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Sotha

Fan Mission: The Transaction by Sotha (2011/03/04)

  

73 members have voted

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

    • Poor
      2
    • Tolerable
      2
    • Good
      14
    • Excellent
      38
    • Near Perfect
      17
  2. 2. Appearance: Visual pleasure, lighting, visual style, deduct bad texturing etc.

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      1
    • Good
      14
    • Excellent
      42
    • Near Perfect
      16
  3. 3. Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      1
    • Good
      8
    • Excellent
      34
    • Near Perfect
      30


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Just as easily, Sotha will "comment" on the gameplay of Biker's missions.

 

I dare say that it's just a little friendly rivalry, that's all.

nbohr that calls for a coop FM called "Monsters of Rock Build" between Sotha and Biker :wub:

 

Congrats' for the release Sotha!

Edited by fllood

"To rush is without doubt the most important enemy of joy" ~ Thieves Saying

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Can someone please give me the combination of the wretched

wheel and bar device in the builders' church without which I can't seem to proceed further.

It won't spoil the mission for me being told it believe me , I can't stand those sort of puzzles anyway and am thinking about giving up on the mission because of this hurdle. Thanks again to anyone who can preserve my sanity !

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Can someone please give me the combination of the wretched

wheel and bar device in the builders' church without which I can't seem to proceed further.

It won't spoil the mission for me being told it believe me , I can't stand those sort of puzzles anyway and am thinking about giving up on the mission because of this hurdle. Thanks again to anyone who can preserve my sanity !

 

 

 

Cant remember it now. You do not have to go there, there is only loot there. No probs if you play on the easier difficulties.

 

Try to solve it starting from the rightmost lever. Or use pen and paper to crack it. It is not that hard. And it is not compulsory.

 

 


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Finally finished, so I'll offer my fully-informed opinion now. ;)

 

I played the map on Expert.

 

First off, this mission definitely raises the bar in terms of storytelling. The use of cut-scenes, scripted events, conversation and NPC interaction, etc, are all excellent and hopefully will be adopted by more mappers as time goes on.

 

I loved the ending,

where the guards broke in and you had to make a mad dash for the exit. That was a very satisfying ending.

 

The torture scene was also very cool--I love scenes where you interact with NPCs. However, if there was an explanation for why the priest was torturing her, I missed it. Also, after I told her the way was clear, she didn't appear to leave the cage. Not sure if she was supposed to, but I expected her to leave.

 

The map design itself was strong. The weather effects were great, and the rain sounded quite believable. The puddles were excellent.

 

I found the map to be quite challenging. I started with only 3 water arrows on Expert, so was unable to put out many torches. There were frequently lit corners in the streets where you had to basically make a leap of faith, and the number of guards with torches made it quite tough. I was busted multiple times, and finally resorted to my old OM tactics of hiding out and KOing all the guards. I was left with only one torch-wielder patrolling the streets, already alerted, but he became such a problem I had to eventually kill him.

 

I had some bad luck during the map that coloured my experience a bit. I already reported my difficulty with the first combat, but I also managed to miss the lock on the builder pulpit, so didn't find the basement. Was there a clue about that?

 

Also, I never found the "portal" room that people have talked about, nor the lengthy readables...so I was left with the sense of not knowing what was going on for most of the mission.

 

I still can't shake the feeling that events should have been reorganized a bit. For me, after battling a lich-queen blade to blade, taking down several city watch and fighting my way through a hidden torture chamber full of builders, it was really anti-climactic, and almost exasperating, to have a non-optional objective to "find firewood". Admittedly, it was a cool way to interact with the environment, and I enjoyed lighting a bunch of torches and candles to make the place more inviting (though I regretted it later). But I think reorganizing the challenges so that they went from minor to a major climax would have made the mission even stronger. Something like:

 

1. Just arrived in town, need place to sleep. Do firewood quest.

 

2. Next night, do builder chapel while waiting for appointment with bookstore (this has the benefit that the player is likely to have holy water for #3)

 

3. Go to bookstore, fight lich-queen boss.

 

4. Get back to basement to rest and recover...then guards come and must escape.

 

 

Anyway, I still think the mission is a great achievement and ranks up there with the strongest in terms of creativity and storytelling. Thanks so much for making it! :)

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Cant remember it now. You do not have to go there, there is only loot there. No probs if you play on the easier difficulties.

