Nothing shakes, nothing rattles - Sound & Items carried

Bringing this over from the subreddit for more discussion on the subject.
Subreddit thread:

My writeup there:
Anyone who has served in the military probably knows the concept. When on patrol or march where you don’t want to be noticed every item you’ve got with you either has to be made sound inert or left at camp. Got a mess kit? You stuff it with stuff so that it doesn’t rattle at all. Different straps and buckles? Make sure they’re tight enough that they don’t flap around. This may be a step too far, but I think it would be an interesting addition to have a sort of sound modifier for stuff like tool belts or toolboxes that increase the sound you make when moving with possible options of reducing or negating said modifier for an increase in encumbrance and/or weight by crafting a silent version. This would probably be too large a task to apply to every item, but it could only be applied to items which would cause considerable noise like the aforementioned toolbox. As it stands now there isn’t a large drawback other than bulk to hauling a veritable workshop with you on stealthy missions.

This change would make sound more dynamic and necessitate different loadouts for when you just want to avoid contact. It would also make early game night raiding somewhat harder by making you choose between keeping the sound level low or grabbing a loud item and hauling it back straight away. Same with night repair ops to get that sweet ride working you found, either try to slip through in spite of the increased sound or better clear a path to the vehicle.

This may be a bridge too far in terms of simulation, but I think it’s worthy of a discussion.



Excellent ideas on implimentation posted by cataveteran on reddit:


  • For each carried item (above 1) that contains any metal, plastic or glass, increase walking sound volume, maxing out at 10 items.

  • Possibly assign “rattle-ness” value for some items, or a “noisemaker” flag. Most tools could probably have 1, while metal pots could have 3.

  • Few items should be exceptionally rattle-y, such as the toolbox. It could count as 10 steel items (or rattleness of 10), thus maxing out the rattling sound volume instantly. Add a crafting recipe for a “silent toolbox”: towel + toolbox = silent toolbox. You stuff the toolbox with a towels, rags or a sheet to silence it.

  • Running or melee fighting while carrying rattling items should be louder than just walking with them.

  • Various shoes could have noise levels. High heels are loud, boots are medium loud, sneakers are pretty quiet, and socks or bare feet should be the quietest. Socks should wear out fast if no shoe is on. Footwear sounds should only occur on hard surfaces such as asphalt, wood, concrete and metal.

  • Default shopping carts should be louder when moved. Crafting recipes for quiet shopping carts? Towels in the wire basket. Rubber coated caster wheels with shock absorbers. (I can’t believe I just suggested a stealth shopping cart, but here we are.)

  • Clothing sound volume? Leather jacket creaks. Light windproof jacket shuffles. Wool coats, super quiet. Turnout coats? Emergency jackets? Metal armor?

  • Add rare reminder messages if the player character makes a bit too much sound. “Clop clop! Your cowboy boots make noise on the wooden floor.” or “Clinkety-klak! Some of your carried items make (some/a little/a lot of) noise as you (walk/run).”

  • Sheathed items should be silent.

  • Loose bullets and casings should count as max 1 rattleness.

  • Carrying extra rags, towels or clothing could eliminate noise as they are wrapped around the problematic items.

  • If stealth skill is implemented, allow it to silence one noisemaker item per level. Have it also eliminate some amount of footwear-based noise.

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Instead of stealthy variants of items, it would be a much better user experience to have a, “pad items to reduce noise” action that applies to anything with a “rattles” flag and consumes padding items (until the padding is uundone). Using the item in question would expend some time and undo the padding.


sounds like a mod to me. Don’t think it would go over well mainlined, but it would be interesting to see.

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True, probably better to not unnecessarily complicate it. I don’t really have much ideas in the ways of implementation myself, but would like to see the system in some form.

And yes, this probably wouldn’t go over well as mainlined, though most people seem to be pretty open to the idea of it on the subreddit at least, only 1 voice against it at the moment.

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Shuoldn’t take much to learn to do something like this, and if you or someone else does, they could build and maintain it. If it built enough of a following it might even get mainlined. Might combine well with a line-of-sight hiding mechanic further down the road.

I would only like this if we can get more line of sight hiding that doesn’t revolve around just darkness and invisibility.

Thats what I was refering to. line of sight cover, and the like capable of protecting/preventing monsters from seeing spotting you as easily, without actually blocking sight

if we add stealth, this sure as hell will balance it


A game that has stealth from walking barefoot.

And in real life, my backpack has stuff hanging from it and rattles.

However, rattling items should carry with them a (high) chance of mentioned sounds. Everything every time is unrealistic.

As for the shopping cart, in ‘The Road’ the cart they use eventually develops a periodic wobble or creaking sound.
What to do about it? Nothing.

But perhaps modeling could draw from that too.

different systems. This game deosn’t have a true stealth system so adding one in after the fact is going to be difficult and probably a largely piecemeal process, after requiring a LARGE edit to even make it possible, with several edits after the fact to fix all the things the first one breaks and to tweak and fix things. Mainline isn’t going to prioritize it very quickly. If you want it expediently, you might want to work on it yourself.

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CDDA basically has a sound level at a given tile, is that correct?

Yes, but visibility does not. My understanding of sound is that everything has a given sound level, and how loud things are on players tile, by the players ears is the sound given. Essentially the actual sound /2 unless they have a good hearing perk in which case they hear at the actual sound level.
Some monsters have good hearing, so they can hear things more accurately form further away, for the zeds these monsters are often ‘scouts’ that will give away your position by exploding bile onto you or something. Or simply adept fighters, or just not very high tier yet, and will evolve into one of those roles.

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Yeah, events trigger sound, which falls off linearly with distance. It’s not ideal, but it’s a starting point.

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I mean basic stealth would simply be having a button to crouch, slowing the player down, but making shorter furniture like benches cover line of site for both the player and the monsters looking for the player

That’s incredibly not simple, the FoV code doesn’t handle furniture like that, the furniture doesn’t have that height data, there’s currently no way to handle adjusting the effective height of the player, and doing so is extremely expensive and difficult.

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could give specific things like counters and fences a tag to block line of sight when players are in this state?

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Suppose you have some furniture in the middle the room, like a counter. It would be silly if I couldnt look over it to see into the room (and remember, zombies could spawn anywhere where currently Line of Sight doesnt go).

you could stand up to look over it, ezpz, problem solved

Further down I discussed (wrongly) being prone or upright and why thats not feasible.

For the idea to look over, how does it work when the furniture you look over stands at the edge of a multi floor building? How are you gonna determine Line of Sight for Z levels below?

And for my first answer, which missed your suggestion;

I am not sure how being knocked to the ground is being handled. I think its more of a ‘cant move’ status with a specific message.

Moving even in two positions (crawl and up right) would increase the options of moving in any direction at an exponential rate. From what is now 9 + 2 (cardinal directions plus up and down) to (9 + 2) * 2.

Think of all the checks that may have to be Iterated every turn. Whether you fall off a building or something.

All those functions would have to now consider your moving state (upright or prone) for every action that involves movement.

Thats likely to break something.
And what to show for it?

Unless implemented from the start (or in the uncomprehensible ways Tarn Adams did what he does) this wont turn C:DDA into stealthy Metal Gear Solid anytime soon