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Kest

Dead bodies everywhere

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Kest    547
What methods are there to deal with dead bodies? Suppose a game has enemies that can pour around corners at you, where you can also loot their bodies to grab weapons, keycards, and other junk. I believe Half Life 2 made them vanish without a trace. Unreal Tournament 2004 applied a cool effect to make them dissipate into the air - but it fit that game because of it's gladiator simulator type atmosphere. I've seen some games use the Warcraft effect of decomposition. As long as many, many characters can't pile up into one small area, then leaving bodies laying around isn't an issue. But how can you control something such as this? The player ultimately has that control by choosing to deal with enemies where they want. And if you simply stop a flow or generation of enemies just because of the number of bodies on the floor, it creates a very strange unrealistic tactic for the player to use - just pile up 15 bodies, and you'll have time to hack the computer's password. One crazy solution I've considered was actually not killing anyone. Instead of people dying and laying on the floor, they would just get extremely injured, and fall to the ground. They could actually crawl away to a safe location as the player deals with oncoming enemies. As long as they drop any critical items, like keys, when they hit the ground in pain. Are there any other ideas?

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orionx103    138
Korn, right?

The best way to deal with a pile-up of bodies depends on two things: 1) What is available to the character in the game, and 2) how tedious it will be for the gamer to deal with the dead bodies all the time. Obviously, I wouldn't make it mandatory.

Fun things you can do with a body, huh? Well, in Metal Gear Solid 2, you would usually just shuck 'em in a locker, or you could throw them off a balcony into a vat of pure hydrogen. In Metal Gear Solid, if you had the stealth, you were about to sneak up behind a soldier and strap C4 to his backpack. It didn't get rid of his body, but it's a good idea and it was hella funny to watch.

Ever seen Fargo? You could stick 'em through a mulcher. You could hide them in air ducts or closets. Dismemberment is an option. You could find funny places to stick grenades. You can hang them up on hooks in a meat locker.

That's all I got for now.

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Kest    547
Yep, the title was inspired by Korn. And yep, I agree that looting bodies can become tedious. I hope to find ways to prevent that problem, possibly by indicating important item locations with some type of effect that doesn't ruin the feel of the game. I'm not a fan of floaty icons and spinning pickups in serious mood situations, so I'll have to think hard about that one.

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KulSeran    3267
Depending on the effect you are looking for....
I like the WC3 decomposition thing.
In a war-like environment, you could have invulnerable medics hauling bodies away.
In an appropriate (2d?) setting you could copy crimsonland, where the bodies are cooked onto the background texture.
Or if bodies pile up a lot, it would probably be posible to slowly fade out old ones, bucase they are at the bottom of piles, and as such wont be seen fading away.

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CIJolly    282
You could have an auto loot option, with various settings.

Eg, always pick up unique items/quest items. Always pick up healing items. Always pick up items I've never seen before. Don't pick up ammo I'm full on, ammo for guns I don't have, guns worse than what I have, novelty items (candy bars, pocket lint) etc.

If you have a library of items the player has encountered, then you can have a checkbox to say whether to loot them or not. Or, if characters have a max carry allowance, you could set a number that the character wants to try and stay at (eg, 20 med packs).

Enemies could explode after they die, ala deus ex.

Enemies could vanish after a certain amount of time (your game is sci-fi, right? You can explain it however you want. Give your character an atomiser he uses to get rid of the evidence/convert enemies into energy for his weapons/absorb their essence to improve his skills (aka, exp)), and leave behind any important (eg, quest) items.

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erissian    727
Maybe certain weapons destroy the body. Explosions vaporize the body, or maybe an energy weapon causes the body to smolder away. Some limited attacks may leave a corpse behind, but if those attacks are limited then the bodies won't pile up the same, and the hacks you use to make the bodies disappear won't be as noticeable. The rate of disappearance could be relative to the number of bodies nearby, so that the effect would be even less noticeable.

