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Thread: LOCKPICKING - Minigame vs Animation etc - All Discussion

LOCKPICKING - Minigame vs Animation etc - All Discussion

  1. #1
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    LOCKPICKING - Minigame vs Animation etc - All Discussion

    Do you want a minigame or "time penalty" animation, or a bit of both? (Game for doors, animation for chests)
    I liked the TDS minigame even though it wasn't the most challenging, but can it become too
    tiresome?




    ___


    MODERATOR UPDATE/ JUNE 2013



    Originally Posted by DarknessFalls
    From IGN (E3 2013: Thief - Learning From a Master) - http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/...-from-a-master

  2. #2
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    I quite liked the TDS lockpicking

  3. #3
    Good question, and I wouldn't mind either way. There's something engaging about the DS way, but also quite distracting about it. They MUST reuse the old sounds! They were great

  4. #4
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    I thought of say, 4 lockpicks that you have to select the correct order, but that could get quite tiresome but include a "single use" master pick, that would break and be expensive to replace.

    Or go with the TDS concentric tumblers but have more or randomized "sweet spots".

    OR!! Have an animation for locks, but a real Safe combination minigame, that way you'd only get one, maybe two of these per level.

    To me, lockpicking would be a big part of a thief's life, but how much emphasis should it have in the game?

  5. #5
    This a topic that I can go either way on. But, as with any subsystem:

    1) If there's a minigame, it has to avoid breaking immersion. TDS actually did that fairly well, so kudos on that point.
    2) Whether there's an active minigame or a time-delay system ala T1 & T2, it needs to impact gameplay appropriately. For example, either way, it will take longer to open locked doors than unlocked ones--but if you have infinite time, that doesn't matter. So you need to set-up situations where taking too long can get you discovered; this is one reason I like Thief levels where blackjacking or killing the guard results in mission failure, since otherwise a lot of puzzles are reduced to 'take out all the guards first,' and the lockpicking is much less exciting.

    There were a number of excellent Thief 2 levels where you had to begin picking a lock, dart into the shadows when a guard passed by, and then resume picking the lock from where you left off. Thief 3 lost that aspect of it, but the minigame was interesting enough that I didn't mind so much.

    Blessed be,
    ~Nathan

  6. #6
    TDS lockpicking system was good for me. Without HUD of course — watching Garrett's hands is enough.

  7. #7
    I always thought a lockpicking mini-game would be a great adition to the game but when they actually did it in TDS something just didn't feel right.

    At first it seemed like an interesting approach but by the end of the game, if I recall correctly, I'd "learnt" the locks. It's been so long since I played through it but I'm sure there were only so many different solutions and you could figure out which one of them you were playing after the first few moves.

    Because of this lock picking became simple and unchallenging, which then made it into an irritation everytime I had to go through it. There was no tension as I could have a lock open in moments and I never had to worry about a guard catching me at it, but at the same time I still had to spend this time doing something that just wasn't fun.

    If they could randomise each lock so the sweet spots are at different angles then I'd probably be happy with the minigame being there, otherwise just take it back to how it was in Thief 1&2 because this...

    Originally Posted by NathanGPLC
    There were a number of excellent Thief 2 levels where you had to begin picking a lock, dart into the shadows when a guard passed by, and then resume picking the lock from where you left off.
    ... was great fun. Even though I was holding a key down on the board and watching the lock jostle back and forth, it was so tense because I was never sure how long it was going to take. I could hear guards approaching and I had to make a decision on whether to persist with the lock or whether I should get back into the shadows.

  8. #8
    Deadly Shadows' lockpicking system for the win, you can't have it any better, visually and functionally. I must admit, that the manual system of T1/2 was kind of interessting, because it was much more manual, you were more involved, add this aspect to T3's system and you got a winner.

    I can imagine that the right mouse button can operate the right hand that holds the one tool and the left mouse button operates the tool held in the left hand, learn to use this system and you can pick locks T3's style with more T1/2 manual involvement.

    Also, add the sounds as information (louder cracking sound means you're closer to success, for example), that way you can even use the mouse to look around while picking locks (don't remember how it was in T3, but in T1/2 the inability to check your flanks while picking locks was frustrating).

  9. #9
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    I always thought a lockpicking mini-game would be a great adition to the game but when they actually did it in TDS something just didn't feel right.

