I have an idea that’s not fully formed but I want to present it to you now, so please bear with me while I try to explain it. I want to say that it probably isn’t feasible until the A.I. of the enemy becomes much better and doesn’t need paths and lots of code to help it.
I have been thinking about a single player gameplay mod where you have to set-up the environment for a battle between two sides. If we use the Half-Life 2 universe I can perhaps explain better. You are a rebel and your main duty is to scout ahead for Combine. You then need to estimate the position where the rebels and Combine will encounter each other and create interesting situations. Using the image above, which by the way comes from Veikko – Bomb-Defuse, you need to move the crates and fuel drums into positions that will help your squad.
Once you have finished moving things around, which you have to do in a set time, you rejoin your rebel squad and then wait for the Combine. Once battle is joined they you play as normal shooting and hiding etc.
In every situation there will be at least two sectors, this means that items in each sector can not be moved into another sector. This is to prevent you making a big wall behind and leaving nothing for the Combine. Perhaps there would be more than 2 to make it interesting.
When I first started thinking about it over a month ago it sounded cool. A chance to create some puzzles and have some dynamic fire fights, but the more I think about it the less viable it seems. I would like to be able to introduce some non-fighting elements that take thought and preparation rather than just shooting but this is probably not the way to do it.
The reason I am publishing it now is because perhaps with a little tweaking it could be made usable. So, the question is how can we make it better?
You can already do things like this in HL2 to a certain extent. In the NovaProspect episode you can cart all kinds of tables, cabinets, oildrums and about 5 or 6 turrets into the area where you have the set-battle before you meet up with Alyx the second time – you trigger the start of the battle by positioning the last turret. You can do the same with the teleport room.
I also once – with a little cheating I must admit – managed to lure some 18 rebels into the square where you have to defend Alyx as she prepares the generator for disabling. The rebels held the ground quite nicely and I barely needed to assist them at all.
Good fun – and yes – more of it would be welcome.
True, I had forgotten about that. I was thinking of a mod where you primary objective was not shooting. Person more people should create levels like this?
I guess its a nice idea for a task IN a mod to setup a defense perimeter. Its not a new idea (it was done f.e. in U2) but it is – properly done – a challenging break from normal run and gun gaming. To base a entire mod on this concept could be interesting.
I believe this would be possible by perhaps creating a simple vgui in hl2 with different node types in. For example, the player walks over to some crates and looks at the floor, he then brings up the node menu and selects ground node and type to crouch. Then the player sets different priorities depending how he wants the ai to act. It would be a little like herding sheep in the way that you give the AI enough of a hint that you hope your team is successful. You could even bring up a node path view (sv_cheats 1 then press CTRL + SHIFT + F1 and go to the nodes tab). This would show the player the connections between nodes and there may be a way for the player to select these and again prioritise them. Basically the player would be doing what is done in Hammer. You could even create quick keys for certain paths which in the heat of battle would be like giving an order by literally severing paths so your squad don’t use them anymore and basically redirecting them. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling.
Sounds like a possible solution. From a use point of view it would be nice that once you set-up the enviroment you could slect a “Create AI Path” a run the path you want to create. AS you say they could be prioritzed.
How’d you mange that??
I like this idea, honestly, because I have so much trouble getting my squad to do anything useful, short of being cannon fodder. Most times, they mull about and get in my way, and when I tell ’em to stay put, they break orders as soon as I get a certain distance away.
I also like the idea of strategic/tactical setups: I do this wherever possible to give myself a decent vantage, and force the combine into what I call a “pinch point”, where they MUST go thru in order to get to me–of course, I’m positioned to pick ’em off as they come thru.
So, yes: if someone can pull this off–especially the finer control of the rebel squads–I’d be all for it.