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DeesGrandpa
Oct 21, 2009



I'm just pshyced about the shock vests. You made the laser gats from starship troopers!

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Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...

Memento posted:

Not empty quoting this. You guys should talk to the PAX Australia organisers - I know we're a long way to come, but there was something like this at last year's event that had constant long queue times to get in to that wasn't a tenth as much fun as this looks.

That's actually not a terrible idea; I dont' know how portable your set up could be but if you started doing the convention circuit at like Gencon or something (which is reasonably close to you in in Indinapolis) you'd get a ton of exposure.

Doctor Grape Ape
Aug 26, 2005

Dammit Doc, I just bought this for you 3 months ago. Try and keep it around for a bit longer this time.


DeesGrandpa posted:

I'm just pshyced about the shock vests. You made the laser gats from starship troopers!

Now they just need to get NPH to do the info/safety video.

Memento
Aug 25, 2009




Bleak Gremlin

Memento posted:

Not empty quoting this. You guys should talk to the PAX Australia organisers - I know we're a long way to come, but there was something like this at last year's event that had constant long queue times to get in to that wasn't a tenth as much fun as this looks.

I'll expand on this a little - the main reason that the one we played last year was only OK-not-great was that the guns were for poo poo. We're talking several degrees-of-arc accuracy, and no consistency between shots. A friend of mine was working there during the show, and after they had run their last battle for the day, we dicked around a little bit with seeing how good the guns were. I think what was happening was that the recoil-simulating actuator was shifting the IR emitter, so literally every shot would go somewhere different. You could shoot at someone standing stationary ten meters away holding the gun perfectly still, and four shots would miss then the fifth would hit. It made the game complete spray'n'pray.

That being said, it was still pretty fun. Having a game where the guns are accurate and precise would make it a ton more fun, and like you said, the skill cap would be significantly higher.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

I'm happy to see people excited about it, it is really cool but it wasn't always a main feature. Some features were must-haves from square one (nice gun screen for example, or usable accuracy in firing and getting hit) and some features only became must-haves once we did an R&D proof-of-concept to see if there was any mileage in the idea.

When we first talked about electroshock, it was a back-burner idea to try out but not a huge priority. At one point new years was coming up and a new years eve party was planned for friends and other insiders - we had done tons of work but still hadn't announced anything publicly regarding what we were working on. But there was of course the "in" crowd who did know what we were doing. Anyway, at NYE the first basic working prototypes were going to be demo'd and people would have something to try on and shoot and mess with at the party.

Electroshock as I mentioned was of interest but just not enough time to implement anything by NYE. I mentioned I work remotely (I don't live in Toronto) and I - as a gift for the sake of the party and project - put together a couple prototype electroshock units with electrodes, all ready to be shot by guns and zap people with and expressed it over by mail to Toronto. I hadn't told any of them anything about this. You know, unexpected package from co-worker, open it up and Merry Christmas, etc.

Amusingly the joke was kind of on me, because they were so busy getting poo poo done that day after day trickled by and none of them picked the package up! I had to keep reminding them to get the box I sent, they wouldn't be sorry. Finally they did at the last minute, they did finally pick it up.

I had put this into the package so it was the first thing seen when you opened it up (I had a goon rough up Santa as Liam Neeson in Taken)


The "Instructions" by the way said only "You'll figure it out" and nothing else. They did.



Anyway, NYE came and went and one thing was very clear from playing with it: people want to give shocks anticipate getting shocked, and see other people get shocked. It more or less moved to the Must Have feature list for development after that.

As it stands right now, the vast vast majority of people - men and women - opt for it. A smaller subset of people have made it clear they'd be game for more, harder, faster - which is at the moment filed under "duly noted"


ChillRoommates posted:

Ever think of doing loadouts or something? Like more armor, slower rate of fire. Less armor, higher rof. No armor, but armor piercing weapons? Might be cool down the line.

Customization of features like that is absolutely a planned feature - the ability to select perks, change how your equipment acts, choose tradeoffs that complement your play style, etc. People like to customize, and we track players individually and persistently so it's actually possible to pull off.

My current favorite perk idea is inspired by "Grim Reaper's Sprint" from Fallout: your gun automatically reloads when you eliminate someone.

Doctor Grape Ape posted:

Now they just need to get NPH to do the info/safety video.

I just hope "Would You Like To Know More?" isn't considered passť by the time that can happen because I don't see doing it any other way being an option.


