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Sotha

Fan Mission: The Glenham Tower by Sotha (2010/07/17)

The Glenham Tower by Sotha (2010/07/17) Summer FM Vertical Contest Entry  

126 members have voted

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

  2. 2. 2. Appearance: Vertical use, Visual pleasure, lighting, visual style, deduct bad texturing etc.

  3. 3. 3. Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling



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raymeld,

brief hint:

Try searching the cellar some more. Too bad you killed everyone in the cellar. There is some nice effect at the end if you don't.

 

Total Spoiler:

Behind the throne is a door. In the room behind that door you can climb up with some rope arrows.

 

 

Ah , Ah ! Oh well gives me an excuse to play it again sometime and not kill everyone down below.

You know I did find that room and did manage with rope arrows to climb up to a small room with a generator thing ( from memory ) inside. Just thought there was nothing up there and it was a dead end.

 

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STiFU

 

Your spoiler:

 

 

Try searching the cellar some more. Too bad you killed everyone in the cellar. There is some nice effect at the end if you don't.

 

 

 

My question:

 

 

I too killed all those in the throne-room/basement... And close to all the others throughout, but not all so I did get to see the fact that they all perished once I dropped the orb in the acid... Except the flaming sithqueen did come back and I saw her blocking my exit as I decended and again just inside the entrance gate (mission complete)... is this what you are talking about? Or did I miss something else?

 

 


"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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raymeld, brief hint:

Try searching the cellar some more. Too bad you killed everyone in the cellar. There is some nice effect at the end if you don't.

 

No one misses anything no matter how many are killed.

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You know I did find that room and did manage with rope arrows to climb up to a small room with a generator thing ( from memory ) inside. Just thought there was nothing up there and it was a dead end.

 

 

 

There is a lever.

 


-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth

->

(hard stuff), more

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My question:

 

I too killed all those in the throne-room/basement... And close to all the others throughout, but not all so I did get to see the fact that they all perished once I dropped the orb in the acid... Except the flaming sithqueen did come back and I saw her blocking my exit as I decended and again just inside the entrance gate (mission complete)... is this what you are talking about? Or did I miss something else?

 

 

I was just thinking, if you killed the queen, she won't come after you at the finish...

 

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I was just thinking, if you killed the queen, she won't come after you at the finish...

 

 

 

 

Oh, she was there. As I said... twice she tried to get me :)

 

But I never let her see me, sneaksie I am.

 

It was funny and one of the great things about the mission (and this played into what I heard {read} Sotha say about his design-style somewhere here after I finished, ironically {or aptly actually}):

 

I had to -- for the first time in many moons -- use the tools I usually have no use for... my noisemaker-arrows! :D

 

I'd already used a few other things I rarely use (mines and holy water) as well!

 

Next time Sotha'll have me using moss-arrows!

 

 

Edited by aidakeeley

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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I´ll appreciate Sotha´s style, because most of the time I just forget what I have with me, or maybe I´m too lazy to use tools, I don´t know. I had this problem in Thief too.

And Sotha is again right when it comes to the undead: when encountering them, you´ll use everything you have, well, almost, to get rid of them. :laugh:


-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth

->

(hard stuff), more

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Sotha,

BEST FM YET! Seriously. I'm enjoying it that much. Scared the SHIT out of several times, and oh man, I love to be scared.

I'm voting perfects.

 

 

Don't do that, it's gonna be hard enough on some of us as it is ;)

 

(I'll be giving pretty high marks myself I think, I just need to finish it up first)


Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I just need to finish it up first

 

Ahhh... Another pre-deadline release possibility?

 

Excellent.


"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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Yep. The lich queen is a badass (badassess?) and comes back after the acid.. Such are the wonders of undeath..

 

 

I just checked the voting results so far and I have to say that I am astonished. I knew the mission was fine, but I did not anticipate this kind of success!

 

Thank you very much! I'm really happy you liked the mission! :wub:

 

I am eagerly waiting to see the other maps. Let's hope the quality is consistently high!


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I decided to stay and search for the rest of my loot.

Sotha, absolutely awesome mission.

I was pleasantly surprised to find all the undead dead, except the queen - was not happy on that one but I put out the fiery she devil with the last of my water arrows and holy water so she couldn't see me search a couple of rooms I hadn't had time for earlier.

