Light (Round 2)

CataclyzmCataclyzm Members Join Date: 2005-01-06 Member: 33031Posts: 135
While doing my search on the topic of "Light" I came across a previous thread on Light and how it pertains to Dynamic Infestation and thought that it may work (if implementable with my proposal). This proposal is not a new idea as far as I can tell, but I want to make sure it was discussed for my record.

Before I dive into the details I want to address one main issue, Gamma. If there is not a solid way to control how people view the screen it will be quite difficult to implement any light/dark features of maps. Though I suppose you can make light areas bright enough that is someone vamps their gamma to high they'll go blind, otherwise this idea will be garbage.

The Meatiness:
The best strategy games (IMO) are those that require the managing in a number of levels. In better English, I'm sure many have played strategy games where you not only manage resources and build units, but also conduct foreign trade and agreements, run governments, research, etc. Though, we would never want to make NS a game where the marines and aliens are trading and creating non-aggression pacts with one another, I think we are all looking for something new that will make combat (not CO) more interesting because of new introduced variables. It's the variables in games that make them fun, interesting and unique.

We all say we want atmosphere in the game (We want to poop our pants at times). The quick easy solution is to darken the maps or certain areas. But after awhile you'll get use to those areas and either avoid them or put your gamma-ray goggles on to see the alien menace.

Right now, the Marine and Aliens battle it out for Resource Nodes and Key Map Locations (inc hives). I would like to propose the new battle for Light. Each room or areas of rooms will have control switches that can be manipulated by characters (possible restriction against commander) to turn on and off the lights. In some areas there may be a weldable spot (mappers will have the responsibility to ensure balance). The aliens already have their vision enhanced sight, so keeping the lights off will be optimal. Whereas marines are poorly equipped with a flashlight. Getting to light switches could become key for marines to spot and target aliens. And vice versa, for the aliens to hide from the marines.

This should accomplish...

- Increased Ambushes
If aliens are able to hide that much more easily, they should be encouraged to do so more often. And if aliens are encouraged to ambush more often and are concealed by darkness their max HP levels may be able to be reduced as well.

- New Marine Tech (maybe even Alien abilities)
If this idea takes flight, one may propose new upgrades or devices that cast light... ie. Night Goggles, Flood Lights, etc.

- New Level of Combat/Strategies
Beside the fight for Resources and Hive locations, teams will be battling for the control of the light systems.

- New Objectives
With light switches controlling other rooms and possibly being required before another switch is thrown, a new strategy/objective could be created for the map.

- Dynamic Infestation + Alien Abilities
The presence of darkness, or lack thereof can affect DI and alien abilities in any number of ways. Things like... aliens can't heal in light (ambient heal), DI withdraws in Light, aliens move slightly faster in the dark, etc.

- Atmosphere
For obvious reasons

Mapper Responsibilities

This would be something that could be just thrown into the map at the last minute. A mapper would have to plan each switch, and the areas they control, carefully into the map strategies.

- Switches would have to be clearly identifiable to ensure newbies know what they are, or at least, where they are. Either the switch can cast a nice neon green/blue glow or (if it is a weldable switch) sparks are emitting from the area.

- For interest, switches could be...
... located at doorways / away from doorways
... located on the floor / on the ceiling
... available at both sides of a room
... weldable
... only manipulable by the commander
... a switch for another area of the map (this would have to be represented clearly enough)
... on a timer before it goes back to its original state
... dependent on another switch first (the idea of new objectives)

This is very loosely put together and was done so to allow room for growth and refining.
So I suppose basically... do other view the battle for Light and Darkness a level of play they want in NS, or is it just a nuisance and detracts from the battle they already love?
Forum Contributions: Light (Round 2) - 10/2007
Technology Contributions: Surround Sound Headphone Development


  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    This is completely mapper-dependent. Regardless of how NS2 turns out, mappers could do this, or not. You could do it in HL1 pretty easily too, and I've drawn up some designs for such a map. Its just that the entity limit in HL1 is an actual issue, and really restricts it. Source, no problem.

    There are many methods to do as you're saying. Take a veil-like map; imagine if the hives were near pitch black, just enough lighting to make your way through. The rooms get more and more well lit as you progress to Marine Start. Topo and West would be the first of darker rooms, Overlook would be pretty dark and Sub would be very dark.

    BUT, when you cap topo, an extra light in every room turns on. When you cap West, another turns on. You could take it further, but for such an innovative map, you'd want to just start with two and see how it works out.

    Basically, when both are capped, the entire map looks as it does right now.

    Topo and West are great examples because they're easy to cap... but very easy to forget about, and to defend. In mid-game, the majority of the time that skulks hit either of those nodes, they go down. Imagine sieging a hive, and suddenly seeing the lights around you go low, even off. That'd be crazy.

    It IS possible to do this in HL1 and maintain a decent entity count. The rts will be there regardless; you'd just need the extra lights. You'd be looking at two sets of maybe 20-30 lights. Thats a lot of entities, but with a limit of ~240, it can be done. You can always cut down on railing and details if you need to.
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
    Creator of Ns_Nexus (ns1); Main thread found here.
  • CataclyzmCataclyzm Members Join Date: 2005-01-06 Member: 33031Posts: 135
    edited October 2007
    Beside the Entity hitch (which I am not a mapper so I wasn't aware of) but the flash light is next to useless in HL1 with proposed scenarios.
    I don't know if the HL1 flashlight can be altered or not, but I think it would need the following changes:
    - Broader area of coverage
    - doesn't make player glow, but just a small source
    So, I figured that the Source engine would be able to deliver this far better.

    As for nodes being directly linked with lights... I had thought of that, but then you directly associating the two instead of having two independent variables. Having them independent of each other could create situations like:
    - marines enter dark room and run to far side of room to turn on light (gives aliens more time to close in on position) and then the node is dropped
    - marines enter light room to build node, skulk leaps by and turns off light while other join in the battle
    - marines enter light room and as they enter a skulk waiting in position turns the lights off

    I didn't want nodes and light tied together because I thought that more variables (not really the word, but not sure what to call it) would make the game more interesting and add more to combat and strategy. Also, skulks wouldn't be able to conceal themselves in darkness while chomping down a node (now I remember... another idea was that nodes and other buildings could also cast a bit of light, not enough to flood the room, but enough to aid if the lights were off)

    --- I do agree though tests would always be good, and not to splurge the whole idea on every map.
    Forum Contributions: Light (Round 2) - 10/2007
    Technology Contributions: Surround Sound Headphone Development
  • N_3N_3 \o/ Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-03-12 Member: 27291Posts: 487
    not a bad idea, would be interesting to have another resource to fight over. i think the problems associated with different people's brightness/darkness and the map specific issues would be hard to overcome though. i've always imagined that fighting over the DI (aliens making it, marines killing it) would be the new logical resource to fight over.
    imageiNi | N3 image NSGuides imageNSP
  • CataclyzmCataclyzm Members Join Date: 2005-01-06 Member: 33031Posts: 135
    I guess then overall this idea is a
    *Thumbs Down*
    Forum Contributions: Light (Round 2) - 10/2007
    Technology Contributions: Surround Sound Headphone Development
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