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Author Topic: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo  (Read 8675 times)

Jonathan S. Fox

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LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« on: May 28, 2007, 09:48:00 pm »

EDIT:

I've released LCS 3.10 alpha 3 for download. Please give it a shot and let me know what you think. The differences between the actual release and the feature list below are:

3.10a1

- I re-doubled the selling price on armor, so that it's now twice the manufacturing price, rather than merely the manufacturing price. So now you can still make a profit from making expensive suits, it's just much less attractive than it used to be -- $300 per suit profit is less useful than $1200 per suit.
- No agility check to give cover fire in sieges
- / and \ support in init file removed; AZERTY support added

3.10a3

- General balance changes.
- Police now search for safe houses differently.
- Added a prototype system for writing articles for the Liberal Guardian.
- Added various new weapons.

3.10a5

- A pause before you get into encounters
- Stuff appears in restricted squares
- New law: Gun control
- Pawn shop now sells more guns, but only if they're legal
- You can now cause alarm by the weapon you're carrying
- You can now cause instant alarm as soon as anybody sees you if your weapon is totally illegal, like walking into the police station with an AK-47 and a clown suit
- You can get thrown in jail for openly carrying an illegal weapon in public
- You can disguise yourself and get away with holding an illegal weapon
- "Massive Conservative Response Imminent"

Download link for Windows:

3.10a1:
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/lcs_win32_310a1.zip

3.10a3:
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/lcs_win32_310a3.zip

3.10a5: [CURRENT VERSION]
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/lcs_win32_310a5.zip

Source update:

3.10a3:
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/game10a3.zip

3.10a5:
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/game10a5.zip  
(unzip and copy this over the game.cpp in the full source code downloadable off the bay12games website)

The original post follows:

--------

If there was going to be an update to Liberal Crime Squad, what would you like to see?

--- COMBAT & FIGHTING:
- Ballistic vests that provide the strongest armor yet, and can't be made or bought, but are carried by military and some police forces
- Raids conducted by special Police SWAT units with machine guns and body armor (Trivia from the SWAT entry on Wikipedia: In the SLA siege, the police eventually assaulted the building with teargas and SWAT units armed only with semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and no body armor. The building burned down, all of the SLA members inside were shot multiple times, and despite over three thousand rounds fired and the police not using body armor, not a single police officer was injured.)
- Back ranks during a siege are less effective (must pass an agility check to attack)
- Assault rifles can hit more than once per round
- Just a little less likely to hit Liberal bystanders on accident... it's not really fun to have to always be holding your fire when fighting
- Shotguns are easier to hit with, but do reduced damage on a "barely hit"
- Mere pistols no longer blow people's limbs apart with a single bullet (I lost one too many main characters to security guards BLOWING MY BODY IN HALF with the first shot from their .22 revolver), but may still get other critical hits ("heart is blasted!" and dead at the end of the round, broken neck and paralyzed, all those other uncool other things that don't involve decapitation, exploding bodies, or outright dismemberment that is vastly out of proportion to the power of the weapon used)

--- SLEEPERS:
- Sleeper system overhaul -- eliminating the early News Anchor/Radio Personality win without making them useless, by having them all influence the normal background moves of public opinion, rather than have their own independent effect
- Make almost all sleepers good for something, except like, police dogs and mutants
- Police department sleepers can give advance warning of police raids and leak police records
- CEO sleepers may warn of imminent corporate attacks and leak corporate documents (corporate managers can also leak documents)
- Agent sleepers may warn of imminent CIA raids and leak intelligence documents

--- LEGAL SYSTEM:
- Hiring a good attorney costs $5000 instead of $1000
- Getting away with murder (literally and metaphorically) in court is generally harder; prosecution is stronger, and how many (and how bad) the charges are influences the difficulty
- Sleeper judges always reduce the sentence, and never order executions
- There's always a chance of conviction, even if you're really good; you're guilty, it should never be a sure thing to get away with it. Instead, emphasis should be on avoiding that position in the first place.

