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NPC Function Icons and more! Icons detail what NPCs can do for you and highlight critical things to investigate.

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NPC Function Icons
NPC Function Icons have been added to allow the player to quickly and easily determine exactly what each friendly NPC does. Some can unlock doors, some are Medics (which are rare) and some are simply combatants. Some combatants will help you with ammo, but not all of them will do so.

Each NPCs Icon floats above his or her head and follows the NPC wherever it goes, so you dont lose track of who can do what for you in the course of your interaction with them. An X icon shows that that NPC will no longer be recruitable, usually happening after a recruitment event that was failed.

Yes, you only get one chance to impress. They will remain neutral towards you and be impossible to recruit after failure, however, they still become hostile should you shoot them or otherwise threaten/harm them. Make that first impression count!

Also, Informational Icons have been added. These icons float above objects and items that are crucial for game progression. This should help give the player direction, but not tell them exactly what to do. I will make you think, but I wont make you click on every terminal, object and door you come across as you try to figure out why it is that your are stuck, After all, thats pretty annoying.

Heres a couple preliminary screens showing the concept and a few working icons. I have created more, but for now this will convey the point.

Photobucket
This one is the info icon - a red exclamation point shows you that you absolutely need to investigate what it highlights.

Photobucket
And this screen shows the 'doorman' icon and the combatant icon. A green fist means he fights for you, and the key obviously means he can unlock stuff for you. The 'Doorman' NPCs are very handy to have around - without them, you can not get into certain areas!


Aside from this, progress is bening made in mapping and new textures to replace some of the ones that get monotonous, as well as some repetetive patterns pointed out to me by a valued tracker. (thank you!) A few new models are in the works as well, and I have replaced the weapon sounds with 100% made-from-scratch sounds to avoid any backlash upon release.

Im also beginning concept work in Hammer for the space battle, in which you will man a pulse laser in an attempt to fend off attack fighters dispatched by a NovaCor Battle Cruiser. There are two more parts to the space chapter, but for now I will keep those under wraps. After some concept and testing work is done, I will update you on that.

Remember, I do all of this - 100% of it - by myself. I jump around from task to task and focus on various things throughout the week, so you may not see exactly what you are curious about when you want to see it. In the end though, you will have a polished product of a very uniform style and quality.

Thank you all for reading, and I will update again soon!

THE ICONS HAVE BEEN CUT FOR NOW AS THE GENERAL CONSENSUS WAS THAT THEY WERE NOT NECESSARY AND DETRACTED FROM THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE.

Comments
wazanator
wazanator - - 761 comments

Looks good! Really like the idea of having to have certain NPC's to unlock doors.

BTW are their arms clipping through the guns and if so will it be fixed?

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Yes, the arms are most definitely clipping through the guns....and yes, it will be fixed. Theres a good chance I wont even end up using these NPCs or guns also.

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AdrianL1996
AdrianL1996 - - 467 comments

Very nice, but perhaps instead of a green "fist" icon for a combatant, maybe a weapon/crosshair?

And as for the "Doormen" the only areas they are needed for are extra supplies, weapons, secrets? Needing them for actual story progression could be asking a bit much.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Oh - and the 'Doormen' (keymasters? :P) are never ever necessary to continue. They just give access to bonus areas. In fact, you could cmpletely ignore every recruitable NPC and finish the game.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Perhaps a weapon icon will work...there are things you'll have to shoot occasionally which are already using the crosshair/target icon, so that particular one is out. I'll see what a weapon looks like, and that would actually fit the 'ammo resupplier' guys better too.

BTW the icons will also see some minor revisions; Im not too sure about the border on them; I might remove it so its just a key, fist (or weapon) or first aid icon without the 'frame' to it. I think that would look better.

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Aggregate
Aggregate - - 69 comments

I don't see the need for these icons. "Doormen" maybe, but not regular guys or medics (you can tell he's a medic 'cos he's giving you medkits). And something better than an icon for doormen would be an ID card showing that they have security clearance for X area. As for the info icon... I'm going to use anything that looks like it will do anything, and that console is just obvious.

In any case, i'd like to see an option to turn them off.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Honestly, the original design was to use color coding to show the player what can be used and what cannot. Green would indicate that the terminal or panel served some function while red would show that it is locked out. However, I had read a lot of Mod reviews and a lot of complaints were about how the players were stuck and couldnt figure out how to progress. I will see what more people say about this, and go from there. It is likely that I will drop the info icons and keep the color coding system, and keep only the special doorman icon to alert players as to his value. (i also dont want players sending a medic or combatant to doors then wondering why they wont open them) As for having all of the NPCs having icons, the intent was to show what they can do for you BEFORE you recruit them, and the medics wont heal you until you recruit them. In all, we will call this system experimental and wait for community feedback, and I do take feedback very seriuosly :)

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EvilAngel
EvilAngel - - 600 comments

Maybe make it so instead of having the icon above their heads, give them skins that have icon like badges on them, i.e the key for the keydude, a weapon for the combtant and a cross for the medic? Any way its looking sick.

