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Lozza86-UK
15th May 2009, 16:43
I'm all for Thief returning to a purely mission based structure. I like open world games and I liked the City sections in DS.....well for a while anyway. I think the thing about open world games though is that there has to be a real reason for it, and I don't think Thief is a game that needs an open world environment. Thief is all about freedom within the games missions. I would much rather have 10 or so massive levels then ones that have been compromised due to development time spent on an open world.

However what about this. In between missions you would have the option of spending some time in a closed environment. This place could change with each mission but lets say a Tavern for example. Now this would be purely optional, you could skip to the next mission right away if you wanted. If you did decide to spend some time in the tavern though you could gain some knowledge about your next mission. Perhaps you would over hear a conversation between two off duty guards, maybe you could use your money to get a nobleman drunk so he would spill information about one of his "friends". This would result in extra markers for your map and stuff like that.

And perhaps this information wouldn't always be reliable. It'd be up to the player to infer true character from these NPC's. Does he/she seem trustworthy? Do they have anything to gain from lying? You would have to make this decision for yourself and not go off some transparent karma based point system.

Obviously it would have to be implemented well with lots of detail and lots of options. I think it would be a nice replacement for the "pay 300 gold for a hot tip" way though. And keeping it within a small environment wouldn't divert too many resources from the development time.

What do you think? Any other ideas?

Danie1
15th May 2009, 17:54
I didn't like the "open world" between missions. It was cool and novel, but in the end it was too distracting from the story. It also added to what I consider a rampant problem of being too well equipt. A solitary mission with limited loot forced players in Thief/Thief II to consider their play style before making purchases at the beginning of the next mission. Also, I felt confined with this set up, as if the entire game took place within a very small area. Even the Cradle felt like it was a stone's throw away. Just popping up in a new place, like Cragscliff in a mountain, feels more open than walking around a city to get to my next mission.

Hypevosa
15th May 2009, 18:11
I understand your argument, but I still think that the freedom and potential of the trip to and from the place you're robbing adds to the gameplay. If you royally screw up a mission and someone sees your face right out, you should have to lose the guards when you try to get home... if you are caught by a guard headed home with all that loot, you should have to run your ass home or to your fence ASAP... if you've hit a target you knew the thieves guild was looking at, just so you could get the loot before them, you should have trouble getting it home. A fat nobleman walking by with a purse on your way home should be relieved of his extra burden. The trip is part of the adventure. If you're a good thief, the trip home should be boring, but if you want a little excitement, you could always wave at a guard before you leave...

CurtX
15th May 2009, 21:52
If the missions are interesting enough, there would be no need to do things between them. Putting filler material between missions would take development time, pulling some focus from making excellent missions or overall game design.

Apprentice101
16th May 2009, 00:18
I think i like your ideas. Although always residing in tavern between every mission doesnt make sense.There could be some eavesdroping/scouting/investigating other small/closed locations in between missions. But generally its a good idea. However, im not familiar with engine type, and posibilities of the game that developers will use. If freeroaming city would not require lots of game resources, then of course open world better than closed one. If freeroaming actually needs to sacrifice posibility to play vast missions, then imo the idea you proposed is much more suitable adressing non-mission activities.

Prince_VLAD
16th May 2009, 00:22
I'm all for Thief returning to a purely mission based structure. I like open world games and I liked the City sections in DS.....well for a while anyway. I think the thing about open world games though is that there has to be a real reason for it, and I don't think Thief is a game that needs an open world environment. Thief is all about freedom within the games missions. I would much rather have 10 or so massive levels then ones that have been compromised due to development time spent on an open world.

However what about this. In between missions you would have the option of spending some time in a closed environment. This place could change with each mission but lets say a Tavern for example. Now this would be purely optional, you could skip to the next mission right away if you wanted. If you did decide to spend some time in the tavern though you could gain some knowledge about your next mission. Perhaps you would over hear a conversation between two off duty guards, maybe you could use your money to get a nobleman drunk so he would spill information about one of his "friends". This would result in extra markers for your map and stuff like that.

