This is the third part of our LSPDFR 0.4 Preview Series. Not caught up yet? Check out the initial announcement here: https://www.lcpdfr.com/forums/topic/81745-lspdfr-04-announcement-first-preview
So, this article is a little bit different than most. Recently, a number of people have expressed an interest in hearing some more details about the technology behind LSPDFR 0.4, including some of the developments that we've made with respect to artificial intelligence in the mod and also perhaps some more information about the ways in which LSPDFR 0.4 can be customized through code. While exact details like this are a little difficult to provide as plans can, and often do, change - we've gathered together a number of new systems and features to present here which we think both developers and players alike will be looking forward to.
The Crime System
To start with, one of the new systems that we've introduced in LSPDFR 0.4 is the not-very-originally-named Crime System. The Crime System was originally developed as an expansion of what we had previously done in LCPDFR 1.0 where players could press ALT + E to 'call in' things that had happened, with the key example being a suspect taking off from a traffic stop - units wouldn't respond until it had been called in.
This is back in LSPDFR 0.4, but with a big twist. The Crime System recognises a number of different events which could take place in-game (called Crime Events), such as a person firing a weapon, a car being stolen or somebody being run over. Each time one of these things (and a couple of others) happens in-game, it's picked up by LSPDFR so that our systems can react to it. This gives us similar functionality to LCPDFR 1.0, where if you're attacked by a criminal then you're able to report this and the criminal will be targeted properly by other units, but it also opens up some new possibilities that we've added for LSPDFR, including the ability for nearby civilians to actually call 911 if they witness a crime.
The Crime System allows for far greater interaction with GTA V's rich environment, providing a more dynamic experience during patrols.
The cool thing about this is that since GTA V is a very rich game in terms of the ambient environment, it's actually quite possible that crimes like this can take place in the game and we think it makes things a whole lot more immersive when you can actually react to them with the full support of LSPDFR behind you, rather than having to engage in a mad dash after someone in the vain hope that you'll catch up before they turn a corner and disappear!
Plus, the Crime System will be available in the API for LSPDFR 0.4, easily allowing developers to add new Crime Events by specifying the crime, victim and suspect. This could be useful, for example, in a drunk driver callout where the player searches for the offending vehicle. Once they've found it, they'll be able to report this to dispatch and trigger a pursuit, without the need for any additional code - a lot more convenient than having to handle this manually.
Sticking with the topic of improvements to a lot of the technology that powers LSPDFR, we've added all new functionality throughout the mod for custom Scenarios. In general, we like to think of Scenarios as short ambient sequences which can just spontaneously happen within the world. In addition to this, though, we also support Scenarios across a couple of our other systems, like both pursuits and traffic stops. This opens up a bunch of new opportunities for gameplay as just like in real life, there's now so much more that could happen during a traffic stop. Perhaps they exit their vehicle while you're approaching? Do they have a weapon, or are they just angry and complaining?
From 'routine' traffic stops gone totally wrong to suspects ditching their cars and bailing, Scenarios add all new depth to LSPDFR.
The best bit about Scenarios, though, is that we've also added them to the LSPDFR 0.4 API, and while we've come up with a few of our own, we know that there's many developers who will knock it out of the park in their attempts to find new and interesting ways of enhancing the experience with Scenarios. Be it by creating new situations that can happen during traffic stops, devising new ways that pursuit suspects will attempt to elude officers, or even by taking advantage of some of the other additions to 0.4, like the Crime System for example, to add a bunch of new ambient crimes throughout the game, we think that the new Scenario system will add much more depth and variety to LSPDFR.
The scene after an escaped pursuit suspect's burned out vehicle was located.
Finally, in 0.4, we've re-worked a lot of our artificial intelligence. We'll be sharing more details about these improvements, particularly as it relates to the overhauled pursuit system, in the near future but for now here's a taste of things to come, with some technical explanation, from our very own @LMS
You know, when we first started making LSPDFR, the whole process was pretty much one big roller-coaster that didn't have any brakes: there were the obvious highs when we'd finally add in something cool, but the low points were pretty hard as well - the amount of work that went into simply researching how things worked really took its toll as well. And, of course, while this was all going on there just simply wasn't any stopping, we were a couple of (somewhat) real people who essentially lived in Los Santos for just about all of 2015, spending month after month pushing forward and trying to come up with things that everyone here would like to see.
So, of course, the grind and the pace of everything simply just wasn't sustainable and after 0.3, it's no secret that while the numbers and everything for our site are still on the up, month after month, things did slow down quite substantially for the actual mod itself. But, we can tell you, this wasn't all bad news - it's afforded us the opportunity to take a step back and really look at the mod and figure out where we want to go next with it. While our approach before was all about cramming as much new stuff as we could into a couple of months of development, we've now been able to look back at many of the original ideas and concepts that we had for LSPDFR and build on them. Of course, with that being said, there's still a lot of new stuff crammed into 0.4!
With 0.4, we've taken the time to fix a couple of those "how the hell didn't they add this yet" moments :)
Aside from the cool little additions like this, though, the major theme of 0.4 is Character. Ever since seeing the character system for GTA Online, it was always our goal to implement something similar in LSPDFR. There's just something that much more personal and immersive about playing a game with your own character, and the possibilities that it offers are staggering too. And yes, while mods like EUP are fantastic (and awesomely compatible with 0.4!), they still feel somewhat separate or distant. With 0.4, this separation is gone.
No, these shots aren't taken from GTA Online. This is our own, fully-featured, LSPDFR Character Creator.
Of course, we'll talk more about the new Character features in LSPDFR 0.4 later. The Character Creator menu shown above is obviously only one part of what's new in this regard, although hopefully it emphasizes the effort that we've gone to. Thanks to some of the new additions like this, much of 0.4 actually looks and feels like an entirely new mod altogether.
Officer Ronson and his clones obviously couldn't make it to the flashlight party.