Memento posted:

I'll expand on this a little - the main reason that the one we played last year was only OK-not-great was that the guns were for poo poo. We're talking several degrees-of-arc accuracy, and no consistency between shots. A friend of mine was working there during the show, and after they had run their last battle for the day, we dicked around a little bit with seeing how good the guns were. I think what was happening was that the recoil-simulating actuator was shifting the IR emitter, so literally every shot would go somewhere different. You could shoot at someone standing stationary ten meters away holding the gun perfectly still, and four shots would miss then the fifth would hit. It made the game complete spray'n'pray.

That being said, it was still pretty fun. Having a game where the guns are accurate and precise would make it a ton more fun, and like you said, the skill cap would be significantly higher.

Thanks for writing that up, it is very interesting - and it is a great example of some of the things we set out to avoid.

It's certainly possible to have some fun with systems like those (which are current industry standard) but like you observed, if it's just spray and pray and a crapshoot whether you hit what you're aiming or not, it's not capable of anything beyond casual, novelty play.

It illustrates the importance and impact of the basic design principle of (paraphrased) "If your sights are on target and you shoot, you'll hit. If your sights are off target and you shoot, you'll miss. Any other result is bullshit." (Because it will make you shout "that/this is bullshit!")

People with firearms experience tend to more readily appreciate the implications, and of course anyone with experience like yours understands right off the bat. Everyone butts up against that limitation, usually sooner rather than later.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Two questions:

1) are you concerned that by making accuracy a real concern you might alienate a broader base of users in favor of a niche of gun geeks? It seems like your own testing shows this isn't an issue, but it was just a thought that occurred to me. Most people know gently caress-all about guns or sights etc, so having what amounts to a multi-degree arc "hitbox" kind of makes old school lasertag more accessibly to the unwashed masses. Then again, a red dot is pretty loving intuitive in and of itself (as opposed to, say, irons which need at least basic instruction) so I could also see it just not being an issue. God knows I keep red-dots on my newbie-training guns for a reason.

2) how do you deal with needing to re-zero the sights? I would assume you don't want Billy the idiot customer loving with the zero on the sight, but if Billy manages to drop his gun or something or somehow else cock it up you would need a way for staff to relatively quickly get that dialed back in. j

Mad Dragon
Feb 29, 2004



I played around with a shock belt for [redacted] and it felt like a wasp stinging my lower back. I hope yours isn't as powerful.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

Very good questions (I'm counting Mad Dragon's post as basically "how much does it hurt?").

Cyrano4747 posted:

1) are you concerned that by making accuracy a real concern you might alienate a broader base of users in favor of a niche of gun geeks? It seems like your own testing shows this isn't an issue, but it was just a thought that occurred to me. Most people know gently caress-all about guns or sights etc, so having what amounts to a multi-degree arc "hitbox" kind of makes old school lasertag more accessibly to the unwashed masses. Then again, a red dot is pretty loving intuitive in and of itself (as opposed to, say, irons which need at least basic instruction) so I could also see it just not being an issue. God knows I keep red-dots on my newbie-training guns for a reason.

This is a very good question. If the guns are "accurate like firearms" and untrained people generally tend to be poor shots (as I mentioned earlier in this thread, generally speaking if someone can hit a person-sized target at 25m, they have probably been practicing), so how does it manage to "play well" with people who aren't trained? The answer is a combination of things - some of them technical and some not - which were all the product of a lot of thinking and even more testing.

One way this is addressed is kind of by nature of the players themselves. Most engagements are at "point and shoot" ranges where even untrained shooters will do just fine with our equipment.

This isn't effective by accident, though. We talk about effective accuracy at long ranges but the opposite - effectiveness at close ranges was just as important to nail, and needed work to get right. After all, sticking the gun straight at someone five feet away, pulling the trigger and not hitting is even more bullshitty than having a guy in your sights from across the room and being unable to hit them. In playing existing laser tag setups I ran into both waaaaayyyy more than anyone should.

Field /arena design can help encourage certain engagement distances or game types and play better with different types of players. Most engagements are at point-shooting ranges, but it's still possible to engage someone from across the whole field.

As you mentioned, red dots are super intuitive. That helps. Not everyone uses the sights however, some just point and shoot but that can still be effective. And if you're aiming at range, feedback is enough that you can tell visually and instantly if your shots are hitting. (People flash bright white when they are hit) so while you can't "walk" your shots over quite as easily as you could with paintball or airsoft, it's still possible to shoot and know if you're actually hitting.

