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Thief 2 fan missions and campaigns

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

  1. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    I really love the use of the Opera textures, especially because it's hardly ever seen in fms. One thing though: try using the same wall texture for the four sides of the room.
     
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  2. Darth Slaughter Arcane Patron

    Darth Slaughter
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    I would also exchange that lamp on the wall for a painting. Or a painting with a lamp for it.

    Also, the lower part of the wall's textures are misaligned.
     
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  3. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    I love it the way it is, but the textures on the wall with the lamp should be changed so they're more in line with the other walls. At least make the trim have the same height as the trim on the other walls, that's the main thing that is jarring: having wallpaper only on one wall while the others are wood would fit to an eccentric's room, but the trim being the same is pretty important.

    The atmosphere of the room is pretty great, though. This looks very much like classic Thief Gold, good job there.

    Oh and yeah, Darth Slaughter's suggestion of putting a painting on that wall is good. I'd place the lamp a little bit higher, and then a painting just below it so it's illuminated by the lamp.
     
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  4. Dev_Anj Learned

    Dev_Anj
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I redid that room:

    [​IMG]

    Let me know if it's better than the last version.
     
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  5. Darth Slaughter Arcane Patron

    Darth Slaughter
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    It's much better. I would just change the door position. More to the left, so it does'n clash with the texture pattern. Or pehaps in the center of the wall. I miss the trim/baseboard.
     
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  6. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Yeah definitely put the door in the middle of the wall so it fits better with the wall texture, and put the trim back in, it seems like you removed it. Already looks much better tho.
    I'd also move the small painting with the woman a little to the right so it's more in the middle of the texture there.
     
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  7. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    It looks way better without the trim IMO.
     
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  8. Yandros Learned

    Yandros
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    That looks a lot better, but it's still too busy IMO. I'd recommend a trim texture of that level of complexity about 4' up the wall, but then a more plain wall texture above it up to the ceiling. That texture is very busy and visually competes with the paintings, the ceiling etc. Of course, if that's what you're going for, then you're doing great, but if you're going for something more normal, then I'd tone it down a little. Just my $0.02.
     
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  9. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    So I'm playing through The Rebellion of the Builder, and I'm at the third mission right now.

    My god.

    On the one hand, I really respect GORT for the effort he put into this, for all the cool little scripting and custom objects he put in there, there's a lot of incredibly fun stuff in this campaign. The gun-wielding mechanists are awesome, I love the idea of a modern-day city in a Thief FM with cars and motorbikes, and the second mission that was set in the forest had a really cool atmosphere in some places.

    On the other hand - holy fucking shit this has to be the most trolling mission in the history of Thief FMs. Random - really, completely and utterly random without any warning - trap placements like doors that explode when you frob them, insane timed switch-hunts that have one section with two switches where if you hit the wrong one, it spawns a horde of enemies, guards on speed that run twice as fast as normal ones do, etc etc. This mission has so much player trolling, it's completely ridiculous.

    I still wanna play through the entire thing because GORT does some impressive stuff with custom resources and has many cool ideas, but holy shit.

    Holy fucking shit.

    I'm savescumming so hard because the only way through this campaign is if you completely cheese and abuse engine quirks. Wow.
     
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  10. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Yup. That's GORT for you.

    Only hint I'm going to give you is to look up the concept of "maximum possible hiding" in Thief - you'll need to rely on it to beat the 3rd mission.
     
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  11. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Eh? I managed fine. Didn't get the golden mace because FUCK THAT ARMY OF COMBOTS SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL but I got the lootgoal and managed to run past the fighting mechs and hammers without grabbing their attention.

    I'm just glad I kept that flash arrow until the end, I needed it to reach the code panel.

    EDIT:
    Ok ,beginning of the fourth mission: you are in a brightly illuminated hallway, with marble floors, and a mechanist is walking towards you. WHAT THE HELL WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS GORT
    WHY
     
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  12. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    It's the combots that you need it for.

    The "maximum possible hiding" for Garrett is in perfect shadow, crouching and leaning up against a wall. Only under these exact circumstances will you not be detected by the combots.

    As for what lies ahead - the fifth (and last) mission is shorter and easier than the others.
     
