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Thread: Hacking

Hacking

  1. #1

    Hacking

    With loads of threads and posts talking about how deus ex 3 shouldnt do what I.W. did i thought id post something a little different.

    Thought i loved the original deus ex, there was something that bugged me a little, hacking. Now hacking overall as an option was great, just added more depth to the game. But it could be improved, for instance in all you needed to do was spend your first skill points into "trained" for hacking, and you could pretty much hack into everything in the game pretty easily.

    Now im sure there could be many ways to improve this, assuming you have the skill system in DE3 (which im sure you will!) then you could make it much harder for security systems later in the game to be hacked, needing a much higher skill for it.

    For example, you could be given a certain amount of "hacking points" (you get more depending on your skill level) For example You could get 10 points for to hack with the trained skill, a security system could be hacked for 5 points, and once your inside, you could turn off a camera for an additional 2 points and depending on how demanding the system is, it could cost more points, requiring a higher skill. You would get th epoints back at the begging of a hack.

    But thats just an example, anybody else have any ideas how hacking could be improved for DE3?

  2. #2
    A simple cut-off for harder security systems depending on your skill level would work, IMO. No need to over-complicate it. No need for little bioshock style puzzles, they get old quickly. Keep the timeouts, its a reward for having a higher skill lever and it also rewards you for actually finding the login information by letting you read all the emails in full.

  3. #3
    I certainly agree that the ability to hack systems really lent the game an atmosphere of reality. Maybe something like you suggested might be put to use. Who knows.

    What I think is more important about the task of hacking systems, however, is the matter of user immersion through interface. The ability to use keyboard and input actual login/password and read emails written in format and jargons familiar to many users of current generation was a stroke of genius. Total immersion into the world with relatively minimal resource use and development. I'm hoping to see such approach to be capitalized in upcoming DX3, centered around actually allowing players to 'use' the terminals/systems/whatnot inevitably scattered across the DX3 world instead of making players click on a polygon and listen to a pre-recorded message. If you are going to put computers in a game, might as well give them an illusion of working.

  4. #4
    Agreed.
    Actually, it would be cool if the interface was on the actual computer screen. That is, you'd type stuff and see it pop up on the screen in the game world. Not sure how you'd hack that though, cause a 'Hack' button on the actual interface would look odd

  5. #5
    Yeah i wasnt really thinking of a minigame, they tend to be tedious, just some way to give a higher hacking skill more use. And if you dont specilize in hacking then you would have to make a greater effort in getting around a security grid by stealth or investigation into finding the username and password (overhearing people talking etc).

    As for the interface thing, im sure it will have to be changed for the consoles/controllers, BUT i really hope the PC version wont suffer from that and keep a deus ex style or a better interface.

  6. #6
    Oh yeah and one more thing, I'd rather not type in the logins/passwords ... its kinda tedious. It would be better if you already found the login/password, it would automatically type itself in. Each computer would have multiple accounts from a drop down list, you'd choose the account and it would put in the password if you have it. Sometimes in the original deus ex I couldn't be bothered looking up and typing in the login/password, so i'd just hack it. A bit silly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Originally Posted by hackmed
    Yeah i wasnt really thinking of a minigame, they tend to be tedious, just some way to give a higher hacking skill more use. And if you dont specilize in hacking then you would have to make a greater effort in getting around a security grid by stealth or investigation into finding the username and password (overhearing people talking etc).

    As for the interface thing, im sure it will have to be changed for the consoles/controllers, BUT i really hope the PC version wont suffer from that and keep a deus ex style or a better interface.
    The hacking minigame in Bioshock wasn't so bad, but in Deus Ex it should just be skill-based like in Deus Ex 1 and 2.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I liked to type in the login and passwords. Made it more realistic. On the superfreighter for instance I had to sneak to the computer and reverse the flow of the bilge pumps. But there were 2 guards moving around and I had to be really quick (had to reload doozens of times), so I ctrl+c the password and typed in the login, and that was just quick enough. In a system where you don't need to type them in that would be less fun and less realistic.

  9. #9
    I dunno about you, but I let firefox auto-complete all my passwords ... its practically the same thing. Its the future man! His fingers are augmented anyway!
    I just never like referring back to my notes to make sure I get the spelling right.

    Also my idea of putting the interface on the actual computer screen (instead of a full screen interface, think the way doom 3 handled it) would fix that bug where you could hack a PC while you sat behind it or underneath a desk!

