Project Van Buren

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Hardboiled Wanderer, Jul 10, 2018.

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  1. ironmask

    ironmask A Smooth-Skin

    619
    Mar 10, 2018
    By far the best VB remake so far. It's amazing how accurate this is to the tech demo. Looks completely professional.
     
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  2. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    156
    Apr 24, 2016
    Thank you. The combat is still pretty clunky but it will get better, I just a need a solid and properly tested base to be able to build upon it.
     
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  3. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
  4. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    It's almost as if real time and turn based combat doesn't really mash with each other.
     
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  5. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    Yup, for a fan project I really think he should just pick one and stick with it rather than try to develop two separate systems.
     
  6. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    156
    Apr 24, 2016
    All due respect, at this point I'm not interested in blabbing about how it can't or shouldn't be done. If you think having two combat systems is a bad/useless/impossible thing, I respect your opinion, yet I don't agree with it and I'll keep on working according to my preference.

    I already solved much bigger stumbling blocks of TB -> RT conversion than this (not on my own most of the time, I have to admit), so I'm gonna concentrate on finding a way of doing it rather than discussing the reasons.
     
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  7. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    Well, good luck with that then.
     
  8. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    The point of TB combat is to have the time to evaluate the situation and choose the best action for that moment in time.
    The point of RT combat is frenetic thrill, and to make the best action you can manage in the time allotted; mistakes and all.

    RT == Tetris
    TB == Jigsaw puzzle.

    No the two don't mix, and only TB was intended in Fallout. In fact... the dev team was pressured to make it RT; as Diablo had released to great approval.

    *Diablo had been turn based initially, and the change made it a different game—which they liked, and went with. With Fallout, the combat engine came [was developed] first, and was designed around GURPS. GURPS is turn based.



    Early on, Fallout had 14 called shot targets.
    GURPS.jpg

    Making a Real Time [spin-off] of Fallout is not wrong per se, but it is akin to making a turn based version of Myth:The Fallen Lords; it goes against premise.

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
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  9. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    There are at least some games with both real-time and turn-based combat and it could be interesting to see how they handle this particular issue. I don't know myself.

    If I recall correctly you can switch between RT and TB at any time in the recent Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Then you have Fallout: Tactics and Arcanum that let's you switch between the different combat modes in the options panel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  10. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    And Arcanum combat was terrible. Pretty much the worst part of the game. :deal:


    Don't remember when equip animations are played anyways. They are unnecessary when changing items in the inventory interface, and while in combat they can just run if nothing is conflicting with them.
    If we take the Arcanum example again, you can never change your gear outside of the inventory, thus there are never animations for the switch.

    Can't rember how it was in Tactics. My guess is it was taking action points or just player time. However, due to the garbage combat in Tactics, players are just hiding behind a corner anyways, blasting stupid AI that comes around. Pretty sure nobody ever switched to 2nd hand weapons while that twitch-combat was running.
     
  11. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos A Smooth-Skin

    642
    May 12, 2020
    To answer your Twitter post, it seems to me that the obvious solution is to include equip animations in TB but remove them for RT, as to not disrupt the flow of RT combat. If you really want consistency between TB and RT then just don’t include equip animations at all. In my opinion you really shouldn’t sweat the small stuff like this, just go with the path of least resistance for simplicity’s sake. Equip animations don’t really matter in the long run. Attack and death animations are where it’s at.

    <Insert obligatory rant explaining why real-time combat sucks in a fallout game blah blah blah>
     
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  12. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    156
    Apr 24, 2016
    It may serve well for your argument, yet this oversimplification is not quite the entire picture. There is a difference between, as you put it, frenetic thrill of more action-packed crawling games where a skill (quick eyes & hands, reflexes, acting under pressure) is what creates the player experience, and RPGs with real-time-with-pause system where the thrill is pretty much watered down with the ability to pause and the player experience is, very much as in turn-based system, built around knowledge of the game's rules and mechanics and the slow-paced, thought-through strategy, and not the DPI of your mouse or a gaming chair.

    Looking at both systems (turn-based and real-time-with-pause) with these lenses, they are not all that different at the core. They can provide fairly similar gameplay moment for the player, differing only in technical/practical properties.

    Downside of the TB is that as the difficulty and complexity of the combat scales, it becomes progressively more time consuming. However, what it does really good is maintaining the full control over actions and resources at all times, regardless of the difficulty or complexity. This is where real-time has its flaw - every time your character is idling due to your in/late-action, it's putting you in a disadvantage NPCs, controlled by strict AI logic, can't experience. Yet what real-time does better is saving time in low and mid difficulty encounters that usually last unnecessarily long in TB.

    These might be some of the trade-offs in technical/practical properties of both systems. Systems that may be built around the same design, intending quite similar experience.

    Dungeons & Drangons is a turn-based TT RPG, yet the most popular CRPGs based on this role-playing system utilize real-time-with-pause. So there is no such thing as "game X is only intended for system Y". Role-playing systems are rulesets, games/combat systems are executors of those rules. The only thing that matters in the end is the player experience created by these two.

    It is true there were commercial/marketing implications behind Van Buren introducing both TB and RT system. However, it does not disprove nor invalidate the possibility of implementing RT combat into a Fallout game.

    A statement like this used to be a mantra in the IPLY boards back in 2002-2003 and I just can't wrap my mind around this no matter how much I try. Even if I ignored my own argumentation stated above that disproves the position of game system's purpose or "principle", the sentiment that Van Buren is taking something out of the franchise is just not valid. The turn-based combat is still there and the system design is actually using it as base even for RT (deriving RT as an analogy of TB). The real-time-with-pause is only added as an optional choice.

