Modding brainstorms

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This is a page for brainstorming.
Ideas posted here are not always good ones, but sometimes we just need to let our minds run rampant.

Put any ideas for modding here -- though if your idea gives an answer to a criticism posed on the Review criticisms page, then you might want to post it there instead.

Upgraded content

Textures

High-resolution textures are highly welcome. --geyser

Note to modders: Make sure to look at the existing texture mods before starting your own. --Iritscen

The environment could do with less dull colors, and the character textures have far too much compression/dithering. --geyser

Another challenge is to add reflectivity channels to all the "metallic" parts (characters, objects, environment). --geyser

Retrograded content

It's hard not to notice that some stuff looked better pre-beta. Let's make a list and see if we can turn back time to give Oni back some of the pretty stuff it used to have. Look at the Pre-beta content page's screenshots for ideas; there's a heck of a lot of things to remark upon there.

Models & textures

One can see animated computer screens in the trailer. That's currently very doable if you ask me. --Iritscen

Lighting

Barely visible in this shot from the trailer is a totally different wall down in the lobby. The lights actually appear to cast light on the wall (not dynamic, I don't think, but a clever imitation of it), as opposed to now, and generally the whole area is just 100 times better-looking than it is now (maybe I will get a comparison shot up here at some point). Can this be done with vertex lighting or some other means that doesn't involve re-writing the engine? --Iritscen

This is a beautiful shot of the early Lab. It shows just how good baked lighting can look. Now, I'm not saying we try to make the Lab look this way, because obviously the Lab is now seen in the daytime, not at night, but it shows what should be possible, particularly at night. --Iritscen

See the "Lightmapping" section of the Pre-beta features page, where I have placed comparison shots, and the Lightmapping levels page for a tutorial on creating lightmaps. --Iritscen
Weapons

Some people have noticed that there are some different weapons in some early art and/or screenshots. Want to bring those up here? --Iritscen

One thing I can definitely see was different is the gun used here; it's also got a laser sight! --Iritscen

General

TCTF HQ looked crazy better at one time; look at those sweet railings! --Iritscen by way of geyser

I'd like to see a clear shot of Damocles, because I think the concept art looked a lot better, but I'm not sure. If so, this is quite fixable. --Iritscen

Feast your eyes on the comparisons made here and tell me which looks better, the left or the right: Pre-beta_content#Syndicate_Mountain_Compound. Should we even be surprised at this point that the left is the pre-beta version? --Iritscen by way of geyser

Mapping

Someone really ambitious could try to recreate the missing levels that were in the pre-beta, if only for testing at the time, because there's some interesting designs there: Pre-beta_content#Cut_levels. --Iritscen

New/revised scenarios

"Reshuffled or upgraded binaries are worthless without some genuinely inventive level logic." - geyser

Taking advantage of savepoint slots

For one thing, Oni's levels allow for 10 savepoints each, which allows:

  • either for more savepoints throughout a mission (possibly a lot harder)
  • or savepoints that "revisit" a level (alternate missions and storylines)
  • or non-mission savepoints like Oni Team Arena (and other such things) --geyser
"Stop or I'll shoot"

The security guard's lines in the State building are kind of silly. "Stop, or I'll shoot". He shoots no matter what you do...>_> --Gumby

Konoko is a "class B threat" wanted dead or alive, who stays defiant in response to the warning, so his "screw this" attitude is understandable... However, it is rather straightforward for a scripter to freeze the action until the player actually "moves a muscle". Another detail is the backup the guard called for; maybe he didn't alert the whole building, but some kind of backup ought to be on its way. --geyser
Another option is to have one guard watch Konoko with the gun as the other guard goes running for a security terminal (to call other guards), this would force Konoko into action or have to face the challenge of more security guards. --Otaku-kun
"Real" gun mod (new difficulty setting)

Oni may be more realistic about guns than many games, but it does give in to one long-standing tradition, which is that characters can take a ridiculous amount of bullets before dying. Even though TCTF members have armor they can wear, Konoko spends plenty of time out of her TCTF battle outfit and takes no more damage than when she's in it.