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  13. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    So I finished that campaign. Last two missions turned the trolling up to 11, the fourth mission spawned additional mechanist gunners whenever you picked up an important key, and they were all hyper-aware; used a walkthrough to find Chrstine's sword with which I defeated the mech-Constantine.

    Then, the last mission. Big keyhunt with hyper-aware enemies, collapsing buildings you have to jump away from before they drag you down to death, going into the wrong hallway will spawn another mech constantine that will instakill you.

    Best missions of the campaign was the third for its cool use of modern assets. Overall, lots of interesting things in the campaign that made it worth playing through, but most of the insanely amped up difficulty was completely unneccessary, there were so many situations that are just designed to troll the player and that require ultra cheesing to get through.

    I'm both looking forward and being afraid of what GORT is going to deliver in RotB2.
     
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  14. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    What is the score on RotB2 anyway? Around 2012 or so GORT was very active on TTLG and posting images and descriptions for the campaign, but since then I haven't seen or heard a thing.
     
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  15. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    It's still going, GORT has been posting some screenshots recently. It's progressing slowly, but it's progressing.

    He posted this just a few days ago:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Grand Taff Auto?
     
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  17. Dev_Anj Learned

    Dev_Anj
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    Just started playing through the Novice contest missions. So far, Just My Luck seems like the best entry here. It has a strong atmosphere and uses its space pretty effectively to tell an interesting story. While the mission itself is a bit small, and the architecture a bit too simple, it's still surprising how well executed it is.

    Forgotten Tomb looks good from what I played of it but I was stuck early on by a magic wall. I'll try playing it more later.

    Lastly, Shoes and Dresses by JarlFrank is a rough yet interesting attempt at a city based mission. The outdoor areas are pretty bland and too large but the mansion areas are well done.

    Overall, this contest is looking like a good show so far.
     
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  18. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Well, I expected there to be one or two more missions, 3 is the bare minimum for a proper contest. Squadarofl wanted to submit one too but didn't get finished in time, but he said he's going to finish the mission this year so that's good.

    I hope the other two guys also keep on making missions, they're pretty good from what I played so far. I know that I definitely will, and my next mission is already in construction.

    I think that novice contest was a really damn good idea, because it finally gave me that kick I needed to start Dromeding for real. And with the lower amount of FMs released in recent years, we need some new blood to provide more. Would be cool to see more novice contests in the future.
     
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  19. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    So I played through all the contest missions.

    Just My Luck is small and simple, but it has a charming quality to it and does some things not too often seen in Thief FMs. One little thing that was a bit annoying was the hiding place of the key to one important house, it was hidden very well and there were no hints to its whereabouts - well, ok, there was one hint, but it was inside the house and therefore only accessible after getting in. I liked the story behind it, even though I've seen the twist coming right after reading the very first readable. Readables are of good quality, the atmosphere is pretty good and colored lighting and ambients are used effectively to convey it. It was pretty linear but one of the buildings had two ways to access it, so that was a nice touch. Enjoyable mission, rated it "Solid to Good" and gave it a 6.5/10 score in Darkloader.

    Shoes and Dresses... well, it's my own mission, but I'll still attempt to rate it. It has some obvious shortcomings like the overly simplistic architecture in the city section, most of which can be blamed on me trying out things in Dromed and not having enough time to polish it up before the deadline. It's probably the most varied and most sizeable mission in the contest, but that way it also suffers from a lack of focus compared to the other two entries. While the architectural detail is mostly similar to Just My Luck, Shoes and Dresses suffers from a lack of focus and having some areas that are too empty, so the simplicity of the architecture is more noticeable than in Just My Luck. It certainly would've benefitted from a tighter and more focused design, but the variety and several cool ideas make this worth playing. Rated it "Solid to Good" with a 6.5/10 in Darkloader.

