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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
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    So, Unexpected Detour. I'll say right away that I rated it 8/10, that it feels like the marriage of Cragscleft and Bonehoard, manages to perfectly capture the Thief Gold atmosphere despite running on Thief 2 (I think most of the lighting is white, which is the main difference between T1 and T2 atmosphere-wise), and actually creeped me out twice even though I'm so familiar with the Thief engine barely any FM manages to do that these days (unless it's a straight horror FM, but this isn't one of those).

    Be aware that this has some mild spoilers so if you want to be surprised by the elements that surprised me, don't read the following bullet-point review.

    - When I said it's a marriage between Cragscleft and Bonehoard, I mean it. You start out in the daylight (and despite the simplicity of the architecture and textures, this area looks really damn beautiful), go down into a cave that leads into mines, then go down further until you reach an ancient crypt. At times it even feels almost clone-like: the mines have a small ruined Hammer chapel where you find a flask of holy water, the crypt has a layout that will give you many Bonehoard deja-vus.
    - There's a new enemy type that managed to scare me a bit the first time I saw it. Or more like, the first time I didn't see it. It's essentially a haunt that is entirely black. And by black, I don't mean nigger-black, I mean almost the same color as the shadows. The first of these I encountered was in the mines, in deep shadows, where the walls were coal-black, and it wasn't dark outside yet so I got a tiny bit of light on my PC screen which made things harder to see. I didn't see the creature until it stepped into a lit area. Everyone, take note: this is how you make a scary and dangerous enemy without cheesing. Make it so it's hard to see in the shadows and the player won't feel safe whenever he hears the thing's footsteps. (Note: it became less creepy and dangerous later on when the sun was down and my room totally darkened, cause then I managed to spot them even in the shadows, so hey!)
    - The writing is pretty much perfect for this type of mission. Readables tell you that the miners found access to some strange places and found ancient artifacts which they have been studying. But now everyone is either dead or undead, so obviously something happened. But it's never fully explained, giving it a sense of mystery, which is great. Readables are all "we found XY and are trying to decipher it" or "I'm trapped here and now wait for my death, fuck" and stay vague enough to keep the player guessing as to what actually went on there.
    - The atmosphere, especially in the crypt, is superbly thick. It really feels like another Bonehoard, it captures the atmosphere of that perfectly.
    - The architecture is often labyrinthine and confusing. I got lost several times, but that only adds to the feeling of being lost in a dangerous place where you shouldn't be. While confusing, it still manages to stay reasonably navigable since each area is visually distinct enough to give you clues to your location. Still, I would've appreciated a map at least for the mine area, which is also the area that would benefit from it the most.
    - There was one spot I found genuinely creepy for some reason. There's a warning on the wall that says something along the lines of "Those who try to steal from the pit of infidels will have the Lady's eyes upon them". I thought okay yeah, that probably means I'll trigger some trap if I pick up loot there. No, it doesn't. There's just a creepy mask-face at the bottom of the pit that stares up at you, and I'm not entirely sure if I just imagined it or there was some dromed magic behind it, but it seemed like the face came closer whenever I climbed down from one platform to the next. That unnerved me because vague warnings and creepy stuff that doesn't actually do anything is exactly the kind of thing that creeps me out the most. :P
    - There's one puzzle at the end that I thought I had figured out, but then I got it wrong because derp. Protip: read the hint you found next to someone's corpse very carefully. The amount of lines is just as important as what is written there.
    - The architecture is actually rather simple, but it still looks beautiful and impressive, mostly thanks to the verticality in the crypt section which makes everything look monumental. It looks so similar to the Bonehoard you might think it's just another section of it (this would fit in seamlessly with the Bonehoard if you added it as, say, the Alarus Extension), but it still keeps its own character due to the darker textures, new enemies and consistent theme: the crypt has been built by some ancient culture with a specific faith and customs, and while it's never fully explained, everything in the design contributes to the feeling of this place belonging to a specific culture/civilization.
    - There might be two secret doors that I didn't find a way to open. I got frustrated at some point cause I didn't manage to find my way forward and kept knocking my blackjack against the things that are textures in some places, and door objects in others. I found two in the Bonehoard-like section that gave me the clang of an object, but weren't frobbable. Can they be opened? I dunno. Max_b5 might be able to answer that.
    - Objective-wise, it's as simple as it gets: find the required amount of loot, then find the exit. That's it. This simplicity is actually quite refreshing in this day and age where most new FMs have a dozen optional objectives in them. It's a very purist "explore place, get loot" experience.

    So yeah. 8/10, very good mission, atmospheric as fuck, and if you liked the Bonehoard you will like this. Worth playing.

