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Melan

Campaign Dev
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Everything posted by Melan

  1. This has been a cool mission to get reacquainted with TDM after a long pause. Challenging, consistently well written and atmospheric, and always top notch in appearance. An excellent continuation of the nautical themes in your previous missions. Good to finally see Wrecker's Reach put to use, too. I hope the other side of town (which was not featured in this FM) also sees the light of day some time.
  2. I am posting these on behalf of bikerdude (from Shadowhide's big city map). LONG.
  3. This specific map is also particularly finicky to work with. It is organic, detailed and confusing.
  4. So this Crucible mission has found a new purpose? Great!
  5. I will be the contrarian, and interject that stepwise does not work for me. Roughing out the entire level, then doing another activity across the entire level would just lead to quick burnout. I build scene-by-scene, although with extra rounds of expansion and refinement. Good thing I am not part of the industry - just a fan.
  6. Spooks speaks from my perspective as well. I like Bikerdude quite a lot, and he has not only been instrumental in making my maps releasable (my building habits are often over-ambitious), he has also shaped them in good ways, helped me find the laptop I am currently typing on, and more. But I do treat creative ownership of a map seriously, way more seriously than he did. This actually includes his maps, which he reformatted and partially reused in ways I would have considered downright disrespectful if he had done it to someone else. There was also an imbalance in our working relationship, in that he could build very detailed stuff very quickly, while for me, every brush and light placement could be a tortuously slow decision. He is also a much harder worker than I am. The things I have built did not come easy to me, nor are they freely interchangeable with something else. I make something to fit together in a particular way - a specific room is there because it belongs there, not because it could be any general room. To see days or weeks' worth of thinking and iteration being rewritten was not a pleasant experience. I had to learn to "hold" maps and camp on them to avoid our projects being overtaken and gradually turned into something unrecognisable. But apparently, it still didn't save them from post-release tampering. The PD2 fiasco started with a few innocent fixes - which actually looked cool - and ended with a redesign that would have completely subverted the way the mission worked. And PD2 is the TDM map I am the most proud of. It was just as hard - and perhaps ultimately futile - to communicate a design intent to him, because he'd of course do his own thing. And that can be quite good! The current version of Return to the City is perhaps more his map than mine, and it is very good (not to mention it doesn't freeze randomly for seconds). But it is also fairly different in tone and scope to the mission I built and won a contest with. You can play that contest-winning mission (with the dogshit performance and half the content, mind you), but you'll have to dig deep to find it and make that comparison. Otherwise, you'll play an altogether different map. Whether you think that difference matters or not is at the heart of this discussion.
  7. This behaviour is not fucking acceptable, period. What the fuck.
  8. Wow! These are some mighty impressive shots! I really like the hall by Aosys. That's grand.
  9. Nice going! Those are, indeed, some good fences. (And the machinery is swell, too!)
  10. From what I understand, T3ED is rather hard to get into - it relies on jumping through some hoops to design levels, and still carries forward some critical issues which can't be fixed. However, I have never tried to make a mission with it, so this is all based on what others have said. Dark Radiant has been a very pleasant experience: It has a good learning curve: you can learn to make a simple, reasonably good-looking mission within a few weeks.It is intuitive: the editor is straightforward to use, and has seen several upgrades which make it easy to use.It scales up: from small, simple mission to fairly grand affairs, it can accommodate different level sizes and levels of detail. You can create BSP-based (brushwork) architecture, use premade architectural modules (a bit like like LEGO pieces), or combine the two.It comes with an expansive asset library. By now, the range of textures, models and AI has become fairly impressive (although it is mostly humans and undead).Once you understand the basic rules, asset creation is not a big hurdle (note that generally, textures are easier than models, and models are easier than fully rigged custom AI - making those require skills which few people have).
  11. Always a pleasure to kill banksters put some leverage on financial establishments.
  12. Ah, that helped! Thanks - found him shortly afterwards. This was truly an excellent mission! It was a bleak, hopeless place, and the story continued to be intriguing. It felt natural, but had proper drama with its sinister killings and startling discoveries. A good compromise between detective work and plain exploration. I must mention the visual storytelling especially, which is remarkably strong here. Also, the various characters felt interesting, with their side-stories (although a few more bystanders might not have hurt). Tracking down the killer to his lair was a tense sequence, and the payoff was well worth it. The "look" is also very nice; you could feel this quarter was abandoned in a haste, and the decay was creeping in. I am fairly sure I didn't find some places, even though I only missed about 500 loot. However, I never found the map! The opening convo mentions it, but I couldn't spot it, and later just wandered around, gradually exploring the place. One thing where the mission is a bit weaker is the sound. Too much of the territory is covered by that one single loop, which gets repetitive after a while. Giving places a more distinct audio identity would have been an improvement. All in all, the WS series just keeps being excellent - I eagerly await the next part.
  13. It is a minor update, and did not receive a new version number.
  14. A fixed version of this FM has now been uploaded. Thanks a million to Springheel, who has done the actual work (I am on a laptop that doesn't like TDM).
  15. I adopted Restless Plunder (along with one half of The Nexus), and will finish it up after my 20th anniversary contest mission.
  16. Just to set the record straight, I didn't leave TDM. I am inactive because I have been severely burned out ever since PD3's release. That has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. Also, stop blaming yourself. Take some time off, let off steam, then come back and keep working on your projects. Learn that one lesson you need to get into your head. Nobody wants you gone, but a whole lot of people want you to respect their boundaries. That's all.
  17. What a cool tribute to Sir Taffsalot! I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the mansion, which was as "painterly" as the task itself - lit up just right to be gloomy and challenging. This is an excellent use of the architectural modules. I am not entirely a fan of the guarded loot mechanic, but i stuck with it, and although I had to brute force a few places with KOs (including the entire upper floor!), I walked away with most of the stuff in the mansion. It was good how the place felt alive even at this late time of the night, and how you brought a sense of "reality" to it. Thank you!
  18. I have been thinking about this for a while. We have a lot of finely polished gems out there (when I finally loaded up Volta II - I saved it for Christmas - I had to gather my jaw from the floor multiple times while playing it), but we could really use that steady churn of small, unassuming heists. Time and time again, I like to load up Thieves or Special Delivery or any of the smaller FMs. I wouldn't complain if we had one of those every month or so, to play something between the big missions.
  19. New authors should accept that their creations will not be perfect. They may have worse than optimal performance, they may not have the best visuals out there, or they may have other design issues. That's fine; accept it and move on. Enforcing an unrealistic "technical proficiency" threshold is precisely the toxic behaviour you ascribe to others, and it is a good way to make sure good missions get lost in a cycle of endless revisions. Not to mention the specific FPS threshold is entirely arbitrary. A mission that runs at 34 FPS is a mission that runs well enough for people who are in it for the gaming instead of the technological dickwaving (which, granted, describes some of the online "level design" community). Complaining about a mission running at 50 FPS, however, is plain nonsense by any standard.
  20. I am content to remain a walking, talking mediocrity. However, my approach has still resulted in a bunch of released, playable missions, flawed as they may be, and that's seven more than yours. Happy to be outclassed by people who can do it better (why not? A good mission is a good mission!), but they have to show more than a few nice models and tech demos to qualify. So, bring out those missions, even if they are imperfect!
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