    Forgotten Tomb is primarily a puzzle mission with a cool little twist in the middle. I have to admit that I checked out Fen's Let's Play to solve some of the riddles that got me stuck for a while, but overall the puzzles aren't too hard. Basically, you break into a tomb and rob some shit and then try to get out again. It has two different endings based on whether you find a certain item or not, and it has a shitton of loot. The loot goal seems to be optional as you can finish the mission without reaching it, but it's implemented in a very questionable way: it merely tells you to find "most of the loot" in the crypt, without mentioning how much that is. And considering this mission has around 16k loot in total, you always keep wondering "ok, why the fuck didn't I reach the loot goal yet, how much of the stuff is there??". Visually and atmospherically, this is probably the best of all the contest entries: the architecture is more complex than in Shoes & Dresses and Just My Luck, and it uses ambients and custom objects for good effect. It looks really, really good. It also is the most challenging of the missions: here, there are some zombies that can't be knocked down with the sword, and you have only three water arrows so stealthing it is a challenge. Since I'm not too much into puzzle missions, I rated this one "Solid to Good" with a 6.5/10, too, just like the other two missions.

    Overall, I'm going to guess that Forgotten Tomb will win the contest. Just my Luck and Shoes and Dresses are roughly on the same level, I would say, but Forgotten Tomb is just technically so much more impressive that it's bound to get the highest votes over at TTLG. It looks gorgeous, it has some technically involved puzzles that surpass anything the other two missions have (Just My Luck only has a bit of keyhunting, and Shoes and Dresses only has a simple switch puzzle - nothing even remotely approaching the puzzles in Forgotten Tomb), it even has two different endings based on whether you find and use a certain item or not. It also has to be the mission with the most loot ever, because there's more than 16000 in there, which is kinda funny because I thought my mission had quite a lot of loot compared to most. :lol:

    I'm pretty certain Forgotten Tomb will reach the first place, while the other two will probably get roughly similar scores.
     
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  20. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    I had a go at the contest missions myself. In general, all three suffer from the "brilliant idea, execution not-so-brilliant" syndrome, but here it's the intent that counts and that's where all three deliver quite well...albeit with different results. (All three missions also suffer heavily from Audiolog syndrome, so keep that in mind.)

    "The Forgotten Tomb" is by far the most ambitious one, and also the one that fails the most at what it's trying. The starting area is so full of pointless scenery that I encountered lag there, but I quickly forgot about that because of the game design used in that starting area: Adventure Game Logic. To reach the tomb you must Use the Crowbar on the Rock. To get past the magic barrier below you must Use the Holy Water on the Hammer to create a Holy Hammer. A hint on this can be found by finding a well-hidden scrollcase near the campfire. Note I said 'scrollcase' because the author at least thought far enough ahead that for any readable to survive for long in the wild it would have to be in a scrollcase. Anyways, by creating the Holy Hammer an enemy is spawned in the area, and once you go down the ladder with the Holy Hammer the way behind you is blocked. Hello, unwanted scripted sequences.

    Things pick up a bit once you get into the tomb itself, it looks and feels like a tomb, and it's up to the player whether to light those torches or not - a nice touch. I really liked seeing the tombs in various state of preservation. One thing that did bother me was the hole in the ground, it was only because I was carefully inching my way across the floor that I noticed it before I fell in. The tomb uses the same texture EVERYWHERE, making it hard to spot 'details' like these. Obviously Garrett is supposed to rope his way down the hole, but that requires finding a piece of wood that the player must Use on the Hole to create a brace, before the rope can be Used to create a makeshift rope arrow. I'm sorry, why was it so hard to just make the player use a rope arrow here? Especially since it took me 3 tries to get down because the game wouldn't register that I had latched on to the rope.

    The section down in the hole was just brilliant, but everything after that was...not. There's more Adventure Game Logic involved, and then the mission has two endings - an anticlimatic one if you didn't find a certain item, and then a proper one if you did. That's a "Dead End in an Adventure Game" cliché, and is one of the reasons why Adventure Games up and died by the turn of the century - no one likes that kinda crap.

    Overall, The Forgotten Tomb strays too far from Thief and too far into Adventure Game territory...something Thief has never needed to do. I see plenty of work and planning has gone into this, and yet the end result feels...disappointing. I hope the author realizes that Thief can do things far better than this.

    Then there's "Shoes and Dresses" courtesy of our very own JarlFrank. Here the ratio of 'idea vs execution' is more balanced, with the problem being a lack of time rather than odd design decisions. Still, I am very impressed with the ideas presented here, even though some of them are implemented quite roughly. I quickly learned to dread anything in this FM that involved rope arrows, for example. Beyond that I'm not gonna say much so as to let players be surprised by what JarlFrank has in store, except to say that Kfort's missions are clearly an inspiration.