    At first it seemed like an interesting approach but by the end of the game, if I recall correctly, I'd "learnt" the locks. It's been so long since I played through it but I'm sure there were only so many different solutions and you could figure out which one of them you were playing after the first few moves.
    This is actually how it was meant to be. You are supposed to get better at the locks by memorising the different types. Granted, there should be more of them, and they should have more varied sweet spot positions. Maybe a bit of variation and playing with expectations - after the first two moves you think it's the same combination as usual, but the game throws you a curveball by having one of the tumblers set up differently. Should liven things up somewhat.

  10. #10
    I liked both ways.... the old engine made it more like Garrett was using HIS skills. The minigame was fun, too, but relied as much on the player's skills. One thing that I always felt was missing... and maybe I'm just incredibly unobservant, was the real risk in all three games wasn't sound, but sight. You were usually exposed to pick a lock for a certain amount of time, but I never got the impression that the guards could hear the grating sounds of metal. If you could be both seen and heard opening locks, that would add a great thrill.

    Also, why not up the ante? What if some locks are trapped now? The player might be given a subtle (or not so subtle, depending on the lock complexity) audio or visual clue that there is a trap. Garrett may then have to put away the lockpicks and trade them with a de-trapping tool, disarm the trap, switch back to the lockpicks and finish the job. While I wouldn't want this overused, it would raise the stakes in high risk areas.

  11. #11
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    What I found particularly disturbing about T3 was that there were 3 to 4 different types of locks in most levels and NO KEYS for most of them. That's ridiculous. How do the guards move around the house?!

  12. #12
    Thief DS minigame made it ridiculously easy to go through any lock in seconds.

    I liked the time delay in Thief 1 and 2.

    However, if they do go for a minigame, I'd sooner see something like Oblivion's lock picking where if you make a mistake you must start over (but no breaking lockpicks).

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Platinumoxicity
    What I found particularly disturbing about T3 was that there were 3 to 4 different types of locks in most levels and NO KEYS for most of them. That's ridiculous. How do the guards move around the house?!
    That's a good call, there. Sometimes, didn't it feel like you were in a game rather than in a mansion?

  14. #14
    T1 and 2 lockpicking style was one of the best aproaches I've seen. T3 could be nice, but the it wasn't chalanging. I remember pressing the arrow keys in random directions untill the tumbler (or whatever it was) started moving, and so on till the lock was unlocked. Even in golden locks it wasn't much challanging and I never fully memorised any lock. I just pressed keys.

    I think T3 system would be great if it:
    - had the left-hand/right hand control ability as in T1/T2.
    - had no lock HUD, so you must rely on sounds, lockpicks movement on touching tumblers and perhaps bit of luck too.
    - had more precise and diverging angles than it had (I always picked locks moving in angles of 90º and sometimes 45º, and I never raised them in my direction)
    - (the most important) allowed you to look around you while lockpicking (at least up to a 135º angle backwards, beyond that would make you stop lockpicking)

    Having more types of locks could be a good thing too, I guess. It would make you need more than one lockpicking kit. And, I dont know if the game has any realistic timespace, but combination locks exist since about the year 1309. There could be some in there too, maybe.
    You can hide, but you can't run.

  15. #15
    I despised the TDS lockpicking system, and do not want one for TH4F. If one is implemented, though, PLEASE (I beg you ) have the option for old-schoolers to just use the T2 way exactly. The T2 way was perfect for me. Some locks took longer to unlock than others; some used one lockpick, some used the other, some used a combo of both; the sounds were very satisfying and you could generally get a feel for making progress on the picking; and it was nice to just hold down the right mouse button to pick it. It was just the right amount of unpredictability also, so you never knew as you approached a lock how long you'd have to take to pick the lock. A lockpicking mini-game -- one that would be more than the T2 version or different than it -- would not be fun for me.

  16. #16
    If I were in their place I would stick to that one if I didn't have a much more satisfactory system than the one in T3. As a failure proof measure, it would be advisable if they just sticked to T2 style. It's indeed a much safer and pleasent aproach.

    But I still would like to see some more types of locks anyway. More variaty.
    You can hide, but you can't run.

  17. #17
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    I don't see how Thief 1 & 2's lockpicking system was "challenging." You held down the "use" button over a door and wait, switch pick, repeat until the door is open. Where's the challenge? Honestly, that's about as dumbed down as it gets. Deadly shadows atleast had some variety and the ability to improve your lockpicking skills through memorizing different locks based on their design and metal used. In all honesty, Thief 1 & 2's lockpicking feature was tedious, boring and lacked effort in its design. (Yes, I went there.)

