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Melan

Fan Mission: Return to the City by Melan (2010/01/10)

  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. Gameplay: Enjoyment. Fun duration. Smooth flow, ect. Versus Bugs. Frustration, Boredom, framelag

  2. 2. Appearance: Visual pleasure, lighting, visual style, deduct bad texturing ect.

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      0
    • Good
    • Excellent
    • Near Perfect. Outstanding
  3. 3. Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling



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[edit]Please note that this version of Return to the City has been superseded by an expanded and significantly performance-optimised rerelease, available here. However, I'd appreciate if some of these download links were left around so people can check out the original version if they wish.[/edit]

 

Hello, Taffers!

 

My FM for the Grand Christmas FM Contest, Return to the City,

has been completed and available at

TTLG (updated Hammers-into-Builders version)

www.darklurker.com (updated Hammers-into-Builders version)

www.uploading.com (Hammers-into-Builders update)

www.mediafire.com (Hammers-into-Builders update)

www.mediafire.com (second link - thanks, Vexd) (Hammers-into-Builders update)

www.sharebee.com (thanks, Chiron!) (Hammers-into-Builders update)

 

Have fun, and please read the release notes, below! (Especially point 1)

 

Description: Back among these old walls again, it seems. The

alleyways and courts beckon, the smells and flickering lights

the same as ever. Have I been away so little that I remember

them all?

 

No matter. This time, my objective once more brings me to the

Builders: one of their workshops has recently received a shipment

of potent explosives... Although inert before it is treated with

a volatile compound, there is bound to be a mechanician who

will pay a good price for the lot.

 

That settles my agenda for the night. I must be careful, since

the Builders aren't known to be lenient with trespassers... and

if they knew it was the same fellow who had already paid them a

visit once... but better not dwell on trivialities. I have found

a way to the street where the storehouse is located, and hid

myself next to the gate. If I am unable to open it from inside

when I am done, I may just have to find another way out.

 

It is an hour before midnight. Time to go.

 

Release notes:

1) Since the mission features wide, relatively open spaces, it has

higher hardware requirements than regular TDM FMs. Performance

may be very poor on older PCs, and occasionally, a freeze of up

to half a minute or so may be experienced. I apologise for the

possible inconvenience. The hardware requirements should not

be taken as representative of all Dark Mod missions!

2) Take note that guards in The Dark Mod are much more alert, seeing

and hearing over greater distances. An altercation can draw

lots of unwanted attention!

3) Ghosting is supported in this mission. Achieving a perfect thief

result (acquiring all loot while ghosting), however, may be

quite difficult.

4) You can climb out of the level with some effort. Good job, but now I

am afraid you cannot get back in. Or... can you?

5) Finally, please take care that there is a general TDM bug that may

affect your enjoyment of the mission until it is fixed: when you start

out, it is still possible to change the difficulty settings until you do a

manual save. Don't do this, because it will wipe out your completed

objectives, rendering the mission unwinnable!

 

Last but definitely not least, thanks are due to my beta testers, who

have been very helpful in finding and fixing the bugs that have cropped

up, as well as everyone on the TDM forums for their help and support.

Thank you!

 

 

 

TDM_RttC2.jpg

 

Series information: All of my missions except Unbidden Guest (TMA) take place in a common setting and involve the same protagonist, although under different aliases - Talbot, Messer Johannes, Philby and others. None of them require previous knowledge of previous FMs, but there are common elements and a degree of continuity. The missions, in current order, are:

  • Prowler of the Dark (TDP/Gold) (S): liberate a skull of paganic enchantment from an abandoned church, which is kept sealed and guarded by the Builders.
  • Return to the City (The Dark Mod) (M): plunder the other side of the Builder complex to steal a pack of explosives. Patrols have been heightened because of the recent break-in. (This mission connects to the previous along the North/South axis - too bad I didn't have the time to let you revisit some old areas) (You are here!)
  • Fiasco at Fauchard Street (The Dark Mod) (M): steal a collection of opals from the house of a wealthy usurer.
  • Bad Debts (TMA) (XL): fallen on hard times, you take a job from a diminutive snitch to steal his letter of debt from Markus, a pawnshop owner/usurer (looks like a common theme). Rooftop extravaganza.
  • Disorientation (TMA) (XL): following the events in the previous mission, you attract the unwanted attentions of Lady Azamlarg, district warden and judge, and have to break into her palace to deter her from further assassination attempts. More rooftops and conspiracies.

Edited by Melan
  • Like 2

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Mortem Desino: 3 MB of that is textures, but still. Enjoy, explore, evaluate! -_-

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Very excited about this one, thank you!

 

Edit: Fantastic stuff! Review and screens here for anyone interested.

Edited by SneakyJack

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Wow, what an architectural masterpiece!! Melan, congrats on that!! I am seriously blown away. The performance did suck quite a bit, but the graphics totally make up for it. This map is a dream for explorers. Secrets everywhere... Gonna have to try it again tomorrow to get all the loot. Only had 1285 this time. I finished the map on expert in 1:15 h. I played as ghost but got busted once. It was really hard to ghost sometimes... Fabulous FM!! Only downside: No lantern??? :(

Edited by STiFU

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Melan:

 

You mention "Hammers". That is not good, they are called "Builders". I cannot host this mission on bloodgate.com, and I think it will not get linked from our wiki and not from our official page. Would you please consider amending your readables and README? Thanx!

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Beautiful mission, nice seeing the hammerites! Some parts are indeed a slideshow, a bit sad but open space goodness has a price I guess.

 

I can't seem to find

the two gemstones that were stolen by Randall. I have been all over his cell, maybe I'm missing something.