And perhaps this information wouldn't always be reliable. It'd be up to the player to infer true character from these NPC's. Does he/she seem trustworthy? Do they have anything to gain from lying? You would have to make this decision for yourself and not go off some transparent karma based point system.

Obviously it would have to be implemented well with lots of detail and lots of options. I think it would be a nice replacement for the "pay 300 gold for a hot tip" way though. And keeping it within a small environment wouldn't divert too many resources from the development time.

What do you think? Any other ideas?


Your idea reminds me of that Bar in STALKER game, honestly :) It's not bad, it is worth a try or some polish.

Lozza86-UK
16th May 2009, 08:26
Thanks for the replies.

Yeah being in a tavern all the time would get boring but it could change between locations for each mission.

It would be horrible though if it just felt tacked on. It would really need to have the same atmosphere as the rest of the game.

Jilly The Taffer
16th May 2009, 23:43
I really did love the DS city roaming.

But for Thief 4, I want it to be more accessable, this means:

- No silly portals for loading each district. Have it as one big free roaming map. Like Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Sorry to bring an RPG into a Thief discussion, but I really liked how 'open' the Morrowind world was.

- Rooftops. I want as many as possible to be accessable. I want to get on a roof in South Quarter and travel all the way to Old Quarter without touching ground.

- Swimming please. A river runs right through the City. Why can't Garrett use it to get from place to place without risking the Watch infested streets. He can do this via swimming (if he can in Thief IV >_>) or by nicking a small rowboat (which he has done a few times in the past).

Also in DS I liked the few shops and taverns. For Thief IV more taverns and stores would be appreciated. And at different times of the day, the taverns busyness will change. Such as at dusk, they will start getting very busy and rowdy with drunks, these could then pose as possible enemies if you bother them.

I think DS did a great job with the 'roam around and find your mission' thing, rather than the DP and MA 'here is your mission, we've teleported you there already. Good luck.'

kaekaelyn
17th May 2009, 01:05
Here's my two cents on TDS' idea of an open City.

I've had some changing ideas about this. At first I enjoyed it, but soon found it rather disappointing. At first I thought this was because TDS' City was so small and "chopped up" and could have been pulled off much better. That stuff is true; it would definitely have been nicer to see a big, continuous City. However, I later realized my dislike of TDS' City was because of something deeper.

I've always seen the City as something of an enigma. We got glimpses of the City in TDP and TMA, from what I can recall, but never the entire thing. And that was good, because it created a feeling of vastness and mystique. That's the way it's supposed to be, in my opinion. I mean, think about it. Factions of all kinds have sprung up and warred over the City, while the Keepers lurk secretly within, working to preserve its safety and balance. Everything in the Thief world revolves around this one City. And why is this City so important? Because it is sovereign and autonomous? Because of its size and population, and all the innocents that reside there? Or is it something less tangible? I don't think we're supposed to know the boundaries of the City, because the City is too much of an enigma. True, a master thief who's lived here all his life would know the ins and outs of the City, but I think it's better for us as players if we don't, because no matter how big it is, I'll feel disillusioned by it.

Although I want to see good portions of the City in some missions, I don't want to see the whole thing--I don't ever want to feel like the City is "boxed in." Definitely want to see parts of it, though, because it's fun to slip across the Thieves' Highway, and plus, we have to undo some of the damage that TDS has done. The City is not a mere town!

LightWarriorK
17th May 2009, 04:19
I actually kinda enjoyed the "open" city in DS, although I agree that it was implemented poorly. I'd rather they leave it out than have it like it was.

- Loading screens need to go away. There are too many ways to pre-load the next areas than resort to a loading screen, no matter how short. I'd even go as far as to say that the accessible entrances to levels should also pre-load, so you could move seamlessly between the city and levels, and yes that means being able to revisit levels (though scripted events may not happen again).