It would be interesting to amp up the damage gunfire does, and see what effect it has on the gameplay. Imagine actually having to take cover from enemy bullets instead of weaving in and out of them knowing that an occasional hit won't matter. It would also emphasize the importance of stealth over running headfirst into every battle. Let's say, instead of Konoko being able to take two SMG clips worth of bullets, it only takes 10-15 bullets (1/3 to 1/2 of a clip) to bring her down with this mod.

Admittedly, I'm also bringing the idea of armor into this, which I know we've talked about before. It would make more sense, with this mod in place, if Konoko's battle armor absorbed more damage than her jacket and blue jeans. (Of course, that might make one wonder why she doesn't wear the stuff more often... maybe it's better to leave armor out of this.) --Iritscen

P.S.: Another aspect of realism would be to greatly increase the distance at which gunfire can be heard. Right now, it's definitely too small of a radius to be realistic. And do bullets hitting walls attract the AI's attention? They don't seem to. Certainly if I heard a bullet hit the wall next to my head, I'd at least be on alert to see who was firing, even if I didn't immediately know their location. This modification would also balance out the added power in a gun with the fact that enemies are more likely to come find you when you use it. --Iritscen

Easily doable. :) I've considered it before, though I already hate SMGs enough. -_- I'll make it into a package soon enough. (I've forbidden myself from making new packages for now...) --Gumby
Well, let's see if someone else is interested in doing this as a learning exercise (since it is a pretty straightforward hack, that is, the bullet modding would be, not the armor side of things). I'd prefer someone who doesn't already have a ton on their plate to take this on, and I know that between certain members getting more free time soon, and the eager newbies we have on the forum, there's someone we can ask to do this for us. --Iritscen
Iritscen, I would take a look at the bomber. He's more active in matter of gunshots. (starts at 0:42) --Paradox
Interesting, Paradox. That's not a bad radius on the bomber. I did a little testing with the Thug, who was the character that started this little rant of mine, and although his radius for hearing gunfire is quite low, he does at least come find you if a bullet hits near him. So would we have to change an ONCC setting or change a setting for the weapon particle, to make the gun's sound radius larger? --Iritscen
Methinks that the gun shot's sound radius (red line in vid) is okay as it is now except for the impact's sound radius (yellow line). Should be slightly increased. But in some cases AI seem to "ignore" both (paying quite low attention to it). So, I think the changes you need can be found in ONCC or CHAR (see pursuit modes) and might also interfere with part of the combat profile. Can't definite say, I hope you will find the answer. --Paradox
I'm having trouble finding any red line in that video. Maybe it's my colorblindness, dunno. At what time(s) does it appear? Anyway, looking at the video, I feel like, in real life, a gunshot's sound would definitely carry all the way across the tarmac. But it seems that if we increased the gun's sound radius as much as I'm thinking, it might be a problem because sounds carry through walls in Oni. So you would end up alerting enemies on other floors in a building and in other rooms. --Iritscen
...sound does travel through walls in real life though. :S --Gumby
But walls dampen sound IRL. My thought was that, in-game, sounds would probably travel unfairly far through walls if we increased the radius. Now I'm not so sure, because it seems to be bigger than I thought, and yet we don't observe AIs running in from other floors to find us. Probably this is because (a) those characters are not spawned yet, or else (b) they hear you but can't see you, so they don't come find you. --Iritscen
Second try. Here's the vid in full glory. Don't become irritated by the extra sound sphere... Well, we haven't tested a bigger gun shot radius but I agree with you that the chances are high that it would lead to new problems. --Paradox
Thank you, I can see the line now, and the .jpg really helps explain things for me. I think I will withdraw my suggestion about increasing any sound radii. I would still like to see how the game plays with the change in firepower, though. It's not an urgent thing though, so let's just keep it in mind for someone to try in the future. --Iritscen

AI improvements

Patrol paths

It is also essential to set up innovative patrol paths (redeeming stealth). --geyser

Ninja dodging

I don't know if this was a "manufactured" shot or not, but it's still awesome. Now, Loser has already gotten basic dodging working; what would it take to specifically get ninjas to either "ninja-slide" or jump as a form of dodging fire? Also, that jumping dude is really jumping. How would the game play out if the ninjas actually did have greater leaping ability than Konoko? It would make sense, wouldn't it? Especially if they're androids as some people like to think ;-) --Iritscen