    If anybody, for whatever reason or personal preference (which I, as a game developer, humbly respect even if it sometimes causes harm to my mental well-being), dislikes RT combat - just don't play it. Play TB instead. That's why there's an option. And yes - now you can start the discussion about how it will influence level and encounter design, how the compromises in favor of either system will screw up gameplay for the other system, etc., etc. Be my guest, as that actually might turn into a meaningful discussion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
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  13. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    Couldn't RT and TB be allowed to differ in this regard? What would happen if you keep the equip animations for RT? It would just change the time-management aspect as you mention. But is that wrong? What are the real consequences?
     
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  14. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    156
    Apr 24, 2016
    Well, it's probably just me being an annoying purist when it comes to system design.

    Let's assume we leave equip animations in RT. There isn't actually anything bad happening in RT as a result. Say you're attacking a creature, hit the pause, open the inventory, equip a different weapon, close inventory, unpause. Assuming we'd use an implemetation similar as the one used in Neverwinter Nights, the equip action will be queued into action queue, so it will wait for any ongoing (already issued) action, execute itself, and the combat logic may continue (meaning - attacking again). APs may still regenerate while equipping (essentially considering equip as an idle state), so the player is not losing this resource either. The only cost is the short period of combat "idling" (not attacking), postponing your next attack, which, in RT, is always a drawback, yet (I think) it makes sense for RT in general. So, it is fine as long as RT is considered in my book.

    The only problem I see is that in TB, equipping does not have ANY cost at all. While having a turn, you can basically shuffle your weapons around (between two "hand" slots, or in the inventory, although opening the inventory has an AP cost) all you want and it will not influence your next action in any way, no drawback, not a bit of it. And that is not analogous, which is pretty much the only thing that bugs me here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  15. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    Since your project isn't commercial like Arcanum was- you don't have any deadlines, so you can tinker with both combat modes until they're good. Having 2 options to choose from is always better in my opinion.

    Just don't repeat the mistake of Kingmaker- combat encounters were designed with RT in mind and are a massive slog in TB.

    Regarding equip animations:
    add an extra box in options and allow the player to choose.
    Some RT players might prefer to have them on, even if they cause a slight delay in combat. Some TB players might turn them off, even if they have no impact on TB combat.
    To avoid having to tinker with the settings every time someone switches combat modes you could make separate options for both combat modes.
     
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  16. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    156
    Apr 24, 2016
    Indeed. Level and encounter design in a game that utilizes two combat systems (that are also interchangable) is a challenge. In fact, I consider it far more challenging than just TB -> RT system/rules conversion.

    Regarding your suggestion - yes, that is definitely a way. I'd personally like to avoid using settings for this, as there's an overhead of having to communicate it to the players (what this setting does, how it influences gameplay). Not all players understand the designed system as thoroughly as the hardcore players (or developers). But, if it turns out to be unavoidable, well, it'd be a solution.
     
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  17. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    I've been playing a lot of Fallout lately and I'm really tired of the weapons holster animation. If you could disable it I would be glad.
     
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  18. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    RT/w pause and turn based are not at all the same thing.

    If you meant Baldur's Gate series when you mentioned the popular D&D game, know that under the hood, they implement individual combat rounds for each combatant. Each character/creature in the fight has a loop that acts when their time to act [turn] comes along in their internal combat round. The player has no idea when that will be.

    Also this introduces an unfortunate side effect that the engine will determine a hit even as the projectile leaves the attacker; the engine animates the projectile to the target—even as it moves out of the line of flight, causing curve-ball stones, and [heat] seeking arrows that twist and change trajectory as the target dodges.

    The real world delay for the player is not the relevant comparator for the two combat systems. In turn based combat, the player is afforded the hindsight of all that has occurred before their turn to act; and they can use that to decide. More importantly they can visualize the consequence (in sequence) of their next action... This is not the case in RT combat, because no action is guaranteed to have happened by the time they have acted.

    It is not so simple as having a delay put between actions; the core intent of experience is different between TB and RT, and RT/w pause—each apart from the other. None succeeds at the other's intended experience.

    In a [very loose] way, RT/w pause is similar to phase based combat (the kind seen in Bard's Tale & Wasteland) due to the nature of the combatants all declaring their initial intent of action, but with no set order of operation. As with BT & WL, the BG characters can embark on their attack, only to have their target die before they get there—this cannot happen in turn based combat; happens all the time in phase based, and in real time systems.

    The experience matters, yes; the RT experience is the wrong experience, and that's what matters most. Bethesda's FO games can never be proper Fallout games for this reason by itself, despite the many other reasons.

    Mechanics matter. A turn based Myth:TFL for instance, would destroy the intended experience of the game—no matter how well designed and implemented; it's simply the wrong gameplay. RT is wrong for Fallout.

    A false choice, unless the entire list of encounters is rebalanced for each game mode. Just consider an encounter between a lone PC and four (or five?) Enclave, where under the real time system they all fire in unison; and again, and again.
     
  19. Matt Drax

    Matt Drax Smart Ass

    168
    Sep 4, 2010
    There's already a function in sFall since ages: change InstantWeaponEquip to 1 in ddraw.ini
     
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  20. Kassidy

    Kassidy First time out of the vault

    1
    Apr 29, 2022
    is there a download link available?