 

Try to solve it starting from the rightmost lever. Or use pen and paper to crack it. It is not that hard. And it is not compulsory.

 

 

 

 

O.k solved it. Thanks !

Edited by raymeld

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Rock Paper Shotgun has highlighted this mission in it's Mod News section:

 

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/09/mod-news-stalking-differently


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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I haven't touched TDM for months!(came back to sc versus community for a while) but since it's sotha's production I am tempted to come back...! Damn you Sotha and I thought I'll go out this weekend! ;P

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Great mission, enjoyed it thoroughly, nice layout of the City streets. The Builder area was fun, and made me want to blackjack all of them (or worse). Really liked the abandoned building, you could see how it would be Old Quarter or Cradle like if it had expanded into a full mission.

 

Still not a fan of so many guards with torches, maybe about half of that would have been better. Leads to a lot of trial and error gameplay.

Fighting the revenant was no big deal, not sure why it's getting so much attention. One swing and it was over.

 

 

Looking forward to more Thomas Porter...

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Great stuff , so much in there for such a ( from a play point of view ) short mission. Agree with the previous post about the revenant , I got it with one blow too. Although I remember being relieved at the time , thinking about it afterwards it would have been nice if it had put up a better fight ! So much good work obviously went into this mission , pity it couldn't be expanded a bit , I wanted the story to go on further. Would have liked to have got into a few of the houses and see where the town folk were hiding too! When I got to the builder area

into the basement with wheel puzzle I thought the story was going to move on from there but found I was sad it did not

, that's how much I was enjoying it ! Storm effects brilliant.

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So much good work obviously went into this mission , pity it couldn't be expanded a bit , I wanted the story to go on further.

 

Well, this was part 4 in the Thomas Porter series, so I get the feeling that the story WILL go on further...

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I still have no time to play this :angry: I daren't read the thread so I can only drool over the 'near-perfects' in every category.

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Sotha, you have seriously got to stop scaring me with your

revenants and lich queens

, dammit! Screaming is so unbecoming...

 

Anyway, I gave top scores: Visually your mission was stunning. The weather effects... Just bloody gorgeous! The story was fascinating and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. As for gameplay, the mission could've been longer (but that's just me nagging for more goodness, really) and some of the places named on the map could've been enterable, but performance is more important, I understand. Gameplay, all in all, was smooth and flowing and exciting!

 

Thanks again for another signature mission, Sotha :) Can't wait for more Porter-missions!

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Very quickly before going to bed:

 

Cons:

  • A bit on the short and small side. Too bad more buildings in town weren't made accessible.
  • Far too much loot for that level size.

Pros:

  • Storytelling. For every reason that was mentioned before.
  • Atmosphere. I love rain and wind together so much that I felt like this mission was made for me.
  • Patrol routes were tight and difficult.
  • Many of the things that were criticized earlier in the thread about forcing confrontation
    (the fight with the revenant was pretty easy anyway)
    and trying to put the player in an unexpected perspective. I'll take a flawed but original FM with a strong author vision anytime over something consensually representative.
  • Same goes for the graphics. Definitely never let someone build a church for you. I really like what you build Sotha.

TDM Bugs:

  • Most of the time when quicksaving, the ambiant loop will be stopped. Not really a problem when it is music, but very unsettling when the howling wind or pouring rain suddenly stop when you hit F4. Atmosphere breaking.
  • On two occasions I ended up with my sword and blackjack out at the same time (overlapped on screen), unable to use the attack button. I had to sheath then unsheath one of the weapons to clear it. I don't remember what triggered it however.
  • Probably the same problem as above, at one time when I closed a readable my blackjack hand was locked in a raised position as if to swing. Sheath-unsheath did the trick here as well.

