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Bikerdude

The Caduceus of St. Alban: Vertical FM Contest entry: Aug 8th, 2010

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My entry for the Great Summer Vertical FM Contest:

 

post-496-0-70512500-1381579807_thumb.jpg

 

Game play:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-fon8KWqn8

 

 

Intro:

As usual it's the end of the week and I'm down my local tavern, enjoying the charms of Jessica... I make gratuitous remarks about the size of her, juggs and she assertion's on the size of my, blackjack.... I thought my luck was in, that was untill we were interrupted... Some taffer in a drunken stupor managed to knock my ale, all over Jess. That put Jess in a right mood, which meant my blackjack and I would be sleeping alone that night..."

 

Build Time:

2 months, starting Middle of June.

 

Thanks:-

Huge respect to the Dark Mod team for such a great mod and for all the hard work they put into it and continue to put into it. Special thanks to Fidcal, Serpentine and others for their help on the forums and to my beta testers: Jdude, Fids, Serps, Grayman, nbohr1more, Melan and others who did an awesome job.

 

Info:

# Like Thief, some things that look climable are. Also most of the keys in the mission can be dropped. Oh and do explore, you wont be able to escape unless u do..

# Due to TDM being a lot more of a resource hog than T2 I have been forced to limit the number of Ai in the mission, this unfortunately means some players wont feel challanged, sorry but that's the way it is.

# On Expert the player starts with no weapons - if you think your a master thief then you don't need any. There are weapons to be found, but they are for other purposes.

 

Known issues:-

# This mission will have less than optimal fps at a few points on the map.

# On low end PCs I recommend, V-sync is off, AA is off, Aniso is 4x or lower and that any and all background apps are closed.

 

update:

 

I have updated the mission to fix the following bugs:

# fixed corrupt brushed giving node warning in console.

# fixed floating geode.

# the impassable tunnel.

# the light source on the wall gate

# move one of the wall guards to the guard hut.

# corrected the inner vault door, (should have been unpickable to begin with)

# removed pointless optional objective (blame jdude, his idea to add it in the first place, lol)

Edited by Bikerdude

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Three words: play this mission. B)


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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congrats on the release!

 

 

 

Gameplay: Near Perfect

 

Appearance: Near Perfect

 

Story & Text: Excellent

First of all, I got really good fps on many areas. Nothing spoiled my gameplay because of fps problem. Thanks for this.

 

The tower is really well designed. I can't say it's builded in 1280*1280. Moreover, it's totally non-linear! It took too much time to where should I look for.:)

 

Number of AI is enough for me. Same goes for loots and objects on around. It looks so lively and warm. There are small architectural details cover walls that prevent looking box shape looking. There is a secret room that I really like to find in a mission. (well I'm designing for my mission too). I found only 1 secret, and wonder if there are more. Ambient sounds are well placed. I liked the wind sound at narrow passage. And there are many small details. This is mission isn't something you would want to rush and complete all objectives. Enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the big effort b1k3r!

Edited by SiyahParsomen

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The tower is really well designed. I can't say it's builded in 1280*1280. Moreover, it's totally non-linear! It took too much time to where should I look for.

Its actually under the contest requirements

 

Oh, it looks you made a mistake with the poll, dude! Because it seems that it allows more than one vote in the three sections of it!

bugger, I was sleep deprived - corrected!!!

Edited by Bikerdude

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Lol Bikderdude, you'll have to alter the poll to make sure people can only vote one option (radiobuttons instead of checkboxes) like Legion already pointed out or our evaluation system won't work anymore. Uncheck "Allow users to select multiple answers?"! I am afraid it might even be impossible now to change that, so there is possibly need for a whole new thread.

 

Edit: Ok, you already reacted to Legion's post by now... :) Nevermind!

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Its actually under the contest requirements

 

 

I think there is misunderstanding. I should say it's like as if it isn't in 1280*1280. You use limits very efficient and player can't feel the limits. That's what I wanted to say. :)

Edited by SiyahParsomen

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I think there is misundersting. I should say it's like as if it isn't in 1280*1280. You use limits very efficient and player can't feel the limits. That's what I wanted to say. :)

 

Biker is just bragging a little Siyah :laugh:


Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Argh!

Getting utterly frustrated here.

 

I've completed all objectives, and been looking the exit for too long now.

 

 

I've found and opened a hatch in the garden. I cannot pass throught the foliage. I assume this is the way Fids came in so it is probably sealed, but it does not look like that.

 

I've also found a hole in the cells, and there is a tunnel. I see the tunnel goes on to a bigger room, but I cannot move through the tunnel, I get stuck in the middle.

 

Could someone tell me where the exit is? So frustrated now, just want to end this.

 

 

 

EDIT: nevermind. Found it. Writing a review now...


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Okay dokey. Here goes.

 

 

 

Gameplay: Good. Playing this was fun and the map was gorgeous, but AI placement wasn't very creative. Many guards stood still doing nothing. Okay, I understand there was a festival going on etc, but it would have been more logical if the guards were more vigilant, because there were fewer of them. "If someone is going to strike, it's going to happen tonight!"

