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Thief 2 fan missions and campaigns

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

  1. 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
    Going for that Nightcrawler aesthetic?

    8004 terrain brushes! That's large.
     
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  2. nicked Educated

    nicked
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    In don't think AAA design philosophies are all inherently bad, or that everything a smaller, quirkier game does is good. There are certainly annoyances and plenty of outright bad design in Thief: The Dark Project, and Thief 2 for that matter. Would "fixing" these make the games less interesting? Perhaps! That's a broader philosophical question. My goal with level design is (among other things) simply to try and ensure that no-one playing the mission can get stuck due to illogical puzzles. If I got everything hypothetically perfect, I would want to have a mission that doesn't even need a Help thread on TTLG, because no-one had any trouble with it (yet still enjoyed the time they spent playing it). If that's "appealing to the lowest common denominator" then so be it. I can totally understand if that has increased the blandness. Injecting real personality into my missions is something I've always struggled with - I had the same emptiness complaints about many areas of Sturmdrang Peak.

    It's always a fine balancing act between realistic/immersive spaces to explore, and designing gameplay which is fun and a surmountable challenge. Perhaps the balance is all wrong with this one (I'm way too close to judge, I'd need to revisit it in a few years) - it's the first time I've ever attempted a big city/rooftop mission. It was certainly designed a bit ass-backwards, and it shows if you know what you're looking for (hint: almost all the buildings were in place before there was any story or characters). If I made a city mission in future, I'd certainly want to get a rough story worked out first (as I usually do much earlier in the process than with this mission), and then design gameplay spaces to serve that story, rather than fitting the story into an existing space - it is inherently less engaging.

    In terms of gating - I deliberately made the first two areas very linear to start, but I hope you found that the mission opened up and became a lot less linear once you traverse the canal.

    A keyring setup would have been a good idea in hindsight, although I always dislike that you can't see the names of the individual keys.

    As for illogical/unenterable buildings - all of these should have fake doors built into the brushwork to imply lower floors that don't exist. It's not ideal but it just got too huge to expand many more interiors. :p

    Wooden beams don't eat nearly as many cells as you might think - they're cuboids and all at right angles. Uneven terrain and stairs with gaps in are the biggest killers. Also there are a number of beams and other shapes that are actually objects so that helps. Overall architecturally I was going for a hi-res, realistic(ish) look and very deliberately used as few stock resources as possible. There are no stock terrain textures in the whole mission (technically true, as the few stock textures I did use, I added a layer of grime to).

    Also - beady eyes doesn't necessarily mean Dewdrop. It could be something more horrifying... :D
     
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  3. skacky Prestigious Gentleman 3D Realms Developer

    skacky
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    It's a semi-renovated manor house with the older bits inspired by Nightcrawler and the newer ones more in line with Thief 2, but still retaining that cold TDP aspect. The amount of terrain brushes is mostly due to a vast majority of arches being made out of solid wedges instead of air cylinders, because we're very close to the cell limit. In terms of size, the mission is slightly bigger than, say, Heist Society, and I think fans of mansion missions should like this one. It even has a few city bits with rooftops!
     
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  4. nicked Educated

    nicked
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    Sounds awesome! I've always kinda wanted to do a "mansion" mission that is just unrealistically enormous - like a Gormenghast fan mission with just rooms in the ludicrous hundreds. Probably wouldn't actually be much fun to play though...
     
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  5. Melan Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Melan
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    A Gormenghast fan mission could be full of strange eerie things, though, and have variety going for it. Basically, a dungeon crawl masquerading as a mansion.
     
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  6. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Just wait until I get to my planned "Ultramansion" mission, guys.
    (but before I attempt that I still have three other FMs I'm working on)
     
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  7. nicked Educated

    nicked
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    This was a major focus of the beta test - originally there was a lot more in the way of obvious non-frobbables with all the quests, to ensure progression couldn't be broken by things being done too far outside the expected order. Most of these were replaced with more elegant solutions. The complexity of the various conversations with the innkeeper led me to leave the bottles as is however. My in-universe justification is that Garrett doesn't know they're worth anything until he gets the note from the innkeeper.

    A Gormenghast/ultra-mansion mission would need a lot of careful design I think, but if done well, it could be incredibly atmospheric - it would have to *feel* mazelike, without actually being mazelike.
     
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  8. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    nicked, can I steal your fox for my own missions? :D
     
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  9. nicked Educated

    nicked
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    Go for it! There is a badger too. I was going to make a hare, but I forgot in the end.
     
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  10. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    So I just finished Behind Closed Doors. Took me about 3 hours to finish the mission, which is more than Godbreaker mission 4 even though it overall felt a little smaller than that one.