All tasks completed. Can't wait for more!

Edited by Thiefette

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Outstanding! :wub:

 

Haven't finished yet, but I love it. Oh the horrors, remind me a lot on Doom3, except much much scarier because they did not involve any teleporting etc. Love the breaking of things, it surprised me a lot.

 

The only flaws so far I could find are very minor:

 

* a few repeated textures on stairs (cloning of steps :)

* two bars that didn't quite reach to the fireplace

* one z-fighting

 

Storywise it has a lot of tension, I was freaked out when I had to hide in the cupboard with all the part in it :o

 

The only thing I don't like is that I got killed a few times because I was surprised and didn't have a chance (AI did indeed bump into me when hiding in a corner - this is more an engine thing, it is for the player almost unpredictable whether the two boxes of AI/player will collide or not), and I had of course no idea whether I can kill the AI or not - finding out I can't took me a reload :) I am a big fan of immersion and death always breaks it - for me the ideal mission is where you can always recover from mistakes - sure, they take time (like climbing backup again, walking around the otherway, kill monster) but you can recover. So, every death breaks me out of the game. Interestingly enough, there were also recover situations, like the fall into the water :)

 

However, this mission is still a lot of fun!

 

Edit: I forgot some praise:

 

Awesome details, esp. the dirtying up of the place, the little details and the scary parts. I also love some things so much it inspired me to create some things for TDM - more on that later :)


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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OH MY GOD!

 

This mission it's so beatiful!!!!

 

:rolleyes::laugh:

 

For me it's really the BEST FM just until here. My congratulation to the creator, the story it's so simple, but so direct and effective, i really i like it: mystery, horror, some lovecraftian elements, but not too complicatad to suite, and a with LOT of atmosphere. A simple task to do in the mission (enter on an abandoned tower), simple objectives, but very well developed.

 

For me it's a perfect mission, an example of TDM (but also any Thief) FM creation!

 

The final part:

 

 

the passage via ropes to exit from the crypt it's really pure art!

 

 

But also:

 

 

The begin with the explosion of the upper level and the arrival of zombies are so cute and atmospherical!

 

 

I was surprised by the high quality level of this map. The architecture it's not at the top of what it can be done with TDM (i suppose), but IMHO it's really incredible that for a contest someone can achive a so high level of mapping!

 

Another time: my super congratulation Sotha!

You are now noted in my personal notebook of FM Master creators, and i really wait for other missions like this jam by you!

 

:laugh:

 

I am a big fan of immersion and death always breaks it - for me the ideal mission is where you can always recover from mistakes - sure, they take time (like climbing backup again, walking around the otherway, kill monster) but you can recover.

 

I TOTALLY agree here, 100%.

Edited by Ladro

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Amazing mission! This comes from a person who usually hates this kind of mission..

 

.. haunted place, zombies, exploratory, etc.

 

I'm still planning to replay it to complete the optional objective, because when I grabbed the orb and it didn't go to my inventory I was like "meeh... this is gonna be a lot of work" and simply left by the door behind the lich queen, with the book.

 

After finishing the mission, I quickloaded to try the other objective, I was still in the crypt with the orb in hand. Apparently, it lits up after a while.. how am I supposed to get it all the way to the acid?

 

I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said twice already :) Not even a mere significant fps drop! some zombies get stuck on doorways, but they always find their way through. The difficulty is on the spot! (at least not counting the optional objective) I've played on the hardest and it was hard, but everything was sneakable, with a little planning and there was no excessive quickloads.

 

 

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Ehm ehm... Dear Sotha, thank you for this mission. I´d give it 4 stars out of 5. It´s that brillliant! :)

 

So, my take on this mission:

 

 

First, I thought it would be really small („only 5 MB?,that´s not much..."), so I was taken by suprise by different layers oftower and certain complexity.

 

Second thing which took me by suprise was loading screen („itwill be during day? And there is some contest? I didn´t know...")

 

Story – maybe nothing we woudn´t seen somewhere else, but it was set into the right environment, moderately long, and with all that touch ofdetails (mentioned under) and unexpected turns - to put it simply, it was brilliant! Scary story with slight taste of occult. Yuk!