- The city needs to be MASSIVE. Even if that means distributing a kit to beta testers to let them help "fill it up," there should be no shortage of things to do or see. The city in DS was FAR too tiny. I'd be happy to lend my knowledge gained in my City and Regional Planning MASTERS DEGREE to helping fill the city in with side streets, alleys, sewers, and the like, and I'm sure others would love to lend a hand as well. Maybe make it a contest with the winners/participants being included in the game through name and likeness as citizens and nobles? (HINT HINT ;))

- There needs to be as many AI citizens as the design can handle. If I'm in the Market during the day, there should be throngs of people everywhere. (A good opportunity to pick up info and pickpocket)

- A balance needs to be struck. DS was far too easy because you were able to make too much money in the city. The stores always ran out of supplies before I ran out of cash. As large and as full as the city is, there should be greater risks to thieving outside a level, including the loss of your home should the Watch find where you live (multiple safehouses?). Robbing houses should be extremely hazerdous to your health and not just and easy way to make more cash. Pickpocketting should be an "art" that if it fails would mean disaster.

- In-level use of the city. It's entirely possible that maybe a job could spill out into the streets or move to another location in real life, so maybe a FEW of the levels could take advantage of this?

- Balance reprecussions with options. In DS, there were a few cases where you killing people in the streets made things harder later on (more guards, always in Alert mode) if I remember correctly. That was a pain. If things you do in the game are going to have realistic effects, there need to be enough options to alleviate or circumvent those hardships. For instance, if the Watch is patroling an area heavilly because you killed someone there earlier, then you should have multiple routes around them. In addition, if you cause a problem somewhere else, they'd have to pull men from that first location to cover the new one (you could do that on purpose to draw the Watch to a specific area to make things easier somewhere else, perhaps).

- There shouldn't be any "fake doors." ALL doors should be openable, even if you can't pick the lock (upgradable lockpicks?), or there should be enough people or guards around that maybe only one in ten buildings are actually "accessible."

I think that all of those things, plus much more should happen if they're going to keep the "open" city a part of Thief 4. All I know is that the parts I enjoyed most of 1, 2, and 3 were the parts out in the city, particularly on the rooftops, and I cursed the game whenever it "ran out of city" to let me play in. TMA was especially great in this aspect. But I would rather have the city put back into the levels only and have a closed structure to the game if the alternative is a city the way it was in DS.

jtr7
12th Jun 2009, 00:36
Between missions? Cutscenes and briefings, and his loot should have rent and his provisions deducted from the total (not a problem for the player if the valuable item objectives cover those expenses).

Crypto
12th Jun 2009, 00:42
Backgammon.

DarthEnder
12th Jun 2009, 05:15
Between missions? Cutscenes and briefingsYep. Cutscene, briefing, buy equipement, next mission please.

Thieffanman
12th Jun 2009, 05:36
I'm all for Thief returning to a purely mission based structure. I like open world games and I liked the City sections in DS.....well for a while anyway. I think the thing about open world games though is that there has to be a real reason for it, and I don't think Thief is a game that needs an open world environment. Thief is all about freedom within the games missions. I would much rather have 10 or so massive levels then ones that have been compromised due to development time spent on an open world.

However what about this. In between missions you would have the option of spending some time in a closed environment. This place could change with each mission but lets say a Tavern for example. Now this would be purely optional, you could skip to the next mission right away if you wanted. If you did decide to spend some time in the tavern though you could gain some knowledge about your next mission. Perhaps you would over hear a conversation between two off duty guards, maybe you could use your money to get a nobleman drunk so he would spill information about one of his "friends". This would result in extra markers for your map and stuff like that.

And perhaps this information wouldn't always be reliable. It'd be up to the player to infer true character from these NPC's. Does he/she seem trustworthy? Do they have anything to gain from lying? You would have to make this decision for yourself and not go off some transparent karma based point system.

Obviously it would have to be implemented well with lots of detail and lots of options. I think it would be a nice replacement for the "pay 300 gold for a hot tip" way though. And keeping it within a small environment wouldn't divert too many resources from the development time.

What do you think? Any other ideas?