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levan563
levan563 - - 872 comments

nice nice =)

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

That might work better. Maybe the security guys will be basic combatants with security uniform skins (which they will have either way) and medical personnel wearing obvious medical gear instead of blending in with the actual lab workers, and the having they key guys in more of an admin skin (which I alreay have in progress) I already plan to have a 'training' level which is less about training and more about getting the player accustomed to the finer points of playing like what panels can be used and the recruitment mechanic etc. That coupled with clever skinning could eliminate the need for the icon system entirely, though I did like the idea of having another fairly unique feature :P. Still, I'll wait for a little more opinions before making a decision :)

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thecooldude498
thecooldude498 - - 128 comments

i would like ether one skin or head icon but the head icon is i don't know a little more making you see it what kind they are which might help some.

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56er
56er - - 1,253 comments

I likw thw guna, but maybe, scale them down a bit for the npc's?

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Beez-one
Beez-one - - 501 comments

Honestly, you don't need this icons, IMO they're too distracting and breaks the immersion. You need badges or different uniform as was mentioned before.

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Beez-one
Beez-one - - 501 comments

Also why don't you check this two fonts: Simplythebest.net
Simplythebest.net

I think they're not so hard to look at as current version. (I just don't like it, I admit :))

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SteveZombie
SteveZombie - - 3,730 comments

I don't think there's anything wrong with the icons as they are; in fact I don't think it makes much sense from an in-universe point of view for someone to wear a differently coloured uniform just because he owns a key or keycard.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Lol well, at least you are honest. I actualy wanted to create my own font so I could distribute it without worry...but the font maker is expensive for this being a free mod. I still havent worked on a lot of the in-game overlays which require me to make a texture with the font in it, so it wouldnt be much work at this point to replace them.

That said, I probably wont change the ovelays though. It will be easy to use alternative fonts for everything else in the Mod though; simply uninstall 'Neuropol' if you dont like it and a backup font will load for the HUD, menus, and everything else aside from the Datatab overlays. Many people may not even have it installed on their PCs; I had it on one of my desktops, but I had to go download it on the laptop and for the second PC.

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Potteh.
Potteh. - - 66 comments

Is that the Insurgency fist steam icon?

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Not exactly. I drew that 'freehand' (with my mouse) by looking at it. Icons are 32x32 and dont scale well into 512x512, unless you like pixellated stuff. Sure I could have looked at any number of 'fist' pictures onlne, but its a fist. They all look the same.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

I wasnt talking down to you. By the nature of your question, you seemed to need informed about scaling since indeed, had i actually used their icon, it would have looked like crap. I dont talk down to anyone here - that would be rude since many of the visitors to my mod and others dont know much or anything at all about modding. When I answer, I dont give simple replies. I give an explanation as well to help them understand what they are asking/commenting about. Whether or not each individual is extra sensitive and requires special care when interacting with, I cant help. Rest assured, I am always polite until spoken to in a rude way.

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Potteh.
Potteh. - - 66 comments

It was a rhetorical question. You do not need to explain about games development to me, I'm a very qualified games developer. I wasn't talking about the pixelation, I was talking about how it looks pretty much ripped from the insurgency icon.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

So what would everyone think of a HUD display showing when you recruit each type of NPC? I wont be using the HL2 'squad following' hud panel, even though it appears still for now. (not done with the hud) But how about a strip of icons the appear above the rest of the HUD to show who you have and what they can do? I kinda wanted to keep the HUD to a minimum and use intuitive design to guide players, but then again those icons floating around dont stick to that theme either. The main point is to avoid players from being confused or stuck, so even if it is a cool littlle feature, I'll take it out if the bottom line is that we really dont need it to help us.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

If it was a rhetorical question then you are not as qualified as you claim since we already discussed the pixellation that occurs when making something very small into something large. I suppose the only way to avoid such questions would have been to take a picture of my own fist, outline the basic shape, copy that to a new file then fill it with color. Im fairly certain that even with that effort, someone would say 'gee is that the fist from the HL2 posters?' or 'hey is that the fist from Red Faction?' Point is, I drew it from a blank canvas. I happened to choose the same view because I like it. :) No other perspective fits the purpose better. (go tell the band Disturbed that they ripped off 100 different fist images for their 10,000 Fists album cover; maybe they will change it)

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Potteh.
Potteh. - - 66 comments

Your sentences really lack understanding, I mean honestly do you proof-read? I really wouldn't question my 11 years of experience over a Source mod. Sure, maybe you could do that, but maybe it's also easier to take their logo into Photoshop and trim down some edges to make it look like your own? But hey, I'm not as qualified as I say I am, because you evidentally know me more than I know myself. See what I did there? I used your none-nonsensical sentences. If you hadn't had got defensive I would have left it quiet, but you did which sparks more suspicion.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

While everything I said makes total sense, I dont see how anything was defensive. I responded to your OP as I do with any other - explaining some things that you didnt seem to understand so as to give you insight into the inner workings of the subject.