 

Gameplay – full rating, Sotha :) I´ve had no technical issues whatsoever. Mission was well ballanced, after challenging climbing and REALLY scary (holy dang!) explosion, zombies started to get in the way. By that point I knew I shoudn´t kill them, because I had only twoflasks of holy water and I didn´t knew what might be waiting for me down there (that was before I learned about the hag). So it was clear message from fm creator to player: you have to sneak around. No blackjacking this time. And that creates tension.

 

I liked the idea putting alot of gold loot into mission, even thought everything was lootable,it was very well guarded with undead (one example for all: dinig table) and details like gems in the eyes of wall decorative faces, or on hilt of dagger.

 

I noticed pictures, who was tainted by dirt (especiallypeople in faces) – really evil. And the burning witch. Yuk seconded!

 

I also liked the physix in the game,- old creaking woodcrumbling under your feet, falling stairs...

 

And the end was the best of it. After hard way down and dealing with witch (I was lucky – climbed that chain above glowing ball, and tossed down all mines I had – everybody died, guess they were too close) and finding that quick way to above (by the way I was also surprised that when I pulled lever in that shack by the tower and nothing happened. I thought it´s part of multi-lever mechanism, where you have to pull all the levers to open the secret ) I ´ve found out what I´ve been fearing most: that that blue sphere couldn´t go into inventory and I have to drag it all the way to the acid, which means I can´t do some actions. First, I thought it would be easier to get it out of tower through that quick way onto surface. After long struggle I managed to pull myself out along with sphere. But when I was on surface, it was impossible to climb up to top of the tower with sphere in my hand - I couldn´t pull myself up the beams. So I knew I have only two options: end the mission now without the optional objective, or load older save and pull it all the way into the top of the tower through zombie infested tower.After much of murmur, I decided for the latter option.

 

Sotha, thank you that after watering the sphere it last inactive for so long. I can´t imagine my tense be any higher than back then, when I practically flew up the stairs, because I feared it might light-on any second now. It re-lit only when I was in the room with acid. And after destroying the sphere, one last surprise – I thought everybody was dead by now so I went down the stairs recklessly, and has been caught unaware by witch?! Why was she alive? I suppose destroying the sphere resurrected her, but that was the last trick she had up the sleeve,because sphere was destroyed, so she had no power anymore. Am I correct?

 

So after that, I just killed her (had 4 flasks of holy water, since I spared them for the whole game) and went out with huge satisfaction through opened main door (which I thought would be impossible to open) with the last mission objective done.

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the long sharing with my experience, but it just shows how good this mission was :)

Edited by Tarhiel

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I'm glad you had fun!

 

 

I noticed pictures, who was tainted by dirt (especiallypeople in faces) – really evil. And the burning witch. Yuk seconded!

You're the first one to mention the paintings. I thought it would elaborate the way how the undead hate the living, ripping and smudging their faces.

 

 

First, I thought it would be easier to get it out of tower through that quick way onto surface.

 

The 'explosion' is actually the room above the attic collapsing. You could not have entered that way even if you reached the top. The door is jammed with all the junk.

 

 

Why was she alive? I suppose destroying the sphere resurrected her, but that was the last trick she had up the sleeve,because sphere was destroyed, so she had no power anymore. Am I correct?

 

 

Yep. Such are the most powerful of undead: they can return to life quite easily. Maybe the hag is still alive, waiting for her return and plotting revenge..

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the long sharing with my experience, but it just shows how good this mission was :)

 

No problems. I enjoy reading how people perceive my missions. It helps me improve. Thank you!


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I am nearing the end of this wonderful FM, and having an absolute blast playing this. I'm a huge horror fan, this is so well done. Great atmosphere, the AI patrol was just right. Love the owl sounds outside, nice use of ambients. I did mainly a lot of ghosting up until I entered the room to get the sphere. Then I went to town on the haunts and the zombie.

 

http://modetwo.net/users/brokenarts/glenham.jpg

http://modetwo.net/users/brokenarts/glenham2.jpg

 

I LOVE these screen shots. Especially the first one, that stance is awesome! I used a fire arrow to take down two of the haunts, one more with a mine, that one was lit up like a christmas tree. I had to put him out with a water arrow, he lit up again! lol. Last 3 AI I took out with holy water.