One of the things I liked about TDS is that in between missions, a player had the ability to visit a fence or a black market shop, pickpocket/mug unsuspecting townspeople in order to build up money if you were short cash, or harvest elemental arrows (ie. water, moss, fire, etc.). The reason why is that some missions were closed-- usually in buildings where buying extra items, or buying/harvesting the arrows you need, could not reliably happen. Plus, this also gave the player a chance to indulge in a side mission if they chose without compromising their next mission or the overall story.

I would agree with the tavern idea in that a player could overhear hints about their next mission-- or, perhaps pay for reliable information. I like that, and I think it could work: perhaps hints about when the guards change, or where the best loot can be found, or something. There, I say add a tavern-- but make it part of the city, versus a closed environment in between missions.

--Thieffanman

jtr7
12th Jun 2009, 05:45
I'd like stuff like that after a briefing as the player sets out on a mission, but without the branching side-quests. If a player wants to wander off the main mission path, thy can, and maybe they will discover something, more like the older games but with a bigger City feel. But I never want to wander around between missions; the missions should suffice, as with the older titles, to give the player all the cash Garrett needs, so thre is never a shortage to worry about.

kabatta
12th Jun 2009, 06:10
Hm...What if the tavern would be in a mission? Even the first one. You need to find new people to rob and you go to the centre of the narrative universe- the tavern. The place where travellers gather and share tales, where suspicious faces are common. And I mean tavern in the old meaning, as a small hotel that has a bar, bedrooms, basement, kitchen, etcetera. I believe that a lot of plots can come from here: you overhear somer people talking abouth a perilous place full of ancient and forgotten loot; somebody mentions an old acquintance that you despise/ owes you money; you need to look for an informant that stays low for a while because he has problems with the law. All roads lead to the tavern after all. (yeah, now I'm ripping on the "all roads lead to Rome")

ToMegaTherion
12th Jun 2009, 08:29
One of my favourite things about Dark Project and Metal Age was that loot and equipment lasted only one mission, so there was no need to worry about conservation. Unless there is a good way to do something similar and yet still have a "between missions" element then I am sceptical.

On the other hand, a between missions section would be a good place for consequences of killing or otherwise causing undue fuss in missions, to emerge.

esme
12th Jun 2009, 10:53
make coffee, eat, see friends, expose skin to radiation in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, breathe air that hasn't been shut in the same room for 12 hours, play sports ;)

Belboz
12th Jun 2009, 11:29
I was wondering if they are actually going to just make a city hub, and missions arnt set in stone, theres a basic story line but there's a chance that you'll only find missions depending on what you read and what you over hear, instead of leading you with a carrot to the next mission in line, you the player has to workout where to go next, and theres actually a choice of areas you could visit to pick up the next part of the storyline, or get side tracked into a side mission that in the end gets decent loot but the you have to try one of the other areas to find information about where you are really supposed to go.

Platinumoxicity
12th Jun 2009, 11:43
if they're really going to make a good city-hub, with lots of things to do, I have this idea:

There could be situations where you can learn new information, conversations, readables and other stuff, that would reveal hints of valuables in certain places.
-For example, if you break into the central post office, you can find a receipt that says:
Lord Merkulov, delivery, contents: Jet-wood jewelery set, color: (Gloss Black)
-Or some nobles on the street talk about how much money Lord Bumbleson paid for a "Jade Samovar tea set" in an auction last night.
-Or you could also buy information from snitches.
This way you could get "secret" missions that you couldn't normally enter when going straight through the storyline. These could be additional house-missions where you need to steal some specific valuable artifact that you've heard of.

Palmberg
12th Jun 2009, 12:57
The city streets in DS was a disappointment, it didn't feel like the city from past games, it felt too small.

