Improving Search

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Sabin Stargem
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Improving Search

Post by Sabin Stargem » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:26 am

I feel that searching could be improved so that it is more informative and nicer to look at. Performing a search right now creates a small yellow circle, which expands for a while throughout the search. This isn't as intuitive as it could be, since it doesn't tell you what places have been searched already.

I think that pressing the "search" button should make the world turn red. This color indicates places the player hasn't searched at all. As the search progresses, the player would have a yellow or green aura expanding from the searching character, with Yellow indicating a place that has been quickly searched, while Green means that place has thoroughly searched. Some objects take longer to be searched, like cars, while others won't, such as the floor quickly turning green. Objects with items or something of note get a royal-blue outline while Search is engaged. The spread of the aura could be contained to a single room when inside a building, but in open areas like the outdoors or Haymakers, it covers a large but limited area.

In my opinion, this would make it quicker and easier for the player to search, without detracting from gameplay.

boris2k
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Re: Improving Search

Post by boris2k » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:41 am

i think you'll find your lack of such memory would lead to your quick demise.

Sabin Stargem
Posts: 157
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Re: Improving Search

Post by Sabin Stargem » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:38 pm

One of the issues that I am hoping for this to help resolve is when searching doesn't quite "click". One such example is in one of the pawnshops where I could sometimes find items on two shelves that are across from other. Searching between the two, I sometimes have to adjust myself slightly in order to make my search effective. This is why I suggested that a search should cover most or all of an room when the button is held down. The aura spreading represents the abstraction of the search being done throughout the area, as opposed to the current model where it is done within a very small circumference around the player.

Essentially, I wanted to make the search look more attractive and simplified without harming gameplay.

boris2k
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:05 pm

Re: Improving Search

Post by boris2k » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:09 pm

meh, i find it simulates rummaging through refuse quite well, i know i've had to look twice in RL on some occasions.

Sabin Stargem
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:13 am

Re: Improving Search

Post by Sabin Stargem » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:57 am

I will give an example. Let's say you are in a church, standing by the lectern. Starting up the search process, the search circle forms around your character and expands outwards, the area closest to you becoming green as your character thoroughly searches nearby areas, while outer fringes of the search is Yellow, displaying that a quick but not accurate search was done. Objects like the lectern, pews, and organ are harder to search, so it takes them longer to be quickly or thoroughly checked when compared to the floor. However, distant objects and areas take longer to search as well. Over time, the entire church can be searched.

Supposing someone hid a backpack beneath one of the pews, the current system of searching would make players decide that it isn't fun nor effective to do a search, since we have to get next to a pew, do a search, and then repeat the process many times over. However, the Aura Search that I suggest allows the entire church to be searched, though it will take time - however, there is no need to finagle and perfectly place yourself to find things by trial and error. I feel this reduces frustration when odd stuff happens, by abstracting the process. Furthermore, AI companions are not very good at searching, since they do not home in on likely locations. So instead, the Aura Search could them to go towards areas in the current room that haven't been thoroughly searched.


In addition to this, I think this concept can be combined with two more ideas in my skull. Currently, there are shelves, objects, and so on that look like they contain something in Fort Zombie but don't, which has been given an explanation by Kerberos that not everything is necessarily pristine. With this in mind, it occurred to me that people who are experienced with certain classes of objects would be able to recognize duds, makeshifts, and brand-new items. For example, someone with Carpentry skill would be able to figure out if a chainsaw is in good condition, or figure out that most of it is in good shape but needs a new cutting chain. Essentially, you find more items if you have abilities relating to what you are looking for. Doctors know what medicines are needed, soldiers understand the difference from a display rifle to that of a genuine article, ect.

I believe that principle could be further expanded by one more step, by having each item, such as shotguns, chainsaws, to have two or three parts, which are in varying conditions. So an experienced gunman can take a look at a shotgun and say "The barrel and stock are busted, but the pump is good, I bet we can use that for the other shotgun we have." Basically, the idea isn't to seek items that are in one piece (though preferable), but to collect components to make an working item.



Summing up:

1 - Aura Search speeds up searching and allows more hiding places for items, makes searching more attractive visually, while making searches simpler to execute.

2 - Analyze is the ability for a character to use their skills to identify items and their condition, which allows for Components. This means that it is important to bring people who are relevant to your current mission if you want to find certain objects.

3 - Components is the idea that you can break down an item into various pieces, figure out which are salvageable, and then combine them with compatible bits to make a working object.


Most of these ideas are probably most suited for an expansion or sequel to Fort Zombie, but I think they are worth considering because they add variety or make it easier for the player to interact with the game.

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RobAK801
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Re: Improving Search

Post by RobAK801 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:15 am

So basically you want to stand in one spot and hold the button until the whole room (regardless of the room's size) has been "thoroughly searched". Nice application of Handwavium there, the current system is very realistic, in that you can only really search within arms reach or just a little further. I don't like your suggestion very much as it would actually make the game less real and fun for me.
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rivergiles
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Re: Improving Search

Post by rivergiles » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:53 am

RobAK801 wrote:So basically you want to stand in one spot and hold the button until the whole room (regardless of the room's size) has been "thoroughly searched". Nice application of Handwavium there, the current system is very realistic, in that you can only really search within arms reach or just a little further. I don't like your suggestion very much as it would actually make the game less real and fun for me.


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AlanF5
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Re: Improving Search

Post by AlanF5 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:02 pm

RobAK801 wrote:So basically you want to stand in one spot and hold the button until the whole room (regardless of the room's size) has been "thoroughly searched". Nice application of Handwavium there, the current system is very realistic, in that you can only really search within arms reach or just a little further. I don't like your suggestion very much as it would actually make the game less real and fun for me.
I'm okay with the suggestion, but I would do it a little different, I guess. I'd expect it to be stopped by walls, closed doors, stairs, and property boundaries (imagining coding and debugging this makes me cry). I'd expect it to be inturrupted if it reached a functional zombie. I might have the rate of expansion slow as it got bigger.

On the other hand, I don't mind the system as-is either.
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U.E.D.C.
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Re: Improving Search

Post by U.E.D.C. » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:16 pm

I like the idea of getting feedback as to how well you've searched something, but not for the whole room, I would say introducing a similar system to colour code the objects within the search area would be helpful, though I can see how it could also potentially detract from realism.

As for the quality of components and analyzing, A more practical approach, I would think, would be to take slightly damaged goods back to base and X# of hours with a skilled indivdual would be needed to get it working, ie an assignment like Nurse.
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AlanF5
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Re: Improving Search

Post by AlanF5 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:23 pm

U.E.D.C. wrote: take slightly damaged goods back to base and X# of hours with a skilled indivdual would be needed to get it working, ie an assignment like Nurse.
I like that.
Download my zombie outbreak mini-sim: unfortunately, it's not Fort Zombie.

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