[Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

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[Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby wildweasel » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:49 am

Download link: At Github! - Sorry, but there's currently no ready-made release build; download the repository and run _zip.bat to compile it into a pk3.

I have elected not to post screenshots, since this mod uses the default Doom graphics, and a screenshot would not illustrate the changes.

The Concept:
HazeBandicoot wrote:I got the idea of making a "Playable character learns how to use a weapon".

The player would start with a small pistol, first times he fires and relead he will do it slowly and with a big recoil, each click would give the player a "ShotNumber" inventory, in the Fire state's first frames it will check if the player has 20 of those, in which case, it will jump to a fire state with less recoil, the same for the reload, which should go to a faster reload.

This could add a sense of realism in mods where the playable character isn't a weapon expert.

My interpretation of that is a bit different. Here's how it works.

You start the game with a military-issue pistol, loaded with a 15-round magazine and 30 bullets to spare. As a civilian with no formal training in firearms handling, however, you will have considerable difficulty coming to grips with your weapon in a time of crisis. You can barely pull the trigger, let alone keep the weapon steady while you make your attempt. You haven't spent any time doing reloading drills.

To fire your weapon, click AND HOLD the Fire button. You will see a gauge on screen slowly building up, which represents trigger pressure. You will also notice that, as you are holding the Fire button, your view will jitter around. You're going to have to bear with that; the only way to get better is to practice. If you're nervous about your new gun, take some shots at a nearby wall to practice. Every 10 shots, your skill level will increase 1 point. A single point on its own won't make much difference, but as your skill increases, you may find it easier to pull the trigger quickly and accurately, you will naturally compensate for the way the weapon kicks, and you will build up muscle memory for reloading.

Along the way, you may also find a shotgun. The shotgun is far more powerful than the pistol, and is much heavier, so you will not jitter as badly with it as you will with the pistol; however, the intense power of the shotgun results in much heavier recoil. It will also take you longer to load and pump the shotgun. There is also an SMG, which is just as hard to pull the trigger as it is to let go of it afterwards. The skill level is global, and affects all weapons, so practicing with your pistol will also make you better at operating the shotgun, etc.

If you find yourself low on (or out of) ammo, press Alternate Fire to take a quick punch at an enemy. This is more reliable at doing damage, though it is not as powerful as either of the guns, and you also will not build up skill with the guns by punching. Again, the only way to improve is to practice.

Weapon Skill Level affects the following things:
  • Weapon will jitter less when pulling the trigger.
  • It will take less time to pull the trigger.
  • Your punch attack will be somewhat quicker.
  • Reload sequences will be faster.
  • Recoil will be reduced.
  • It will be easier to pump the shotgun.
  • The SMG's fire rate is much more controllable and will not "over burst" as much.

A new feature in recent versions is Medical Skill. You start with a Medical Kit in your inventory on weapon slot 4 (this will be slot 1 in the next version). When you find Stimpacks and Medikits in a level, these are added to your Medical Supplies counter on the HUD. Select the Medikit and click and hold Fire to start healing yourself. You will slowly regain your health for a while. As you use the medical kit, your Medical Skill will increase.

Medical Skill Level affects the following things:
  • Your medical kit will take less time to apply.
  • The speed at which you will be healed is increased.
  • The amount you will be healed per use of the medical kit is increased.

You also start the game with a Water Bottle. Press the Use Inventory Item key to drink from it. The Water Bottle will instantly heal you for as many HP as the bottle contains. It can be refilled by finding Health Bonuses.

In future versions, Athletics Skill will also play a role in determining your movement speed. Currently, though, it affects how your water bottle heals you (higher Athletics Skill will result in the water bottle healing you more), and the speed and damage of the melee attack. Since there is currently no way to gain Athletics skill points, these abilities are currently limited solely to the Marathoner class.

I do NOT recommend playing slaughter maps with this mod. It makes the game significantly harder than before. Practice on Doom's first episode or a level set with a more gentle difficulty curve. Although the guns have been made far stronger than their original Doom counterparts, you will have a much harder time with this mod.

Bonus Section: About Your Everyday Heroes

Here is a link to some project fiction that shows the four characters, out of their element. Profiles below.

Spoiler: Character profiles


Credits:
  • Kate, Kyle873, and scroton for their assistance with the scripting end of things.
  • Some code borrowed from ww-style and ww-nazis-v2.
  • Pistol's reload sprites by Mike12 and JoeyTD.
  • Sound effects from No One Lives Forever 2, Yakuza 4, and Turok Evolution(?).
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby Eric_ » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:48 am

Pretty interesting concept. Would be neat to see it applied to everything in the game, running, healing, putting on and maintaining armor, etc.

