Indicati reacted to Sam in LSPDFR 0.4 - Coming February, 2019
You misunderstand our reason for not giving a specific date. We're not a professional studio and don't have an army of people to work on this full time day-in, day-out. There's so many different things to prepare and get ready for this release. It's not like we finished 0.4 in January and decided to make everyone wait a month just for fun.
Indicati reacted to Sam in LSPDFR 0.4 - Pursuits & Intervention
This is the fourth part of our LSPDFR 0.4 Preview Series. Not caught up yet? Check out the rest of this series here: https://www.lcpdfr.com/forums/forum/880-news-updates/
It's probably the most critical component of the mod, so it follows that with any new version of LSPDFR, you can be pretty confident that the underlying systems which enable police pursuit gameplay will be updated. LSPDFR 0.4 is, of course, no different in this regard, and following on with the general theme of 0.4's development (which is more less pulling everything out and ripping it to pieces), we've taken the opportunity to revamp much of the pursuit gameplay in the mod.
As an aside, we had hoped to publish this preview at an earlier date but unfortunately due to both @LMS and myself being away from home, on various different continents in the past month or so this was a little difficult. Nonetheless, we hope that you enjoy this preview and that it nicely illustrates just a couple of the changes that we've made to pursuits, as alluded to in our last post about AI improvements.
Pursuit Interaction Menu
Since LSPDFR 0.3, we've had an Interaction Menu, à la GTA Online, which has, as you would expect, facilitated interaction between you as a player and your character and their job as a cop. While this is cool and all, there's definitely a number of areas where the interaction in LSPDFR falls a little short, with pursuits being perhaps the most obvious.
In LCPDFR for GTA IV, there were a couple of toggles available during pursuits - notably the option to force or disable the usage of lethal force. With 0.4, however, we think we've far surpassed that by introducing a handful of new options which definitely provide more control than ever.
The Pursuit Interaction Menu in LSPDFR 0.4 offers advanced controls for the current pursuit, as well as the ability to disengage.
The cool thing about the new Interaction options for Pursuits is that it ties in nicely with the new customization options introduced in 0.4, and covered earlier in our previews. So, not only can you define and configure law enforcement agencies to your liking, but you can also carry this through to pursuits too by designating a specific agency to handle the chase. If, for example, a pursuit that starts in Los Santos crosses multiple jurisdictions then it's entirely probable that you'll end up with a number of agencies joining, which depending on the circumstances and/or your own preferences, might not be so desirable. With the new Interaction options, you could simply specify that the initiating agency (i.e. the LSPD in this case) handles the pursuit, leaving the other agencies to mind their own business.
Similarly, there's a lot of other practical usefulness be found in these options: we've brought back the ability to force on/off the usage of lethal force against pursuit suspects, and there's also the ability to enable or disable pursuit intervention tactics (more on these below).
And of course, for those in search of the ultimate exercise in boredom (I mean, err, realism), then you might find that setting a pursuit into Tracking Mode - where ground units will hang back and follow from a distance, leaving your small air force of helicopters following above to do all the work in true Angeleno fashion - makes you feel so much more at home.
Pursuit Intervention Techniques
As alluded to above, LSPDFR 0.4 also introduces a number of changes to the artificial intelligence in pursuits. Currently, the main tactic employed by NPCs in GTA V during pursuits is to rather aimlessly ram into the back of the suspect vehicle in the unrealistic belief that this is actually going to help end the pursuit. Of course, this usually just results in the cop crashing into oblivion, and it looks really, really dumb too.
So, naturally, one of the coolest new additions to LSPDFR 0.4 is the implementation of a working PIT maneuver:
Demonstration of NPC officers bringing a pursuit to a safe conclusion through successful usage of the new PIT maneuver in LSPDFR 0.4
YouTube version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiFFFho3hd0
As cool as this is, we know that NPCs performing PITs may not be to everyone's taste, and that it may not be suitable in every circumstance, so these can easily be enabled or disabled on-the-fly, during a pursuit, through the Interaction menu by changing the Tactics option. If pursuit Tactics are disabled, pursuing NPCs will not attempt PIT maneuvers, and they will also shy away from most other advanced tactics, like blocking.
A closer look at the termination of the pursuit, with the suspects surrendering, after a successful usage of the PIT maneuver.
Throughout the history of our two mods, air support has always been a touchy subject. For those of you who played LCPDFR, you will likely still carry with you many terrifying memories of those white and blue flying death machines. In previous versions of LSPDFR, things generally weren't that much better either - especially when your pilot decides, in a moment of wisdom, that flying through the bridge, rather than over it, is the best course of action.