--- HACKING:
- Harder to get a "major event" in hacking
- Can cause a scare by hacking into CIA networks (don't get data disks, but you do influence the intelligence issue)
- Can deface conservative websites
- Credit card fraud is less lucrative for lower level hackers

--- DATING:
- Law enforcement officers and agents sometimes identify wanted Liberals on dates, and try to arrest them
- Kidnapping soldiers and other dangerous targets can sometimes backfire

--- COMMAND STRUCTURE:
- Liberals stay in contact when their boss is only arrested, and only disappear when their boss gets sent to jail or dies
- High juice, high heart liberals might come back after their boss is released from jail (so maybe you're sent to jail for twenty years, and awhile after you're released, one day your old top general just shows up at the homeless shelter, weapon in hand... everyone else has abandoned you, but she's a veteran with too much put into this... even after twenty years, the man can't keep her down)
- Color coding on the promotion screen to show which liberals are arrested, in jail, or in hiding due to their superiors being in jail

--- OTHER STUFF:
- Armor can only be sold at the cost of manufacture (can't sell expensive suits to raise money)
- The keys '/' and '\' can be used to page forward and back instead of brackets or pageup/pagedown, by typing "slashes" into the init file

There are other things I'd like to see too, but that's not my wish-list. That's a list of features that are in the current build of LCS sitting on my hard drive. Some features will need more testing eventually, particularly for balance, while others are a little crude; Liberals "slink back" after you're released from prison, just like if they escaped a siege a couple days previous, for example, and that doesn't feel quite right. And with the SWAT units and body armor, it may be okay to remove the agility check I added early on to back rank support in a siege -- if you want three ranks of agents, go ahead and get them, but beware the fact that agents can arrest you if you try to date them with a criminal record, and they don't come with body armor, while the assaulting units will.

A couple of thoughts on things I'd like to do beyond this:
- Add weapons: M4 Carbine (lighter, less powerful version of the M16 preferred by urban assault teams, using the same ammunition), MP5 submachine gun (rapid fire like an assault rifle, lighter bullets like a pistol), and a combat shotgun (generic pump-action shotgun equivalent to the existing one, but chambered for 4-8 rounds -- I may even replace the current shotgun completely). Once this is done, I can alter damage calculations a bit so that some weapons can nullify armor more than others, thus justifying heavier weapons without them doing more raw damage, or penalize agility rolls in combat due to the weight of the weapon, thus encouraging lighter weapons (SMG or Carbine instead of the M16 and AK47).
- When fighting evil, after you're in an area for a certain amount of time with the alarm on, or after you've killed a certain number of Conservatives, the building is evacuated and red "ENEMY" SWAT teams start appearing from the entrance, trapping you in and forcing you to fight your way out or surrender (which will have to be added). The thing at the top of the screen says "CONSERVATIVES ALARMED" will have to change to something like "POLICE RESPONSE", with a special case for the police station itself.

And of course I could think of other things, but there's no reason to get carried away. I'm posting now because I'm interested in what you'd like to see. Give me some ideas!

P.S. Not to complain too much about the source code, as I've actually enjoyed learning it, but the one thing above anything else that really drove me crazy was having 40 separate places where I had to manually add support for the / and \ keys. Sure, the actual key reads were parameterized, but the "press [] to see other pages" stuff was hardcoded as separate constant strings in like 40 different interface pages.