    Screenshots:
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    It's a head! This mission is filled with random severed body parts everywhere. Too bad you can't pick them up and throw them around.

    [​IMG]
    Is that a reference to the old Gold Box RPG?

    [​IMG]
    THIS FUCKING FACE KEEPS LOOKING AT YOU AND FOR SOME REASON IT SEEMS LIKE IT COMES CLOSER WHENEVER I USE A LADDER

    [​IMG]
    The final puzzle. It's actually pretty logical and easy to solve when you have the hint, but there's one misleading thing about it!
     
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  2. 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
    Show Spoiler
    # Yes, that face came closer after I had climbed up and then climbed down again. No, I didn't stick around to find out what more would happen.

    # An even better creep-out is not far from there: After descending from the mines into the area with that face, there's a bit of tunnel that leads to the face and another that leads to a dead end. I kept hearing slow footsteps in that dead end section until I realized that they were coming from below the floor, and that there are small cracks in it. I don't think there's a critter down there, but just the steps alone put me on edge.

    # One lulzy moment was when I ducked behind a counter expecting to find some loot, only to find a severed head on a stool staring back at me.
     
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  3. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    - Yes, the mission uses 100% white lighting and Thief Gold textures. I thought it was a good chance of giving some love to the 'Basement' texture family that was mostly scrapped in the original game.

    - 'Pool of Radiance' is a reference to a similar place found in Sepulchre of the Sinistral, which is, no surprise, a pool that does nothing. :P

    - The two secret doors in the octagonal vaults can be opened. The switches are found fairly close from each of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
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  4. skacky Prestigious Gentleman 3D Realms Developer

    skacky
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    My favorite room in that mission was the one with the cave on top and the two huge mushrooms. Really intriguing.
     
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  5. 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
    Yeah, I noticed that room as well. Made me "wow". A clear-cut example of "What happened?" being explained by "Look around, stupid".
     
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  6. Yandros Learned

    Yandros
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    So it's not actually a reference to, ya know, Pool of Radiance?

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    I didn't even know of its existence. Shame on me.
     
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  8. Yandros Learned

    Yandros
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    That's because you're a young whippersnapper! Back in my day, our RPGs came on floppy diskettes, uphill both ways, and we liked it!

    #getoffmylawn
     
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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
    After making that statement I'd be very careful about posting outside of this thread on a forum about RPGs.

    We have people here that make BruderMurus seem like a good and upstanding pillar of the community, and they love to smite heathens that do not know of the Goldbox games.

    (That is one banged-up copy of Pool of Radiance BTW.)
     
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  10. Melan Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Melan
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Yeah, I also figured it for a Pool of Radiance reference. And of course, if you haven't played it, you should - it is one of the old CRPGs which have aged very well. (This should be a criterion for admission into the Codex, darnit :argh:)
     
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  11. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    I played Pool of Radiance recently in DOSBox with some modern interface addon tool called GoldBox Companion that gives you a useful little automap and always shows your characters' hitpoints and XP bars on top of the screen.

    And despite its age, it's still worth playing if you enjoy turn based D&D combat. The random encounters in lower level areas can get annoying once your party is of higher level, but other than that it's great.

    Honestly, with you being on the Codex, Max, I thought "hah, this has to be a reference to the classic RPG" because how could it not. Shame on you, bro!
     
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  12. Darth Slaughter Arcane Patron

    Darth Slaughter
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Pool of radiance. I played it in late 2000's but never completed for reasons I can't quite remember. Almost finished it though. The thing is, I created a party of random characters and there was a barbarian I'll never forget. He was a combat savior. Combat in that game was great, and it's what I remember the most.

    Oh, the character in question was called Jorsul. A random name that came to my mind in character creation. I can't remember the name of the rest of the party, other than Jorsul and my main character, which I always name after myself.

    If I play it again, you can damn be sure I'll create him again.
     
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  13. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    I've got the feeling that I'm about to get BruderMurus'd.:M

    EDIT: Now seriously, I'll see how I can find in and play it. Seems like something I'd play when I'm not studying or Dromeding.
     
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  14. Melan Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Melan
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    It's not terribly complicated, but a lot of fun, and you can play it in small sessions. And Pool of Radiance - Curse of the Azure Bonds - Secret of the Silver Blades is hell of an experience. (the last game, Pools of Darkness kinda sucks, though)

    Also, Secret of the Silver Blades has an extensive mine segment. :)
     
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  15. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Also, use this:
    http://personal.inet.fi/koti/jhirvonen/gbc/
    If you're used to modern interfaces (as in, anything made in the 90s and later), this is pretty damn great because it adds some very useful interface features.
    It also adds some convenience features like letting you read journal entries within the game (originally, they refer you to a page of the manual because back then, disk space was precious and any larger amounts of text were put into the manual rather than the actual game),
    I played the game in short bursts on my office PC when my boss didn't have anything for me to do, and it's really perfect for that.

