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vdgg

Seeing monsters' back at the start = unrealistic?

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Inspiration: Watching Heretic's FDAs covering Speed of Doom. Many maps begin with entire armies "asleep", all the monsters facing such directions so that they don't see the player.

Hope you know what I mean. The same thing with the famous troopers in Doom II, MAP01 or sergeants in Memento Mori, MAP01.

For me it was always kind of absurd when a map starts this way:
- the monsters don't just stand still. They "breathe".
- what are they doing? taking a rest?
- how come the player always arrives in a map silently and occupies the very spot where the monsters don't see him?

I hope another fascinating discussion about realism in Doom emerges.

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Well, Yeah it's a bit silly looking at times. But I usually do it so the player can survey their predicament at the start of the map. Not getting instantly attacked. Also, realism has no place in doom. :p

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kristus said:

Well, Yeah it's a bit silly looking at times. But I usually do it so the player can survey their predicament at the start of the map. Not getting instantly attacked. Also, realism has no place in doom. :p

Those are good points; I feel silly for not having thought of them, now.

I still think their usage in MAP01 and MAP02 is a bit wonky though :P

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Maybe the Demon master told them to guard the entryway but didn't specify which entryway to guard. Maybe they are too dumb to turn around after being told what to guard... No, no-one could be THAT silly.


Skip to 1:55.

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Right.

Welcome to DOOM, a lightning-fast virtual reality adventure where you're the toughest space trooper ever to suck vacuum. Your mission is to shoot your way through a monster-infested holocaust. Living to tell the tale if possible.


Does this sound realisitc to anyone? ;-)

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I've always assumed that's done to give the player a glimpse of their standby frames (which are lackluster compared to other games' which actually have waiting graphics. The spiderdemon's "patiently waiting" foot tap is hilarious though).

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I always imagined that the zombiemen in map 2 were simply working the equipment that adorned the walls, and for that reason did not notice the player. Was more amusing that way. I had no excuse for the dudes in the first map however.

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I suppose it is somewhat silly looking, but I love it to be honest. Inferno's Unholy Cathedral stuck in my mind largely because of the use of "inert" monsters, adding to the ghastly atmosphere of the level, and I guess if you're looking for a kind of explanation as to why they're even in that position to start with, generally speaking, it's probably only down to their not having expected the player. In MAP01 the player might be considered to be sneaking round the back entrance (the grate behind the player where the chainsaw resides bars off any feasible entry point). With MAP02, similarly, the monsters have not yet been alerted to your presence. Actually, at the onset of each new episode in Doom II (Factory, Nirvana) there is a certain air of having arrived unnoticed.

With Speed of Doom though it's probably just as Kristus noted: "surveying the predicament".

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Replace "Alice" and "Bob" with the names of your two favorite id Software peoples:

"Okay, Bob, we want the player to be able to start shooting as soon as the game begins."
"But, Alice, we don't want the player to be attacked at once without giving him time to Get Psyched!"
"Okay, Bob, here's what we'll do then: the player is surrounded by monsters, but these monsters are turning their back to him so it's the player that has the initiative of the first shot."
"Alice, you're a genius!"

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By now the first level that springs to mind is THE INMOST DENS III, guess where from, Hell Revealed 2.

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Also, swinging your fist in the air will cause them to wake up, while carrying a powered-up chainsaw around will not.

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Let alone that cyberdemons have too realistic looking and cute butts, and that you can kill them by punching them in the asscheeks about 200 times, which seems ridicolous for a towering 4 meter muscled beast.

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fraggle said:

Also, swinging your fist in the air will cause them to wake up, while carrying a powered-up chainsaw around will not.


FALCON PUNCH!

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lupinx-Kassman said:

I always imagined that the zombiemen in map 2 were simply working the equipment that adorned the walls, and for that reason did not notice the player. Was more amusing that way. I had no excuse for the dudes in the first map however.


I always imajined that too, as well as the Zombiemen in the SShotgun room, how they all faced walls (even though some of them were quite bare, so they were probaly just marveling at Human engineering :P )

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fraggle said:

Also, swinging your fist in the air will cause them to wake up, while carrying a powered-up chainsaw around will not.