[ June 10, 2007: Message edited by: Jonathan S. Fox ]

[ June 10, 2007: Message edited by: Jonathan S. Fox ]

[ June 10, 2007: Message edited by: Jonathan S. Fox ]

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Toady One

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2007, 01:16:00 am »

He he he, that whole game was written by iterated copy-paste.  Suffer!
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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 02:49:00 pm »

Heheheh, I can tell! In my first C course, the professor explained to us his firm opinion that easy copy and paste was the worst thing to ever happen to programming.  ;) I'm sure some people thought he was crazy there, but he had a point. There are other ways to be lazy that make your life easier down the road, instead of harder. But hey, at least Visual Studio has a very easy to use find feature.
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slMagnvox

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2007, 05:00:00 am »

Just last week I played a few games ... like 8 hours worth of Liberal Crime Squad.  I wasn't sure what was going on the first few times, I talked a bunch of hippies and college students into joining the cause .. They looked Liberal enough.  Then I wasn't sure what to do with them.  Soliciting donations didn't do much.  Sending them out to cause trouble was funny, but they just got the crap beat out of them and didn't make any money. Selling brownies got us all arrested right quick.  Whatever exactly selling brownies was.

Things changed when I talked someone with the Computer skill into joining.  I had been hanging around the Wired Troll (hah) and after getting a date and talking a bunch into join me I set everybody to trouble making.  And made like $1500 in credit card fraud!  I made the connection between the computer skill and started dating programmers exclusively.

Also, the pickup lines are priceless.

But eventually the siege would come, I'd get arrested and everyone would lose contact.  I came up with some strategies to keep my main guy safe, like keeping all the Haxx0r in one safe house while I operated from another.  I'd like a couple more options when dealing with a siege.  Like negotiate with the cops.  OK, we'll release the "hostage" and I will come with you willingly and at the trial the whole world will see the "hostage" was there of her own free will, and I was the real victim.  Of Conservative Police Malice!

Just going to trial is a pain like you mentioned, everyone loses contact.

The other killer is the Corporate Attack.  Deadly.  Combat is just asking to die.  Everytime I get in a gunfight with my main he gets his lungs blown out.  With a fully Upgraded hideout, should Corporate Raiders still be able to come right in to attack?  Shouldn't there be like at most 1 or 2 groups instead of scores of AK wielding Mercs?  Could avoidance be more of an option?  Maybe jumping right to the car/foot chase at the cost of the hideout and the stuff there.  Cause the AK wielding Mercs ...

Kidnapping was the third skill I developed.  It didn't seem worth the effort since it brought so much heat down on me.  Then I had just seen the Supreme Court desicions go down when a day or two later I meet a Hangin' Judge and kidnapped him.  Bitch, be cool.  The Latte stand downtown is a kidnapper's paradise!  Anyway, I did the max $500 and made him burn confed flags and I got the sleeper message.  Then I was kidnapping left and right.

I actually won that game.  My main got shot to death, the whole organization disbanded and I typed Gay Marriage on the confirmation screen.  And the Liberals won!  I guess the sleeper thing I had going on.

Anyway, I'd like to see a couple more options when [A]ctivating the Uninvolved.  Like if they were wounded by a mob of rednecks they could [D]rag their own sorry ass to the FREE Clinic without me making a squad to take them.  If there was a printing press, could we [P]rint flyers and newsletters?  Besides the monthly Corporate Secrets thing.  Which doesn't really sound like it would even require a printing press.  But flyers are pretty Liberal. MEAT ist MURDAR.  And then donations.  I thought maybe converted Socialites and maybe like an Art Critic, Musician or Actor could have a bonus to gathering much larger contributions.

And then you could spend the money to fund an Elite Liberal candidate.  And I haven't seen an election yet.  Being able to pass longer spans of time would be good for seeing more of the neat events.  Like the police brutality skit.  Heh.

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flap

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 08:59:00 am »

I have never played much LCS (though I came to Bay12Games from it). What has always annoyed me was that the controls are definitelly not defined for someone playing on a french laptop.