    Finally there's "Just My Luck" which quite surprised me. It's the smallest mission, yet the most cohesive one. It's also the toughest one of them all as a keyhunt goes down to the pixel size, which wouldn't be so bad if the entire mission didn't hinge on this one key being found - a needless bottleneck in an otherwise nice freeform mission. This one isn't trying anything new, daring or spectacular - it's just trying to be a Thief mission.
     
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  21. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Heh, it's kinda funny how you're railing against The Forgotten Tomb while the general impression on TTLG and in Fen's video comments is that this is "Keeper of Infinity Done Right" because it's a puzzle mission that is not too arbitrary and most of its puzzles are solveable.

    While I'm not a fan of puzzle missions, I still liked this one, as it didn't go overboard with the puzzle difficulty. Things being hard to spot due to low lighting and samey wall textures is a valid complaint, but other than that... eh, it was pretty good as far as puzzle missions go. The issue was that often, things were hard to spot, but the puzzles themselves were simple enough.
    Gameplay-wise, I enjoyed Just My Luck a lot more, but I'm still willing to bet Forgotten Tomb will win due to technical impressiveness alone.

    And yeah, Kfort and Christine were my main inspirations for the mission, as you and Fen have correctly guessed (he said the cake objective reminded him of Christine missions).
     
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  22. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    I could go into quite a laundry list of things about your FM I would like to comment on, but just to stick to two things at the start.

    The 'thing' right outside Garrett's house is precisely the kind of humour I feel is missing in games in general. Most devs go with tons of pop culture references, but far too few actually come up with jokes based on the building blocks of the games, in every sense of the word. ;)

    The other thing is the objective that usually gets ticked off by the time Garrett exits this house...it that had been a Bonus Objective (one that doesn't reveal itself until it has been completed) then the joke would have been PERFECT.
     
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  23. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Whaddaya know, that's exactly what I originally planned, but by the time the deadline was encroaching I was too intimidated by how complex mission goals are that I scrapped the "goal only appears when you finish it" idea.

    When I go for humor, I tend to play around with expectations and just add some quirky things (like all the loot furniture in the secret wizard place), pop culture references were never my thing. Glad to see you liked it.
    (well, the role playing rulebook behind Garrett's house could be considered a pop culture reference, I guess)

    Do go into the laundry list though, I always like hearing your opinion, and since you're one of the harshest FM critics around here, you can probably give me some good tips on improving my design. :)
     
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  24. Melan Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Melan
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    Forgotten Tomb had good puzzles. They are not too challenging to be insufferable, but they require some observation and thought. I got temporarily stuck three times, and on each occasion, it was because I had to search my surroundings more thoroughly. The kind of obtuse non-logic that can make puzzle missions insufferable was missing. I generally don't like puzzle-heavy missions (and vastly prefer things like the environmental challenges found in Gems of Provenance), but found this one rather enjoyable. Adventure game-style missions have their place in FMland. Why not? The graphical style I can take or leave, and some of the readables were a bit iffy, but the decay of the environment was excellently realised. It is surprising someone who has never released a mission could do something like it - I would expect it from someone with a lot of experience and a bunch of finished projects, not a newbie.

    Just My Luck had a good, consistent style and eye for detail, and would have been ideal for a newbie contest entry if not for the pixel hunting part. Well lit, story fine if a little bit too contrived (it is funny how every single object type in Thief now has a potential story background in an FM, up to and including the training dummy), technically all right.

    I have posted most of my comments on Shoes and Dresses in the testing thread. I like how it is a light-hearted and funny story, and its ambitions (although this is also what makes it rough around the edges). Readables rather too explicit, rope arrowing is painful in some places, and there is an element of backtracking that's overdone, but it was quite enjoyable, and for a practice mission, it is what anyone could ask for.
     
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  25. Dev_Anj Learned

    Dev_Anj
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    Unkillable Cat

    I've heard you criticize "audiolog writing" in the writing of several Thief fan missions. Could you go into detail as to what it really is, which missions don't have it, and how to avoid it? I'm curious.
     
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