    My final impressions:
    - It starts out linear-ish with the gating and lack of ropes, but that changes quickly. Once you're in the main area of the mission, it opens up and you're free to explore however you want. Some rope-arrowing and a LOT of jumping and climbing, good verticality and some really impressive views await!
    - The visuals are beautiful. I just love the look of daylight missions, and this one is top tier quality.
    - Once the mission opens up after the linear first areas, there's some good non-linearity, although it never reaches the godlike levels of skacky missions. Walking along ledges, climbing up drainpipes, jumping from roof to roof. Some nice hidden things too, found a chest hidden on top of rafters in one building. My "wow!" moment came when I jumped to a ledge from atop the church, walked all the way around, found a window, got in, found equipment chests, got out the other side, thought "oh wow, another area!" and then realized, as I started exploring that area, that I had already been there. There's nothing quite like that "hey... I've been to this place before!" feeling during exploration, when you realize there are multiple ways to get around.
    - The optional objectives were cool. Finding all the masks wasn't too hard because they're either gotten by sidequests or their location is mentioned in readables, and you can easily figure out what they're used for. Nice secret that isn't totally obscure but requires some exploration by the player.
    - I liked the electric fence on top of the bank building. A barrier that kills you but can be switched off is really cool, this should be done more often.
    - THAT FOX WAS SO CUTE
    - THOSE RATS WERE SO NASTY. Used up all of my broadheads. Yes, all of them. More than 30.
    - The mage place was kinda annoying. Do a task. After that, previously unfrobbable items are made frobbable, and you need them for the next task! Most of them are small and their location not 100% obvious so you end up running through the building looking for the next item. Good thing the area to be searched is rather small.

    Overall, a very beautiful and enjoyable mission. Rated it 8.5/10. Good stuff!
     
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  11. nicked Educated

    nicked
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    Glad you enjoyed it!

    Fair point about the mage's tasks. I wanted the player to have to jump through a few hoops, to be realistic, but not go overboard with frustrating busywork. Figured I could get away with it more if the player is locked into that one building until they've done it.

    I'm currently on the second Godbreaker mission - not had much time to play it this week. So much stuff to find, and places to explore! It's almost, but not quite, overwhelming - I am making noticeable progress even if I am a bit lost. I would have liked a more detailed map, especially after the ultra-clear map from mission one - maybe an automap that starts blank and fills up as you explore could have worked well with this one. As it is, I don't understand what the pictures on the map represent, so it's not much better than having no map. It sure is pretty though - the mission and the map!
     
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  12. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    The map on Godbreaker's mission 2 is surprisingly accurate, and you will know which pictures on the map correspond to which places in the level once you explored your way around a bit. Protip: use your compass and your map in order to find your way. I needed to use compass and map to find the crypt housing the sword.
     
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  13. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    What JarlFrank said. You should only need to walk around for a bit with your compass out to get the hang of it.

    If you want a small clue regarding the map...

    Show Spoiler
    The village where you start is in the SE corner of the level, and the SE corner of the map.
     
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  14. Random_Taffer Educated

    Random_Taffer
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  15. Squadafroinx Novice

    Squadafroinx
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    Same goes for downwinder actually, at first I thought maybe he's just a 'little special' but now almost every messages he post is more or less related to his strange fascination for barking dogs (???), Viktorian and Dewdrop, like he's pushing an incredible show of self-mocking sense of humor

    His latest gold

    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147516
     
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  16. Yandros Learned

    Yandros
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    "the creator of dewdrop is a mystery but if i had to guess it would be one of the mages who was once a hammerite and got mad when karras left the hammers and made dewdrop out of spite"

    :what:
     
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  17. nicked Educated

    nicked
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    I am really loving Godbreaker mission 2 - just even after some exploration I wasn't seeing the connection between the pictures on the map and anywhere in the level. However it's not hindering me especially; I'm just using my own sense of direction and the compass. Even when I'm lost, I don't care because the atmosphere is so superb. I see my Death's Turbid Veil moths have gone to good use amongst other things!
     
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  18. Darth Slaughter Arcane Patron

    Darth Slaughter
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    And the way he shoots his videos... vertical smartphone... pointing to his laptop...
     
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  19. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
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    And what about the way he drops his phone in every video? It's so stupid
     
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  20. Darth Slaughter Arcane Patron

    Darth Slaughter
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    I just saw once, because i have no patience to see it all. So it always happens!
     
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  21. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
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    Well... almost every video. It's hilarious
     
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  22. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    It's all fun until you realise the guy has serious issues. Then it's hilarious.
     
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  23. H3H3 Novice

    H3H3
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    Are you talking about that 'depression' post he made? If so, then I agree
     
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  24. cowking Educated

    cowking
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    Is that black parade or an upcoming fm?
     
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  25. Max_b5 Learned

    Max_b5
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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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