An air punch implies hostile intent (the intent to punch something good) whereas a revving chainsaw only suggests at best that you might want to cut down a tree. They don't want to be mistaken so they give you the benefit of the doubt ;)

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By habit I've always made my maps (with the exception of Motornerve) to have monsters not be able to see the player right from the start. When I first really got into doom, meaning playing through megawads, I played JDoom on a shoddy laptop using 3D models. All the 3D models and dynamic lighting took a good bit of time to load and often made the start of every map very choppy and kicked the frame rate around 3 FPS. So whenever I completed a level, I was greeted with revenants punching my face off for the first 30 seconds and not being able to do anything about it.

I detested when maps started this way so I always made sure to give the player a safe place to start in even though with the PC I have now I wouldn't be bothered by this, I still do it.

I don't usually start my maps off where monsters can be seen, but when I do, I certainly make them face the opposite direction. It's not so much the realism as much as it is the map author tactically placing monsters in a way that would make the best experience for the player.

Often times having monsters face the opposite direction at the start of a map will trick the player into thinking this map will be a breeze, when firing upon them ultimately wakes up all the hard monsters scattered around, or activates teleport ambushes, etc.

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I agree that the idle animations look silly.

However, I think the monsters with their backs to you can work well. I've played a number of maps where you appear surrounded by monsters. As you look around, you have a chance to try and figure out what to do and, if it is done well, it also carries an element of "awww shit, we're into it now" with it.

MAP01 is fair enough to me and works quite well. (Where has the player come from anyway? There is only a fence behind him.)

MAP02, however, even if you assume the enemies are looking at the computers, has less need to have "sleeping" monsters at the start IMO.

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Ahcruna said:

I always thought for the original maps that the monster standing there was purely done so that your 486 wouldn't have to load so much when the map was loaded =p
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IsJerB_G6w

That actually has no impact whatsoever on how long it takes to load the level :) The work done per thing is a spawn and a sprite precache, and these will happen regardless of which direction the enemies face. Because the initial spawnstate's codepointer is not called, enemies run no actions until at least their first entry into P_MobjThinker on the first gametic. Once they do this however, there is still a constant average cost per mobj_t calling a given function.

For example, A_Look may cost as much or even more to call if you're looking at a wall in the distance as it costs to call if the player is in view. The time complexity behavior of looking for a target is stochastic, meaning it depends on the structure of the input - in this case, the REJECT lump and the linedefs and sectors :)

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Quasar said:

That actually has no impact whatsoever on how long it takes to load the level :) The work done per thing is a spawn and a sprite precache, and these will happen regardless of which direction the enemies face. Because the initial spawnstate's codepointer is not called, enemies run no actions until at least their first entry into P_MobjThinker on the first gametic. Once they do this however, there is still a constant average cost per mobj_t calling a given function.

For example, A_Look may cost as much or even more to call if you're looking at a wall in the distance as it costs to call if the player is in view. The time complexity behavior of looking for a target is stochastic, meaning it depends on the structure of the input - in this case, the REJECT lump and the linedefs and sectors :)


thanks for clarifying =)
good to know

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It also serves to make the player wake up everyone around the corner, which works really well in map01

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_bruce_ said:

Love the "idle" monsters, unaware what horror spawned behind them.


Indeed, something that can wreck hell is the most fearsome thing in existence.

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It's even funnier in the 32X version with the one-sided monster sprites. They can be looking right at you and stay in their idle state, making them look like they're blind.

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Mattfrie1 said:

It's even funnier in the 32X version with the one-sided monster sprites. They can be looking right at you and stay in their idle state, making them look like they're blind.

Lazy bums couldn't spot a detail like that. Who hires those people? sure they can't be called programmers.

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Lol thread! I dont mind idle monsters at all, I acctually find it quite amusing. I often think about this and giggle a bit. "What are these monsters doing? If I (the doom guy) never came here, what the hell would they do? Just stand there for an eternity? Also think of the monsters standing inside small closets, just waiting to surprise the player...what if the player never came? What if he chose to idclev to the next level, lol!

What a life

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But whit 'new' mapping there can bee done that monsters are patrolling. Still do some monster just fencing the wrong way away from the player. but i don't think of it so much.. the starting point i like to take a lock around and the heading to kill all monsters.

A bit in every map the monsters are often faced toward the player.
and i think that in some map the monsters are seems to be working :P

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ID must have thought the same thing since monsters in Quake were able to patrol their starting areas, although some of them can still get back-attacked (start of e1m2).

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