Currently, it's a little too easy to max out, especially if you get a bunch of chaingunners to infight and then use all the ammo they drop. Maybe you should only level up at half the rate if you're not actually shooting a target?
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby HexaDoken » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:12 am

Weird.

Definitely not the first time this concept is used(but definitely the first time you need to actually hold the trigger to fire). It kind of feels like you're playing a physically inept civilian, seeing as how it takes you so long to pull the damn trigger. Double weird since even at 0 skill he reloads fairly fast for a civ.

Got level 49 at MAP07 without firing at the air once.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby Slax » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:19 am

Oh my. You could really do some good stuff with this.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby TheDarkArchon » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:50 am

"The shotty 486 has an extremely light trigger pull of 42 pounds and has pump time of one half of ten seconds"

Yeah, the trigger pull time, even when the player is level 100, is rather excessive, especially given how clean and quick the other actions generally are.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby wildweasel » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:24 am

TheDarkArchon wrote:"The shotty 486 has an extremely light trigger pull of 42 pounds and has pump time of one half of ten seconds"

Yeah, the trigger pull time, even when the player is level 100, is rather excessive, especially given how clean and quick the other actions generally are.

The maximum level should be 50. At 100, it accidentally triggers A_JumpIfInventory's "maximum" behavior and resets the trigger pull to its longest setting, so I engineered the levelup script to refuse to give you any more levels. At that level, though, you should have near-instant trigger pulling and reloading nearly as fast as the weapons in ww-terror.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby TheDarkArchon » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:30 am

My bad. I tried to speed things up via the powers of the console so see the differences...though I could've sworn it was faster.

Still seems silly that at level 0, trigger pull is pretty much the same length as the reload.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby wildweasel » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:41 pm

Oops, I meant to say level 49 is the maximum - which makes more sense if I explain how the system works.

Since the scripts use division, it was easier for me to set WeaponSkillCounter to the highest possible level and then have it drop by 1 every time you gain a level. So all of the recoil, jitter, and reload time calculations divide WeaponSkillCounter by some amount. The level indicator is pretty much just a dumb counter; the level up script takes 1 of WeaponSkillCounter and gives 1 of WeaponSkillActual (whose sole purpose is to appear on the HUD).

Incidentally, you are pretty overpowered by level 49, and the Shotgun pretty much becomes your Ultimate Weapon if you can just keep it loaded.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby Arthropleura » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:43 pm

Hell yes! level progression for doom! Now we just need to make a full mod from this!
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby Discordance » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:48 pm

One of the best modern games I've played is Medal of Honour: Airborne, and one of my favourite things about it was the weapon upgrading over time.
I'll be keeping an eye on this.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby YukiHerz » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:01 pm

Haha, nice to see this done correctly (i gave it a shot myself, it sucked but now i know where i failed :p) i'm thinking of doing something similar to revive my strife mod.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby wildweasel » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:22 pm

Well, I'm not sure if I'm going to take the concept much further than this, but if I were to expand on it, here's some things I'd give some attention to.

Another weapon or two. Perhaps an automatic weapon. An idea I had for an automatic - like an SMG, probably - is that the trigger would be lighter than the other weapons, but releasing the trigger would not end the burst immediately, but rather the firing gauge would start emptying out, and the weapon would stop firing when it is completely empty. Novice shooters of automatic weapons tend to have difficulty letting go of the trigger once the gun has started firing, so building skill with the SMG would make it easier to control its fire rate.

An experience curve. Currently, levels occur every ten shots; since it's much harder to get those ten shots off earlier, I find that levels build very slowly early on, and very quickly later. I'm kind of crap at the whole math thing, otherwise I'd come up with a level curve where the first several levels only require 1 or 2 shots, but much higher levels need anywhere from 20 to 100 shots to build.

Crouching to steady jitter. But probably only by half. I don't actually know how to detect crouching; I assume it's relating to GetPlayerInput which I haven't the slightest idea how to use. ACS noob, here.

A separate "athletics" skill counter. When you start the game, your full running speed would be roughly equivalent to the default walking speed. Keep running, and eventually you will build up your running speed to vanilla Doom level. Perhaps a stamina system as well, but that might be going overboard.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby SoloSpaghetti » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:56 pm

And maybe also a skill for turning on cainsaw... the higher is the skill, the faster you can turn it on. :P
Jokes apart... I really like this concept, keep yuor great work up on this!
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby -Ghost- » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:18 pm

This is definitely an interesting concept, I hope you keep working on it. It's a cool idea to make it feel like an actual skill progression instead of just numbers going up.
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Re: [Proof of Concept] Build Your Skill

Postby Se7eNytes » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:41 pm

wildweasel wrote:I don't actually know how to detect crouching; I assume it's relating to GetPlayerInput which I haven't the slightest idea how to use. ACS noob, here.

Spoiler: This should help
Last edited by Se7eNytes on Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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