With 0.4, we've taken the time to address some of the most frustrating issues with air support, with a particular focus on dramatically increasing both the usefulness, and lifespan, of our helicopters. Specifically, you'll notice that helicopters in LSPDFR now fly at a much more realistic height and will properly increase or decrease their altitude as the situation requires, such as when a pursuit is passing through a heavily built up area. They're also far more competent at actually keeping up with the suspects they are pursuing and will do so with a degree of intelligence, rather than just trying to fly directly above them.
A watchful LSPD air support unit circles overhead, tracking as a suspect attempts to flee on foot.
Furthermore, we've built in special modes for our air units, giving them the ability not only to follow suspects, but also to conduct searches over wide areas - something which is especially useful when ground units have lost visual, or are attempting to locate a target.
In addition, our helicopters are also responsive to changes in the conditions of pursuits they follow - such as if a suspect is in a vehicle or not - and will adapt accordingly. When tracking a suspect on foot, air units won't simply hover above them but will engage in a more realistic flying pattern where the aircraft seeks to maintain continuous movement, while operating varying angles to compensate for possible obstructions like buildings.
Not a helicopter, but just in case you were wondering what happened to the guy pictured above...
This, though, definitely is a helicopter. It's also not flying at street level!
As always, stay tuned for more news about LSPDFR 0.4 as we progress towards its completion.
Indicati reacted to Sam in LSPDFR 0.4 - The Technology
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
Stay tuned for more news about 0.4, coming soon.
Indicati reacted to Sam in LSPDFR 0.4 - Epic Customization
This is the second 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
With LSPDFR 0.3, we got the ball rolling with backup customization, letting players configure their own backup units, giving players the ability to have four separate agencies in their game, each able to cover a different part of the map.
Now, back then, this was a pretty cool system - car mods weren't even a thing when we released LSPDFR 0.1, and even by 0.3, the modding scene was nowhere near as massive as it is now. Obviously, there's a whole lot more available to players in terms of content now, especially with popular mods like RDE and EUP which add multiple new ped models, vehicle models, and even entire police agencies. As such, we wanted to find a way to bring these in to LSPDFR.
So, forget just rolling the ball. With 0.4, we're hoping to hit it clean out of the park...
LSPDFR 0.4 gives you the ability to add your own custom law enforcement agencies, each with their own officers, outfits, inventories, vehicles, police stations and patrol areas.
One of the coolest new capabilities in 0.4 is our new approach to dealing with the various police agencies in the game. LSPDFR has always had a collection of pre-defined agencies, and you've been able to choose from them while going on-duty and you've seen them respond as backup units, but you've never really been able to properly configure them to your liking. Perhaps you've always wanted to set up Rockford Hills as an independent city with its own department, or maybe you've longed for the full, authentic Southern Californian experience of having way, way more cops than you could ever know what to do with?
LSPDFR 0.4 now gives you complete control over every agency in the game that we've already added (so the defaults that you're familiar with since 0.1, like the LSPD), but it also lets you define entirely new ones too.
The possibilities of this system are extensive: you can even have multiple agencies assigned to share one jurisdiction, and there's no pre-set limits for how many different agencies you can add.
Of course, what good are a bunch of custom agencies if you don't actually see them? 0.4 also expands on our existing backup customization capabilities, now letting you define your own patrol areas. With this system, you can assign any number of agencies to a particular zone in the game (like Strawberry or Del Perro), and you can combine these areas together into wider groups which can be used in-place of individual zones, making things much easier to manage.
Likewise, in LSPDFR 0.3, it was called Backup Customization for a reason - the only time you'd really see any of your customizations was when calling for backup. Again, this has been revamped in 0.4, and similarly, we're calling them Patrol Areas for good reason too. You'll now see your agencies actually patrolling in their designated areas.
Kiss goodbye to pesky data file edits - LSPDFR 0.4 actually puts cops on the beat. And not just any cops... your cops!
In light of the way in which we approach police agencies and backup areas, we've also taken the time to rework the various police stations in LSPDFR. Now, in 0.4, each police station is also configurable, and in similar fashion to Agencies and Patrol Areas, this system is also fully expandable, meaning you can define your own police stations too.
Aside from the various options like choosing where vehicles will spawn, you can also choose which agency each station belongs to and LSPDFR will configure things accordingly so that you'll actually see vehicles and officers belonging to the specific agency situated around it.
This system is pretty powerful in its own right as well, to the extent that even if you defined a police station at a random office building, you'd still see parked cars outside belonging to the agency. Plus, there's also extensive customization options for this too, meaning that you could choose a very specific vehicle model (like a special car with a recruitment livery) to be visible outside a specific police station, without it ever being used as part of the core backup system (i.e. you wouldn't have recruitment vehicles arriving at shots fired).