NOTE: Ninjas actually jump higher than Konoko if they use "jetpack timer" powered jump as well (hold spacebar). According to my observations (only empiric - nothing proven) there is probably bug in AI2 code. AI2 computes distance of far jump as if char used jetpacked jump, yet AI2 for some reason CANNOT do more than tap jump.
Next, for AI2 "special" dodge - looks like AI2 is somewheat "vector" powered. And by than way, AI2 can only run/walk/creep. Acrobatics are MELEE only. If we had source....you know the rest. --Loser
So it looks like there's two things worth looking into (second one may be too hard, I realize, but this is all hypothetical):
- Can we get AI2 to do more than a tap jump? (P.S.: Can ninjas actually jump as high as seen in that picture?)
- Are we sure that nothing short of engine patching would allow cool dodge moves? If the AI knows when it's being fired at, is there some way to add to the dodging routines links to the animations for side-rolls/slides and high jumps (for ninjas)? Actually, I thought a little more about what you said, and it seems that what I'm proposing here is impossible to do without actually altering code. --Iritscen
Ninjas do run/jump significantly faster/higher than Konoko, especially with the maximal body size factor. As for the jetpacking (an upwards acceleration), it's equivalent to lesser gravity, so just make the character-specific gravity factor smaller and you're done. --geyser
Won't that mess up the speed at which the ninjas fall back down? --Gumby
Not much. Anyway, it is very straightforward to tweak the tap-jump parameters (initial velocity and "gravity" acceleration) so that the AI behaves consistently. Like for the dashing, it is not clear whether the implementation is bugged or incomplete, and there is a workaround, so a "real fix" is not very likely or urgent right now. --geyser
Hypothetical features = real scope creep ^_^ As for flashy dodging, there's more to an implementation than "patching" the engine: in order to figure out just what needs to be rewritten and how, you need the source. Or rather Loser needs the source. Get the source, give it to Loser, and then Just Watch. --geyser
Better Mutant Muro combat

This is basically just a summary of a chat I had with Loser about Mutant Muro and his current shortcomings. We felt that there are a few notable issues with the killed_griffen=true fight:

1. Muro's generally quite easy to run circles around for the entire fight; the problem is that:
A. He lacks few truly dangerous and hard-to-avoid moves; the forward-sliding move is good, and the lightning is kinda tricky to avoid, but nothing else is hard to deal with.
B. Does being so big mean he has to be that slow? Muro goes from being dangerously agile and acrobatic to a giant that just plods around.
C. His limited moveset is very predictable. There's rarely a sense of "I wonder what he's about to do". This allows abuse of the AI, by running around in a small circle just ahead of him, letting him catch up to you, then cartwheeling away as he gets close enough to use a melee attack. If he uses the "oops I should really stop getting my hand stuck in the ground" attack, you run in and hit him a few times and then cartwheel away as he crouches, and you are outside the range of the lightning. Lather, rinse, repeat.
2. Konoko's Daodan status is completely overlooked. Has she gone Imago? Is she at least close to Imago? If not, could she realistically defeat Imago Muro?

Loser and I agreed that Mutant Muro needs:

  • more fast moves that are hard to dodge
  • moves that deal way more damage so he's actually intimidating to fight, as he should be
  • less predictability

Suggestions to meet these criteria include:

  • another energy-based attack besides the push/pull lightning that is actually harmful (but dodgeable, of course)
  • speeding up his walk
  • giving him a bigger leap attack (does anyone ever get landed on by the current leap? not me)
  • adding a new move such as a grab (perhaps stabbing his target with his hand) or a massive throw

You might say, "Now, hold on, we don't want to make an impossible fight here." But notice point #2 above; it's unclear to what extent Konoko is using, or needs to use, her Daodan abilities to beat Muro. What if we present the fight as being too difficult for her unless she uses hypoes to go into an overpower state? It can be hinted in the Pause Game screen earlier in the mission that she needs to save hypoes for this fight so the player has fair warning. And using a modded ONCC and/or some BSL, we could have her abilities increase dramatically while in overpower, so that she can fight Muro with better odds.

