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RPGista

Fan Mission: In remembrance of him (by RPGista)

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Guys, thanks so much for the fantastic reviews and the informative opinions. This is all very rewarding to know. I'll try answering a couple of points:

 

Diego - Indeed, its pretty hard to remain objective about your own mission, because you are looking at it for so long, and there are no secrets anywhere. Its all obvious and clear to you, you have to kind of trust the original design when you were taking the surprise or difficulty factors into account with other elements of the map, because after a second, you are clueless if it will work and people will notice or not. It doesnt help that I can go from one corner of the map to the other in 5 minutes and never miss one jump! :) It wasnt my intention to create Alex kidd or Prince of Persia pixel perfect plataform challenges (far from it, you can reach the church with 3 mantling jumps if you choose one of the paths), but I wanted to explore this capability in TDM a bit too, as I think physical obstacles, coupled with the challenge of fooling some AI's perception while at it, is a nice mix in this game.

 

And of course anyone is entitled to their opinions about the results here, no problem at all, no design choice is right for everyone. Some of the things were suggested to me though, appearently I just didnt a good job at adressing them - the pit needed more light but the one I put there isnt enough, for example. It was also kind of a rushed process, but once again, if you hate the derelict building, maybe there's another way. ;)

 

Melan was an awesome beta tester and of course his masterful Fiasco map (ironic name) was a major inspiration for this one (and an inspiration to everyone, Im sure), specially in regards to proportion and the authentic feel of a historical, varied and lived in city fragment. Thanks again for the effort.

 

Fieldmedic is also an amazing author, Im the one who envy your coding talents! The scenes you mentioned were achieved with the conversation system indeed, taught to me by Fidcal - it was a major relief when I knew that I could use that versatile system to make AI do a complex sequence of actions without the need to script anything. Furthermore they are cool because you can interrupt them at any time and its supported, the AI will react normally to you. The priest took me days to get right, and a couple of test maps. He walks to X, play kneeling anim, a moveable skull is teleported next to his hand And falls through gravity), while the binded one is hidden, then he is sent to a predefined pathing network and works like a normal AI from then on.

 

And yes, I was fully aware people would get divided by the gameplay choices (no way of knowing beforehand who is neutral and who is not; physical puzzles; physical obstacles; lack of equipment; no looting; dark environment; looong readables). My only defense is that nothing is imposed on the player, he doesnt need to read or interact with anyone in order to complete the mission. That freedom was actually the whole point of the mission from start.

I'll have to come back later to continue, at work right now, but I'll leave here a picture of the concept art for the tough obstacles areas, the "evil" plan if you will, in case you guys are curious.

 

 

 

post-8474-0-47157800-1335259751_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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I think I found some serious bug.

 

 

Remember I told you guys in the barn are not enemy? They are enemy. But for some reason they behaved like friend. Then last night friends(greets hello my lord) who sits on the street attacked me when they saw me. Is there any explanation for this?

 

 

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I wish more people would be sharing their concept sketches (if any). Thanks!


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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I think I found some serious bug.

 

 

Remember I told you guys in the barn are not enemy? They are enemy. But for some reason they behaved like friend. Then last night friends(greets hello my lord) who sits on the street attacked me when they saw me. Is there any explanation for this?

 

 

The only time I tried to interact with the barn people,

they attacked me. In the context of the story, ever since then I've had no compunction in putting an arrow through each one's head.

The peasants only attacked me when

I broke into their home. I did KO them both - once - and then break in, but given all there was to steal was one gold piece (duh), I never went in there again. They've never attacked me otherwise.

Like BSB, I really liked the fact that there was no loot objective, and I could exercise some 'morality' in my larcenous activities (heh)(but I'm still happy to be a loot-hoover when occasion demands). And yes - if there is a v1.1, do provide a spyglass.

 

@ungoliant - yup, me too

"oh yes, lights going out, very scarey, ho humAAAARRRRGGH". (It's the gate and that second scream especially that does it - you can have the sound turned down very low but they still sound deafening.

 

This mission reminded me a lot of 'Heart of Lone Salvation':

1. Great atmosphere, especially out-of-doors;

2. The horror aspect being closely tied to pathos/tragedy;

3. Spells of mind-bendingly incandescent frustration, followed by warm glow of satisfaction when I (eventually) found the way through :smile:. Which is high praise in my book, but can understand it's not to everyone's taste. (If someone produced a map that depended on swordplay skills, I'd give up pretty quickly.)

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Just a quick lunch break reply: you do have a spyglass on easy difficulty; the only difference between the difficulties being more or less equipment (and the innocent kill restriction on expert). ;)

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What do you mean with too many minute details, too many ellipses? It'll really help me understand your worst vote on this.

