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Old 23-01-11, 13:55   #1
Fluen
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Default Multiple baddie setup

Multiple baddies setup

Ever wanted to engage Lara in a dramatic fight, where there seems to be no end to the enemies, she must defeat? Then the multiple baddies setup is something for you.

The original situation takes place in Valley of the Kings in TR4. Lara has just fought her way out of the tomb of Seth, and while she reads the text on the Amulet of Horus found in said tomb, her ”trusty companion” – the Guide – who has his own agenda, confronts her.
During the confrontation a group of baddies show up and attack Lara. The Guide uses the chance to flee during the gunfight.

The setup works by having the game engine make a new baddy appear, each time Lara kills his predecessor. The new baddy’s appearance is hardcoded, so he doesn’t need a trigger.

The original setup used BADDY_1, which is the only enemy certain to work. If you want to use other kinds of enemies, it’s trial and error.


The enemies I have tested:
  • BADDY_2 works just as well as BADDY_1
  • DOG can be activated this way, but its death does not activate the successor, and it doesn’t react to the OCB-code, which normally makes it lie down and wait for Lara’s presence. This means, that it only works as the last enemy in a series. To complicate matters further it’s visible before the game engine has activated it and the invisible-button in its OCB-window has no influence on that matter at all, so to use it in a realistic manner, it must be hidden away in a place Lara can’t see or enter at all.
  • GUIDE can be activated this way, but because he can’t die, he can’t activate any successor. This means, that he only works as the last character in a series.
  • SAS can be activated via this setup, but his death does not activate his successor. This means, that he only works as the last enemy in a series.
The setup only works in the third used room (normally room 2, assuming you have used room 0 and 1). And it uses series of enemies.

A series is started by an enemy, which is triggered the usual way. It can be placed anywhere in the level and can die in any part of the level. But when it dies, its successor appears in room 2. The first of all enemies has OCB = 1000, the successor has OCB = 2000, the successor’s successor has OCB = 3000 and so on.
When you feel you have enough enemies in one series, you give a trigger to the next enemy, which also have an OCB higher than the last member of the first series.
Each enemy that is triggered is the first in its series and its successors must have OCB-codes incrementing with 1000 and be placed in room 2.

This sounds rather complicated in words, so let’s make an example to clarify.

Let’s make four series of baddies and have three enemies in each series (note: you don’t have to have the same number of enemies in each series). Their OCB-codes then are:
First series: 1000 – 2000 – 3000
Second series: 4000 – 5000 – 6000
Third series: 7000 – 8000 – 9000
Fourth series: 10000 – 11000 – 12000
The enemies with OCB = 1000, 4000, 7000 and 10000 must be triggered and can be placed anywhere in the level, while all other enemies in the series must be placed in room 2.

I don’t know if there’s a maximum for the number of series or of number of enemies in each series. I’ve tried to make four series with five enemies in each, and thus used OCB = 1000 – 20.000. That worked fine, but it was very difficult for Lara to survive four enemies shooting at her at the same time.

So the limit probably lies with how many enemies, the game engine can handle at the same time without things getting jerky (in TRLE that’s about five enemies at the same time) and how many enemies your players will accept.
I know some level builders have a fascination of extremely difficult levels stuffed with almost impossible timed runs, nasty traps and loads of very tough enemies. But those levels are usually only interesting to a small group of hardcore fans. So before you go crazy in enemies in this setup, decide for yourself if you want to make a level enjoyed by only a few people or by a larger group. Do you want to be appreciated by many players or appraised by only a few?

But you can do more to this setup. Because you can add the usual OCB-codes to the factor 1000 for the enemy and have it perform certain actions, when it appears.

These are the basic OCB-codes for BADDY_1 and BADDY_2:

BADDY_1
1 – Rolls to the right when triggered
2 – Jumps to the left when triggered
3 – Crouches when triggered
4 – Climbs up 4 clicks when triggered. Note: the 4 clicks are block-clicks and not object-clicks, and they are measured from his feet and up.

BADDY_2
1 – Jumps to the right when triggered
2 – Rolls to the left when triggered
3 – Crouches when triggered
4 – Climbs up 4 clicks when triggered. Note: the 4 clicks are block-clicks and not object-clicks, and they are measured from his feet and up.
10 – Draws uzi when triggered
11 – Jumps to the right when triggered and draws uzi
12 – Rolls to the left when triggered and draws uzi
13 – Crouches when triggered and draws uzi
14 – Climbs up 4 clicks when triggered and draws uzi. Note: the 4 clicks are block-clicks and not object-clicks, and they are measured from his feet and up.

So if you use BADDY_1 and want number two in the above series one to climb up from a hole, he must have OCB = 2004. Or if you use BADDY_ 2 and want number three in the above series three to roll to the left and draw his uzi, when he appears, he must have OCB = 9012.