If all else fails, then you can always have swarms of rats. :)

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Daaark    3553
Is it a sci fi game? Why not have a monster that crawls out of the shadows and eats the dead bodies whole? [lol]

Back when I was making doom levels, you could set a variable on any level geometry edge that states that enemies would not cross that line. So if you had a long alley, and then a warehouse, you would set the doorway into the warehouse as non passable. That way the player can't lure all the enemies out of the warehouse, and stack them in the alley, because the ones in the warehouse can not take the doorway out into the alley.

If your world is split up into sectors of some type, you can automate this by not allowing an enemy to wander too far from his 'home sector'. This might be unrealistic if a mob of enemies stop halfway across the street when they are chasing you, but it might be able to be explained. If they are guarding or protecting something, they won't want to wander too far away from it! They can even have a speech file or something to state this, and then turn around and run back to their post.

You can have a max bodycount in any sector, and then just quietly cull them down to the limit. If it's 8, remove the first corpse when 9th one dies. Most people won't notice.

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Feralrath    163
the setting of the game really depics how you would want to get rid of the bodies.

given a sci-fi setting anything is possible, rapid decomp, teleprotation, self destruct, ext ext.

in a real world game(i.e. a wwII game) your best bet is to just have the bodies desolve after a given amount of time.

of if your only talking about a couple 10 - 20 bodies, just leave them on the ground till the character enters a new zone then remove them anyway you want.

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Kest    547
Quote:
Original post by Vampyre_Dark
Is it a sci fi game? Why not have a monster that crawls out of the shadows and eats the dead bodies whole? [lol]

[lol] That's one possibility.

Quote:
Back when I was making doom levels, you could set a variable on any level geometry edge that states that enemies would not cross that line. So if you had a long alley, and then a warehouse, you would set the doorway into the warehouse as non passable. That way the player can't lure all the enemies out of the warehouse, and stack them in the alley, because the ones in the warehouse can not take the doorway out into the alley.

If your world is split up into sectors of some type, you can automate this by not allowing an enemy to wander too far from his 'home sector'. This might be unrealistic if a mob of enemies stop halfway across the street when they are chasing you, but it might be able to be explained. If they are guarding or protecting something, they won't want to wander too far away from it! They can even have a speech file or something to state this, and then turn around and run back to their post.

I'm worried about other limitations that this would apply. It limits enemies as well as their dead bodies. Having many enemies wouldn't be a problem. It makes great sense to have some stop the chase as others get in to closer proximity to a target. The problem occurs when they need to stop the chase because dead bodies are in a scene. It's better than nothing, but gameplay-wise, I believe just making dead bodies vanish (in some way or another) would better suit the fun factor.

Quote:
You can have a max bodycount in any sector, and then just quietly cull them down to the limit. If it's 8, remove the first corpse when 9th one dies. Most people won't notice.

This method is currently at the top of my list. A max body count either within the camera view or by a countdown delay of time after they die. I could remove them, just not render them (would look glitchy having some re-appear as the camera moves), or convert them to some type of simplistic alternate display (like GTA chalk lines).

edit:

Here's another crazy idea: fear and/or sniping. When many dead bodies are around the player character, enemies could get freaked out and run away. Or they could see it as a sign that he's using ambush tactics and attempt to snipe him from off-screen (I forgot to mention my game had an overhead view).

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Daaark    3553
I didn't say they would stop the chase because dead bodies were in the scene, I said they wouldn't cross over into other sectors, which meant you could never have too many corpses in one place, because you never had more enemies than the ammount of corpses.

The 'do not cross' lines in doom weren't used as a dead body limiter. You could have TONS of corpses.

It allowed the the monsters to still fill out a level, and not have them all come after you as soon as a they heard your first gunshot, and it also allowed rooms to maintain their challenge. Having to fight 3 insivisble demons in a low light room isn't a challenge if you can walk out into the fullbright hallway and just shoot them as they walk out the door. [lol]

So it has other uses, as you see. You would also block sound, so the monsters wouldn't be alerted until you got there, and made a sound within their zone. This ensures that the 2 guards blocking a door in to a special room will remain put until you approach. Then you know you will only have 2 corpses in there.