 

There weren't many patrols and there was much darkness, which resulted in a somewhat non-challenging experience. I just waltzed past everyone without much effort and stole everything. I didn't use any equipment at all! There never was a need to even consider blackjacking! In an excellent mission the player should face tricky situations where proper use of equipment saves the day. Even a few water arrows should be need to be used.

 

There were some locked doors, but absolutely no tension because there were no guards patrolling nearby. I'm assuming the lack of AI patrols were due to the narrow corridors, which I believe might have caused AI's difficulties moving around.

 

This was the first map ever, when I did not have problems seeing keys. Finding key was fun and easy. I didn't get stuck due to missed keys. Biker incorporated brighter keys mod? I really think the team should seriously consider adding this to the official TDM.

 

The ending was rather frustrating for me, since there was 3 exit-looking places: 1) garden grate, 2) cellhole, 3) proper exit. The grate in the garden. Okay that was mentioned in some readable that that way was sealed, but I could lockpick it open, didn't see any obstructions, but could not enter it due to foliage. That felt like a bug!

Also there was the hole in the cell. Crawled there, but could not get further. That felt like a bug.

And finally there was the hatch from the room where the servant sleeps. I went there, but there was nonpickable, closed hatch, which looked like it went to the ramparts. That felt like a bug.

These things, in addition to the lack of AI challenge, spoilt the mission for me.

 

Appearance: Excellent. This mission is gorgeous, and the locale is really immersive. The dazzling amount of details truly brings the map alive. I could follow the water pipes from the watertower to the cellar sinks! The orrery was impressive. Overall everything was nice. Verticality use was astounding. I really think creating such a detailed mission in this time frame is a heroic feat. Well done!

 

The downside was that you could get really high. So high that you could really easily observe the lack of the surrounding world. This was immersion breaking. You trusted a bit too much in your skybox.

 

Story: Good. Good storyline. There was some weird things. I read the mission briefing. Drunken encounter results in a hint of a lucrative heist. Okay. But then it was really strange to find the optional objective: find a cookbook. What cookbook? Why? It wasn't mentioned in the briefing! Just out-of-the-blue: get a cookbook. Odd and out of place.

 

Also I would liked more sinister secrets, for example in the pagan worship shrine. Could have been something more interesting than the silly book with the writer wondering why he bought it.

 

 

 

This mission had so much potential, but unfortunately it did not live to it's full potential due to some issues. Make no mistake, this really is a good mission. But it could have easily been excellent or outstanding, but sadly just missed the mark.

 

As an ending remark, I truly have to say that Bikerdudes missions seem to evolve at a mind staggering rate. I just had to fire up Business As Usual just to compare this mission. You mapping technique developes very rapidly! I'm eagerly waiting your next map. :wub:


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Hm, very strange but I can hear AI steps and voices only from short distances. Is this a bug?

 

I also noticed this. I'm thinking it is due to map outside region visportalling. Not sure, though.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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The Caduceus

 

*goes to dict.leo.org to look up caduceus...* Hm, English: caduceus [myth.] German: "der Caduceus". Great.... *mumbles...*

 

Anyway, mirror: http://bloodgate.com/fms/stalban.pk4

 

Edit: Uploaded the latest release with 10406620 bytes, md5 = 83a237ac19a019bc9230d16d1cd9e2fb.


"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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Hey Bikerdude, great model of the Solar System ! *drool*

Poor Pluto is missing. :laugh:

 

*goes to dict.leo.org to look up caduceus...* Hm, English: caduceus [myth.] German: "der Caduceus". Great.... *mumbles...*

Latin: caduceus -> German: Heroldsstab *mumbles...* ;)

Edited by id3839315

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Excellent mission. I was just begging for access to those

spider caves down under

though. What a disappointment not to be able to go there sleep.gif.

Thanks a lot Biker, the design is especially awesome. That Orrery is gorgeous.

Edited by Briareos H

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Okay dokey. Here goes.

The problem of not many Ai as I saw was that my map layout would allow Ai to get outside, doing this would have killed the performance to the point where it would have been unplayable. People still dont realise how much impact Ai have in TDM missions, special very open ones like mine. For example the two guards I placed outside dropped the fps in certain points from 44 to 30.

 

Im glad you liked the attn to detail, I would like to thinks its my trademark. But getting hi, yes not much could be done about that in time frame - I will how ever release an updated version.

 

The downside was that you could get really high. So high that you could really easily observe the lack of the surrounding world. This was immersion breaking. You trusted a bit too much in your skybox.

yeah, not much can be done about that in the time frame, but I have a plan for the updated version...

 

But it could have easily been excellent or outstanding, but sadly just missed the mark.

Again time limits

 

As an ending remark, I truly have to say that Bikerdudes missions seem to evolve at a mind staggering rate. I just had to fire up Business As Usual just to compare this mission. You mapping technique developes very rapidly! I'm

I am already mostly done on my actual second map, before the contest was announced. See the upcoming missions wiki list

 

Hm, very strange but I can hear AI steps and voices only from short distances. Is this a bug?

yeah sorry i set the snd_distance too low, will fix in the updated version.

 

Excellent mission. I was just begging for access to those

spider caves down under

though. What a disappointment not to be able to go there

Er you can, remember the notes in the readme - things that look claimable are....

Edited by Bikerdude

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