 

I do hope you'll consider something for Halloween. :wub:

Thanks for loads of fun. :)

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Don't want to read anything in this thread yet, but just wanted to say, Sotha, that I've been thoroughly loving this mission. I've been playing it with a friend of mine, and it's making us both remember going through Shalebridge Cradle. We've had at least three different terrifying moments, and my wife said we were shrieking like little girls. :)

 

Only half way done, so I'll post more thoroughly after that.

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Finished this last night, and can say that it's my favourite FM to date. The desire to play missions like this is the reason I started working on TDM six years ago. :wub:

 

The story was interesting and developed smoothly, with awesome visual touches

(like the dagger in the back of a zombie and the bloodstains)

to create a real sense of being inside an actual story.

 

The gameplay was fantastic. Challenging patrols, climbing puzzles that weren't annoying, great use of physics! There was also a real sense of exploration, a challenge in such a small mission, and something missing from a lot of TDM missions to date.

 

The creative mapping was also really impressive.

Secret rooms, unique AI visuals, scripted events, collapsing physics, etc.

Brilliant!

 

I'll just list a whole bunch of my favourite things:

 

 

Flaming revenant? What a brilliant concept. The first time I saw it sitting on the throne I almost swallowed my tongue. The use of the "cringing" animation on the revenants around the orb was also brilliant!

 

The collapsing floors/roofs. Made me yell out loud more than once.

 

The zombie on the bed. I tried to lean over him to get the lever, and he got up. Scared the pants off me. Even as a developer, I somehow thought he probably couldn't get up from a bed. :)

 

The blood trails.

 

The varied equipment. I had cause to use everything but the moss arrows.

 

The fire and smoke when the orb was destroyed. I thought the tower was on fire..the flames had disappeared, but it looked like the "smoke" was getting thicker and thicker as I made my way towards the entrance.

 

 

 

There were only a couple minor flaws. I too had the "stepped out of the gate and couldn't get back in" problem at the very start. There were also a couple times zombies got stuck on each other. But other than that, the entire experience was very smooth. Took me about 2.5 hours, not counting lots of reloads.

 

I'd love to hear some backstory on how the map came together, and what was going on with the

lich queen. How was she still there at the end after the sphere was destroyed?

 

 

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There are no real horror games out today. This is as close to what I love, I'll take it anyday! Thanks Team. I love this one too. I'm going to replay it again later.

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[...]

I'd love to hear some backstory on how the map came together, and what was going on with the

lich queen. How was she still there at the end after the sphere was destroyed?

 

 

 

Thank you very much for your nice feedback, Springheel, Broken Arts and everyone!:wub:

 

If it will bring people joy, here is a brief developer commentary for the Glenham Tower. I'll write it now, because I'll probably forget soon what I was thinking when I built which area.

 

It is a gargantuan huge spoiler so don't read it if you've not yet played the mission. I forbid you!

 

 

 

At first I wasn't at all sure I was going to participate in the vertical contest. I had just finished The Beleaguered Fence and I thought I can't do another mission in a row.

 

After a weekend of drinking at my friends summer cottage I started DR to play a bit while I waited the tiredness to wear away. I made a big box enclosing the ground-tower area. In one session I built the tower exterior. I wanted it to simply be "so tall it will kill the player if he falls." I found a reference image in the net, which I used for inspiration. This one: http://marvaoguide.c...val%20tower.jpg

 

I decided that the player climbs to the top and there would be some undead there, because the tower is old/derelict/crumbling. I constructed the attic and the study room. I liked the idea of someone being slaughtered by the undead giving the player an example what might become of him so I placed the corpse there.

 

After building this I realised that the tower exterior is one huge room, so I needed to be really sparse on details so the mission will work on lower end computers. I decided to use fog to hide the lack of details. I simply checked The Hearts fog params and used those. It was really good so why change it? I tought it would be cool to used D3 physics to show that the tower is really old and crumbling so I checked some other maps how to make moveable objects. I had a big problem how the player could hoist him/herself up to the top floor and to solve this I made the collapsing rampart.

 

At this point I realised that fogs are a difficult thing to make look good and after an eon of fiddling I ended up using the fog for exterior so it hangs in the air below the tower. The player climbs up->fog is below him->when the player enters the tower I switch the fog off->there is no sudden disappearance of the fog as it is below the floors player is in and now I do not have fog inside the tower. A brilliant arragement, I thought, but it took really long time to come to this solution.