Well, what do y'all think? And feel free to correct me if I mis-stated your point of view, Loser. --Iritscen

AI laser problems

One things that keeps bothering me is that the AI never trip the lasers. I am jumping through the lasers, shooting at them as they follow, get to the end and see them just recklessly sprinting through them. I am guessing that this falls under AI improvement. I also have no clue what would need to be changed for this to go into effect. --Otaku-kun

Teaching the AI how to avoid lasers (see TRIG/TRGE) is of course a major issue of AI improvement, and one that is essentially hopeless - too much logic to implement from scratch (jumping, crouching, etc). Luckily, triggers are typically meant to activate turrets, which (typically) have no reason to fire at anyone except the player. So it looks natural enough for the AI to ignore the lasers. --geyser
Ok, having them avoid the lasers seems like a very hard task, but could we at least make either the turrets attack the AI too or to have the AI wait on the other side of the lasers until the player returns? --Otaku-kun
Lasers alert AIs

Gumby made a suggestion a while back that lasers ought to alert AIs in the vicinity. --Iritscen

Riddles for engine patchers

Dynamic holstering
Combat situation and owner's weapon based. Customized for each weapon. That means:
-new flags in CMBT file. It has "melee override" so far, used values are 0,1,2 (cancelled),3,4,5. New values should be counterparts of these ( long (6) medium (7), short(8) ), but causing AI to holster/unholster weapon rather than switching melee/weapon stance.
-new flag in ONWC file. Currently there are some (appearently) unused flag bits which should be used for this.
-Add new flag. Weapon with this flag causes AI which wields this weapon to unholster when focused enemy is knockdowned, even if it is in range where our AI should have weapon holstered according to CMBT. Holster again when focused enemy goes into any different animation than knockdowned, blownuped or lying (so AI holsters as enemy tries to getup). -- Loser
I don't understand some of what you propose above, it's very brief and technical; are you saying that you want AI to be able to shoot someone when they've been knocked down?
I may not understand what you wrote, but it made me wish, for the first time, that I could unholster a weapon while knocked down, and shoot the enemy before I got up. That would be an awesome combat technique. Characters already have a small arc of rotation when on the ground, for some reason, so what if they had a gun in their hands and could aim with a vertical arc from the ground to the ceiling, and with a limited horizontal arc similar to what they seem to have already? --Iritscen
Brilliant idea !!! Somebody should check whether it is possible. Sorry, I cannot...x_X
(Update: This idea eventually became part of the Disarm Revamp mod. --Iritscen)
About that you don't understand: old wish of mine. Three wishes in fact.
  • 1) You see AI character. Unarmed. You run to fight it (no stealth killing). AI2 hears you when you are still quite far, turns, UNHOLSTERS ITS MERCURY BOW (or any other weapon) and....^_^.
  • 2) You see AI shooting at you with w3_phr. You dodge shots while approaching this enemy, but at certain distance, AI HOLSTERS ITS WEAPON (not holding it in hand) and fights with you. If you try to run away or somehow you cross requred distance, AI unholsters and fires again.
  • 3) You fight with AI from case 2). This AI manages to knockdown you. Now when you enter knockdown animation, AI automaticaly unholsters its weapon and fires at you. You get up as quickly as possible. The moment you start getting up, AI holsters and continues fighting you with MELEE. --Loser
Ah, I see, that is a good idea. --Iritscen
Smart jumping

Add this as flag in ONCC. If set, this AI tries systematically (not MELEE randomly) to jump across gaps it can pass in order to reach its enemy. -- Loser

Transforming Muro

Am I the only one who thinks it's a bit weak that Muro transforms into his Imago state off-screen? The camera cuts away, and then back, and bam! he's mutated. But of course the reason is that the engine doesn't support morphing geometry in models, we all know that. Now, my question is, Shouldn't it be possible to cycle through transitional models rapidly to give the illusion of a morphing model? --Iritscen

Well, would rather not. Spamming up level19 with ONCCs is a bit unneccessary... --Gumby
It would totally be worth it if we had the ability to produce a cool transformation, imo. A little annoyance when switching characters vs. a majorly cool upgrade to the final fight. --Iritscen
There are better ways to go about this, methinks. Like adjusting his body size through scripting. I'd be ok with a halfways-transformed ONCC, if someone wants to model it, though. --Gumby