  10. #10
    Anyone played Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory?
    I think the hacking system of this game was great!

    It didn't consist of skills or anything, but rather, you had a limited amount of time to find certain IP numbers that fit together, then you can enter and start hacking.

    My idea, is to combine both systems; meaning that, if you have low skills, then the "way" to hack into a system should be hard! And if you got more skill points, then you hack in easily!

    I am not saying, use the same exact way of Splinter Cell, but i think one should be active about hacking: not just pressing a button and sit there waiting for green bar!

    And when you enter the system, everything you want to change, needs a bit of a code to be discovered or deduced, and according to your skill, it's either hard to change anything, or easy, or maybe it's too damn hard, so you will just give up as you don't have such time to hack into things. But i didn't like the idea of the absolute in DX 1, as you can't change camera or sentry gun if you got low skills. Just make it hard, but no impossible.

    And, according to your skill, and the complexity and sophistication of the system (onwards at the final levels), you should have a limited amount of time.

  11. #11
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    Hmm. I don't really agree. Because of you use such a complexe system for hacking, you would need soething similar for lockpicking and using the multitools, and it wouldn't be fun.
    You've got to understand that real hacking is done by programs (software), so the DX1 system is the most realistic. Better skill is better CPU and software, so you hack faster and you can do more when you've hacked the computer.
    I think there should be poorly protected pc's, mediocre protected and very good protected pc's. With low skill you can hack esily into the computers with the worst security (private computers, like the one you have at home), and you can hack into the better secured computers but with different results. So sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don't.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by phlebas
    What I think is more important about the task of hacking systems, however, is the matter of user immersion through interface. The ability to use keyboard and input actual login/password and read emails written in format and jargons familiar to many users of current generation was a stroke of genius. Total immersion into the world with relatively minimal resource use and development. I'm hoping to see such approach to be capitalized in upcoming DX3, centered around actually allowing players to 'use' the terminals/systems/whatnot inevitably scattered across the DX3 world instead of making players click on a polygon and listen to a pre-recorded message. If you are going to put computers in a game, might as well give them an illusion of working.
    Totally agree with that. That was one of the rare things I really liked in Doom III : to use a computer, you came close and clicked on the screen. Same thing for keypads : you just clicked on the buttons. That's immersion.

    The point-based hacking system is a cool idea, but not very realistic (still moreso than a "hack" button, though ).

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Cool

    I also think that hacking (and computer usage) can be made into something more that just hitting a button.

  14. #14
    here's an idea:

    at first i was thinking they should do what IW did - let you access lesser functions like e-mails at low levels, and harder (and more important) functions like turret overrides on higher skills.

    but then i thought - let's take it up a notch

    whenever you log on to a computer, you can hit the "icebreaker" or whatever to bypass the password. but it wouldn't always be a garaunteed success - there would be a certain percent chance the hack would fail, and this chance would decrease as you increased your skill. if you tried to hack the password and failed a certain number of times, the computer would lock down, and maybe even set off an alarm. once you got inside, you could pretty much read e-mails freely, but the ability to bypass turrets, download data packets, view video archives, and other stuff (and yes - they should add stuff like that in and make the hacking section a little bit more in-depth) would also have certain percentages of success. this would keep the hacking user-friendly, but add a little more depth to the hacking system

    another idea is to make you more able to "detect" certain things as your level increases. for example, at lower levels you might read a seemingly innocuous e-mail with a picture of the senders dog. at a higher level, you could detect that that picture file had a secret message encrypted into it. you could tell if people were monitoring the your workstation, or perhaps the existence of a special command that wouldn't have known about before.

    another idea i had was not only to include succeed/fail percentages with increasing level, but also the accuracy of these percentages. for example, at a low level you would see a red or green bar, red corresponding to roughly <50% chance of success, green roughly >50%. then at higher levels, you would see this in increments of 25, 10, and 1%. this would be analagous to the fact that as a newbie in a skill, you aren't fully aware of your own skill level and your self-awareness continues as you practice, but i dunno - it seems like that element is just making it too complicated for little payoff.

  15. #15

    Arrow

    I think the hacking side of the game would be a lot more interesting if you made it more true to life.

    Give the user a console to navigate networks using DOS or Unix (preferably) commands or run programs - brute forcers, port scanners, key-loggers and so on. Let the user e-mail trojans into organisations or to characters to gain control of their systems.