Edited by Briareos H

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TDM Bugs:

  • [*]Most of the time when quicksaving, the ambiant loop will be stopped. Not really a problem when it is music, but very unsettling when the howling wind or pouring rain suddenly stop when you hit F4. Atmosphere breaking.

 

Uh, that's not supposed to happen, esp. not on Quicksave alone.


"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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Awesome mission!

 

I got all the clues and puzzles with a little thought (and clues in the readables), all the scripted action scenes went off without a hitch, and I got very paranoid entering the abandoned house near the end.

 

Please make more missions like this.

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Ya! Had time to play this gem today.

 

I loved the surprises

 

At the beginning I thought that the book store owner would double cross me (something was bound to happen :)). As most players I'm not a fan of being forced into a fight, but the lich queen was easy enough. Plus it kept me on my toes though out the mission; when I released the woman in the torture room I half expected her to turn in to the lich, or something.

 

 

 

The story was just fantastic, and I am definitely looking forward to more missions in the series

I have a feeling that I'll need those holy water potions for my future meetings with the lich

 

 

This is probably one of the missions that will be remembered for a long time, due to its innovative features. Kudos for moving the maps forward. biggrin.gif

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This was just a great mission, I really enjoyed playing it, but:

 

 

 

How can I free the girl? I can't lockpick the door, neither find a key (fancy key didn't work of course)

 

 

 

and

 

 

 

The lich queen just died by walking into the fire at the entrance door of the book store. Is this volitional or maybe a bug? A first I didn't understand why she was dying, so I loaded again and then I saw, that she burned herself in the fire.

 

 

 

Good work! Thanks for this FM!


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Toni:

 

 

You should be able to pick the cage lock. Remember, you need to stand close to the lock to pick it. Frobbing works farther that lockpicking.

 

How exactly did you get her killed in the fire? What did you do? I never spotted this in my numerous tests.

 

 


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Sotha:

 

 

As the cache explodes I was blown to the door. Then the lich runs in my direction and I just press the "go left"-button, so the lich runs into the fire and immediately dies in the flames. This also works if I stand in the fire by myself (I am taking damage though).

I thought it had to be that way ^^

 

 


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Sotha:

 

 

As the cache explodes I was blown to the door. Then the lich runs in my direction and I just press the "go left"-button, so the lich runs into the fire and immediately dies in the flames. This also works if I stand in the fire by myself (I am taking damage though).

I thought it had to be that way ^^

 

 

 

 

Heh.. I tried but couldn't get it to happen. It appears that you simply are superior sidestepping an attack. =) Like in those old cartoons: the bird dodges the coyote, who runs directly into his own trap.

 


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I guess thats all training ;p


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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New version available. Check the first post for the link.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Thank you for this mission Sotha. I'm really enjoying it so far but I'm stuck. I've found the wood for the fire but I cannot light it. I've tried using a candle but no joy. Is there some fire arrows in this mission somewhere that I've missed?


"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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Thank you for this mission Sotha. I'm really enjoying it so far but I'm stuck. I've found the wood for the fire but I cannot light it. I've tried using a candle but no joy. Is there some fire arrows in this mission somewhere that I've missed?

 

A candle will do. Just hold the candleflame on the middle part of the firewood and it will light.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Had the time to play this little gem last night.

 

Wou... this is it! What a fun and well build mission Sotha!! :D

 

I'm playing chronologically through the Thomas Porter series (so only Mandrasola left to enjoy) and it's great to see that every of your FM did progress and evolve better and better regards level design, storytelling, gameplay as well as always adding new things and more sophisticated building techniques to always surprise us. It's great to see how you dig more and more tricks Sotha and push what can be done with TDM :)

 

My rating: 5/4/4 ... making it to the bunch of my most enjoyed FM's so far.

 

Here are my detailed impressions:

 

 

Gameplay:

 

Near Perfect.

