kill earns you three points, a capture earns you six points, dying costs you three points and being captured only costs you one point. It's better to capture than to kill, though killing is easier, and it's better to be captured than to be killed. This way, when I am in a fight, I have no ammo and no grenades and fifteen HP left, I can throw in the towel and save myself some points.

The mechanics of capture should also be made more playable. With good mouse sensitivity and a solid melee attack I can take out an armed adversary without too much trouble, especially if he doesn't want to shoot me and is standing right there. You need a "prisoner state". Here's my suggestion:

When you want to surrender, you push the "give up" key, and your character "assumes the position: He drops his gun, turns away from the bad guy, falls to his knees, crosses his ankles and interlaces his fingers behind his head. This position renders him totally immobile for five full seconds, and a little white flag icon appears above his head during that time. Also, as a gameplay feature, he is nearly invincible in this pose. That way, when the grenade lands in my foxhole and I see the writing on the wall, I can "turtle up" by surrendering. I'll survive the nade, and there's even a chance that nobody will grab me within the five seconds.

For the capturing player, it's a simple matter of running up to the other guy and hitting the "capture" key. You'll cuff or ziptie his hands and get him to his feet. At this point, you can march him back to your base and throw him in the brig, scoring your points. The captured player can now move around, but he can't fight. He can, however, hit the "escape" key to start struggling against his bonds. This requires him to stand still for five seconds to pick the cuffs or whatever. If he succeeds, then he's back to full capacity, but without weapons. No points are exchanged.

So it goes like this:

Player A has the drop on Player B. It's clear that player B is doomed. B dies, losing three points and awarding A three points. OR

B surrenders. A runs over there and grabs him and starts marching toward A's base. B resists, and A puts the shotgun right in B's face. B stops trying to escape, and marches toward A's base. B's squad shows up and starts firing at A. A returns fire and B takes off, running with the cuffs on toward cover. A shoots him in the back, 3 points gained and lost. OR

He gets away, takes advantage f the break to shed the cuffs, gets a pistol from a squaddie and gets back into the action. A, now outnumbered and boned, surrenders, is captured and taken back to B base. He loses a point, their team gains six, and he respawns at home.

You'd have to tweak the scoring system, since with the numbers I'm arbitrarily assigned a cature actually only nets you five points, while a kill nets six, but if a capture was worth, say eight points, or ten, then it would be worth the risk. And hey, you can always just shoot the guy if it looks like the capture isn't going to work out.

Maybe it takes fifteen seconds to pick the cuffs or cut the zip-tie, but only two seconds for a squaddie to do it for you, making rescue far more feasible than escape. Maybe you could let yourself be captured and then make a break for it in the enemy base, hoping to free yourself and try for a flag capture. You could let one guy get caught, and set up an ambush en route to the jail, hoping to rescue him and capture the lone enemy escorting him back to base.

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someboddy    100
Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
For one thing, you don't need three factions.


It is critical to have three or more factions. This is why:

If a player gets x points for killing and loses y points for dying, then the blance between two factions changes by x+y for each kill.
If a player gets z points for capturing and loses w points for being captured, then the balance between two factions changes by z+w for each capture.

Now, if (x+y)>(z+w), then a player will prefer to kill and get more points. If (x+y)=(z+w), then a player will prefer to kill, because it's easier. Even if a player is invincible for a while after pressing the surrender button, after he is being "collected" by a capturer, the capturer can fool the game engine to think his enemy is trying to escape, and kill him.

If (x+y)<(z+w), a player will prefer to capture and get more points. But what about the captured player? You might think he will choose to surrender for a hope of escaping, but if he sees that the enemy base is realy close, he will try to escape, and even if he get killed, the balance will only be changed by (x+y), which is better for him then (z+w). Knowing that, players will prefer to kill and save the trouble and risk of transfering the hostage to the home base.

That is, if there are only two factions. In case of three factions, the situation is different: We can make the capture situation better for both the capturing and captured side.