The guns also have three separate settings - all are usable for the test games and you switch with the push of a button (they each have their own ammo.) Shotgun, assault rifle, and laser. They all feel and sound different, and they work about how you'd expect - with different damage profiles and different effective ranges. We're getting valuable data on how they perform.

Actually in one of the first games one of the women used a very effective tactic. Instead of having a "favorite" gun, she would reload all three weapons - then engage people firing the current weapon until it was empty, then switching to the next and emptying that, and so on. She was able to out-gun people just by putting more volume of fire than they could (they were sticking with their "favorite" gun and would run out of ammo before her.)

This was also made possible by the fact that when you have 1) shields, and 2) good visual and tactile feedback - suppressive fire actually becomes a useful thing. Your vest starts flashing and vibrating (i.e. your shields are going down) and you know you have only a moment to GTFO or end up fragged (and shocked). Suppressive fire doesn't work in games of 1 shot kills, or games with poor feedback. It only in environments where you can 1) tell it's happening somehow and 2) therefore have a chance to do something differently as a result.

Anyway that's not a clean cut straight answer and I went off on a couple tangents, but short answer is that accurately-firing guns are not frustrating to novices due to all those things, but mainly: 1) point-and-shoot engagement distances actually work, 2) the gun effectiveness is inspired by real firearms but is also more forgiving than real ones where it makes sense to do so. It's OK to be a little forgiving in how closely you need to aim to hit, as long as you don't actually grant hits when aim is untrue.

Real firearms are ridiculously unforgiving, really. Probably why shooting them accurately is the basis of numerous Olympic sports. As it turns out, it is possible to make sights useful AND still give the players enough slack to help things work they way they feel they "should" without actually getting into bullshit hitbox or aimbot territory.

This is the sort of thing where I wish - I really, really do wish - that you could all just try it out and see for yourselves. I have used all my most powerful videogame and gun analogies but it still feels clunky to explain.

Cyrano4747 posted:

2) how do you deal with needing to re-zero the sights? I would assume you don't want Billy the idiot customer loving with the zero on the sight, but if Billy manages to drop his gun or something or somehow else cock it up you would need a way for staff to relatively quickly get that dialed back in.

So far no one has messed with the sights (and guns have been dropped or bashed more than once), but I'm sure you're right that it's only a matter of time. Fortunately we have a test setup where we can zero re-zero if needed but it would certainly be better to not have to re-zero in the first place. Not troublesome in a technical sense, so best solution is probably just a workflow/human one - like a million other little things still waiting for us, I'm sure.


Mad Dragon posted:

I played around with a shock belt for [redacted] and it felt like a wasp stinging my lower back. I hope yours isn't as powerful.

Glad you asked. First thing - for people who haven't been exposed to shocks like this - it doesn't feel like a shock. As in, there is no BZZZZZZT feeling.

If pain had flavours, it would be "pulling bandaid off hairy arm" mixed with "getting tattoo". But it begins and ends instantly. There is no residual "sting". Subjectively I say it's not as bad as yanking a bandaid off but YMMV. Definitely not like getting your poo poo wrecked by a wasp, and not nearly as bad as a dog shock collar I tried on my thigh - that felt like white hot needles getting jammed into me and DID leave a residual sting. Our electroshock is only feedback pain. Not pain pain. If that makes sense.



Offtopic/ontopic on the subject of getting shocks: http://www.boredpanda.com/taser-photoshoot-patrick-hall/ (Tasers by the way are in an entirely different league from what we do, not the same ballpark & not even the same sport.)

The Eyes Have It fucked around with this message at 22:30 on Sep 1, 2014

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade





More on the business side of things, what are the long term plans for this? Sell systems? Franchise? Or keep everything in house? I really like the concept, I think there's a lot of potential (depending on the cost basis), but I'd hate to see it fail if it doesn't catch on quickly enough.

SpartanIvy
May 18, 2007


Hair Elf

Will there be any options in the future to build your own weapon? Like sell a box that accepts inputs and such and then let people built it into whatever gun chassis they like?

I'd love to build an MA5B or C96 or something equally cool.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

Shooting Blanks posted:

More on the business side of things, what are the long term plans for this? Sell systems? Franchise? Or keep everything in house? I really like the concept, I think there's a lot of potential (depending on the cost basis), but I'd hate to see it fail if it doesn't catch on quickly enough.

The product is the experience, so the goal is in-house & franchising/turnkey systems.


SpartanIV posted:

Will there be any options in the future to build your own weapon? Like sell a box that accepts inputs and such and then let people built it into whatever gun chassis they like?

