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Thief 2 fan missions and campaigns

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by SCO, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    So I just played through the Lord Ashton campaign, which was Christine's first FM-making effort, and it shows. The first missions is this campaign are really nothing special and have way too many annoyances to them to make them worthwhile. But about halfway through the campaign, the missions become quite enjoyable - this campaign is truly amazing in the sense that it lets you see the progression of Christine's level design skills from crap to decent. Nothing of the quality seen in her later works (like the first mission of Pirates Ahoy) to be found in here yet, but the second half of the campaign was good fun.

    I'll give a list of my impressions for each mission of the campaign here, and a massive dump of screenshots at the end.

    Mission 1: A Visit to Lord Ashton's


    This is a mansion mission that suffers from a complete lack of a sense of scale. It's huge, but not because there's a lot to see - it's just that everything is a little too large. You were sent by some lady to break into Lord Ashton's place and steal several things from him.
    The mission has many, many problems but some aspects of what would later evolve into Christine's distinct style are already present here.

    - The outside is too large. Walking around from one end of the mansion to the other takes a while. Interestingly, although her level design has increased tremendously during the course of this campaign, the last mission suffers even worse from that. But more about that when I get to the last mission.
    - The guards patrolling outside carry shields which you can frob and take away from them. The funniest part about that is that the shields don't fall down when you drop them somewhere. They just float at the spot where you put them. You can jump into the air, drop the shield, and have a floating shield right there in the air for the rest of the mission. Heh.
    - Once you get into the mansion, say hello to marble floors. You get long hallways of ONLY marble and nothing else, and yes, there's guards patrolling there. Luckily you get plenty of moss and water arrows, as well as flashbombs. This means that you can just say "fuck this shit" and run across the marble and if anyone notices you you flashbomb them. Fine with me. This is definitely NOT a ghostable mission (and campaign in general) as there are places where it's impossible to get past without knocking out some guards.
    - The loot goal is quite high and requires you to find Lord Ashton's treasury. It's filled with so many loot items you will pick up between 1 and 2 thousand in a single room.
    - The architecture is rather basic and visually, the mission looks a bit bland, but it's not entirely horrible. Overall, I'd say it looks like an average "early era" Thief FM. The worst problem is the scale, with places just being larger than they should be.
    - I mentioned marble abuse and too large scale, but those aren't the worst aspects of this mission. The absolute worst are the mission goals. I used a walkthrough in the end, because the mission requires you to get several items, yet none of them have their location hinted at. And every single one of these items is hidden behind a secret switch. This means you have this huge mansion with too large hallways which are all marble, and in order to find all your objectives you have to run through all the rooms and search for secret switches. Worst game design ever. Honestly, I suggest playing this mission with a walkthrough from the start. Grab the walkthrough and search for mentions of the required objectives so you know where the secret switches are.

    Overall I rated it 4/10. It's not good, but it's not entirely shit.

    Mission 2: A Night's Stroll

    In this mission, you get out of Ashton's manor by way of the graveyard. You go into a tunnel and emerge somewhere in the wilderness. You have to break into the hunting lodge of Lord Ashton, as well as the hunting lodge of a certain Lord Bufford who is probably just a misspelled Bafford as there's references to him being broke thanks to a thief. Yeah.

    - It's a little better than the first mission as far as scale is concerned, although some places still seem a little bit too large.
    - Again, the objectives are hidden behind secrets and you HAVE to find them. It's even more annoying here since the overall path of the mission is fairly linear and if you miss an objective, you need to backtrack all the way to where it is. It's super easy to miss these objectives, too. One objective requires you to get Lord Ashton's rosary beads from his hunting lodge in the wilderness. And where are they located? On top of the roof beams. You need to rope up there to get them, and there is NO indication that it's there. The roofbeams are very high up and there is very little space between them and the ceiling. And right there, Christine hid one of the required mission objectives. Yeah.
    - Environmentally, this mission is actually quite diverse. You start out in the wilderness and go to the two hunting lodges, then you arrive in a small town where you can break into a few shops (and where you have to find another required item, with NO HINT AT ALL TO ITS LOCATION, the objective only says "get the serpentyle torc"; you need to climb into someone's backyard garden, frob a torch to open a secret door, climb down a ladder into a torturing chamber with two zombies inside, and frob a pair of manacles at the walls... which are the only frobbable pair among many. Yeah. That opens another secret where you finally find the item). After that, you get into a hotel which also serves as a brothel, and then back into another part of the small town
    - At the end of the mission you're supposed to meet with the lady who gave you your objectives, at a bar. Before you are dozens of guards and the mission ends. You got betrayed! Hah!
    - The hotel/brothel is actually a cool place although there's way too much marble inside there. You have to go down into a secret area (of course) to find a secret switch there (of course) to find a required objective item (of course), but the area is actually pretty fun to explore.