The Davis Sheriff's Station, all grown up... It looks a lot better now with the right people outside!
Outfits & Inventories
For the first time, 0.4 also introduces full support for multiplayer freemode characters (like those that you'll be familiar with from EUP), meaning that not only can you now play as a custom character in LSPDFR (through our new Character systems, which we'll talk about later), but you can also make it so that all the cops around don't look like clones anymore too!
If you add freemode characters to your Agency definitions, LSPDFR will automatically handle all of the nuances that they typically bring, generating everything from unique faces to head overlays and props.
And, to top things off - we've included a comprehensive system for managing outfits for multiplayer characters, meaning that LSPDFR 0.4 is fully compatible with EUP, both for player characters and non-player characters. With this, adding all of your favorite custom outfits is a breeze and there's also support for templating - meaning that you can define one complete outfit as a template, which can then be used as a base for other similar outfits - like having the same uniform with both short sleeves and long sleeves.
It doesn't stop there, either, because we've also included support for each Agency (and for each different type of officer within that agency) to have their own Inventories too - this handles everything relating to weapons, including attachments, and also supports the MK 2 weapons added in recent GTA Online updates, like pistols with hollow-point ammunition.
Putting it all together
We've really gone the extra mile in making sure that all of these systems join together, forming what we think is one amazingly powerful platform which will give everyone the freedom to play LSPDFR exactly as they like, with as much or as little additional content as they desire.
To give just one example, there's been a lot of thought into the structure behind this, and we've devised a system similar to that of the 'mods' folder in OpenIV, meaning that in most cases all of your customizations will be seamlessly merged together, eliminating the burden that comes with maintaining huge XML files that contain everything and drastically simplifying the process of installing customizations made by others.
There's a lot of great mods out there already like Custom Backup by @PNWParksFan, Emergency Uniforms Pack by @Alex_Ashfold, and Realism Dispatch Enhanced by @dilapidated that have done a fantastic job in demonstrating the potential that GTA V has for adding new content and giving players much greater control of their games, and we're really excited to be taking things to a whole new level in 0.4.
Finally, I'd like to say a special thanks to @SuperStumpje from the RDE team for his efforts behind the scenes in helping to refine many of the features shown above.
We hope that you're all as excited about LSPDFR 0.4 as we are, and we're looking forward to sharing more about 0.4 soon!
Customizations to LSPDFR are still made using simple XML files, and can also be split-up and neatly arranged on a per-agency basis.
No smart captions here - we just thought this looked cool ;]
Note that many of the pictures shown in this post contain a number of vehicle and character modifications (mainly EUP), simply to demonstrate their compatibility with 0.4.
Indicati reacted to Sam in LSPDFR 0.4 - Announcement + First Preview
Been a while, huh?
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.
Stay tuned! We'll be sharing more about 0.4 soon.
Indicati reacted to Sam in LSPDFR 0.4 - Ambience
This is the fifth and final part of our LSPDFR 0.4 Preview Series. Not caught up yet? Check out the rest of this series here: https://www.lcpdfr.com/forums/forum/880-news-updates/
One of the things we like most about developing new versions of LSPDFR is that with each version we have the opportunity not only to work on major new features, but also the smaller details that our mods have come to be known for over the years. Of course, 0.4 is no different in this regard and a lot has obviously changed since the early days of LSPDFR, offering us with a bunch of new ways to focus our attention to detail.
Getting straight to the point, a significant change that we're making in 0.4 relates to how the player is perceived within the game's world. Now, while this obviously isn't a sexy, new, video-worthy showstopper of a feature, it is nonetheless an important development behind-the-scenes - one that we think, despite its subtlety, will have a positive impact on your gameplay.
In 0.4, you'll notice that while on duty, other characters within the world will treat and react to you differently. As GTA V was never a game about being a cop, it's easily understandable that when you quite simplistically do become a cop - while keeping the underlying theme of the game - there's going to be things that don't feel quite right. You might notice, for example, that other characters within the world are overly aggressive towards you, itching for a fight at the slightest confrontation, or sometimes in the absence of any confrontation at all. Conversely, the opposite is often true where the most banal or routine encounter can send people hurrying away in abject panic. Both of these reactions are problematic as people generally don't just spontaneously approach a cop and proceed to cuss them out, nor do they begin hysterically fleeing at the sight of a stun gun.
Stun gun hysteria and stampedes no longer, LSPDFR 0.4 introduces more 'contemporary' reactions, like everyone summoning their inner videographer.