If we make x<z, y>w, and (x+y)=(z+w) then the balance between A and B if A kills B is the same as the balance between A and B if A captures B. However, if A captures B then the points of each of the two factions will be higher then if A kills B. If there are only two factions, A and B, then it doesn't matter, since the balance stays the same. However, faction C changes the picture. C's points will not change in an encounter between A and B, so the capture situation will be better for both A and B, since they both have a better balance with C comparing to a killing situation.


I liked the rest of your ideas. Both "shout 'surrender'" and surrendering buttons are necessary.

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Wavinator    2017
I like ICC's proposal, but I'm a little concerned that getting captured isn't interesting enough. Based on the number of times I've seen terrorists just simply gun down hostages in CounterStrike, I'd say you've have to have a VERY powerful incentive to not just shoot prisoners. Players want to be doing something active, and in a shooter, I strongly suspect the machismo that most have won't allow any of them to adopt a submissive role for long.

So I think players would need to be somehow useful as prisoners, or you need to become a bot once captured. Maybe prisoners can map the layout of a base, tag secret items, fake tripping over a stone or something-- anything more than just walking over terrain back to an enemy base with their hands up.

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someboddy    100
The game I'm planning is an action rpg, so I can use exp bonuses and penalties for motives.

Being captured is not that pssive, as you can attampt escaping if you can find the right oppurtunity.

Maby the prisoners will be put in a camp, where they have to find a way out or something like that.

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MiDri    148
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
I like ICC's proposal, but I'm a little concerned that getting captured isn't interesting enough. Based on the number of times I've seen terrorists just simply gun down hostages in CounterStrike, I'd say you've have to have a VERY powerful incentive to not just shoot prisoners. Players want to be doing something active, and in a shooter, I strongly suspect the machismo that most have won't allow any of them to adopt a submissive role for long.

So I think players would need to be somehow useful as prisoners, or you need to become a bot once captured. Maybe prisoners can map the layout of a base, tag secret items, fake tripping over a stone or something-- anything more than just walking over terrain back to an enemy base with their hands up.


Reading this thread, this is close to what I was thinking.

I invisioned _playerA_ in a gun battle with _playerB_. _playerA_ runs out of ammo and surrenders to _playerB_. _playerA_ uses this opertunity to simply walk into the enemy base, if this is an rpg perhaps he is an escape artist with the ability to break out of cuffs anytime he wants -- but _playerB_ does not know this. Once in the base _playerA_ escapes and finds _playerB_'s armory and gets explosives, and blows _playerB_'s base up.

Consider also that _playerB_ should always have an eye on _playerA_, if _playerA_ is not in view of _playerB_ then _playerA_ should imidatly be told either audibly or through text on the screen. This would help greatly with the chances of people enjoying the 3 team system.

If --
TeamA has 9 points
TeamB has 30 points
TeamC has 3 points

It is more likly that a member of TeamC will kill a member of TeamB escorting a captured member of TeamA -- being that TeamB is already in the lead.

Hey new buzzword to use to -- Combat Dynamics!

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Plasmadog    205
The problem I see here is that in an FPS, the direction you are looking is the same as the direction you are aiming. So if someone gets into the no-win situation described in the OP, they aren't going to know it. There would need to be some mechanism to represent raising and aiming a weapon, so as to disconnect the aim point from the sight point.

ICC's suggestion that "assuming the position" gives protection from harm is a good one, but I'm not sure it would be enough to stop people from simply blazing away in the hope of getting lucky. After all, there is no real fear of harm while playing an FPS, so there is no great incentive to play it safe. Even if it did work, it would probably only be used in situations like was described, i.e. a grenade or missile (or something else that is similarly lethal yet slow-moving) is already incoming, so it's not very realistic.