    Overall I rated it 4/10. It's better than the first mission (and, mainly, different than the first mission) but the exceptionally retarded "ALL OBJECTIVES ARE HIDDEN SO WELL THEY'D BE SECRETS IN EVERY OTHER MISSION, LOL" prevents it from receiving a better score than that.

    Mission 3: Escape!

    You were captured by the guards. A pal smuggled a lockpick into your cell. Now you have to get out and get your confiscated loot back.

    - The beginning of this mission is utterly bland. You start in straight, completely undecorated and boring prison hallways. Eh.
    - It gets better once you find your blackjack and make your way up to the police station. At least, visually it gets better there.
    - There's an armory in the police station. You will need all the moss arrows, gas arrows and flashbombs you can find in there. All of them. Why? Well...
    - M A R B L E A B U S E
    - MARBLE. ABUSE.
    - EVERYTHING
    - IS
    - MARBLE
    - I'm not exaggerating here. The entire floor above the dungeon is marble. Yes. All of it. The hallways, the bathrooms, the sleeping quarters, e v e r y t h i n g. Luckily you will end up with enough tools by the end of this level to not give a fuck. Just jump around everywhere, have a bunch of guards follow you, then flashbomb the fuck out of them.
    - It gets better on the floor above that, because there's actually some carpet there. Also, the rooms up there are more nicely decorated. It seems by this point, Christine had gained enough experience to finally make some good-looking places.
    - But, of course, this mission still suffers from the "important quest items are hidden behind secret switches" syndrome.

    Overall, I rated it 4/10 again. I have never seen so much marble in my life. This mission gave me marble-related PTSD. That coupled with the utterly bland dungeon at the beginning and the extremely well-hidden objectives makes for a low rating again.

    Mission 4: Revenge

    Well, this is where it actually starts becoming good. This mission is a HUGE leap forward compared to the previous ones. After escaping from prison, you need to get revenge on Lady Iforgothername who betrayed you.

    - The mission goals are less nasty this time. Christine has learned her lesson, apparently, and doesn't rely on hidden switches as much in this mission. But there is one mission goal that is completely uncharacteristic for Garrett: the way to get your revenge is by killing that lady. Garrett wouldn't do that. Garrett would rob her blind and leave a note on her bedside table that said "haha". But here you have to kill her.
    - There's not much to the small town area you start it, but it looks nicer than the town in the second mission. It leads to a quite decent-looking hotel where you have to find a key that unlocks the lady's mansion doors (as someone carrying that key is currently in the hotel's gambling room... don't remember who it was but I think it was her husband or something). The mansion itself also looks quite decent. This is the mission where she has finally learned how to create visually pleasing areas, and also fill them with gameplay that isn't annoying as all hell.
    - There is only one mission goal that requires you to find a secret switch. That is annoying, but the previous missions all required 2 or 3 hidden switches to be found, so that's a massive improvement. Inside the hotel, the first major area you enter, there's no hidden stuff at all. The keys you need are easy enough to find.
    - The hotel is a really nice place to explore. You get a rope arrow and there are actually multiple ways to get inside: knock out the front door guard and go through the door, or rope up to one of the front balconies, or go to a different section of the small town and rope up to a balcony there. There's almost no marble in the hotel, and when you get to the mansion, only the ground floor is covered in marble, but even there you have a few carpets. It's as if Christine realized how horrible her previous design decisions had been, and with this mission she decided to fix them all.

    Overall, I rated this mission 6/10. This one is actually worth playing, and this is the mission where I felt like suffering through the previous three was worth it. It's nothing exceptional, but it is genuinely enjoyable and worth playing. From now on, the campaign would only get better.

    Mission 5: In Search of Leon

    Your pal Leon, who smuggled the lockpick into your prison cell, has vanished. The lady who owns the hotel/brothel in mission 2 hired him to steal from a certain Lord Hrothgar, but he never returned. You're hired to steal the thing he was initially sent out to steal, and also to rescue your old pal since you owe him.