 

The Transaction gave me no minute of bordom but lot of "WOU". I applaud the design decisions you did knowing you won't please all. The many different objectives. The story-driven turns that took place. I like a good balance of taffing exploraton and tense story-driven moments. Both of that gameplay elements is perfectly balanced in this mission.

 

At the same time The Transaction is fantastically story-driven it is very non linear as well. I liked how the player is free to choose what he want to do next. Apart of the last objective you haven't to trigger event A before event B is triggered. To design the gamplay without any feel of segmetion is an great archivement Sotha!

 

For example I didn't go straight to the bookshop. I decided to explore the city first ("good to know the streets if there would be the need to a quick escape"), then to have a visit at the builders church ("that book is about necromancy. hhhmm?! well, better to fetch the holy water") before fetching my payment for the book ("so now I'm prepared in case that Grenefeld isn't just a bookseller and awaits me with evil plans instead of gold."). Other players choose differet routes. The FM is designed that all will work!

 

In combination with the balance of gameplay elements, that's Near Pefect.

 

With story-driven gameplay events you can't always compromise and sometimes must make decisions. Some people will love the tension created other will feel restricted. That's always a trade off. But I think always one worth the risk and results. A FM taking a risk is always good. And for example even I hate fighting in TDM & Thief I really loved the tension of the forced (fair) fight in The Transaction.

 

I also applaud to the decision when the female customer comes to the bookstore after the fight with the Lich and resulting city-watch tension if the player didn't took take hiding poor Grenefeld and the tracks. Things that brings the player in an unexpectd situation free to react as he/she see fit make gameplay situations and this FM deep so immersive.

 

One or two small rooms to get into right and left the streets as well as some added use of vertical gameplay (an attic to enter on a rope arrow?! a portcully to lift and a pipe to climb down for get some coins?!) would have been totally perfect ,-)

 

also worth mentioning: no perfomance issues on my low end machine.

 

Visuals:

 

Loved the camera ride how the mission starts (even better than Knighton Manor). The indoor visuals aren't fancy but aren't bad either. They fit the gameplay, atmosphere and immersion. That's all I need. The bookstore was generic. But I liked the simplicity of the dusty abandoned house & the small church, the puddles + flooded house entries and I loved the detailed builders torture room! I noticed some more patches and details than in fomer missions. But even you put gameplay + speed building over time-consuming fancy up visual detail work (good!) the scenes, city, models, textures, architecture, lightning, etcetera... feel all of a piece and having much atmosphere in The Transaction. someting round house edges or weeds at every quoin won't do without being sum of these parts ...

 

What I really like in your FMs Sotha is the overall outdoor coloring. Knighton & Transaction feels different than the other authors outdoor FM's: less specular, warmer, more colorful... like you have paint it with pastell colors!

 

All in all for me visually the best Thomas Porter mission so far. Excellent.

 

Note: In all former Thomas Porter missions ambient_world had been to high for my personal taste. I like the shadows to be dark. I played the updated version of The Transaction with ambient_world revised to 6. This feels much better! :)

Another Note: on my PC the sound outdoors is much louder in the city streets than in buildings. I had to adjust the audio sliders every time moving in/out of an building. maybe you like to check the sound speaker settings.

 

 

Story

 

Loved the new objectives and all the surprises. The unexpected so much great torture scene. the return of the Lich Queen. the surprising final twist when all objectives have be done and Thomas (don't) get his well deserved rest :laugh: .. Like other players I did expect some zombies along the story ("an Objective to get holy water? haha... ok, zombie rush ahead."). Setting up ususal expectations that don't happen isn't only a good film script trick you used here for good :)

 

Thanks for the voices BA, Ocn & BD. That added a lot to this FM! And of course Bravo Sotha to all the story cut scenes! I specially liked the cutscene detail where the Lich Hag sucks the souls of poor Grenefeld. And special notice to when the player is thrown back after releasing from the freeze (instead of just simply keep the player where he is).

 

All that being Excellent.

 

 

 

Can't wait for a final confrontation !! :D

Edited by fllood

"To rush is without doubt the most important enemy of joy" ~ Thieves Saying

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