A configuration file to costumize the keys you use would be so wonderfull !!! (and then I might be able to play, and propose really interesting things)

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 11:29:00 am »

slMagnvox:

Selling brownies is selling drugs, and I think it's very amusing that they actually charge you with "selling brownies" in court. For all the in-your-face gore and violence and the sexual pick up lines, making it selling brownies everywhere seems rather odd. Since I've seen a few people on the forums get confused by this, I'm wondering if I shouldn't just change this -- at least in court. I'm curious what the original reasoning was for naming that the way it is. I figure most people probably get the reference, but not everyone realizes it's illegal until half their squad is in jail.

I have made hacking a little less lucrative, but it's still better than soliciting donations. It's also still much more illegal.  ;)

Negotiating with the police might be interesting, although I'd have to think about what demands you could make, and when they'd be inclined to give in to them. In the SLA siege, they negotiated with the police for days before the big shootout, so I can see how it's very fitting for the theme. Maybe let the police put you under siege if you have a hostage, even if you're not fortified for one... not sure here.

The corporate mercenaries are really nasty, and I actually rather like that. They push you to actually recruit some serious muscle -- you can't just bank on being able to abuse the justice system, you need to be prepared for extralegal attacks where they're more interested in seeing you dead than bringing you to any real "justice", and they've brought more than enough guns to do so. Once you realize that sieges are very nasty stuff, and the police are the only ones you really want to consider surrendering to, you can start looking for where to get really good fighters to lend support to all your stealth and persuasion. Gang members (from the crack houses on the second page of the industrial district) make good goons, are extremely easy to recruit, and can come with decent weapons -- occasionally including AK47s. There are more powerful fighters out there (gang members have so-so stats and poor skills), but that's a good place to start.

I really like the idea of having liberals drag themselves to the clinic -- heck, maybe they could even do it on their own after they're beaten up, without you having to activate them. They just send word "oh hey I got jumped by rednecks, I'm in the clinic for three months". I could definitely live with that. Either way, I'll look into letting them go to the clinic from the activation screen.

I'm also definitely on board with improving the use of the printing press. I already had some ideas -- technically, the presses are used at the end of each month to release the Liberal Guardian, which improves the effect of all your actions in the last month by putting a true Liberal Spin on them, it's just that this feature was never actually made visible to the player. I've been pondering how to overhaul it. I never thought of using the activation screen for it, but I really like that. Have some activated to print fliers, others (writing skill) to write them. Printing gets them distributed, writing actually gives you something to distribute.

"Your writers have written an article in the Liberal Guardian justifying your recent theft at the police station!"

They could keep an internal queue of all the site actions committed, and work through all of the ones done that month, then clear the record at the end of each month. When there are no crimes to write about, they'd write general opinion pieces. And then for printers:

"Your printers have distributed copies of the Liberal Guardian in the University District!"

Yeah, that might be cool. And it would make the discussion of running special editions seem much cooler.

---------------------

flap:

Looking at the AZERTY keyboard layout, the problems I'd anticipate you having with a french laptop would be these:

1. If you have no arrow keys, moving around would be very difficult in the stages that require directional input. The game is hardcoded for the WADX keys, and two of those are in different places. I can fix this, but let me know if you have arrow keys on your laptop first -- it may be more work than needed to change the way this works. I also use a different keyboard layout than intended, but I have no problem because because my laptop has arrow keys, which have been supported for awhile now.

2. Both the pageup/pagedown and [] systems would get pretty tedious as neither of these are easy keystrokes on the AZERTY keyboard. My idea of using '/' and '\' wouldn't be much better; one of the keys is easy, the other isn't. I could add support for ';' and ':', and that might help in this specific case, but it might be better to just let you define your own keys.

3. I notice that you have to press shift to access the number keys; you don't have to do that on English keyboards, which is part of why LCS uses numbers in the interface. How do games usually deal with this? I guess they probably don't use as many keys in the interface. The problem is that LCS involves so many of the letters that there isn't an obvious substitution I can add, unless it was adding support for various accented characters in place of numbers, so you could just use the base key without pressing shift. I'm not sure how much work it would be to make this user-defined in the configuration file, but I'll look into it.