 

[...]to receive the lowest rating possible in a category that includes graphic storytelling seems a bit excessive... Lets not forget these are our first mapping works, with a limited time slot no less, so perhaps a little tolerance margin should be allowed.

 

It was a bit excessive and I apologise. I've asked Springheel to alter my note slightly.

Unlike some, I completely adhere to the kind of gameplay your mission offers. I still think it's a fantastic mission.

However, and it's completely personal, my negativity towards the whole mission originates from the first 6 or 7 screens of the briefing, and it is difficult for me to ignore them afterwards while playing. At some point I was swearing that if I were to see "..." (that's what I meant by ellipses, Siyah) once again I'd stop playing altogether. It probably sounds ridiculous and I'm sorry. There's not really much I can say for my pitiful defence. I am as displeased as you are that it affected my perception of the whole mission.

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Trying a new route and am I wasting my time

At the start there is an open window with a drainpipe next to it.

I have climbed onto to the drainpipe but can't climb up it and jumping to the open window hasn't worked yet.

Is this a route or is it not possible

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Trying a new route and am I wasting my time

At the start there is an open window with a drainpipe next to it.

I have climbed onto to the drainpipe but can't climb up it and jumping to the open window hasn't worked yet.

Is this a route or is it not possible

 

wasting time, but you'll find climbable one later :)

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It was a bit excessive and I apologise. I've asked Springheel to alter my note slightly.

Unlike some, I completely adhere to the kind of gameplay your mission offers. I still think it's a fantastic mission.

However, and it's completely personal, my negativity towards the whole mission originates from the first 6 or 7 screens of the briefing, and it is difficult for me to ignore them afterwards while playing. At some point I was swearing that if I were to see "..." (that's what I meant by ellipses, Siyah) once again I'd stop playing altogether. It probably sounds ridiculous and I'm sorry. There's not really much I can say for my pitiful defence. I am as displeased as you are that it affected my perception of the whole mission.

 

thanks for your explanation.

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Completed.. Just briefly:

 

 

The mission had very pretty visuals. It is clear that RPGista has similar visual talents as Biker. You have a lot of potential. The artwork was impressive. I liked the story.

 

The atmosphere was great. The gritty mood was well achieved and the all the characters were more or less miserable and it was interesting to read the readables.

 

Gameplay was interesting. Not many guards to avoid, but I had some interesting moments. Almost jumped out of my seat when the cellar horror started. Well played!

 

The biggest problem for me was that at some point was totally clueless where to go. I ended up stuck in some pit with wood pieces. After long time of trying to get forward, I simply noclipped around until I realised where I have to go. The jump to the window (where the maid was standing behind) was very, very difficult and frustrating. Made it finally and got forward and was rewarded with the interesting end part.

 

Overall the map was very fun if I forget the part where I got stuck.

 

I hope you keep on mapping! If you build such detailed areas, my recommendation would be to learn to set the non-critical things to noshadows and leave just the features with the highest impact with the shadows. The player will not see a difference and a significant perfomance boost is obtained.

 

 


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Oldjim - Nice one, but I wonder if you were able to (in the expert difficulty):

 

 

Get inside the last alley apartment, the one with two peasants in front of it (since you cant kill them);

 

Find the alternative route to the church (whichever one you chose/found).

 

 

I haven't found an alternative route to the church although

climbing over the wall before the two peasants by the fire looked promising but I couldn't get out again

Regarding the last alley apartment - i hadn't bothered trying but since it was apparently difficult I tried and it was easy

I walked up behind the left hand one, blackjacked him. Moved the body into the side alley then walked round to the other side of the right hand one and blackjacked him

 

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BlueSky -

 

 

Im not so sure I understood the first question, but for engine reasons, the ambient light fading starts on the stairs before you get to the crypt area. If you run, you'll still be able to get a glimpse of the whole place before it fades completely. There was nothing I could do other than shortening the fading time and possibly making it too noticeable. The light coming out of the corridor into the crypt comes from the suspended oil lamp, which is there to give you a hint of where to escape to, if you decide to run.

 

The gate was an architectural option that can have funny consequences on the priest AI, as he can have a hard time opening it sometimes. Its not unfrobable – its actually hard to see when it is selected, because unlike a normal door, this one you have to “aim” at the actual geometry (the bars). You saw it open later because the priest did it! ;)

 

The hardware thing is a shame, apparently Fieldmedic also had problems, all I can suggest is to lower the resolution, that works for me, and I don’t know what might be causing the mission to be slow. Maybe too many AI thinking. Maybe some kind of trigger overlap or something. I would have to go back and do loads of tests.