    - This mission looks pretty good. This is where Christine has finally found her visual style that would become her trademark in all her later missions. The custom objects and textures, the architecture... this is all typical Chrstine-style stuff.
    - The level design, too, is very typical of her: you break into a castle-like mansion with lots of rooms to go through, and while there are a few areas with marble, it's not used excessively and you're given enough tools to deal with it. Unlike missions 1 to 3, the marble here was totally fine and felt like a challenge to overcome rather than a case of "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??"
    - This mission, too, hides some objectives with switches, but this time the switches aren't half as hard to find. There's a secret chamber filled with tons of loot that is opened via secret switch, but it's possible to reach your loot goal without finding the place so it's not necessary to find. The secret doors that you need to find are opened by switches that are obvious enough. Locations of keys are hinted at in readables so you won't hunt for them blindly.
    - Overall, this is a very solid mansion mission that is fun to explore. It doesn't quite reach her later mansion missions like Coterie of Smokers, but it's a solid mission and it's not too large - it took me less than half an hour to complete this one.

    I rated this one 6/10 too. Enjoyable little mansion mission that doesn't have any of the annoying elements of the earlier missions (off proportions, too many hidden switches, marble abuse). Worth playing.

    Mission 6: The Secret of Sir Stefan

    In this mission the hotel/brothel owner hired you to steal the Mystic's Soul and Mystic's Heart. The mission leads you to a charming little town section with a few buildings to break into, and at the end you go into a secret hideout of some criminal who takes protection money from all the shopowners.

    - The mission really looks quite charming. Visually, this is quite nice to behold.
    - The exploration isn't stellar but it's solid: you have city streets and several buildings to break into, mostly shops, including a place called "Christine's Kinderland" which has lots of toys in it.
    - Again, some items require switches to be frobbed, but these aren't hidden all too well. In fact, they are in plain sight and you know roughly where they are, so no blind frobbing about in random rooms. Yay!
    - It's quite a diverse mission, with city streets, shops, a small townhouse to break into, and the bandit's hideout at the end.

    This mission I rated 7/10. It was very enjoyable and it's my favourite mission of the entire camapign. Good stuff. Small town missions are really the thing Christine does best.

    Mission 7: A Winter's Night

    After all the trouble you went through, you deserve a break. It's Christmas time right now and Garrett just wants to steal a bit of stuff and find a nice place to hide in over the holidays so he can take a break.

    - This is a nice little winter mission, and when I say little, I mean little. There are snowy streets to explore and a couple of buildings to get into. How many are a couple, you ask? Maybe 5 or so.
    - The houses look pretty good and so do the streets. Breaking into the places and snatching the loot is fun, but the only place that's actually challenging to go through is the jeweller's.
    - The mission is very short. I beat it in 15 minutes, that's how short it is. Still, it's quite enjoyable and worth playing if you like small town missions.

    Another 7/10. There's not much to it because it's so small, but it's an enjoyable mission and doesn't make any design mistakes.

    Mission 8: The Wedding of Sir Andre

    You're back in business and ready to steal more stuff from the Ashton family. Ashton's daughter is marrying Sir Andre, the son of Lord Hrothgar (whose castle you broke into in mission 5), and you're planning to crash the party.

    - This mission is quite interesting because this campaign has essentially come full circle: just like the first mission, this one is a large mansion mission, but it's executed much more competently. Custom textures, a better sense of scale, less blatant marble abuse... solid mission overall and it's cool to directly compare it to the first mission of the campaign. Really shows how much Christine's level design has improved with each mission.
    - Did I say less blatant marble abuse? Well... there's still tons of marble, at least on the ground floor. Almost the entire ground floor is marble, but guard patrols are sparse enough to allow you to run over the marble when nobody's in sight, and the first floor has no marble at all, so that balances it out.
    - The major issue of this mission is size, but not the out-of-proportion-ness of the first mission. Here, the place is just way too big and confusing for its own good. Too many hallways, and your map is useless. It just shows a rough outline of the mansion, but doesn't actually point to any rooms. A good map would improve this mission tremendously.
    - You have to find several things and this time, one objective is hidden somewhere too... but at least you can guess where thanks to readables and keys you find. Really, this mission is so similar to the first one in its entire structure (huge mansion with two floors, you have to find several different items), but it's all just done so much more competently.

    Overall, I rated this 6.5/10 because it's a solid mission with some annoying features such as too many long hallways and lack of a good map which makes exploration confusing, which drags it down from a 7/10.

    And here's a bunch of screenshots. They aren't sorted exactly, but roughly go from the earlier down to the later missions.
    Show Spoiler

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    As you can see, the later missions look MUCH better than the earlier ones.
    One thing I found quite weird is how Christine put in a picture of what are probably her own kids as a loot item. Heh. I wouldn't put pictures of my kids into a fan mission that I release online, but hey.

