Runtime generated passwords and solutions

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Gizmo
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Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Gizmo » March 7th, 2012, 8:08 pm

I would like to suggest that any lock & safe combinations, passwords; button sequences, (and possibly written maps and instructions) be generated at run-time if appropriate. That way the solution is not always identical for each and every time the game is played.

I recall that "Riven" (by Cyan ~later 'Cyan Worlds') did this for a lot of their puzzles so that the steps to solve them had to be done in the game... If you had to touch several stones in sequence, that sequence was new every time you started a new game; passwords and combinations were unique to each session. You could not open a combination lock for remembering what it was the previous time.

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Sxerks » March 7th, 2012, 8:56 pm

I was thinking along the same line for obstacles and saved games. For example, a mine field or radiation field would be randomly generated at run-time. And depending on how saved games are handled, those fields could be re-randomly generated on every reload until the party was pasted that location.

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Temaperacl
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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Temaperacl » March 8th, 2012, 5:55 am

I don't have a problem with dynamically generated passwords or codes for some things (For example, in WL, it probably would have worked for the PW Head Crusher gives you, but not for URABUTLN), but I don't like the idea of them being randomly generated every load. If that was done, they should either be generated at game start, when you first try to access them, or when you first find a reference to them. Otherwise, if it is something you can try multiple times, if you give up on one session and then load again, you could end up with something you already tried. In that case it doesn't add to the game (in my opinion), but makes it feel like a "You have to follow the quest line to find the password" type of limitation.

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Tanglebones » March 8th, 2012, 2:35 pm

I'm not a huge fan of including arbitrary game mechanics to try and control how a gamer plays the game. If someone buys the game and wants to download a walk through and follow it step by step, that should be their option. I do kind of like the idea of randomly generated radiation fields (or even a few randomly generated "dungeons") in order to change up the experience from playthrough to playthrough so on a second or third time through it doesn't fell like you're sleep-walking through it.

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Gizmo
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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Gizmo » March 8th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Temaperacl wrote: but I don't like the idea of them being randomly generated every load. If that was done, they should either be generated at game start, when you first try to access them, or when you first find a reference to them.
Certainly not every re-load... Only every new game; which is to say, anytime you start fresh from the beginning.
Tanglebones wrote:I'm not a huge fan of including arbitrary game mechanics to try and control how a gamer plays the game.
I am :twisted: (but that's beside the point.)
If someone buys the game and wants to download a walk through and follow it step by step, that should be their option.
If I were to download a walkthrough (and this was done with generated solutions), the instructions would be something like, "break into npc-X's office and search his lockers, one will contain his administrator password for root access to the mainframe (which you'll need for the next step)". Or it could be something like, "Inspect the base of each statue in the garden for a gold plaque with a number on it; the button-pad security lock on the back garden gate uses these numbers from left to right, as the combination to open it".

And this would mean that my game's combination lock would be different from the walkthrough author's; but the method to learn it would be the same.

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Tanglebones » March 8th, 2012, 8:44 pm

Gizmo wrote:If I were to download a walkthrough (and this was done with generated solutions), the instructions would be something like, "break into npc-X's office and search his lockers, one will contain his administrator password for root access to the mainframe (which you'll need for the next step)". Or it could be something like, "Inspect the base of each statue in the garden for a gold plaque with a number on it; the button-pad security lock on the back garden gate uses these numbers from left to right, as the combination to open it".

And this would mean that my game's combination lock would be different from the walkthrough author's; but the method to learn it would be the same.
If the point isn't to mess with people who want a walkthrough, I'm not sure I see what the upshot of randomizing passwords and the like is?

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Flamekebab » March 8th, 2012, 8:50 pm

The point being that on the next playthrough the player might know the method but not the answer. It seems a bit silly if their characters magically know the password just because you happen to have it memorised from a (figuratively speaking) past life.

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Crooked Bee » March 10th, 2012, 12:31 am

I think this is a really good idea (every new game, of course). And yes, the point is to keep things fresh for you on your next playthrough. Not a *huge* deal, of course, but a nice thing nevertheless.

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by rakenan » March 11th, 2012, 3:22 pm

Tanglebones wrote:If the point isn't to mess with people who want a walkthrough, I'm not sure I see what the upshot of randomizing passwords and the like is?
To make sure people actually have to walk through, and not just skip half the game because they happen to know the password to get into the secure locked safe you're not supposed to access until you get the combo from the mid-game boss.

It's just like keys. You can't open a lock that requires a key until you find the key. That doesn't mean walkthroughs are worthless - they tell you where to find the key, and where to use it. I don't see the problem with making passwords and safe combos and the like work the same way.
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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by Lexx » March 11th, 2012, 10:28 pm

rakenan wrote:It's just like keys. You can't open a lock that requires a key until you find the key.
How about destroying the door? Then you don't need the key.

I don't see why passwords and stuff should be randomized. If people want to use walkthroughs, then let them... After all, it won't influence your playthrough. And even if the passwords are randomized, people can still use walkthroughs to find out where to find the password. Ends in the same, just that they have to walk longer.

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Re: Runtime generated passwords and solutions

Post by sweetcraspy » March 13th, 2012, 11:05 am

I like runtime generated passwords. It's very annoying when a game won't let me use a password until my characters hear it, but at the same time, I don't want to be tempted to shortcut the process of learning the codes.

To preserve the story aspects, perhaps the game could choose the passwords randomly from a limited set, or perhaps the phrase could change over time (a different one for each day of the week, etc).

Anything that keeps me from going "Oh, I know this, *Boop Boop-Boop Boop*" when I first encounter it but still lets me brute force the code if I care to do so is good by me.

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