Hahaha, glad you felt “something” about the character, I think that’s the difference between missions really, the models are the same, the voices, the behaviour, what differs is the personality the author paints on the model, which influences how you see him throughout the mission. On expert, its not that he is a good guy or not, its more that YOU are a good guy and wont be killing innocent people if your mission is elsewhere. You can break into the houses, but not kill them. This is just for added difficulty really, not a moral thing. If you cant kill these guys, navigating the houses is necessarily harder and more intense. That’s how I see it. I generally only kill AI in maps when necessary, but others might need more incentive not to take the easiest road (to clean out the map).

 

The “confusion” between those innocent folks and enemies is also something that doesnt bother me, its a little more realistic, you have to make some deductions and ponder before attacking. Killing someone at home you know that person had nothing to do with your mission. But outside, you see a guy with a huge axe coming your way, looks like a thug, you know he’s up to no good. Its about choices, you can easily avoid everyone and find the church instead.

 

No, the priest is not Murilo (the inquisitor), he's the nameless priest who’s been writing all the readables in the church area, the resident priest. The point was for the player to find him in the middle of loosing his faith/religion, because of what’s been happening in there. Its all approached briefly though, there was no “space” to develop that story further, it was more to give the final encounter some context.

 

And again, I think its cool to try to connect with that world, to immerse yourself there, thats the role of the story, otherwise the game can become quite the chess game of waiting on patrols and advancing. Glad you were able to get some fun out of that.

 

Thanks for the comments on the map itself, good to know that you enjoyed the stylistic direction, and for your detailed review.

 

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I had to vote 2 stars for gameplay, the endless reloads and unclear path was just too much for me. I completed it without knowing I had completed it the mission just finished all of a sudden.

One thing I wanted to ask, the chasm between buildings that you have to jump across, why does the window on the ledge open outwards and not inwards? when it started opening outwards I wanted to punch you in the face. I mean it makes sense I guess from the point of view of the gravedigger, but gameplay wise it was a bad choice.

 

Oh forgot to mention this is easily one of the most beautiful maps, the colored lighting and placement of light sources was incredible!


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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I tried again, but was soon faced with more mantling I was unable to do.

 

So I noclipped around the mission just to see the architecture. Very very well done.

 

 

 

I read the walkthrough and saw that I was supposed to hear a conversation between the husband and wife. I never heard it. When I went up the stairs to their rooms, I shut the open door to their room so I could move around unobserved, then entered the other two rooms. I finally entered the dining room and stood behind the wife for a while, but saw no chance of getting into the room they were in, so I left.

 

Never heard any conversation.

 

As for the archer area, I tried getting up to the kitchen window, and was not able to.

 

Wrt mantling in general, I don't mind if there's a couple places, that take maybe a couple tries to accomplish, but after numerous failed tries, and spending more time restoring the game than playing, it absolutely takes me out of the game, and I have to quit.

 

I like to be immersed in a mission. Save occasionally when I'm unclear what's going to happen next. But after 10 minutes of constant fail/restore/fail/restore/fail/restore gets very frustrating very quickly, at least for me.

 

As I said, beautiful architecture, especially for a first map.

 

 

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Oh yeah how in the hell do you get back out of the courtyard at the beginning? There's one statue of gold down there and a candle and no way back out. I mantled on top of the tree then jumped to the window ledge, but that's it, any more jumping and I was hitting an invisible ceiling.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Hm, I never saw all that difficulty, or I am too jaded.

 

Aluminumhaste:

 

Smash the boards on the door.

 


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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Thanks Melan I was considering that except for the fact that the door was locked and both lockpicks didn't work, so what was there left to make me think that I would be able to get through that door?


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Ungoliant, Diego, Sotha: Nice to know all you guys had the desired reaction to that part of the mission! Did my best to make it effective. ;)

 

Briareos - No problem man, you probably got me in a bad mood too. Theres no need to change the vote, it is after all a matter of taste; only suggested that, as I do everytime when I vote, its kind of a gentlemen agreement not to give the lowest rating for someone who was trying. Only when someone doesnt even try. But a lot of people dont take this rating thing seriously anyway, and neither should we! :) Glad you were able to enjoy the rest of the work regardless.

 

Simplenoob was also an awesome tester, so thanks again, your help was really appreciated.

 

Sotha, thanks very much for the review (and for helping me get the briefing to work). In fact, he went through the trouble of expanding it for me (up to 10 pages, though I only used 9), and offered all the information I needed. :) That derelict building really is sucking a lot people in! Theres a way out of the pit though, the big wood beam, its climbable. But yeah, now that I think of it, should have made that kitchen access easier. Its not that it is glitchy or anything, it just asks for some good precision, and I should probably be glad not many tried to go that way then. Awesome that you liked the map. Like I said elsewhere, I think details are what really help you sink in and forget wehre you are. Took a lot of work though, DR is veeeery slow for small scales...