    To get back on topic:

    I just played through A Keeper's Betrayal and rated it 6.5/10. It is a solid mission suffering from a few minor flaws, but it's worth playing nonetheless. Although... you might want to play a different mission instead. I'll explain this later.

    - It starts out as a small city mission with some minor rope action. This is the most fun part of the FM.
    - After that, you go through a Mechanist place and a keeper hideout, which are both solid but not as good as the city part.
    - There is some keyhunting and, more annoyingly, some secret switches that are required in order to progress and finish the mission. Eeh.
    - While visually, it looks pretty good overall, the author did a really weird thing with lights. Some lights have a high brightness (around 100 or above) while having their radius set really, really low, which looks strange and creates large areas of darkness that are hard to see in, especially in contrast with the brightly lit spots.
    - The city part was fun; the Mechanist part was cool too, but I kept wondering "huh, this looks slightly familiar... I played a mission that had a similar structure with City -> Mechanists -> Hideout in the Docks before". The feeling got more prominent when I went into the Keeper place. I kept wondering if I played this before, but it had many areas that weren't familiar to me at all, so I always had this strange sense of deja-vu. When later in the game I found a readable mentioning a certain "Earth Bane" it dropped on me: this plays almost exactly like Bane 1: Keep of Deceit. Turns out the same author later made the Bane series, and Keep of Deceit is essentially an extended remake of this mission which is why parts of it felt so familiar.

    So yeah, overall I'd say it's worth playing and the city portion definitely felt different to Keep of Deceit (or, well, it didn't give me a sense of deja vu like the rest of the level; it's been a while since I played KoD though), but since Bane: KoD is essentially an improved remake of this, you can also just play that one instead. Or maybe play them both and check out what the author changed.

    Screenshots:
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    On the last of these screenshots you can see the really, really strange lighting that is in some places of this FM. The light is bright, looks to be around 100 or brighter to me, but the radius is so pitifully small. Really weird.
     
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  16. Icewater Artisanal Shitposting™ Patron

    Icewater
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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
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  17. Yandros Learned

    Yandros
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    That depends on whether or not having support for squirrel script turns out to be world-shattering. The potential is huge from what I've read of it so far.

    That isn't my personal PoR box, UC, just an image I found. Mine is in mint condition. :D I actually have a decent collection of old CRPGs on floppy for both PC and Apple ][, some of which have the cloth maps and registration cards and all that good shit. If anyone's interested I'll maybe post a few pics sometime. I have M&M I-VI all in great condition with all maps, for example.

    I have to imagine Goldmoon Dawn is a regular over here somewhere given his fanatical devotion to the old CRPGs. amirite?
     
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  18. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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  19. Melan Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Melan
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I definitely remember getting into that area, and with OldDark no less. Crates, maybe? Or Dromed exploration? I specifically recall those large wooden gates.
     
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  20. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    It can definitely be reached without NewDark. There are many areas that are not supposed to be gotten into, but this one is the most interesting.
     
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  21. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Played another bunch of FMs. Yeah, I'm on a roll right now. Here's some impressions/half-arsed reviews as usual:

    Midday Escape:

    This is an old contest mission that appealed to me from the screenshots because it has a very unique visual style, looking like a north african or near eastern town in summer, which looks pretty cool and unusual for Thief.
    Sadly, that's all the mission has going for it.

    - The gameplay is absolutely, completely horrible. This isn't Thief. This is some kind of cheap obstacle course where you have to find the correct path to avoid the line of sight of static guards.
    - Only a few guards actually move, and only in short predictable patterns. All you have to do is wait for them to turn their back, then run past. As for the completely static guards? Just avoid their line of sight.
    - Most guards have purses on their belts but initially you can't pick them. Only at the halfway point of the mission you can.
    - The point of the mission is to escape from the guards who found your hiding place. You get zero equipment - no blackjack, no sword, no flashbombs, no water arrows, no moss arrows, no rope arrows, no potions, nothing. Only your compass and a map to help you get through the entirely linear path that leads to freedom.
    - When I say the path you have to follow is linear, I mean linear. One single deviation in the path leads to detection. There are places where it looks like you can go two ways, but really the second path is one that leads to instant detection so the gameplay consists of finding out which path is the correct one.
    - Almost all guards are archers, and they kill you in one shot and fire with pinpoint accuracy. Essentially this means, once you get spotted you're dead. Can't allow the player to stray from the linear path, can we?
    - First mission goal is to get some loot from a dude who betrayed you. Turns out the watch already raided his place and the watch captain got the key to the window shutters there. You need that key to progress. Now guess where the watch captain is? Yes. Right at the very beginning of the level. So you gotta backtrack all the way and get the key. At least now you can pick the purses from the pockets of the guards.