I'd love to build an MA5B or C96 or something equally cool.

I hear you, but right now there are no plans to sell equipment separately. I love the idea of "Dev Kits" or "Hacker Kits" but it's not in the cards right now; I wouldn't rule it out sometime in the future once the system is actually off its feet though.


Here's our T-Shirts, I think they're cute. The gun silhouettes are mildly outdated (the shape of the stock/pistol grip is off) but no big deal.

DJExile
Jun 27, 2007



Mister Sinewave posted:

Here's our T-Shirts, I think they're cute. The gun silhouettes are mildly outdated (the shape of the stock/pistol grip is off) but no big deal.


hahaha i love that middle one

mlmp08
Jul 11, 2004


Nap Ghost

This is cool as hell.

So just what can be hit on a person? I presume it's the vest and maybe gun? Is the entire vest full of detectors? I haven't lasertagged since maybe 8 years ago, but I used to hate the chucklefucks running around shaped like a contortionist, covering up all their sensors and spraying rounds aimlessly.

Is there damage dropoff based on range? I get that from a realism perspective, point blank to 50 meters should be pretty much the same with a rifle, but it would be really nice if walking right up behind someone and dumping into their back was basically instantaneous instead of them having time to flip around and triggermash because it takes "x" rounds to take down a shield regardless.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

Thanks! It means a lot to me to hear people from here thinking "that looks like fun"!

mlmp08 posted:

So just what can be hit on a person? I presume it's the vest and maybe gun?

The guns can be shot. As for the rest of someone, right now there are only two edge case situations where you can't hit someone: all you can see is their legs, or all you can see is their head. Or their hand, I suppose. This is mitigated by the fact that there are no "chest high walls" in the play area - so it doesn't wind up looking like a game of whack-a-mole. (Some of the guys played at a place in Florida I think where the walls were all short, so it just looked like a game of whack-a-mole.)

That will change when we deploy head sensors. They're going to launch a little later down the road. It's being worked on, but is not a launch feature (unless we raise additional money - there are some things that money can make go faster.)

In keeping with our design philosophy any head sensors would need to be 100% wireless - which brings its own challenges with respect to needing to be small and light - but that's actually pretty much solved. The more touchy design issues center around user comfort (and keeping them hygienic.) People, generally speaking, simply do not like to wear things on their heads. But without head sensors you can't record head shots

It's worth repeating though that while we 100% will deploy head sensors, it actually hasn't been a perceptible gameplay issue yet. The head is not really that big, and when the shoulders can be hit and the gun can be hit, the only way a person can be unhittable is by sticking their head (and nothing else) up like a groundhog... but that's just not the kind of experience we're aiming for. But so far just avoiding chest-high-walls does the trick. And will until Plastic Man starts playing, and hopefully that doesn't happen until we've deployed head sensors.


quote:

Is there damage dropoff based on range? I get that from a realism perspective, point blank to 50 meters should be pretty much the same with a rifle, but it would be really nice if walking right up behind someone and dumping into their back was basically instantaneous instead of them having time to flip around and triggermash because it takes "x" rounds to take down a shield regardless.

Damage does not drop off with range. But different weapons have different effective ranges and different damage profiles. For example, the shotgun (short range weapon) does more damage per shot than the assault rifle.

But to answer the larger question of blasting some poor fool, this is how shields work:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkQFhPJuxgk#t=46s


Shields don't work like this



Shields are a small but rechargeable buffer - not tank armor that gets chipped away. Shields allow you to quickly retreat and take cover if shots are flying around, but not walk through the valley of death unharmed. The slow blade penetrates the shield.

It is entirely possible to blow someone away by getting the drop on them. The shield damage vibration tells you you're getting hit, but by the time they realize they have nowhere to go it's already

Check out the video link in this earlier post showing exactly that happening: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?goto=post&postid=434183548#post434183548

mlmp08
Jul 11, 2004


Nap Ghost

Mister Sinewave posted:


Check out the video link in this earlier post showing exactly that happening: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?goto=post&postid=434183548#post434183548

Ok, cool. I just wasn't sure in that video if the guy hadn't already been tagged up or if that's how fast sneaking up on a person kills them.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

That's cool, I thought maybe you hadn't seen it. I don't actually know what weapon was being used or what health level was in that specific instance.