Another way to handle it is to take out the voluntary surrender part. I'm thinking of some kind of stun melee weapon that can only be used from behind. It would stun an opponent for a few seconds, and when they come around they are weaponless. This puts the stunned player in a helpless position, and the attacker can lead them wherever they want to. It would still allow for the possiblity of the captured player fighting back hand-to-hand if their captor gets distracted. Also, by making captures non-voluntary, you remove the requirement for three factions.

I wonder though, how easy it would be to lead a captured player, given that when they are walking forward they will be looking away from you. Maybe some verbal orders would be required.

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The stun idea got me thinking. How about knocking them out and carrying them back to your base?

In AvP: Extinction (a pretty weak RTS for the XBox), the aliens wouldn't kill their prey, but would neutralize them and drag them back to the hive to serve as hosts for more aliens. What if you could wound or incapacitate a guy and then pick him up and haul him away, Splinter Cell-style?

The problem is what the player is doing while his character is out. Maybe a mini-game to regain consciousness without letting your captor know? Screwing up would lead to sudden movements, or a groan or something, and the captor would just whack you on the head again and you'd have to start over, but if you do it right, you can maybe get a chance to knife him or kung-fu out of his grip and escape.

It's not great. Hmm...

Okay, how about a choke-hold, like in Splinter Cell, with some kind of ongoing paper/rock/scissors or other adversarial mini-game representing struggling? A little meter could represent how firmly you're held, and if you get it all the way to th eother extreme, then you escape. Of course, as the captor, I'm probably going to just shoot and/or stab you when you get close, but dying might be preferable to being caught, so getting shot would be a sort of victory. Also, you'd distract the other guy, making it tougher for him to fight.

If you've played Indigo Prophecy, then you've seen the little "Simple Simon" system that game uses for all the challenges. How about a little game like that, where the relative score determines the degree to which you're restrained? The captive, without distraction, can work on that alone, while the captor might be dealing with threats, navigating, etc.

It sounds like a raw deal for the captor, but you get the added bonus of the human shield, and with a big TK penalty, a human shield is a very powerful tool.

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someboddy    100
I like the minigame idea, but the problem is that skillfull players will be able to easily solve the minigame, even if the capturer is better then them.

So I was thinking, what about a minigame where both the captured and the capturer participate? If the captured player wins, he can regain consciousness or break free from the capturers hold. If the capturer wins, he can notice that the captured player regained consciousness, or in the holding case, the capturers goal is just not loosing until he gets to the base.

The capturers part in the minigame will be much easier, since 1) it suppose to be hard to break free, and 2) the capturer is the one who choses where to go, and he must pay attention to his path.

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I didn't communicate it well, but that's what I meant. The cator and captive are both presented with a series of stimulus-response challenges, maybe something like Dance Dance Revolution, with simple controls. The score the captor gets and teh score the captive gets (running total) are both recorded, and when the captive's score is far enough ahead of the captor's score, he breaks loose.

It should be tougher for the captor, otherwise it'll be useless as a game dynamic. In fact, it should be impossible for the captor to hold onto his captive forever. Maybe the presence of other squaddies can make the hold indefinite, but you'd need three or four escorts for a secure transport.

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someboddy    100
If both the captor and the captive play the same game, the captive will have the advantage since he doesn't need to split his attention. All he does is playing the minigame. The captors should have such an advantage that he will be able to both lead the captive and remain with an advantage in the minigame.

I was thinking about a minigame like this:
There is a big hollow circle and a small solid circle inside it. The captor can spin the big circle, and the captive can move the smaller circle. The big circle has several gates - parts of the circle that are missing. If the captive can get his small circle out of the big circle thro one of the gates - he can break free.

I also thought of a version for the consciousness regaining situation - In this version, the samll circle is invisible to the captor, but if the small circle touches the big circle, the captor will notice it and the small circle will go wild until the captive can regain controll on it.

The difficulty of both minigames depends on the size of the circle, the size of the gates, and on the speed and acceleration of the spinning of the big circle and the movement of the small ones. Those values can be changed via trial and error to reach the desired results.

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