    As for the option to switch Thief 4's lockpicking to TDP & TMA's style, I'm going to have to go with, "Absolutely not." Look, I'm glad we all think Thief 1 & 2 were good games, but holding onto dated aspects of the first two games like a life preserver does not help the franchise move forward and improve. If you don't think it can improve, then there is still PLENTY of high quality fan missions for Thief 1, Gold and 2 to go back and play. The first games in the series have one of the most devoted legacy gaming communities out there that constantly is pumping out high quality content.

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by Master Taffer
    I don't see how Thief 1 & 2's lockpicking system was "challenging." You held down the "use" button over a door and wait, switch pick, repeat until the door is open. Where's the challenge? Honestly, that's about as dumbed down as it gets. Deadly shadows atleast had some variety and the ability to improve your lockpicking skills through memorizing different locks based on their design and metal used. In all honesty, Thief 1 & 2's lockpicking feature was tedious, boring and lacked effort in its design. (Yes, I went there.)
    That's where you and I differ. I don't need the task of lockpicking "challenging" in that I get carpal tunnel trying to manipulate lockpicks. To me, it's fun enough to just hold the "use" button and wait. The game has so many other things to do and appreciate that a side game where I pick locks didn't seem necessary or desirable (to me). I guess the challenge in T2 is that guards might show up at any time, or they might hear me picking the lock... but that's enough for me; I don't need it to be a mini-game. It was boring in TDS because it was so mind-numbingly easy (not challenging at unless unless you consider the occasional 'suck into light, oops now I'm exposed' issue challenging).

    Originally Posted by Master Taffer
    As for the option to switch Thief 4's lockpicking to TDP & TMA's style, I'm going to have to go with, "Absolutely not." Look, I'm glad we all think Thief 1 & 2 were good games, but holding onto dated aspects of the first two games like a life preserver does not help the franchise move forward and improve. If you don't think it can improve, then there is still PLENTY of high quality fan missions for Thief 1, Gold and 2 to go back and play. The first games in the series have one of the most devoted legacy gaming communities out there that constantly is pumping out high quality content.
    I do go back and play T2 and fan missions, and all I'd want in a TH4F is Thief 2 in an updated game engine, new levels to explore, new missions to beat, an updated story, improved AI, updated graphics/physics/etc. I don't need oil flasks to make guards slip, climbing gloves, a lockpick mini-game, loot glint, locks in the center of doors, blue frob highlights, no swimming, no rope arrows, the latest/greatest graphics to the detriment of gameplay, or other new things to "help the franchise move forward." I feel it stands well on its own without the need to add a bunch of new features. For some reason, T2 just seemed to have an almost perfect balance of things I needed in a sneaker game.

  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by DarknessFalls
    That's where you and I differ. I don't need the task of lockpicking "challenging" in that I get carpal tunnel trying to manipulate lockpicks. To me, it's fun enough to just hold the "use" button and wait. The game has so many other things to do and appreciate that a side game where I pick locks didn't seem necessary or desirable (to me). I guess the challenge in T2 is that guards might show up at any time, or they might hear me picking the lock... but that's enough for me; I don't need it to be a mini-game. It was boring in TDS because it was so mind-numbingly easy (not challenging at unless unless you consider the occasional 'suck into light, oops now I'm exposed' issue challenging).
    And I think the term "mind-numbingly easy" is more apropos for Thief 2's lockpicking system, as it's simple "Point, click, hold." Obviously we differ very much, as I like to play fresh and new experiences very often.

    I do go back and play T2 and fan missions, and all I'd want in a TH4F is Thief 2 in an updated game engine, new levels to explore, new missions to beat, an updated story, updated graphics/physics/etc. I don't need oil flasks to make guards slip, climbing gloves, a lockpick mini-game, loot glint, locks in the center of doors, blue frob highlights, no swimming, no rope arrows, the latest/greatest graphics to the detriment of gameplay, or other new things to "help the franchise move forward."
    Then I'm going to be extremely frank with my next statement.

    You're never going to be happy with what EM puts out unless you get over your obsession with Thief 1 & 2 and your unmitigated hatred for Thief 3, because clutching onto Thief 2 like you seem to do is going to kill any possible fun you could concievably have with the next installment. If you want to latch onto the past for dear life, that's your own problem.

