Author Topic: Stealth gameplay  (Read 5054 times)

stefoid

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Stealth gameplay
« on: March 09, 2015, 04:56:22 AM »
Hiya.  Ive recently alpha-released another version of www.dungeonbash.com  with stealth being the focus of this release.

Id love to get some feedback from experienced roguers about this. 

summary:

Its a 3-character team based game of combat tactics.  As far as stealth goes, the light or dark of a tile directly dictates how easy it is to hide or remain hidden on that tile.  Tiles are normally quite dark, allowing medium skilled characters to hide on them.  But they get lighter due to:

1) light from torches.  obviously makes stealth harder.
2) detection skill of monsters.  Monsters emit a light that of an intensity and radius proportional to their detection skill. 
3) monster attention.  your characters emit a light that is proportional to the amount of attention they are getting from monsters, which will be either a) none at all (no light), some attention (a little light) or lots of attention (a fair amount of light).

the last one is most interesting, because once seen, it makes it much harder to hide unless you first get that character out of LOS, or in the case of highly skilled sneaks, at least into some rocks to use for cover.  It also means you want to keep your sneaks away from your non-sneaks, because the non-sneaks will almost never be able to hide once spotted, and the attention they recieve will make it too hard for sneaks in their vicinity to hide.  So it creates a nice tension between when to bunch the party for melee or split the party for scouting or ambush.

It also means that non-stealthy characters can help out others by purposely attracting attention, making it easier for the others to hide.

Cover, in the form of rocks offers a large bonus to stealth, particularly for small sized characters.  Hidden characters cannot perform any actions except wait and move, otherwise they reveal themselves.  When hidden, the first attack they do gets an ambush bonus which is a big bonus to attack skill and significant bonus to damage.

The summary is that stealth adds another dimension to the tactics, and enhances the survivability and usefulness of smaller creatures that are not great at toe-to-toe melee. 
My squad-based tactical roguelike for mobiles:
http://www.dungeonbash.com

Joonas

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Re: Stealth gameplay
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 09:26:39 PM »
How do you visually inform the player that a monster is not aware of him?

How do tile-graphics-/ASCII-games with stealth elements generally do this?

I'm experimenting with light/darkness/stealth in my game and was thinking of putting a '?'-symbol over / on top of the monster tile indicating that it does not see the player but maybe there's a more elegent and informative way to do it.


Rickton

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Re: Stealth gameplay
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 09:55:11 PM »
<snip>
Sounds cool. An interesting idea having "light" come from other creatures' detection skill. I'm curious about how the "light" coming from the attention your character is getting will work, though.
Say a bunch of monsters are fully aware of you because you were in a big brawl, but you ran away to the next room, and the monsters are following you. Is the "awareness light" from those creatures added when a creature that's never been near you before comes into range?
Also, how do you determine if the player is actually spotted or not? Is there are certain "light" cutoff above which you're spotted and below which you're not?

How do you visually inform the player that a monster is not aware of him?

How do tile-graphics-/ASCII-games with stealth elements generally do this?

I'm experimenting with light/darkness/stealth in my game and was thinking of putting a '?'-symbol over / on top of the monster tile indicating that it does not see the player but maybe there's a more elegent and informative way to do it.
Cardinal Quest 2 (graphical) has unaware creatures with an ellipsis "..." over their head.
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup in ASCII mode has unaware creatures highlighted with a colored background (not sure what they do for the tiles version). It also has a sidebar that lists creatures out and says something like "Goblin (wandering)."
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
And its sequel, simply titled Possession

stefoid

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Re: Stealth gameplay
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 07:02:38 AM »
How do you visually inform the player that a monster is not aware of him?

How do tile-graphics-/ASCII-games with stealth elements generally do this?

I'm experimenting with light/darkness/stealth in my game and was thinking of putting a '?'-symbol over / on top of the monster tile indicating that it does not see the player but maybe there's a more elegent and informative way to do it.

Hi.  I have a button that indicates the stealth status of the character

- grey/disabled means its impossible to hide in the current location/situation
- red/enabled means you arent currently hiding, but you could (by pressing the button)
- glowing red means currently hiding*

Also, when you are currently hiding, that character is drawn at 50% opacity.

Whenever something moves or the light levels change, it recalculates whether character can hide, and if they cant, they are discovered.  This is shown as a flashing symbol over the character that is discovered, and an alert sound, and it returns to full opacity.

In my game, if once spotted, all monsters can see you.  There is not the concept of being hidden to one monster, yet seen by another.
My squad-based tactical roguelike for mobiles:
http://www.dungeonbash.com

stefoid

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Re: Stealth gameplay
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 07:19:59 AM »
Sounds cool. An interesting idea having "light" come from other creatures' detection skill. I'm curious about how the "light" coming from the attention your character is getting will work, though.
Say a bunch of monsters are fully aware of you because you were in a big brawl, but you ran away to the next room, and the monsters are following you. Is the "awareness light" from those creatures added when a creature that's never been near you before comes into range?
Also, how do you determine if the player is actually spotted or not? Is there are certain "light" cutoff above which you're spotted and below which you're not?

The awareness light disappears once your character is out of LOS of any monster (which includes being currently hidden).

So in your scenario, if you managed to get out of LOS of your pursuers, your attention glow would dissapear and you would be able to hide in whatever ambient shadow or cover existed, if possible. 

The characters state is hidden or not hidden, there is no hidden from monster A but not hidden from monster B.

You still have to be careful though, because monsters will investigate the last tile they sa you, so if you are hiddennear that tile they could blunder into you, and of course the closer they get to you, the more the light from their detection skill impacts your ability to continue to hide.
My squad-based tactical roguelike for mobiles:
http://www.dungeonbash.com

stefoid

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Re: Stealth gameplay
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 08:33:54 AM »

Also, how do you determine if the player is actually spotted or not? Is there are certain "light" cutoff above which you're spotted and below which you're not?


On light levels..  . Can add remove and vary lights at any time so I don't need to do any further calculations about stealth other than the function that determines how light a tile will appear due to the lights it is exposed to.  So whether a character can hide is simply comparing its stealth skill versus the light level of the tile it is on. ... Plus any stealth bonus due to cover in that tile.  It's deterministic... There is no random factor..  So after a while you get a feel for areas on the map where your character should be able to hide
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 11:21:30 AM by stefoid »
My squad-based tactical roguelike for mobiles:
http://www.dungeonbash.com

stefoid

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Re: Stealth gameplay
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 12:29:45 AM »
Heres an example.  The monk is hidden in the shadows, whilst the giant rat and pit viper are unhidden.

The only monster is the gnome, who has a medium detect skill, so emits a medium amount of light.  There is also a torch up there and the rat is the closest character to the gnome, so is emitting a 'much attention' amount of light.  This all makes the top end of the room fairly useless to try hiding in.   Only a creature that had high stealth and was already hidden in rocks when the gnome came into LOS would be able to remain hidden in that environment.

The pit viper is not the closest character to any monster so emits a small amount of light - the gnome is aware of it, but its attention is focussed on the rat.

The monk is hidden and will remain so as long as he sticks to the darker tiles.  There is no terrain suitable for creeping closer into the lighter tiles, so the situation isnt suitable for a melee ambush attack.

As a side note, the only decent cover is held by the gnome - some rocks.  This gives the gnome a good bonus against missile attacks and burst damage, as it is a small creature.  medium creatures get less benefit from cover, whilst large creatures get none at all.  All creatures get slowed down by entering a tile with terrain, however (unless they can fly).

My squad-based tactical roguelike for mobiles:
http://www.dungeonbash.com