What if inbetween missions you are at lets say Garrett's hideout, where you can set up your equipment, do some archery training etc, doesn't have to be a big place. You who have played Tenchu Z knows what I'm talking about, that small Ninja village. And a list of all the missions should be there, so you can easily continue on to the next or replay one you have already completed. It doesn't have to be any more than that for me, I prefer it if they focus more on the missions instead.

fayfuya
12th Jun 2009, 13:21
Genius, that's exactly how it should be, a bit more access to rooftops, and i think it's much more exciting and intersting to find our missions by ourselves around the city and not in a tavern, it's too small, while traveling in the city is better, you got your own house, they guards may chase you. Do you think the whole stores, churches, your place, a garden and all these places can get into 1 small tavern? not.
It should be like Thief 3 were, but better and with more access to roof and swimming in the river

kabatta
12th Jun 2009, 14:03
Agreed, along with my tavern. :D

xDarknessFallsx
12th Jun 2009, 14:17
Regarding city hubs and other 'filler' in-between material: no thanks.

Regarding the original post: no thanks. I appreciate the enthusiasm and can understand where you're coming from, but I've never seen a game have good enough voice acting and character animations, etc. to enjoy scripted dialogue with an NCP. Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, TDS, the list goes on and on. I can't think of one game where I'm impressed by dialogue with NCPs. The NCPs seem too robotic, repetitious, pre-scripted with canned responses, etc., etc. Even if EM were to be able to fix all the woes of NCP dialogue, I still wouldn't want it in Thief.

Focus on the missions and cutscenes like T2, imo. I enjoyed hearing a bit about the next mission and potential key pieces of info via T2 cutscenes; and also the "tip" scrolls you could choose to buy or not to buy.

The Th4f missions themselves should have some clues and info interspersed throughout the mission (e.g., NCP conversations that you overhear, scrolls, clues, etc.) I liked T2's ability to tell you story items and tips through things you might 'stumble' across, where you may may or may not see the info. TDS ruined this, IIRC, by repeating signs/scrolls and making it virtually impossible to miss any clue or any story element. I don't want to be hand-fed all my info during missions. Makes it seem more linear.

Hamadriyad
12th Jun 2009, 16:30
I really did love the DS city roaming.

But for Thief 4, I want it to be more accessable, this means:

- No silly portals for loading each district. Have it as one big free roaming map. Like Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Sorry to bring an RPG into a Thief discussion, but I really liked how 'open' the Morrowind world was.

- Rooftops. I want as many as possible to be accessable. I want to get on a roof in South Quarter and travel all the way to Old Quarter without touching ground.

- Swimming please. A river runs right through the City. Why can't Garrett use it to get from place to place without risking the Watch infested streets. He can do this via swimming (if he can in Thief IV >_>) or by nicking a small rowboat (which he has done a few times in the past).

Also in DS I liked the few shops and taverns. For Thief IV more taverns and stores would be appreciated. And at different times of the day, the taverns busyness will change. Such as at dusk, they will start getting very busy and rowdy with drunks, these could then pose as possible enemies if you bother them.

I think DS did a great job with the 'roam around and find your mission' thing, rather than the DP and MA 'here is your mission, we've teleported you there already. Good luck.'


Agreed. I like DS open world.but improvement required.

jay pettitt
12th Jun 2009, 17:36
Or a mini-game that involves running around a mansion scoffing as many food items as possible before the next mission loads.

jtr7
12th Jun 2009, 19:10
Like an arcade bonus round!

Captain567
12th Jun 2009, 19:18
You know, speaking of inbetween missions and big open cities, can I just say that it's really stupid that every street guard knows about Garrett and seems to be looking for him? There's nothing wrong with walking around in the city at night. The only time you should be required to sneak between missions is during the infiltration itself, when you're somewhere you're not supposed to be.

In Ambush the guards ARE looking for you, so it makes sense there, but not every single night. And tracing back your steps constantly in between missions would get extremely tedious, this would at least help make that quicker.

I'd prefer no city hub, just one mission to the next. It's hard making a good city that's fun to sneak through without getting annoying and repetitive.

kabatta
12th Jun 2009, 19:37
Well...there are wanted posters of garrett everywhere in the city. Considering the poverty that the guards face it is natural to try every method of making money.