The idea I wanted to get across is that it is certainly possible to kill someone if you surprise them. Shields are a buffer, not "armor". The effect is that the games you're seeing don't revolve around 1-shot kills out of nowhere - which, while hardcore - are not actually very enjoyable. Also, suppressive fire is actually a usable thing as a result. It also has a number of other positive effects on the gameplay, but of course we have full control over the "server settings" so it's all configurable to match however hardcore and unforgiving the more players want to try.





Theoretically speaking it's also entirely possible for a weapon to, for example, cause more damage when shooting someone in the back. Just sayin'

The Eyes Have It fucked around with this message at 16:37 on Sep 3, 2014

DJExile
Jun 27, 2007



I'd be ultra careful about those electroshock vests if only because I picture those going horribly wrong with someone that has a pacemaker or somesuch

madeintaipei
Jul 13, 2012



DJExile posted:

I'd be ultra careful about those electroshock vests if only because I picture those going horribly wrong with someone that has a pacemaker or somesuch

WWII Veteran Match: There can be only one!

Mortabis
Jul 8, 2010


Hmm...Toronto is only 3 hours from Rochester.

This looks loving rad.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

DJExile posted:

I'd be ultra careful about those electroshock vests if only because I picture those going horribly wrong with someone that has a pacemaker or somesuch

I agree. Pacemakers and any other electro-medical implanted anything are specifically no-no, because nothing is worth even the slightest chance of messing with that stuff.

That being said, it is possible to implement electroshock harmlessly and safely, and implement in a way that fails "safe" if something does go wrong. We wouldn't be using it (and I wouldn't be a party to it) otherwise.

DrakeriderCa
Feb 3, 2005

But I'm a real cowboy!

Mister Sinewave posted:

I agree. Pacemakers and any other electro-medical implanted anything are specifically no-no, because nothing is worth even the slightest chance of messing with that stuff.

That being said, it is possible to implement electroshock harmlessly and safely, and implement in a way that fails "safe" if something does go wrong. We wouldn't be using it (and I wouldn't be a party to it) otherwise.

Can I specifically request unsafe electroshock? I live dangerously.

Crunkjuice
Apr 4, 2007

That could've gotten in my eye!
*launches teargas at unarmed protestors*

I THINK OAKLAND PD'S USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE WAS JUSTIFIED!


Have you guys thought about turrets? There are lots of youtube videos of people hooking up paintball guns/nerf/airsoft to motion detectors and such. It probably wouldn't be feasible in small arena games, but it larger outdoor formats it could be a fun thing. Maybe some sort of stationary thing in the middle that can only activate after a certain point score/button/time limit or whatever is met.

Also, how much of this endeavor was brought about by the starship troopers laser tag scene?

Please come to Texas

Craptacular
Jul 11, 2004



Crunkjuice posted:

Have you guys thought about turrets?
Maybe have one or two guys on a team that can make themselves and one other player invulnerable for a short period of time. Also, funny hats.


Crunkjuice posted:

Please come to Texas
This too.

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

Crunkjuice posted:

Have you guys thought about turrets?

Not turrets exactly, but I like the way you think.

Also if I die and these haven't shown up yet, then you can all know my death was untimely:



Crunkjuice posted:

Also, how much of this endeavor was brought about by the starship troopers laser tag scene?

Huh. It sounds incredible, but none actually. I hadn't even thought of it until it was brought up in this thread. The "let's design next-gen lasertag" part happened first and the electroshock part came later, so as amazing as it sounds those dots never otherwise connected.

Naramyth
Jan 22, 2009

Australia cares about cunts. Including this one.

Alaan posted:

Seems reasonable. A vanishingly small amount of actual gun users actually do any move and shoot.

And even if you do, with unlimited ammo (not an issue in this) there is no reason not to shoot all the time.

Gray Stormy posted:

YoopShoot 2016: Finally going to Canada

yessssss

The Eyes Have It
Feb 9, 2008

Third Eye Sees All
...snookums

For anyone in Toronto who wants to try things out, this weekend is your opportunity to come try it out!

We're going have a demo & small game set-up at Toronto Maker Faire, which is happening at the Toronto Reference Library.

Mortabis
Jul 8, 2010


I'm 3 hours from Toronto presently but driving there means coming through Buffalo and I'm not sure that's possible at the moment.

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DJExile
Jun 27, 2007



Mister Sinewave posted:

For anyone in Toronto who wants to try things out, this weekend is your opportunity to come try it out!

We're going have a demo & small game set-up at Toronto Maker Faire, which is happening at the Toronto Reference Library.

That's awesome. looking forward to hearing how it goes

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