    Final rating of the mission: 2/10. The visuals are unique and kinda nice but that's all there is to it. The gameplay consists of nothing else but following one very specific linear path, TWICE with backtracking.

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    These guards won't move. They're just there to block your way. There is no exploration in this FM. Any deviation from the intended path gets you killed.


    Bafford's Bone Collection

    This is a small contest mission by Garrett himself (SlyFoxx), and while it's solid enough, there's not much to it, really. It's a tiny mansion where you have to get some loot and find Bafford's golden bones which he recently acquired. This makes it one of the many FMs out there where you steal from Bafford. They should get their own category over in TTLGs "List of FMs by category" thread.

    - The mansion is small but visually it looks pleasing enough. There's not much to be said about it, either positive or negative. It's just a solid piece of work with neither excellence nor fatal flaws.
    - The places the bones are hidden at, however, are kinda flawed because they're so obscure. Had to consult a walkthrough to find them. And to make it worse, one clearly wooden surface right next to a banner behind which some bones are hidden doesn't hold rope arrows. In other places, the very same texture does hold them. It doesn't even make any sound at all when I shoot an arrow at it, so... bug?

    Overall, I gave this 5/10 because it's an average mansion romp that takes you only about 15 minutes to beat, so there's not much too it. Solid coffee break FM. Not much more to be said about it.

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    A Dark Night

    Another small mansion FM that shows a lot of potential but is too small to fully reach it. There are only about 5 guards in the entire mission so that could've been ramped up a bit too. The visual design is good, there are different sections to explore (a bit of city, a bit of sewer, then the mansion), but it's all rather small.

    - There are some nice custom textures in there, and the atmosphere in the mansion is pretty good.
    - The story isn't bad, but I found one readable that spilled the beans on your main objective way too early. You have to find a girl who was kidnapped, likely by the crazy dude into whose mansion you're breaking. Right in a room on the ground floor, you find a readable that explains exactly what's going on, rather than just hinting at it. This comes way too early in the mission.
    - There should have been more guards in the place, and maybe some non-human enemies once you get to the basement. The story builds up tension up to that point, but then there's nothing to actually pop out and attack you. Would've been cool to have the evil wizard spawn behind you at the end.

    Overall, I rated it 6.5/10. It's quite solid and shows a lot of potential but it's too small to fully reach it. With some more enemies and more to explore, it could easily have reached a 7.

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    This is a pretty cool area.


    The Masque of Red Death

    This is a small FM originally intended for a contest but didn't make the deadline.
    It has catchy music, cool textures, people dancing, and you have to kill an undead entity at the end.
    Saying anything more would be spoilerish.

    It's very short, so just give it a shot. It's doesn't have much traditional Thief-gameplay but it is certainly an entertaining experience. Rated it 6.5/10. If you wanna see AI dance, play this.

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Complications

    Eh. This was a very bland and tedious mission. The concept is cool but the execution very lacking.

    - You have to get loot and break into the home of some rich guy. There is some city street exploration but that's not as much fun as you'd expect: all the houses have only a ground floor, most of them have doors you have to lockpick and the lockpicking takes a little too long, and the whole area just looks bland. Flat streets, all houses having the same size... meh.
    - Once you reach the guy's home it gets slightly more interesting. In theory, at least. You use a key on a magic lock that sends you into a parallel world. The same city streets, just ruined and patrolled by undead. That doesn't make the architecture any less bland, though. And you don't even get a sword to defend yourself with.
    - From there, it just devolves into a keyhunt as you have to find the key that lets you open the door back into the normal world, THEN find a key in the normal world that opens a box in the bizarro world, THEN take that key back to the normal world to open a door with it.

    Meh. Rated it 3/10. It's just not any fun to go through. Has some cool ideas behind it but the execution is more than lacking.

    Just Take a Look

    This is a cool little mansion mission by the same guy who did Thieves Highway, a good rooftop mission. This is a really good FM as far as mansions go, and it does some really interesting things with brushes... you'll see that in the screenshots.