    So, what's my final verdict?
    If you can stomach the problems of the first three missions, this is actually a great campaign to go through. If you ever wanted to see a mission author's skill development, nothing's better than this. It starts out rather crappy, with amateurishly designed levels that suffer from annoying design decisions, and around the halfway point it has some genuinely enjoyable missions, and ends with a large mansion that has some annoying elements to it but is so similar to the first mission in its concept that you have something that's directly comparable to that one. You can see first hand how every element of Christine's level design has improved from mission 1 to mission 8.

    I especially consider missions 4, 5, 6 and 7 to be worth playing. 8 is solid with some annoyances, and the first three are interesting only from a standpoint of "I wanna see what Christine's missions looked like when she started Dromeding". If you find them too annoying to get through, just use the level skip cheat till you reached mission 4. That one, and the ones that follow, are definitely worth it.
     
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  2. marbleman Educated

    marbleman
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    Sweet :D
     
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  3. Arrowgrab Learned

    Arrowgrab
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    If you want a vision of the Mechanist future, imagine a boot stamping on an endless marble floor - forever.
     
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  4. Random_Taffer Educated

    Random_Taffer
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    Wouldn't it be metal though?
     
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  5. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Marble is a type of stone and stones are rocks and metal is just a heavier version of rock so marble fits well enough.
     
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  6. marbleman Educated

    marbleman
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    Just imagine all the new genres:
    Heavy marble
    Power marble
    Death marble
    etc. :)
     
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  7. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    These are all the types of marble known by mankind.

    Think twice before you misgender your marble!
     
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  8. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
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    Here are a few more screens for DarkMax's upcoming mission: Unexpected Detour!

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    Expect the unexpected.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  9. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Hey JarlFrank I have a game for you to play:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. cowking Educated

    cowking
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    You should lower your gamma.
     
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  11. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
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    I only increase it for screenshots.
     
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  12. marbleman Educated

    marbleman
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    I think those screens are deliberately made brighter; otherwise, you wouldn't see much ;)

    Also, "Marble Madness" sounds like a game that would be right up my alley :D
     
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  13. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    • Agree Agree x 1
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  14. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    So I played a bunch of smaller missions that I will now post impressions about. None of them are anything special though, so don't expect something spectacular.

    Cashing In:

    This is a competently made but overall unremarkable mansion mission. It was the dude's first FM (says so in the readme) and considering that, it's really solid. The architecture and creative use of the original textures are the highlights of this FM.
    The downside?
    Key- and switch-hunting. The first key you need is on a dude's belt, which is entirely fine. Open the door it unlocks, go in, lockpick a safe for money, get another key from the desk. Unlock a door on the ground floor with the key, go down into the basement where there's a diary on a desk and a box with more loot. Ok, nice. Now comes the retarded part. Hidden behind the desk is a switch. I had no idea what it opened. I checked a walkthrough, and the switch that is in the basement opens a secret compartment back in the 1st floor (European first floor, as in, above ground floor), in the room with the safe where you found the key that opened the basement door.
    And of course, the item you need to steal is inside that secret compartment.
    On a plus side, the writing makes you feel like a dick cause the mansion owner's diary mentions that he's in debt and the collectors are coming to take what he owes, and he can barely pay his debt with the gold he has in the house. The gold you just stole. He also fears for his family because h has some additional debts with the thieves guild... yes, additional. The gold he has is barely enough to pay for his regular debts with people who don't break your legs if you don't pay, and on top of that he also has debts with the thieves guild.
    And you just stole everything of value he had in his house.

    Also, the kitchen (which for some reason is hidden behind a secret switch) has the most neatly stacked apples ever:
    Show Spoiler
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    My overall rating: 5.5/10 cause it's a competently made mission dragged down only by the retarded switch. There's not too much to praise about it but neither is there anything it does utterly wrong (except for that switch), so an average rating like this is the most appropriate for it.

