User:Jksgoten/Campaign Experiment

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This is jksgoten's experimental campaign project page.

Note: I always encourage constructive criticism. Please, if you have any comments or concerns, email me @ jeremonaim@hotmail.com. And make your subject 'L4D DON'T DELETE ME' or something easily noticeable. I tend to scan very quickly through junk email titles, and yours may get deleted. Or feel free to leave a comment in the discussion portion of this page.

**Project Goals**

I really want to focus on creating a realistic experience and encouraging players not just to win, but to get into the actual roleplaying of being a survivor in a zombie apocalypse. I realize the audience for this type of map may be small. But really, this map is for me and my friends, and to see if I can make the l4d engine do the unique things I want it to. I also realize that there are arguments on what makes l4d realistic, but these are my thoughts on what is realistic, at least in the map I am trying to create. Also, this map is intended to be played with human players in realism mode. I think it would be extremely difficult to play this map with bots.


Realism

-Heavy focus on using melee weapons

-VERY few guns

-Found guns have limited ammo(usually one clip)

-Barricading of doors/windows

-Exploring map to find items(weapons, ammo, healthkits, barricade materials)

-Realistic placing of items


Nonlinearity

-No distinct path to follow

-Exploration rewarded as well as punished

-Multiple saferooms

-Dynamic map


New Features

-Barricade creation system

-Injured Players have a chance of turning into Infected

-Nonsurvivor NPCs

-Dynamic map

-Cinematic moments


Changes to Infected

-Mix of slow and fast common

-Common killed only by headshots

-Less special infected

-Witch startled MUCH faster

-Epic Tank


Gameplay

-Scarcity of time and multiple goals encourage splitting up

-Scarcity of weapons encourages teams to stick close together

-Exploration highly rewarded



**Realism**

Melee Weapons

NEEDED: Weapons that destroy themselves after a certain amount of uses

Players are stripped of their pistols and equipped with melee weapons at the beginning of the map.

Ideally, I want to make tables and chairs breakable and you would pick up pieces of wood for melee weapons. And these would break after a certain amount of hits. Finding stronger, longer lasting melee weapons would be one goal for the survivors, but can always create more by destroying props. However I'm unsure if it's possible to make melee weapons that break after a certain amount of use.

Could you do destructible weapons using the same method that gives guns ammo? For example, give the melee weapon 20 ammo, and set it to only "fire" when it has ammo. When it has no ammo, replace it with a broken version.--Welsh Mullet 14:15, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Weapons

NEEDED: Weapons that start with only one clip and Ammo piles with limited supply

Weapons are found very rarely. Ideally, all players will have primary weapons only by maybe level 4.

Found weapons will only have one clip in them. Meant to be used out of desperation, not all the time.

There is a script for L4D1 that changes the amount of ammo in each clip. I believe somewhere there is something I can change to make guns carry less total ammo through use of either a script or plugin.

Take a look at [Mutation_Gametype_%28L4D2%29]. Based on what I saw in there it looks like you might be able to do that, though you'd have to find the right cvar, but it exists. I've played on servers where clip size was increased (128 spare shells for a shotgun instead of 90).--Draco18s 01:27, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Placement

Cabinets, dressers, fridges open to contain items. Houses must be extensively searched.



**Nonlinearity**

Multiple Saferooms

NEEDED: Further testing and tweaking of Director AI

I may or may not incorporate this. I made a simple map that had two different checkpoints. Although the bots did not work properly, after killing them and entering each safe room separately, I successfully changed levels to two different maps.

However the Director, I'm sure, will not function properly without a single escape route(or so I think). I will either need to figure out a way to control the Director, or perhaps take the Director out of the picture completely and set up my own random spawns(This would take a LOT of work to make maps nonredundant).

I think your best bet here is to create two routes that are significantly different that the dynamic pathing of the bots is forced to take over. Based on [User:Draco18s/Hedgerow#Split_the_Party|my experimentation] this should be doable. Perhaps add in an invisible func_door (_move_linear or _rotating) with the flag "blocks survivor pathing when closed" and close the door when the survivors move far enough down one route. I'd put it almost at the other safe room, so that if one bot does go the wrong way he won't get in the way.--Draco18s 01:41, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Dynamic Map

NEEDED: How to use global entities and their limitations

What is meant by "Dynamic" map is a map that will:

1. Be different each play through. For example, sometimes a tanker has exploded and blocks a street, or an entire building will be located somewhere else(This will be a noteable change as supplies will be found in certain places like hospitals and stores).