    I feel it stands well on its own without the need to add a bunch of new features. For some reason, T2 just seemed to have an almost perfect balance of things I needed in a sneaker game.

    Jim Rivers from Obsidian Entertainment said it best: "If you cling to the past by using outdated features and programs in this industry, you'll never make it far in the digital field." Keep your rose tinted glasses on if you want, they honestly will hurt you more in the long run.

    Case in point, I had huge problems playing Bioshock when it came out. I'de get ten minutes into the game and quit, wanting to play System Shock 2 instead since it did most of the things in the game "better." When I finally sat down and played Bioshock, I found an amazing experience that I couldn't believe I was passing up because I thought another game was better. While I still think System Shock 2 is a better game, I don't let it kill my experiences with other games anymore and I'm better for it. There's remembering the past and then there's holding onto it for dear life, the latter of which has serious drawbacks and reprecussions.

  20. #20
    I think the lock picking in thief deadly shadows was actually a good change of gameplay. At first it seemed way too easy after having played the first two games, but I like the way Garrett whips out the picks and gets started without you having to scroll through your items.
    The Many: What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm? What is a thought, compared to the mind? Our unity is full of wonder which your tiny individualism cannot even conceive

  21. TDS-style lockpicking all the way !

    But :
    - add more random sweet spots
    - give players looking for a higher difficulty the possibility to switch the HUD off in the game options, so lockpicking would feel even more challenging and realistic - only seeing Garrett's hands and relying on the sound of the tumblers

  22. #22
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    I liked both. So either way I'll be happy. Just so long as EM doesn't try something new and dumb.
    Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope.

  23. #23
    Originally Posted by GmanPro
    I liked both. So either way I'll be happy. Just so long as EM doesn't try something new and dumb.
    That's where I'm coming from
    The Many: What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm? What is a thought, compared to the mind? Our unity is full of wonder which your tiny individualism cannot even conceive

  24. #24
    Master Taffer: I hear you. T2's lockpicking system wasn't really designed to be challenging to do, so I'm okay with it. T3's, on the other hand, was turned into a mini-game, which implies a bit of an intent to make it challenging. The fact that T3's turned out to be mind-numbingly easy, imo, is only meant to say that if they were trying to make a mini-game, they didn't really succeed. You're right, T2's is mind-numbingly easy, but LGS wasn't really trying to make it a mini-game (thankfully, imo), and I like that it's mind-numbingly easy. I'm not looking for a lockpick game.

    When it's something I immensely enjoy, like Thief 2 (which has some faults that can be and I hope are improved), I fear it getting screwed up by trying to create something that deviates from the experience I enjoy. I had good hopes for T3, very excited. The final product was a let down. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but there were far too many things that were 'not right' or 'not as good as T2'. So I don't hate T3, but I don't ever have a desire to play it again due to its shortcomings.

    Latching onto T2 is what I feel I need to do, to help try and avoid a T3 experience again. It's the safe route to go for now.

    The Bioware quote (nay, you corrected -- Obsidian's quote) you gave is good ("If you cling to the past by using outdated features and programs in this industry, you'll never make it far in the digital field")... but in relation to T2, that game is easily updatable. EM can "make it in the digital field" without destroying the Thief gameplay experience we all know and love. And something tells me EM won't be using outdated programs (i.e., development kits from 1998) to make TH4F.

  25. #25
    a lockpick mini-game.
    You mean the practice locks you buy in the shops? That's not a mini game. There is no reward for doing it and it's not manditory.


    loot glint
    Yeah alright. It was a bit silly. But it helped sometimes. Because some of the loot would blend into the textures and it was annoying. It would have helped in T1...remember that gold ring against that yellow carpet?

    the latest/greatest graphics to the detriment of gameplay
    True. HOWEVER! we don't need today's games with 200+ poly's per character. Graphics help to some degree.

    For some reason, T2 just seemed to have an almost perfect balance of things I needed in a sneaker game.
    Then play Thief 2.
    I love to play my old games too..but if games in a series kept the same graphics, the same gameplay, the same everything. It in all honestly would be boring. I am not saying thief should throw out the old but it could improve on a couple of things. Thief 3 was a nice start. It wasn't great but it was a nice fresh start.

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