    Chasse A L'Homme:

    This is a small city FM made by some French dude in collaboration with DrKubiac (at least I assume the "Kubiac" mentioned in the readme is the same as DrK).
    It's not bad, but it's not good either due to a few issues.
    The architecture and design of the level itself are solid enough. Nothing stellar, but solid. There are some ladders around that let you climb on roofs, and you can jump and mantle at some places too which gives it some solid exploration for its small size. There are some problems though.
    - You need a key to get into the blacksmith's store, where you can get a sword (Which is an optional mission goal). This key is on a bunch of boxes and there's no indication that you should look there, so I had to consult a walkthrough.
    - This is the only key in the mission and it opens all stores in the town. That still leaves some un-pickable doors that have no keys. You can enter these buildings through windows, and you have to exit by the same route as there are no keys for these doors. You CAN smash them open with the sword though. There is one room that is only accessible by bashing down the door - there is absolutely nothing in there, but it still annoyed me since there are two frobbable doors that lead into the room, yet you cannot open them in any way other than sword-bashing. If you have an empty room that isn't supposed to be accessed, make the door unfrobbable ffs.
    - One mission goal requires you to kill a dude. You can see him through a window, but you can't access that room in any way. Only way to kill him is shooting through the window. Heh.

    What I liked about it is the colored lighting, which looks nice. Hey, I just like colored lighting, ok!
    Overall rating: 5.5/10, solid mission dragged down by some dumb decisions.

    We Miss You, Bob!

    So I guess this is the most "average" FM I've ever played. It's a tiny - very, very tiny - mansion mission that has you start in a garden, break into a mansion... and rescue a baby. The mansion has a few rooms, a few guards, a few readables, and a secret switch that isn't all too hard to find, and it has a baby in a crib that is an inventory object that you have to get, and when you enter the room where it is kept you hear baby cries which is probably the weirdest experience I ever had in a Thief FM. Imagine you're taffing about, just minding your business, and suddenly you hear a baby cry. Yeah. It's weird.

    And, well... that's all. Author wrote in the readme that it's his first FM, and that's pretty much all this is. Someone's first FM. It's tiny, it has all the basic Thief gameplay we know and love, but there's not much to it at all.
    Rated it 5/10 because completely average and unremarkable is what it is. It does everything it does competently enough, doesn't make any major mistakes, but doesn't do anything amazing either. It's literally just a 5 minute coffee break mission.

    Bestest FM Series

    I tried to play these masterpieces by Sluggs because I thought "hey, why not try this shit out?"
    My tip: don't.
    These are just like most entries of the Total Crap contest. The first mission is the most entertaining one, actually, since it is the simplest and doesn't take away too much of your time.
    You have a bow and 8000 arrows that look like cucumbers and have to kill a bunch of floating people with them. Yeah.
    Mission 2 has you on a carnival where you have to find haunts and kill them. Highlight: a ghost train you can ride, and at various intervals it triggers screams from Garret to simulate him being scared by it. I gave up on this FM when I was catapulted up a large tower and the only way to get down again was to hit a faraway button with an arrow.
    Mission 3 might be the worst of the bunch. You can pick up a crate that puts 500 crates into your inventory. Apparently you need to use these to kill Mechanists with. But I never made it that far because the mechanists are located so far away it takes you minutes of walking to get there. NOPE
    Mission 4 might not even be completeable, as you need to throw people into a swimming pool and get 1600 loot but all the loot items I saw weren't frobbable. The people could all be picked up without knocking them out first (lol), but I also gave up on this FM when I realized there were more than a dozen people in the building and I'd have to carry each and every one of them to the swimming pool to throw them in.

    Overall, this is just... yeah. They're pure troll missions, and they certainly are funny, but they're not fun to play in any way. The entertainment value entirely comes from the "oh god how did he come up with this shit" effect. Playing them for 3 minutes to see what's going on, then abandoning the thing before your attempt to seriously completely the mission goals wears you out, is the best way to play these.

    Screenshots:
    Show Spoiler

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    Annihilated

    This mission, also by Sluggs, is much more entertaining than the Bestest FM series because it's not only silly and ridiculous, it's also not a chore to play.
    Zombies have for some reason invaded your home and killed your wife. Now you must destroy them before they kill you.
    In order to do that, you have to ghost for like 10 seconds in order to sneak behind a zombie wielding a glowstick and pick a key from his belt. That key opens the footlocker in your bedroom, where you find several fire arrows.
    Then you proceed to blow the zombies to bits, and that's prety much it.
    It's short. It's amusing. It's good for 10 minutes of having a laugh.
    It also has balloons that are fun to throw around because they float upwards for a while before coming down again. Fun!
    Rated it 6/10 because while it's nothing special, it's an entertaining little romp to go through.
    And it has zombies with glowsticks. What's not to love?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  15. DrKubiac Educated

    DrKubiac
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    Yup that's me.

    Collaboration is a big word, he was a rookie author and made a rough mission, I just helped him through the process and added a few things here and there.
    Greenbay was the sequel, and was supposed to be a real collab, but he kinda gave up and I finished the mission by myself.
     