These adjustments to the game's core apply in a number of other cases too, of course. We thought it was pretty unlikely that the typical reaction to a police officer standing in front of someone's car would be for the driver to flip them off, and then - as if that wasn't enough - to then run them over for good measure. Likewise, it was always pretty ridiculous that you can't enter another police officer's car as a passenger without them freaking out and thinking that you're trying to steal it. All of these behaviors have been adjusted, and we think that you'll feel far more like an actual cop within the world - rather than just a retired bank robber dressing up with a badge.
And yes, while there are a number of mods out there that can help to mitigate many of the scenarios I've described above, they don't really offer a comprehensive and consistent solution simply due to technical restraints. Our changes are at a much lower level and offer us a higher degree of control on a per-character basis. This is great for flexibility and performance, and we think you'll really notice the difference when out and about on patrols.
New Interaction Menu
Sticking with the topic of small detail, increasing the level of interaction in LSPDFR is something that's very important to us - especially with the new focus on character in LSPDFR 0.4. Indeed, we previously showed off a number of new interaction options that will be available during vehicle pursuits, but we've also taken the time to make big improvements to the more general Interaction Menu, offering you most of the features currently available in GTA Online, but with an LSPDFR twist. Among the changes to the Interaction Menu are "quality of life" improvements like being able to quickly waypoint the nearest police station, as well as additions like new dialogue, actions and the ability to set your character's mood.
Similarly, you can now also change the way that your character walks, but it doesn't quite stop there as in keeping with the general idea we outlined above of making the game feel more suited towards being a cop, there's a special "Cop" walk style that not only makes your character walk around like an officer, but also completely replaces their generic "idle" animations - subtle movements that your character makes while stationary - with more appropriate police styled ones.
The more feature-complete Interaction Menu in LSPDFR 0.4 enhances your control, allowing for greater immersion.
Additionally, we've carried over this level of detail to the Police Radio options too, replacing the static animation that currently plays in this menu with a number of different options that can be cycled between instead, including a nifty new LAPD style handheld radio (as well as the option to play no animation at all). Again, this is a small detail, but we hope that the enhanced level of immersion will be welcomed - especially if playing as an FIB Agent and communicating via an earpiece instead of a shoulder mic, for example.
New technology in LSPDFR 0.4 produces incredibly lifelike scenes - you can freely move while using the police radio without any animation issues like arms being locked in place, etc.
Finally, still on the topic of detail, we've topped things off by adding a proper police flashlight to LSPDFR 0.4. Yes, we know that there's a bunch of ways to use a flashlight currently whether it be the vanilla one that looks like it's straight out of a horror movie, or through other mods which suffer from animation problems, but ours is a little different.
Already alluded to in the first preview we gave of LSPDFR 0.4, our flashlight is properly held above the head and can be used both by the player and other NPC officers. It doesn't affect player movement, and you can freely walk, run, sprint, etc. while still holding the light. If enabled, equipping it is a seamless process too - simply select the flashlight from the weapon wheel and LSPDFR will take care of the rest.
The new flashlight in LSPDFR 0.4 tops off our efforts to bring more immersion and realism to the mod.
In our previous post detailing some of the technology behind LSPDFR 0.4, we mentioned that we had added Scenarios to 0.4 - scripted events that could take place during pursuits and traffic stops. Similarly, we also noted that 0.4 introduces a new Crime System, capable of actually recognizing crimes that take place in the game world and providing functionality for the player to get involved by reporting these. Expanding upon this idea, we wanted to make sure that we fully realised the ambient world that Grand Theft Auto V provides, and to do this we've manipulated a couple of lesser-used features within the original game.
In the normal game, the player will sometimes be confronted by other characters within the world as a result of the agitation system built into the game which allows NPCs to insult or shove the player, for example. In LSPDFR 0.4, as a result of some research by @LMS, we've now been able to implement the same system, but for NPCs instead. This means that NPCs can become agitated with each other, begin trading insults, get into angry shouting matches, or eventually, physical confrontations. Plus, as these are actually 'legitimate' game events, other characters nearby will react appropriately, which also ties in really nicely with the Crime System and provides the player with something other to do than respond to dispatches or pull over vehicles - there's now hopefully much more actually happening within the world and consequently, more things for the player to notice while on patrol.
Manipulating the game's agitation system results in a much richer world - seen here are two NPCs engaging in a spontaneous confrontation.
Note that screenshots show LSPDFR player and non-player-characters wearing some outfits from EUP - which is entirely optional - special thanks to @Alex_Ashfold for his collaboration with us and for providing a development copy of EUP 8.0.
Thanks for reading the preview. We appreciate your patience as we put the finishing touches on LSPDFR 0.4 and hope to have more news soon.