For a guy who claims 11 years experience, you certainly dont act like it. You act like a 14 year old with an inflated sense of self-worth and ability. If anyone here is defensive, it would be you, who got all worked up at the mere thought of someone not recognizing your graphical prowess.

I really do not care if some random weirdo with mental issues thinks I stole a simple icon, when its quite clear every texture in this Mod is custom made.

Trolling: Fail.

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

Sorry guys, theres two things that really bug me:

Calling me a racist

Calling me a theif

Ive been called lot of other stuff but it doesnt bother me too much :P

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K05T4R
K05T4R - - 503 comments

So finally what is your decision on the idea of icon vs some kind of uniform thing ?
I agree w/ overhead icons that it does take abit away from immersion.

First tho, how many diff kinds of ppl are there going to be ?
In HL for example, doesnt everyone carry weapons also ?
The medic is defined by his obvious red cross, the key man in this could just have a key on his shirt front and back.
You wouldnt need to ID *fighters* since everyone would shoot just like your key man is holding a weapon.

The question is, what happens to indicate when a guy on your side, is turning, remember one becomes infected and turns on you or you said if we didnt help in a fight, they wont help us but will be our enemies.

I'm trying to find how fair it will be, for if first we have 5 enemies on us, 2-3 guys helping us but because we get pinned down or run out of ammo, that it loox like we're not helping so now we have potentially 8 enemies to face, 3 of which have easy access to us, since we're right there w/ them.

I guess it keeps ppl on their toes but just wondering what lets us know we're about to be attacked by our "friends" ? AND will they behave as a group or as individuals ?

I considered this, a meter that indicates that *confidence* is high w/ our team, maybe its full and green then it starts receding and changing color to yellow and finally red or something like that..
I also figured that when one of our team becomes infected to turn on us, that it would only affect that one, not the whole team..

Final note, I appreciate your detailed explanations btw!

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

You will know the others are turning (and usually that will be one at a time, not all at once, though it is possible) because they will make gutteral sounds and say things that make no sense at all (but migt make you laugh a few times) Thats when you know one of them is about to go nuts on you.

The final decision on the icons is to take them out. The nays outnumber the yays so I will do something different to let you know you have a kay man with you. The medics Ill just dress in a medical-style skin instead of looking like the other lab workers, and like you said, I dont need to designate the normal guys from the rest.

I was thinking to have the security guys be the key guys, since security can go anywhere they need/want, and they will have uniforms on to distinguish them from the rest. Some administrative personel may have keys to storage rooms, etc, but these guys you wont have to take and command them to the doorway; they will just run over to it when you get in the area and automatically open the doors for you.

Now the security guys, you'll have to backtrack with sometimes to get into doors you've passed already and you will always have to command them to the doorway, at which point they will unlock it for you.

And remember, it will never be necessary to recruit NPCs to continue, they are there as a 'bonus' and you can finish the Mod without ever having recruited a single one. In most instances, you'll have to recognize the fact that the enemies are fighting someone else and jump in quickly to get the extra manpower. If you hesitate, the chances are that it will be too late to impress them.

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K05T4R
K05T4R - - 503 comments

Sounds like good ideas!
But can everyone be killed ? It seems like they would but I was curious, if your security guys are killed then you will have less chance of getting into locked area ?!
It would be interesting if you could take a keycard off of them and still get into the areas designated for them, especially assuming these areas might have health/ammo pickups!

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agent00kevin Author
agent00kevin - - 1,276 comments

I had considered having them drop a keycard, but I want the players to have to make the extra effort of recruiting and keeping these guys on their side. If they succeed, they get to reap the rewards :)

So instead I designed a number pad system if you look closely at the door access panels. That way players wont think 'oh I should be able to take his keycard since I shot him'.

BUT - there are keycards to be found, most of the time they are just for extras. I am making great efforts to stay away from the 'find keycard, unlock door, go to next area, repeat' formula.

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K05T4R
K05T4R - - 503 comments

How do you mean a numberpad system, you mean the security guys will enter a code ?

Yea I agree w/ the last thoughts like some mods I've played have been like that, even though I LOVED that game when I first played it on, lesee was Sega CD out before Psx?, but resident evil was like that w/ the actual door keys, seemed like door after door needed a key. Man I would like to see a total remake of that game for pc today, (RE 2 too, it was my fav of the rest) I could just imagine graphx etc .. I'd also liked to have had to make it to the mansion not in CG but through gameplay, say crash in the distance and have to make it through open fields and wooded areas whilst battling diff things.. but I digress..

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