Very doable. There are two routes you could go: two or more point_template entities which forceSpawns a collection of objects triggered via a chooseRandom logic_case entity.
Alternatively you could look into the new L4D2 instancing that they added. You may be able to change the instantiated map at runtime through events. I haven't looked at it. This route would allow significantly greater freedom with regards to randomized routes at the expense of more work.--Draco18s 01:41, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

2. Changes during gameplay. For example, a tanker crashes into a building and blocks a previously accessible pathway. Buildings fall apart, catwalks fall, etc...

This would be very difficult to pull off in such a way that the players still have routes available to them. Bots particularly might be prone to pathing issues. That said, it is possible to modify routes at runtime, the easiest method is doing it off-screen (where the players can't see). I recall, but am unable to find, a video someone made of a maze for HL2 that would reconfigure itself outside of the player's view. I found it way back when I was doing my tests of level randomization.
In any case, the dynamic pathing of the survivor bots is robust enough to handle this type of mapping much better than L4D1.--Draco18s 01:41, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

**New Features**

Barricades

NEEDED: Everything

There is a mod that enables the user to place a wide variety of objects anywhere they want in the map. I may tweak this a bit if breakable barricades can be constructed as well as a way to limit how many barricades can be made based on found materials.

If that fails to work out, I may just make planks of would collectible using the gas cans model. However, this would require a lot of work for each entryway.

Definitely doable. Were you the one I supplied an example VMF to over the L4DMappers mailing list?--Draco18s 01:43, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Also ran into this today.--Draco18s 22:42, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Survivor Turns Infected

NEEDED: Figure out the more delicate details of creating scripts that can do this

May or may not incorporate this. What I want is to create a situation where a player will know hes going to turn into an infected soon, and has to make the choice of either telling his teammates so they can kill him before he turns, or waiting until he turns and trying to kill his teammates. The idea is, if his teammates kill him, he will never come back unless they have a defib(very limited). This means that player will not be able to do anything for a long time. But if he decides to wait and become an infected, he can continue playing by killing the survivors.

I believe this is possible. I saw a script that was able to force players to change to the infected side.



NPCs

NEEDED: Figure out how to do this

May or may not incorporate this. Computer AIs can be found that will either be hostile or friendly. I believe I saw a script that was able to create NPCs, but I'm unsure. I'm also equally unsure if NPC's can be created that will shoot the players.

I thought it may be interesting to have a crazed gun store owner that shoots at you if you come near his store. but if you get in or kill him there are guns and ammo and what not.

Father Grigori AI? And having the shop owner guard his shop could be built up from this tutorial (Or at least used as inspiration) NPC guards area. --Welsh Mullet 14:19, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Cinematic Moments

By this, I hope to create some moments that are staged. And I know it's against general policy to create set in stone moments. But there's a lot of really cool things you can do that just won't happen randomly. Some moments I want to create, for example, are a long catwalk that is

[Message Redacted] ;) --Draco18s 01:42, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

**Infected Changes**

Common

NEEDED: Look at scripts to figure out how to do this

Might make them slower to accommodate use of melee weapons. I either want a mix of fast and slow infected, or they become gradually faster and faster as the game progresses. I'm thinking a mix of fast and slow may not be possible.

I also want them to only be killed by headshots, like zombies are supposed to be killed.



Special

I think I might leave specials alone. People might complain that having only melee weapons makes special infect very hard to fight. But they're pretty easy to fight if the survivors stick close together and act quickly. The only real problems I could see are boomers, chargers, and smokers. Chargers aren't so bad, it just kinda sucks that when they are disoriented after charging and hitting a wall, they can still hit you. Smokers shouldn't be so bad either, it's part of the challenge. And boomers, well, it encourages teamwork, having one person kill the boomer and then the others protect him.



Witch

NEEDED: Look at scripts to figure out how to do this

I think the witch is ridiculously easy to avoid. So I want her to become startled faster by those walking around her, and almost instantly if a flashlight is shown on her.



Epic Tank

NEEDED: Look at scripts to figure out how to do this Tank becomes more of an epic boss that early on(the first four levels), you just have to run away from and build barricades to slow it down. Will appear in and out of levels depending on what's going on. Then in the finale, you fight him. He will have a lot more health. Possibly moves faster, and cannot incap on one hit.