 

Edited by Briareos H

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Melan:

 

You mention "Hammers". That is not good, they are called "Builders". I cannot host this mission on bloodgate.com, and I think it will not get linked from our wiki and not from our official page. Would you please consider amending your readables and README? Thanx!

 

Tels,

 

I do recall a mention of "Hammers" elsewhere in some other mission, but I can change the references tomorrow if you wish (it will take some time to make sure the readables don't get messed up). I thought that, like "the Lord Builder" and such, was an acceptable colloquialism.

Edited by Melan

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Tels,

 

I do recall a mention of "Hammers" elsewhere in some other mission,

 

We probably simply overlooked it :)

 

but I can change the references tomorrow if you wish (it will take some time to make sure the readables don't get messed up). I thought that, like "the Lord Builder" and such, was an acceptable colloquialism.

 

Well, I am not sure we have a handy reference of the do's and don'ts for mappers, although this can server as a starting point:

 

http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Universe

 

I think we can make it more clear and probably add a very prominent page on our wiki with a short list of things you shouldn't do, along the lines:

 

* no keepers, no hammers or hammerites (they are called "builders"), no garret (use your own name, or use "Farell")

* no thief assets (sounds, textures, readables etc) in any form or shape

 

There are probably a few more, we'll come up with a wiki page.

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Brilliant mission Melan. :) Thanks so much for releasing this. Can't wait to spend more time playing it.

 

I thought that, like "the Lord Builder" and such, was an acceptable colloquialism.

Things that are general like, "the Lord Builder" are totally acceptable, since it's not strongly tied to the Thief world and could be used in other instances. The "Hammers" however, belong to Eidos and are the actual name of a Thief faction...that's where problems arise. If our Mod had been some kind of sci-fi stealth mod that took place far in the future, the a faction called the Hammers wouldn't be an issue, but since we're walking a very fine line with the setting and look of TDM...dropping a faction called Hammers in there would be pretty obvious copyright infringement.

 

We really appreciate your willingness to change it though Melan, and all of our faction information is on the wiki. Going to get back to playing now. :)

 

Thanks.

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Yeah, another map. Thats how i like it :laugh: Downloading now...

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I was zooming around the map after my playthrough just to take screenshots and noticed

 

 

A walled in area far outside the play area with a tiny town, a building you can enter and a red post sticking out of the ground

 

 

Was that a part of the mission that was cut out?

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Fantastic map, there is a lot to explore.

Only one con so far:

The fonts used in some of the readable looked very very realistic (especially regarding which ingame characters wrote them), but I could not read them completely...because the were so realistic :unsure:

 

Questions:

 

 

 

Is there anything valuable / of interest in the area behind the secret tunnel near the cage

the explosives are kept?

 

And has anyone managed to get into the room in the "tower". I can see an open lit window behind a gargoyle...

 

 

Edited by Chiron

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New Horizon: all right, I will get to work on it. I may get it done today, but I can't make promises.

 

Sneaky Jack: damn!

 

No, that's a tiny bit of 'Rose Garden', the mission I was working on before I started with the contest. It's pretty much just some very preliminary architecture.

 

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Holy awesome! :o This is easily the best "explorer's" mission for TDM. Fan-damn-tastic!

 

Very nice use of sound and ambient. Too bad none of the background speakers use the spawnarg "s_music", so the ambient volume slider has no effect on their volume.

 

I really, really, want to give it a 5-5-5 score...but the visportals need work. For real. Badly. :(

 

There are overlapping visportals (which cause bad performance, and buggy/crashing behavior.)

There are also massive-sized portals that do so much more harm than good: I may be inside a closed building, but since that huge visportal is there, large sections of the outdoors are still being rendered.

There are some missing visportals in windows and openings, so some indoors aren't being sealed up.

Also related to that, there are some internal leaks: visportals aren't totally sealing and creating visleafs in some outdoors.

 

My computer which doesn't cough at Crysis "very high" was chugging away 14fps in spots. :( With proper working visportals, I could at least double that fps.

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Holy awesome! :o This is easily the best "explorer's" mission for TDM. Fan-damn-tastic!

 

Very nice use of sound and ambient. Too bad none of the background speakers use the spawnarg "s_music", so the ambient volume slider has no effect on their volume.

 

I really, really, want to give it a 5-5-5 score...but the visportals need work. For real. Badly. :(

 

There are overlapping visportals (which cause bad performance, and buggy/crashing behavior.)

There are also massive-sized portals that do so much more harm than good: I may be inside a closed building, but since that huge visportal is there, large sections of the outdoors are still being rendered.

There are some missing visportals in windows and openings, so some indoors aren't being sealed up.

Also related to that, there are some internal leaks: visportals aren't totally sealing and creating visleafs in some outdoors.

 

My computer which doesn't cough at Crysis "very high" was chugging away 14fps in spots. :( With proper working visportals, I could at least double that fps.

 

Hm :)

 

Melan, since you wanted to work on the "hammer issue" (thank you for that!), you might as well wait a few days and collect issues, then redo these parts? That would IMO a worthy update :)

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I have fixed the Builders issue for now and updated the first two links. Please propagate these changes into the others if you can.

 

Someone else will have to help me with the visportals; they have already been heavily revised several times, and the alternatives either

a) were worse (with minute-long freezing on some occasions),

B) would have needed a thorough rebuild,

c) obstructed rooftop views in a displeasing way.

I can give access to the testing forum at Shalebridge if there are takers. For the time being and the contest, I will live with the poor performance and accept its effect on the scores.

Edited by Melan

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so will there be a new version? should i not vote for now?

 

EDIT:

 

 

I could climb over a fence on the roof to the church, there you can see masses of z fightings, maybe that has something to do with the low fps too

 

Edited by Sonosuke

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You definitely should vote, according to what the mission is now. :) An update may happen, but to be fair, only after the contest.

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