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  16. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Ah. Too bad that he gave up. Chasse a L'homme wasn't great, but it definitely showed potential. Would've liked to see more from that guy.
     
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  17. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
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    A love shack
    Don't know why that made me laugh.

    Anyway, you gotta give it to this 'HardBoyz' guy. Without Greenbay, A Better Tomorrow wouldn't exist.
     
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  18. Melan Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Melan
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    4,439
    Location:
    Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae, Hungary
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Greenbay, though, is a perfectly decent city mission. Some of the back streets and its canal areas are as good as Thief gets.
     
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  19. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
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    48
    Location:
    A love shack
    Well I wouldn't really know. Haven't played it yet. I should really do that, sometime.
     
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  20. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Argentina
    Well, it's out: http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147686

    4 days of testing only and, to be honest, if skacky, H3H3, and marbleman didn't find major issues other than those that were fixed, then who am I to say anything?

    The mission is simple and easy as it gets, but I'm sure those who liked Cragscleft and the Bonehoard from TDP will like this one. Enjoy, and don't rush it. :P
     
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  21. marbleman Educated

    marbleman
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Congrats, Max!

    This mission can definitely bring a very pleasant and nostalgic evening!

    Also, I'm looking forward to that pagan forest :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  22. cowking Educated

    cowking
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    98
    TTLG seems down, any mirror? I'd like to play it tonight.
     
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  23. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Argentina
    TTLG is back up!
     
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  24. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    19,217
    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    That was an unexpected detour, indeed.

    My only gripe? The octagonal section looks and feels too much like the Bonehoard. The mines had a feel of their own, but the "Bonehoard" section was too similar.

    Beyond that it's a flawless T1-themed FM. Simple but fitting architecture. Even the readables are fine. On point, to the point and just enough of them.

    I was actually creeped out by the mine part. Clearly something happened, but it's never even explained.

    Ended up with 85% of the total loot.

    Easily a 8/10 FM, 9/10 for the Thief 1 purists.

    It goes without saying that having the proper gamma settings is key to Thief, but here it's even more so.

    EDIT: Typo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  25. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    24,344
    Location:
    Secret Lab of the Warrior-Magus of Esoteric RPGism
    So I just finished Fate of the Art, an old contest mission that I started playing yesterday, and now that this is over with I can go into Unexpected Detour!

    But first, my impressions of Fate of the Art:

    It's a charming little mansion mission that has you break into an artist's place in order to steal back a Hammerite artifact this artist somehow got into his hands. The mission is rather fun, but it suffers from some problems.

    - The mansion looks nice, mostly because of the very nice new wallpaper textures which I liked. Hey, if you use some pretty textures you've already got my approval. Take note, FM authors. The actual layout isn't bad, either.
    - The main issue is the keyhunt. Some keys are easy enough to find, others require some searching, and that's all fine. But one key... one key that is REQUIRED to find one of the objectives is hidden on top of a bookshelf within a secret area. Yes. You have to find a secret room first, AND THEN you have to look on top of a very tall bookshelf to get a vital key required for progress. Essentially it means: check a walkthrough so you know where it is, then jump up and frob blindly to get they key because it's at a position where you can't possible get it into your vision.
    - The loot goal is also rather ridiculous. A lot of loot items are hidden quite well, like small rings somewhere on the floor below an object. And you know how much loot you need to get on Expert? 5600 of 5679. I consulted a lootlist in the end because seriously.
    - But it's not all bad. If you disregard these frustrating design decisions, you have a solid mansion mission which should even be ghostable in theory (I'm the knockout-player, but the amount and placement of guards is just right to allow for a ghost attempt, I'd say). There are two watchers that can be deactivated by a switch in a secret room, and there are some light switches at strategic places to give you some additional shadows in strategic places.
    - I love the custom textures, makes the place look really nice. The custom paintings, however, look really silly as hell, at least most of them do. But there's a story reason for that. Let's just say that it appears like the author of this mission really doesn't like modern artists (but, funnily enough, the art displayed in this mansion is infinitely better than anything modern abstract art has ever brought forth).

    Overall, I rated it 7/10 because I like the textures and the charming atmosphere of the place, as well as the unique story. I wanted to rate it 7.5 but in the end I dropped the .5 because the loot hunt was utterly, utterly ridiculous and a mission that requires you to find all of its secrets in order to complete your objectives deserves to have half a point substracted by principle.

    Screenshots:
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