    You could put the console commands in a book in the game so the player could keep it real, or alternatively, let the player buy programs (password crackers and so on) in the same way that he might buy equipment.

    It doesn't have to be mega complicated to be life like and it would be a lot more fun because you'd feel like you were hacking.

  16. #16
    Yeah, although interesting, I think that approach would fail because of the repetition and/or anoyance. During the first couple of hacks, player would say "this stuff is awesome!" and some time later in the game it could happen that the reaction would fall down to "Oh god no, not this again... :S", so people wouldn't even bother to hack anymore if it weren't really necessary. I know I wouldn't like to spend 5 minutes at hacking just to read 2 love-letter emails between some characters.

    It's important to keep it simple, yet intriguing, not boring, and diverse, of course... Just look at Bioshock... Same dog gamn mini game all over and over and over again, so you either don't bother to hack and walk past the devices, or, you simply "buy out" because of boringness and repetition.

  17. #17
    @user-9: ... yeah... that stuff would be cool for a while, but as has been said, would get tiring by the 20th PC. Also, we must face the fact that this will almost certainly be a multi-platform game (), so that interacting with a console will be very difficult to achieve.

  18. #18
    Command Crunching FTW! If you guys are going to do hacking.. learn from the two best games that did it better than Deus Ex.

    1. Neuromancer - by Interplay
    2. Uplink - by IntroVersion software

    Both of these games take you right into hacking and let you do some hell cool things as well as relying purely on the player's knowledge. I know in the DX1 Alpha they tried to implement something like this but resorted to the ICE Breaker instead.

  19. #19
    Originally Posted by mr_cyberpunk
    1. Neuromancer - by Interplay
    I've never heard of the game but I can recommend the same-named novel by William Gibson. One of the first Cyberpunk books.

  20. #20
    Why not implement something ala Dystopia (a mod for the Source engine)? That would truly make hacking more enjoyable.

  21. #21
    Because that'd require Cyberspace.. Deus Ex never mentions Cyberspace at any point of the game (cyberspace being the 3D Virtual Reality representation of the internet ala William Gibson's Matrix)

  22. #22
    Well it would still fit. They're still hacking into things, things that are probably connected to some global protocol for data transfer, like the internet. It would certainly make hacking more unique and fun.

  23. #23
    I like the idae of hacking being more interactive than simply hitting a button. Bioshock has shown that it can be integrated on consoles in a similiar fashion as it can with a mouse on a PC.

    Expanding on this- how about making lockpicking more interactive a la Thief deadly shadows. Again, worked on consoles and is more immersive than simply "firing" a lockpick at a door.

  24. #24
    Originally Posted by Kneo24
    Why not implement something ala Dystopia (a mod for the Source engine)? That would truly make hacking more enjoyable.
    I'm a dystopian as well !!!! but if they implement all that dystopia has done (encryption, password, ice wall, ice mine, green ice, ice breaker, ice alarm, hitscan + projectile, different movement, gravitational re-orientation) including the awesome TRON-like representation of the internet you would have a 2nd game inside the first one.

    Not that I am against it, you could make it optional to train your character for online 3d access as well and it would be awesome but I really doubt that the devs will do it, you know, with all the "must-be-accessible-to-trained-monkeys" talk of the last years and reaching "critical mass" for an AAA-title, blah, blah, blah, I fear we will rather get LESS systems in DX3 than more and deeper and complex ones.

    Nobody nowadays goes for truly rewarding their players and motivating them to try out many things, they just go for the quick fix, the money-shot, give him the shotgun and place the enemy before him, or if you're lucky you get an A/B choice (Bioware and 2k Boston, I'm lookin at you)

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    Originally Posted by LuciusDeBeers
    I like the idae of hacking being more interactive than simply hitting a button. Bioshock has shown that it can be integrated on consoles in a similiar fashion as it can with a mouse on a PC.

    Expanding on this- how about making lockpicking more interactive a la Thief deadly shadows. Again, worked on consoles and is more immersive than simply "firing" a lockpick at a door.
    [sarcasm]Yeah, the hack system of Bioshock was great![/sarcasm]
    And lockpicking in Oblivion for instance didn't work on pc, it worked perfectely fine on the xbox 360 though. Haven't played Thief so I don't know whether it was good or not.

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