I would really like to avoid making *every* key in the game customizable, particularly all the letters, as that would require completely rewriting the interface on every screen in the entire game. It would be easiest if you told me what the specific problems were, so I can try to fix those without completely reworking everything. The code wasn't really designed for changing the key configuration, so it takes a lot of extra work to fix this kind of issue. It's possible, just a lot of work.

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flap

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2007, 07:13:00 am »

Ok, thanks for your questions :

1: Yes, there are the arrow keys
2: yes ; and : is perfect
3: Hmm. I have just tried to see how LCS handles the figures. If I press "shift" first it things that I have typed a wrong key and leaves the selection. To reach the guys, I have to press "caps lock" first. I can eventually spend my time playing with caps lock switch on...


Yep, I'll play a bit and try to spot the difficulties.

[ May 31, 2007: Message edited by: flap ]

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 02:13:00 am »

I've released my changes so far:
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/lcs_win32_310a1.zip

This includes all of the changes in my original post, with three differences.

- Selling price on armor is now twice the manufacturing cost, so you can sell at a profit -- just less than before.
- No more agility check when providing support fire in a siege.
- / and \ are no longer supported: I replaced them with AZERTY keyboard support.

So Flap, please try this version and let me know how the AZERTY interface initialization works for you. In the init.txt, replace the "brackets" with "AZERTY". I made the game go a few extra steps and treat the &"'(! keys like number keys when you use the AZERTY initialization, so that you shouldn't need to use shift or capslock to access the squad members. The paging is controlled by ; and :, and the game will also know that the shift versions of these keys (. and /) are the same keys. I've tested all of this with French keyboard emulation, and it seems to be working well, with everything usable whether capslock is on or off. Hopefully this will fix everything for you -- let me know!

EDIT:

By the way, I'm aware of a display bug that has appeared in this version, in which your input is printed to the screen. I am not familiar enough with the graphics implementation to know *why* this happens when I compile the game, but I find it pretty annoying myself.

[ June 01, 2007: Message edited by: Jonathan S. Fox ]

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flap

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2007, 02:34:00 am »

I have tried 2 seconds.

At least it starts.
The arrow keys do work.
Eeer, that's all I can tell for now...

Oh, yes a suggestion : on the first screen, maybe you should tell that it is a version modified by you. (And not only a work done by Tarn Adams).

[ June 01, 2007: Message edited by: flap ]

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2007, 03:05:00 am »

Yes, I figured I should probably make a note about the latest version's changes being my work, but I was too lazy. The changes are a tiny minority of the game, so I figured it wasn't too important for this alpha release. But yes, I agree and plan to say something at some point. At least I made a note in the manual to that effect. :P
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flap

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2007, 05:52:00 am »

By the way getting more info from the printing is definitely a good idea.
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4bh0r53n

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2007, 02:08:00 pm »

Haven't played LCS for a while, how u hack on it again?
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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2007, 02:50:00 pm »

You can hack by recruiting someone who has enough computer skill (I think it's at least 2 points in it) and then telling them to make trouble. If you don't have many programmers, you might have to wait a few days of nothing happening before they manage to succeed at something. If you pick Macintosh (c) as your first character creation pick, your LCS founder should be able to hack.
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4bh0r53n

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2007, 03:39:00 pm »

ok, thanks
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flap

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Re: LCS 3.10 (Formerly "what would you want to see?&quo
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2007, 04:37:00 am »

Hello !

A tiny issue with your release. Well, maybe it is on purpose... But the arrow key you implemented now behave like the WADX keys : If I press up on the main screen, I will wait on day, as if I had pressed W.

I'll let you decide if it is an issue or not.

Also, an other solution for the pgdn and pgup keys, why not simply uisng up and down arrow ? All keyboard would have them. (while otherwise you would laway find someone telling 'yeah, but my weird keyboard as it, but they are difficult to reach...'

Well. anyway, being able to play with the arrow keys is really much easier than before !

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