To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

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To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rex Claussen » Sat Jul 08, 2017 23:40

Someone in the ZDooM forums asked: "Is the ichy really not possible to remake into gzdoom?" To which, Nigel said:
Enjay wrote:I don't know if Ed has come up with anything but the problem I've had with water based enemies in the past is keeping them in the water.

I know that you can do a water level check in their code and force them down if they start to rise above the water surface. However, if they have also been given a lost-soul-like charge attack, I found that they could move so fast that they could throw themselves out of the water onto the shore and then they would end up stuck on the beach because their code was then trying to push them down into a solid floor. No matter how I tried to tweak it, I couldn't come up with a combination that would keep them in the water in any and every mapping situation.

If you are prepared to forego allowing them in any body of water and only use them in areas of a map where rising above the water is impossible (e.g. underwater tunnels) or where stepping onto a beach cannot happen, then it's easy to use them.
To that end, I am starting this discussion to decide if this enemy ought to be added, and if so, what kind of gameplay situation we should develop.

I think the 2 key issues are: Is Ed the Bat willing to create the behavior for this creature, and can we adequately address the limitations identified by Nigel. As for the limitations, we can address them via map-specific constraints - refer to Map21 of Paranoiac, where the "pools" are mostly covered by a layer of shale or rock. In any new maps we'd need to provide some underwater cover - either rock pillars, or alcoves where the ichy can't enter.

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Ed the Bat » Sun Jul 09, 2017 19:41

I am certainly willing to import the model for this creature, and lay a basic groundwork for its behavior. I don't know if I could make him 100% authentic to Half-Life, but I think I could make something that works. However, putting in the effort will be contingent on if we really want/need the monster at all. If it would actually make a significant impact to the game, or if there's simply enough desire from the team and/or user base, I'll do it. If there's no real interest, however, it would be mostly wasted work.

In short, I'm willing to do the work, but I will wait to begin until a consensus is reached on if the monster is actually wanted.

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Enjay » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:58

I think it would be nice to have at least one area where a water-based battle happened. I remember the Ichthyosaur posing a significant threat in the dam level of the original HL. (Mind you, I also remember it being really annoying - so maybe it's not such a great idea :P )

However, I wouldn't want it to be in every pool of water where it would just become a dull routine of "it's a pool of water, oh well, I guess I'm going to fight an Ichthyosaur again then".

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rachael » Mon Jul 10, 2017 13:59

I think the mod did just fine without it. Just because something is "cool to have" doesn't mean it's a "should have".

But if it's used carefully and properly, it can't hurt to have it, either.
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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rex Claussen » Mon Jul 10, 2017 14:48

Summing up, it sounds like everyone here is ambivalent (like me) about having the ichthyosaur. I agree that we shouldn't have it in there just for the sake of having a new enemy or because it's cool. Accordingly, my recommendations would be the following:

1. Do nothing right now, and focus on the other priorities.
2. Later, if there is still interest, we can resume this discussion.

Keep in mind that if we include this enemy, we'll need to create a custom (possibly, water-based) map to accommodate it. The way I map, it could be several weeks or a couple of month before I develop something worthwhile. [How about modifying Nigel's WaterLab?]

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Enjay » Mon Jul 10, 2017 16:31

Rex Claussen wrote: 1. Do nothing right now, and focus on the other priorities.
2. Later, if there is still interest, we can resume this discussion.
Seems good to me.
Rex Claussen wrote: Keep in mind that if we include this enemy, we'll need to create a custom (possibly, water-based) map to accommodate it. The way I map, it could be several weeks or a couple of month before I develop something worthwhile. [How about modifying Nigel's WaterLab?]
I'm not sure that it would need a whole new map. There are plenty of caves, caverns and what have you already in the game. Surely a new area could be added to one, or merely an existing area altered so that a must-cross pool was deep enough to house the ichthyosaur?

Not sure if the Waterlab suggestion was serious but, if it was, I think it would require an awful lot of work to make it fit in with the mod and, when it comes down to it, its watery but not really flooded in the way it would need to be.

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by The Ultimate DooMer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 23:29

Enjay wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:58
I think it would be nice to have at least one area where a water-based battle happened. I remember the Ichthyosaur posing a significant threat in the dam level of the original HL. (Mind you, I also remember it being really annoying - so maybe it's not such a great idea :P )
It won't be as big a threat here though, as you have all the weapons to choose from. (unless HL's choice of only beretta/crossbow when underwater is implemented ofc)

And yeah, it would be best used as a mini-boss for one or two areas at most.

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Ed the Bat » Mon Jul 17, 2017 23:34

The Ultimate DooMer wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 23:29
(unless HL's choice of only beretta/crossbow when underwater is implemented ofc)
It is. I believe it was you who suggested we follow that convention.

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rex Claussen » Tue Jul 18, 2017 13:39

Ed the Bat wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 23:34
It is.
Whaaaaaat? That's YUUUUUGE! (I keep saying that whenever I discover something new that Ed the Bat & Rachael have done).

Any chance that you or Rachael can keep a running tally of all the significant changes since the release of Paranoiac on March 31? You can post on the Team-only forum that Rachael had set up. Thx.

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rachael » Wed Jul 19, 2017 18:07

Unfortunately that's a big project since the list of changes is quite extensive. Github has the complete list available though - if you click on "commits" you can browse entire pages worth of change lists.

That's way too big of a project for me to want to maintain it constantly, so I am going to just say - use Github. Sorry. >_< (But now you can see one clear advantage of Git - it allows for much more rapid updates)

https://github.com/drdteam/paranoidiac/commits/master
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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rex Claussen » Thu Jul 20, 2017 0:54

Actually, I have been going into GitHub periodically. I was really asking for a listing of the major changes. But no worries, as I'll just scroll down and review stuff. I might undertake to list the major changes if I have the time. (Although, in the absence of "official" updates for the public, this effort seems somewhat wasted.)

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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rachael » Thu Jul 20, 2017 20:34

I suggested unveiling the project to the public to Ed the Bat but he seemed pretty ambivalent to the idea (really not strongly opposing or supportive), and I didn't want to push it. I think his work is definitely worthy of being shown off, though. ;)

Ed the Bat would know more about the most "major" stuff but in general it's a transition from DECORATE (and a tiny bit of the ACS as well) to ZScript plus the new models, plus some map tweaks.
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Re: To Ichthyosaur or Not to Ichthyosaur?

Post by Rex Claussen » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:01

I did spend some time looking over the changes, and the amount of work that you two have put in is impressive.

As far as an announcement goes, we should leave it up to Ed. When he's ready he'll let us know, I'm sure.

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