Hypevosa
12th Jun 2009, 19:38
The whole game would be annoying then, that's pretty much ALL you do is sneak around. If they added more flavor, like how TDS had the benny's infected finger thing, then it would probably be more tolerable. The thing is the city hub shouldn't be boring all the time unless you're doing your job well, it should be quite exciting at times. Like lets say one of the guards saw you and sounded the alarm. When you leave the complex you'd probably be being chased, and it would be more fun. If you preempted a thieves guild and robbed a place before they did, they'd probably be pissed and trying to find out who did it (if they see you, they know it was you who did it... you're the only one with the stones and the talent).

Really, there should probably only even be people on the streets when Garrett first leaves wherever he's staying... whenever he's finally done with a job, people shouldn't be there anymore, because they've all gone to sleep in their houses. Guards would probably be falling half asleep as well, and any that were drinking before are either unconscious or drunk as hell.

TheEye
15th Jul 2009, 18:26
sidequests, stealing more money and loot is a good reason to be an open-world game.

zombie32
16th Jul 2009, 03:08
If there is a need to get more money for an upcoming mission, maybe a place in the city where you could gamble could fill a need. I remember the roulette wheels in previous games, but you couldn't bet. If Garrett could use his loot to place bets and have the possibility of winning some real large amounts of cash the game could change dramatically for the lucky players (and the unlucky ones as well). Maybe you could have a slot machine where if you got three arrows, three mines or whatever the payout would be in weaponry. Or, maybe this is just another one of my bad ideas!

jtr7
16th Jul 2009, 03:22
...................

Hamadriyad
16th Jul 2009, 10:40
If there is a need to get more money for an upcoming mission, maybe a place in the city where you could gamble could fill a need. I remember the roulette wheels in previous games, but you couldn't bet. If Garrett could use his loot to place bets and have the possibility of winning some real large amounts of cash the game could change dramatically for the lucky players (and the unlucky ones as well). Maybe you could have a slot machine where if you got three arrows, three mines or whatever the payout would be in weaponry. Or, maybe this is just another one of my bad ideas!

This is not a bad idea. But we should able to get information while we are gambling inside. I mean gaining loot in gamble shouldn't be primary. People talks while gambling. What is happening in the city etc. Of course not much.(like a inn.) but they talk.

jtr7
16th Jul 2009, 10:44
...................

Hamadriyad
16th Jul 2009, 10:55
Thief 2 Gold was going to have a mission objective to get a depressed Hammerite Priest drunk at a bar to tell Garrett Karras's backstory. Something like this could finally be put into a Thief game, and the Widow Moira was kinda the first step to something like that.
Yes. I wish we didn't throw a bottle of wine to front of an old woman. :D

gryphos
20th Jul 2009, 03:40
>>Maybe you could have a slot machine where if you got three arrows, three mines or whatever the payout would be in weaponry. Or, maybe this is just another one of my bad ideas

In truth, I don't really like the implications of such slot machines... imagine a slot in Vegas that spit out 9mm bullets, flashbangs, and the occasional pistol! I know someone who actually works for Vegas PD and he'd bite his own teeth if such stuff occured.

>>But we should able to get information while we are gambling inside. I mean gaining loot in gamble shouldn't be primary. People talks while gambling

This on the other hand would be the sort of minigame that would be more logical and potentially more atmospheric. I think that minigames can enhance gameplay immensely if done right (the best example in my mind being Sid Meir's Pirates!), and they could possibly be used in Thief to get information or to place bribes or such with contacts, etc. But it should feel like it matters to the story.

kin
20th Jul 2009, 05:19
Ideas for what the player could do in between missions

Take a break off the game. Seriously i want my eyes work when i will be old.

jtr7
20th Jul 2009, 05:22
..................

Hamadriyad
20th Jul 2009, 07:12
Go grab a soda? Visit the toilet? Get out of the house and do some yard work?

The Sims:Thievery Expension Pack:D

jtr7
20th Jul 2009, 07:20
.........................

Hamadriyad
20th Jul 2009, 08:16
Oy!
http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122109

This is great. I want to play the sims. :D