 

Oldjin - The alternative route is accessible from the same place as the other one (hint: the fireplace square with the archer). It is quite hard to get there, but once inside, should be much easier than the derelict building. Take a look at the walkthrough section in the first post, for more details and possibly other unknown areas.

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Aluminium - What do you mean, "finished all of a sudden"? There might be some kind of error if it did... You should need to clearly reach an exit to finish the mission.

 

The chasm is not the only route, though you probaly wouldnt like the other one either. ;) The window opening outwards is irrelevant and doesnt hinder you in any way, considering you are jumping to it from the drain pipe, to which you should be holding to in order to open it. Its a simple half a meter jump that the TDM character can handle very well (he's pretty good at holding on to things). The hard jump is to reach the drain pipe.

 

Grayman - Thats a bummer... Sorry about that, but Im afraid you didnt get to see the conversation because you need to go through a trigger at the botton of the stairs (without noclipping). If you DID, then we might have had an error... I would suggest you to fly to the cemetery area, and land right next to the Aphrodite statue, and play normally from there (dont noclip towards the church!). The first chunk is basicly introduction, this is the final part and you would still get to see the climax (which also doesnt need any mantling!).

 

Argh, too much writing...

Edited by RPGista

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very nice atmosphere, lighting, graphics...

but you should have listened to the beta testers and gave the player more hints on where to go.

but still a great mission.

 

 

i have the ring and killed the zombie. how can i finish the mission? where is the main entrance of the church???

 

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Aluminium - What do you mean, "finished all of a sudden"? There might be some kind of error if it did... You should need to clearly reach an exit to finish the mission.

 

 

To clarify I got ring in pitch blackness, I had to use r_showtris 1 just to see where I was going. I went into the room and was just frobbing randomly and got the objective complete message and saw that I had the ring. So I walked back upstairs and must have walked close enough to the church entrance because the mission completed.

 

There's a drain pipe? Huh. Didn't see one. I went through the destroyed building, hopped over to the doorway and on the other side was a gaping chasm, an endless black pit. The only way across was to jump to the window ledge and open the window, which I thought was the correct way to go, until I tried opening the window and realized I was in the way. Thank god I was able to mantle on top of the window then open it all the way then drop down into the window.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Coo, that was loud. The graphic novel intro was ace, and the journey there was stunning to look at - amazing lighting and architecture. Though the actual Church was maybe a bit mediocre in comparison. If that same visual quality had carried through the entire mission - that would have been really something.

 

A few clues to reassure me that I was jumping and dying in roughly the right direction as I made it through the abandoned buildings would have been nice. I think perhaps...

the drain pipe should have been used earlier in a more obvious setting perhaps with an obvious reward at the top so that drain pipes were already in Player's gameplay vocabulary when they got to the window.

 

...it took a good while before I discovered that getting to the window wasn't nearly as hard as I was making it.

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Grayman - Thats a bummer... Sorry about that, but Im afraid you didnt get to see the conversation because you need to go through a trigger at the botton of the stairs (without noclipping). If you DID, then we might have had an error...

 

 

 

I didn't noclip coming up the stairs.

 

AI bark idle things all the time, so it's possible that I didn't bother listening to what was being said because I took the voices to be idle barks, and I was too busy trying to figure out if anyone on the stairs was going to see me coming up. IMHO the conversation would have been better starting once the player has reached the second floor and knows he's in a safe place and can take the time to grok that what's being said is not normal barks, and he should pay attention.

 

Also, I saw that the wife is supposed to wander around when the conversation is over, and she never moved.

 

 

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Where a church entrance usually is -

at the opposite end to the altar

 

Ummm...(**thinks back to all the village churches I've ever visited**)...may be wrong, but from memory most of them have a side entry door, similar to where the main door entry to the church in the map is - certainly the two Church of England churches near me do. Maybe it's a CofE thing... :P

 

There were quite a few key elements in this map that I lucked/blundered into without any help from RPG while I was beta-testing - the big wooden beam in the derelict building, the drainpipe (I did comment to RPG that I hadn't found climbable drainpipes in any of the FMs I've played so far; big ventilation/distribution pipes, yes, but drainpipes were new to me), the route through the kitchen, finding the main church entrance to end the mission, and for some reason I clocked really quickly on how to get through that nailed-up basement door (bit of a nod to T2 gameplay, I thought :)) - however, the one thing that totally defeated me (that no-one else seems to have struggled with) was fulfilling the main objective. I needed a nudge from RPG as, despite having been into Kevin's cell, I was fixated on finding

a neatly laid-out corpse locked up somewhere with a ring on his finger.

Which wasn't right. No no no no no... :wacko:

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