    - You have to break into a noble's home to find out why he has been given a servant by Karras. That entails going upstairs and listening to a conversation between two mechanists. You also have to get some loot, then get out. Simple enough.
    - This mission has a lot of secrets to discover! While the secret switches aren't obvious, they're not so well-hidden you need a walkthrough to find them, either. There's the classic frobbable book in a bookcase, and a coathanger that is a secret switch, for example. The secret placement in this FM is quite excellent.
    - I was quite baffled when I first realized it: a lot of the furniture isn't objects but built from brushes! It actually looks really cool, and apparently dromed didn't even complain about all that small-scale brushwork everywhere. Hah!

    Rated this FM 7/10 because it's a good mansion mission with a cool visual style thanks to the brush-made furniture, and generally good exploration (multiple approaches to most places, all that stuff). Worth playing!

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    Every single piece of furniture in this screenshot is made of brushes. Yes. Every single piece.

    [​IMG]
    The toilet? Brushes.


    The Black Parade Mission 1

    :smug:
    :smug::smug:
    :smug::smug::smug::smug::smug:
     
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  22. Squadafroinx Novice

    Squadafroinx
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    w8 we already began betatesting ?! :retarded:

    Don't 'worry' it's only the first mission, we just decided to test them one by one so we can pinpoint problems about the new features more easily ; TBP is far from being finished :negative: (as I speak : only one FM finished, two nearly finished and the rest is still in construction)

    Anyway uncadonego's maps are incredible, the way he's twisting brushes and using small area to is own advantage to build his map (look at the way he built Flip a Coin! very very interesting; lot's of learn from him) all with an excellent personnal touch to T2's boring aesthetic (I tried to emulate that with a T1 touch with Watery Grave, tried is the keyword because at first I wanted to only use stock ressources but in the end I said fuck that and used a lot's of custom ambiant :M) ; he's by far one of my favorite author
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
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  23. SlyFoxx Educated

    SlyFoxx
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    Bafford's Bone Collection

    This is a small contest mission by Garrett himself (SlyFoxx), and while it's solid enough, there's not much to it, really. It's a tiny mansion where you have to get some loot and find Bafford's golden bones which he recently acquired. This makes it one of the many FMs out there where you steal from Bafford. They should get their own category over in TTLGs "List of FMs by category" thread.

    - The mansion is small but visually it looks pleasing enough. There's not much to be said about it, either positive or negative. It's just a solid piece of work with neither excellence nor fatal flaws.
    - The places the bones are hidden at, however, are kinda flawed because they're so obscure. Had to consult a walkthrough to find them. And to make it worse, one clearly wooden surface right next to a banner behind which some bones are hidden doesn't hold rope arrows. In other places, the very same texture does hold them. It doesn't even make any sound at all when I shoot an arrow at it, so... bug?

    Overall, I gave this 5/10 because it's an average mansion romp that takes you only about 15 minutes to beat, so there's not much too it. Solid coffee break FM. Not much more to be said about it.

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    That was my second mission but first released. Done in quite a hurry, you've pretty much got it surrounded. A contest came along while my first mission was in testing so I banged this out because I was bored. Like the rest of my missions...they are something to play while you wait for the next really good mission. I build decent spaces and make going from one place to another fun but I lack the patience and skills necessary to build scripted events that make for a great thief experience. Makes me head hurt. I leave that stuff to Esh, Drk, Melan, Yandros etc...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  24. Squadafroinx Novice

    Squadafroinx
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    35
    Scripted events are not what define a great experience IMO; you're speaking about DrK and Melan but their missions are far from being full o' script and all that tech-wizard stuff ; they just built a very decent map with a memorable atmosphere - (well at least for now; DrK hired a real tech-wizard for his Rocksbourg Team; Firemage is a crazy motherfucker you won't believe the things he can do with dromed - on the morn you ask him 'hey firemage I need you to built an AI in dromed who can tell us what's the secert to the universe and all the stuff'; come the night and he give you three mysterious scripts to install on your dromed folder :o?! )

    Don't be too harsh on your missions, they're pretty good and I'll be happy to play a new one made by yourself; sure they're kinda rough around the edge sometime but you have a really good sense of use of colors and comfyness; Unnecessary Risk for example have a very cozy interior (wish I could live there! :oops:)
     
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  25. Yandros Learned

    Yandros
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Fields of blue grass
    I agree with that to a large extent. Between DryCo, Racket, Godbreaker and DCE I'm sick to death of scripting conversations and complex shit, and so my next project after DCE is probably going to be a simple mission with a simple story, using mostly stock assets, but my goal will just be to deliver classic gameplay. I need to take a break from custom everything.
     
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