You can also spice things up with AI-nullmeshes to have some of the enemies go to certain places or trigger extra actions. One AI-nullmesh must be placed on the same block as the enemy and one, where the enemy is supposed to arrive. Remember, that the enemy is only able to trigger something on the block, where the “destination”-AI-nullmesh is placed, and that it must be a heavy trigger.

Also remember, that when activated by the game engine an enemy still appears out of the blue just like usual, so you still have to create nooks and corners in order to make it look like the enemy has been in hiding or has just arrived from another room.

Below I will show a setup with the aforementioned four series of baddies with about three in each series. I have created a little story about it.
Afterwards I will explain the tricks and OCB-codes, I’ve used to make this arrangement.

Lara has finally gained access to the main hall of an ancient temple…



…just to discover that the place has already been raided…



…by none less than Von Croy, who is about to leave.





Lara rushes towards him, but he closes all doors to the hall, and two of his henchmen show up on ledges above to deal with her (only one is seen here).



But Von Croy has left more of his men to rid him of Lara, and while she disposed of the first two, another pair has managed to outflank her and now attacks from behind.



Wait! Where did this fellow come from?



Yet another baddy has been hiding behind the sarcophagi and now chooses to join the fight.



Oh dear! The gunfight has alerted more of Von Croy’s henchmen, who have found their way in through a trapdoor in the floor.



And these guys just refuse to roll over and die! For each one Lara defeats, another takes his place.



They also brought dogs, who have found their own way into the hall.




Very well, herr Von Croy, I’ve got a way out of here, and when I catch up with you, I’ll shoot you in your sound leg.

How this was done:

First, I must warn, that I was forced to make an unnecessarily complicated setup in order to get some good pictures of Lara’s enemies. But at least it should show quite a few of the options available.

In total Lara had to fight 12 enemies: six BADDY_1’s, four BADDY_2’s and two DOG’s.

When Lara arrives in the hall, she only triggers the two first series. She then only has to fight two enemies at a time. The remaining two series of enemies are triggered later.

Series one (1000-3000):
  • First enemy (BADDY_1) is triggered and may be placed in another room than room 2. I placed him on one of the archways (room 3). Because he’s not supposed to carry out any special action, his OCB = 1000.
    But because he’s very far away from Lara, he doesn’t pay much attention to her at first, so to make him rush out and attack her right away, I placed an AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh on the same block as him and another one at the top of the archway, where he’s supposed to go. It also seems that he’s inclined to turn in the direction of the wide of the nullmesh, so I turned it to point at the central part of the hall, where Lara’s expected to be at the time.
    Under the “destination”-AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh I also placed a heavy trigger for a fixed camera with a four second duration (timer = 4) and another trigger for a target and made the BADDY_1 the target to make the picture of things seen from his point of view.

  • Second enemy (BADDY_1) is placed in room 2 (the hall, Lara moves around in) and has OCB = 2003 (2000 + 3). This makes him crouch behind the raised ledge to make it appear as if he’s been hiding behind it.

  • The third enemy (BADDY_1) is also placed in room 2 and has OCB = 3000, because he’s not supposed to do anything special.


But I used him for a special setup. His death triggers the two remaining series of enemies.
On the floor of the central part of room 2 I placed a switch trigger for him and stacked the triggers for the trapdoors, a fixed camera with four seconds duration (timer = 4), the first baddy in series three and four (more about them later) and a trigger for a target (one of the BADDY_2’s) on top of it.

A switch trigger works a bit like a frozen trigger, but it’s the activation of the switch or, like here, the death of an enemy, which unfreezes it rather than a trigger-triggerer. The trigger will not be activated before Lara steps on it, when it’s “unfrozen” (the enemy used as a switch is dead). You don’t have to give the enemy any special setting, just select it, place the trigger and make it a switch-trigger.



Series two (4000-6000):
  • First enemy (BADDY_1) is triggered and may be placed in another room than room 2. I placed him on one of the archways (room 3). Because he’s not supposed to carry out any special action, his OCB = 4000.
    But because he’s very far away from Lara, he doesn’t pay much attention to her at first, so to make him rush out and attack her right away, I placed an AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh on the same block as him and another one at the top of the archway, where he’s supposed to go.

  • Second enemy (BADDY_1) is placed in room 2 and has OCB = 5003 (5000 + 3). This makes him crouch behind the raised ledge to make it appear as if he’s been hiding behind it. Besides, I put an AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh on the same block as him and another AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh on the ledge right in front of him to make him climb it. Under the “destination”-AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh I also placed a heavy trigger for a fixed camera with a four second duration (timer = 4) and another trigger for a target and made the BADDY_1 the target to have the camera follow him.
  • Third enemy (BADDY_1) is also placed in room 2 and has OCB = 6004 (6000 + 4). This makes him climb four clicks up, when he’s activated. The special thing about this is, that to make him climb onto the desired block, he must be placed four clicks lower than it, even if it means, that he floats in the air. Because the surface of the broken pillar is right on the ceiling portal to room 3, I placed him four clicks below the ceiling portal. This makes him appear four clicks under the ceiling portal to room 3. As a result he climbs up into room 3 as his first action and joins the fight from the broken pillar. It seems he’s unable to make this climb, unless the wall, he climbs, is solid, so I had to break a pillar, because he was unable to climb directly onto the archway.