Miscellaneous tweaks

All click-clacks are equal

A more general problem is that the Medium and Heavy variants don't sound softer than Konoko's footsteps, as if all the footwear had very hard soles, not rubber or plastic. The only way to fix this is to add some Impt, extend the ONIE, adapt ONCC, and tweak/(re)author OSBD and/or SNDD. --geyser

To me, the problem is that characters like Barabus and Mutant Muro have the same footsteps as a Comguy or light Striker, when they should have plodding, heavy footsteps. In fact, the male footstep sounds softer to me than the female footstep, which has a noticeable high-heelish aspect to it. --Iritscen
Smart alarm behavior

Loser wanted to make the AI attack you even when trying to get to an alert console. I don't think he made any changes in that regard yet, but I was chasing down a ninja Comguy who wanted to push the alert button, and when I got in his way, he *did* attack me. I think that further increasing the likeliness of the AI to attack you while in run-for-alert-console mode is not necessary, and maybe even a bad idea, since they can now dash as fast as Konoko, and so it's much more exciting/frightening when they run for the console. Staying and fighting would make them less of a threat, really, since after pressing the button they will fight you anyway and then you will also have other problems to deal with too. So I vote for "no change" in this regard. --Iritscen

"This is a mistake". The point of Loser's aproach is that AI will interrupt their console-running job only when the player is about to take advantage of them (e.g., tackle them - Konoko still dashes faster than anyone except for Ninjas - or backbreak them at the console). They will then resume running as soon as they've put some distance between them and the player (e.g., by knocking the player down and/or retreating). This should much more consistent than the way it happens with the original AI: if you force a console-running AI to fight back, they typically won't resume the alarm-running job when they have the chance. --geyser
I dislike the current console behavior. You can just backbreak them as they use the console. Not sure what the best fix is though. --Gumby
Breakable glass tweak

I don't know whether it would be too much for engine or not. Due to the fact we can import level geometry (incomplete so far, I know, but still...) what about modifying breakable windows, giving them more GQs. Point is that then big glass panel would not be fully shattered because one small bullet from w1_tap hit it in the corner (only corner is shattered), while bigger blasts (w3_phr, w5_sbg) would destroy larger area of glass panel or whole panel. I can see one bug tough - shooting edges of such a glass panel will make it "float" in the thin air. --Loser

Heh, that bug alone is a good reason not to do it in the way you suggest. Also, if "only the corner is shattered", surely, the shattered section won't be rectangular? The only thing that will look good is a dense curtain wall: little glass panels and criss-crossed beams between them; but then you'll complain about grenades and such not damaging the (thin) framework ^_^. There is an alternative approach - to somehow make some projectiles go through glass without breaking it (basically creating a decal and moving on). I'd say that's definitely possible. But - scope-creepy ^_^ --geyser
Just a reminder that this page isn't about what should be in the Edition; that page is here. This page is for items that may or may not be in scope for the AE, but even if they aren't, could still be done separately from the AE. In other words, people can suggest anything and everything here.
In response to this idea, I am actually happy with the glass as it currently breaks; it's fun to watch a whole pane collapse at once, although I don't know how realistic it is. The one thing I find odd in the area of weapons vs. ordinary windows is that the SBG's shots either explode when they hit glass, or bounce off it, if you hold the 2nd trigger. I'd like to see them break the glass and keep on going. --Iritscen
The Xiox-button pusher

For some reason, the guy who seems to be a scientist, who reports on Konoko's increasing Daodan surges, is dressed in a TCTF cop uniform. He should be a scientist in a coat like the woman in the same scene who reports on the power of the Xiox-destruct mechanism. --Iritscen

Touching up the Shinatama farewell scene

I've never been very impressed by the place that Konoko finds Shinatama in the ACC. Mainly it's the fact that Shinatama is just sitting there, and there's some really thick, ugly square-edged cables nearby. If we could make those wires look more realistic, and maybe show that Shinatama is still hooked up to them, and maybe also that she is restrained, it would help flesh out the setting a bit more. Otherwise it's kinda silly how Konoko wants to get her out of there but just stands there until Shinatama receives the self-destruct order. Also, Shinatama really needs to show some damage, not just sit there slumped and say she's been hurt. --Iritscen