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Coz    169
I would say that you should make it configurable. Either use your own special realistic dead body handling, or make bodies disappear quickly somehow.

I know I would like to see how the bodies pile up and are handled at first, but after a while I would find them distracting if they contrast with the rest of the scene, so I would want to switch it off.

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Kest    547
Quote:
Original post by Vampyre_Dark
I didn't say they would stop the chase because dead bodies were in the scene, I said they wouldn't cross over into other sectors, which meant you could never have too many corpses in one place, because you never had more enemies than the ammount of corpses.

Right, I was just noting that I don't mind if there are too many living enemies. But the fact that they can die and others can come into the same scene presents a problem.

Quote:
It allowed the the monsters to still fill out a level, and not have them all come after you as soon as a they heard your first gunshot, and it also allowed rooms to maintain their challenge. Having to fight 3 insivisble demons in a low light room isn't a challenge if you can walk out into the fullbright hallway and just shoot them as they walk out the door. [lol]

I actually did that a few times in Doom 3 [smile]

You don't think it's equally strange that the player can enter the doorway, shoot at a demon, jump back out into the light, reload, jump back in again to shoot once, then dodge back out again? Given any sort of line barrier, even if the monsters were allowed to cross it a small distance, the player could use it to their advantage for tiny tactical retreats.

But I guess just limiting the number of enemies that can come at you in one area, regardless of bodies, is something that will kill the problem. Even if enemies are not stopped from chasing you, you could remove enough older bodies to allow for a chase once those bodies exit a scene. And in order to 'wake' a new enemy, older bodies will usually have to exit the scene. Except perhaps, in an elevator type scenario.

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Avatar God    1072
It would make for interesting gameplay in Ghost Recon 2. You can end up killing twenty people or so in one place by sniping them, and their bodies disappear. As a result, you never have to move or change tactics. It's actually fairly annoying.

Decomposition is a decent method, and plenty of games simply disintegrate the bodies, but the monster crawling out and dragging the bodies back into the shadows must be my favorite (you might only do that for bodies not in the middle of fields, I suppose).

The methods of level design and mob placement is probably one of the more difficult, but most effective methods. By actually limiting the number of mobs that will be in an area, you've automatically taken care of the corpse problem. It probably takes a different sort of skill to make the levels work correctly - not to mention a good bit of time - but is allover a good method.

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Daaark    3553
Quote:
Original post by Kest
I actually did that a few times in Doom 3 [smile]
I was speaking of earlier dooms. I always forget Doom 3 exists. My rig can't run it, and I have little interest in it.

Solving that doorway problem is as simple as locking the door as the player enters the room. But until then, the monsters won't leave the room, or hear any sound so that they are still waiting in the room when the player gets there.

Quote:
You don't think it's equally strange that the player can enter the doorway, shoot at a demon, jump back out into the light, reload, jump back in again to shoot once, then dodge back out again? Given any sort of line barrier, even if the monsters were allowed to cross it a small distance, the player could use it to their advantage for tiny tactical retreats.
No. That's just plain bad level design. Any line could be used to limit monster movement.. so You'd have them away from the door... like in the middle of a warehouse, and the outer edges would be crates, which would be infront of the door. You'd get your ass bit on the way out if you tried that. [lol] The level design and monster placement have to complement each other.

No matter what solution is discussed, you can come up with 50 ways to get around it. It's your job to use whatever solution you come up with properly to avoid those situations.

One reason not to stack up bodies is simply because it's like adding obstables all over the place. Any current game controller is still pretty clumbsy, and it's a lot harder to maneuver around obstacles, than it would be in real life, where you'd effortlessly step around the bodies.

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Kest    547
The bodies won't become obstacles. Characters will walk over them. Well, since it's 3D, through them. But it's simulating walking over them [smile]

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