Series three (7000-9000):
  • First enemy (BADDY_2) is triggered and may be placed in another room than room 2. I placed him in the room below the trapdoors (room 4) and gave him OCB = 7014 (7000 + 14). This makes him climb up four clicks, when he’s activated. Like the BADDY_1 mentioned above he’s floating in the air, when he appears. He appears four clicks under the horizontal portal between room 2 and room 4. As a result he climbs up into room 4 as his first action.
    One of the differences between BADDY_1 and BADDY_2 is, that BADDY_2 prefers to use his sword when activated and is very reluctant about putting it away. To make him both climb up from room 4 and draw his uzi, he must have OCB = 14, which is added to the OCB he gets as part of a series.

  • Second enemy (BADDY_2) is placed in room 2 and has OCB = 8012 (8000 + 12). He comes from behind a pillar and his OCB makes him roll to the left and draw his uzi.

  • The third enemy in this series is a DOG. It can’t carry out any special action, so it just has OCB = 9000. And because a DOG is unable to activate any successors, it must be the last enemy in its series.
    But I wanted to take a picture of it, so I placed an AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh on the same block as the DOG, and under the ”destination”-AI_AMBUSH-nullmesh I put a heavy trigger for a fixed camera with a four seconds duration (timer = 4) and another trigger for a target and made the DOG the target to have the camera follow it.



Series four (10000 – 12000):
  • First enemy (BADDY_2) is triggered and may be placed in another room than room 2. I placed him in the room below the trapdoors (room 4) and gave him OCB = 10014 (10000 + 14). This makes him climb up four clicks and draw his uzi, when he’s activated. Like the BADDY_1 mentioned above he’s floating in the air, when he appears. He appears four clicks under the horizontal portal between room 2 and room 4. As a result he climbs up into room 4 as his first action.
    To make him both climb up from room 4 and draw his uzi, he must have OCB = 14, which is added to the OCB, he gets as part of a series.

  • The second enemy (BADDY_2) is placed in room 2 and has OCB = 11013 (11000 + 13). This makes him crouch behind the raised ledge to make it appear as if he’s been hiding behind it.
    BADDY_2 prefers to use his sword when activated. So to make him crouch and then use his uzi upon activation he must have OCB = 13, which is is added to the OCB, he gets as part of a series.

  • Third enemy in this series is a DOG. It can’t carry out any special action, so it just has OCB = 12000. And because a DOG is unable to activate any successors, it must be the last enemy in its series.
    Unfortunately the DOG’s don’t work well with this setup (they are visible at all times – no, the invisible-button in the OCB-window has no effect either), so I had to hide them with some strong shadow-bulbs.


As you can see, you can mix different types of enemies into one series, have them trigger new events, go to other places and in general spice the gameplay up.

Additional advice:

You don’t even have to activate all series of enemies in one go. Perhaps Lara must fight a new series of enemies every time she returns to the central hall or plaza from exploring a new part of the temple or town.

And the enemies aren’t confined to room 2. As long as they are placed in room 2 to be activated there, they can go anywhere in the level as you want them to. Want to make a gunfight in a Western frontier town with gunmen appearing from all around Lara and get reinforcements, when some of them are shot? Go ahead!

With some planning and a handful of good ideas your level is ready for exciting events. Have fun!

Last edited by Titak; 30-08-15 at 17:20.
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Old 30-12-14, 10:12   #2
Titak
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By The Great Chi

ROUND 2
I have been doing similar things over the last few years on other classic tombraider games like TR3, TR2 and now TR1, by adding more enemies on a trigger.

I do notice from the closed writeup that the PO uses "four series of baddies with about three in each series". Now I do not know if this was just luck or deliberate, as the OP did not encounter overload problems, when a lot more baddies are added.

What I wanted to say is that if you exceed six baddies in one area then the game engine and/or video card overloads and you can get textured baddies winking in and out of the scene, ie, bits of baddies dissapear or some of the baddies start dissapearing, as lara rotates her view of the scene.

My own law for these classic games is a maximum of SIX baddies to one area, plus lara of course.

If you exceed that then you are hitting visual problems.

Now take my latest video which is located in TR1 Lost valley, has quite a few raptors and a T-rex, but not enough baddies to create problems.

I have added a lot more baddies to the triggers in the level, but had to ensure six baddies was the maximum at any one time.

I did encounter an area with more baddies coming in from adjoining rooms and once the baddies went over six, then I had visual problems, with dissapearances of textures, and characters winking in and out of existence.

As expected, I did not use this weird footage in my video. As there is enough wierdness going on as it is



Cheers Chi
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