 

Then I constructed the most of the tower floors. It was rather simple to brainstorm what kind of rooms would exist in a secluded scholar tower. Most difficulty I had was the staircase. It was really difficult to fit a normal staircase inside the tower. After a lot of playing around I ended with the solution seen now. I was really pleased in it. First I was thinking about ladders but I dismissed the idea instantaneously because AI's cannot navigate ladders. At the same time the plot started brewing in my head and I decided to go with the scientific experiment gone wrong-theme.

 

I loved the thought of fear if the player got stuck in the haunted tower so I had the attic to collapse. I thought it would be cool for the crumbling noise to lure some zombies to the studyroom and it was simple to give new targets for stationary zombies.

 

At this point I thought about the Hag. I wanted to have an über undead around so I thought the scholar was misled by the hag. This would nicely explain why the undead are in the tower. It would give me a possibility of a final showdown. Slowly I had ideas coming how the hag tricked the scholar and how she became the lich queen and lured other undead to the tower.

 

Since there only are the zombie and the revenant models I needed to figure out some really interesing props to make the queen stand out from the other lesser undead. I had already written the readable on the burned hag, so I decided that she is trapped in the corporeal form she was just at the moment of her death. I had just played with bindings (see Silly TDM Screenshot Thread), so I knew that pretty much anything can be bound to the AI's, why not flames? Thus the burning lich queen was born.

 

I built the rest of the tower. At first I had a sloped tunnel going to the barrel secret door room, but it didn't fit in the contest dimension limits. So I deleted it and hastily made a climbable tunnel with a collapsed stairs. A good move, apparently, since I got a lot of good feedback for that.

 

Now I realised I had a nexus of evil I needed destroying, the sphere. I wanted to give the player the OPTION of being a hero and destroy it. There probably aren't many heroes among thieves and the the objective is difficult so I made it optional. As in the Beleaguered Fence, I wanted to give something extra goodies to the players who are curious or who want to see some extra trouble. I first thought of placing the acid in the same room the sphere was in, but it was all too easy. The acid went to the topmost room. The acid, by the way, uses gas stim. I though there is no need for gas in an undead mission, so I just used the gas stim, since I do not know how to make custom stims.

 

I wanted the destruction of the sphere to be challenging so I made it to relight. Betatester feedback helped me to improve the sphere a lot. First it just reignited 120s interval, so it could even reignite immediately upon dousing! I built a more complex reigniting system with the warning flicker. Now the player had at least a warning when the sphere will light up.

 

Betatesters also said that the sphere's destruction should be more exciting as it only let out a puff and disappeared. I couldn't agree more: all the trouble going back and then puff. Gone! It really needed some serious work. Then I remembered I wrote in the readable something about vitae-phlogiston igniting and destroying the undead so I wanted to simulate this event. Turned out there was some truth in the Hags book after all! And thus the flames came and the undead were destroyed. I realised it would be cool now to turn on the foglight once more because there was recently a fire there and mists of burned flesh could give an eerie atmosphere.

 

And finally I wanted to have the lich queen there smiting the players who would think it's all over and carelessly hopping down the stairs. Just to keep the player on their toes to the very end. Explanation is that liches are powerful undead which are even more difficult to kill than vampires so that's why the queen was there. Physical or holy damage can only separate the spirit from the body for a while, but it will return back. I am quite certain that the lich queen will harrass Porter in some later missions I will maybe create..... I've always had this thing for evil yet tragic characters..

 

 

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Thats a nice read there Sotha. Explains a lot. You made use of everything, and everything fit perfectly. OK, so, since you've had this thing for evil yet tragic characters, we can expect more from you correct? :wub::P

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Thats a nice read there Sotha. Explains a lot. You made use of everything, and everything fit perfectly. OK, so, since you've had this thing for evil yet tragic characters, we can expect more from you correct? :wub::P

 

But of course! Just don't expect too much. This mission has been so well received by the community I am unsure if I can ever make a better mission than this one. At least there is a challenge.. ;)


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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You build it, they will come and play it. Don't sweat about it, when the time is right to build again, you'll know it. :) I'm sure it will be awesome. Don't put the pressure on yourself, not worth it.

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