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Springheel

Released Mission update: Spring 2012

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It will waver up and down like all the thief games did, looks pretty normal. There will probably be another large spike after the campaign gets released and more people come aboard the mod.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is other than to point out that the mod isn't doing very well. Personally I don't think it needed a thread to point out the obvious.

 

No matter what happens I'll finish my FM in the next few months

Edited by Sir Taffsalot

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

 

The Joker

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Why hide it? He's been making these threads showing general information about map releases for a while now, why omit it this quarter just because numbers are lower? We have nothing to fear, it's not like the numbers in this chart are going to drive people away who want to make maps. It's just information :)

 

I also can't wait for your map!


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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You have heavy weights like Biker dude and Melan working on the crucibles campaign. I guess its either a steady flow of quality FMs or an epic campaign that will provide publicity.

 

But I can't deny that the output this year is pants. no matter the excuse


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

 

The Joker

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It seems to peak up during north summers. We're almost at the next summer, let's see if this makes sense :P

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There will probably be another large spike after the campaign gets released

 

They could use some serious help to make that happen.

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LIke everyone else, time is limited, but if any small work helps, I would be willing contribute with what I can (artwork, detailing, etc).

Edited by RPGista

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I don't think any amount of maps will boost TDM's popularity. Even if we had the most perfect maps released for TDM why would that be incentive for anyone to start the lengthy process of mapping for the game? I think if anything it would be a temporary rise in playership.

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I do question the usefulness of looking at it with a graph like this though. Given numbers like these and the nature of what they're counting, I'm not sure any kind of curve or trend here would have much meaning.

 

If there was a way to track track "player count" or "missions played", those would be much more meaningful to present as a line graph, if that makes any sense.

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I don't think any amount of maps will boost TDM's popularity. Even if we had the most perfect maps released for TDM why would that be incentive for anyone to start the lengthy process of mapping for the game? I think if anything it would be a temporary rise in playership.

The question is, will it reach new players and new people who will take up editing, or are the signals simply lost in the dark?


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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Mappers are always only a small percentage of players. But if nobody knows the mod, there can be no mappers either. And the mod is not really well known...

Edited by jysk

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The question is, will it reach new players and new people who will take up editing, or are the signals simply lost in the dark?

 

I think if we rely on doing what we are currently doing now, the answer will be no. Even if the campaign or really good maps are released, the information will spread just as it always has to the same people who do not actively play TDM right now. TTLG, thief blogs, MODDB etc. There's no new market there.

 

What I have always wanted to see is to have some I-celebrities talk about us. For example if Carmack mentioned us in his blog, if the Yogscast did a play, if Yahtzee did a play, if we got into PC Gamer etc. But the biggest issue is, the mod right now has no official gameplay because it's a toolset. It needs to be messaged as a full game people can play, because no average person would want to spend time downloading and setting up a toolset. The idea of playing one map at a time is honestly not appealing unless you've already been a fan on Thief. This is where I think the campaign may break some new ground and why I've nagged everyone on the team for one for so long.

 

If you can download TDM, play a campaign, decide you like the game, then you are much more likely to try random one map missions. Otherwise it just wont penetrate mainstream or new markets imo.

 

I'd love to get into this more and try and help out but I'm busy atm with other priorities, including tdm priorities.

 

TL;DR Maybe ;)

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I don't think any amount of maps will boost TDM's popularity.

 

:huh:

 

Maps are TDM's only content. Without maps, TDM is like an empty library.

 

Every time a new mission is released, it provides a consumable for the TDM audience. At best, it triggers walkthrough videos, mission reviews, and posts about TDM in gaming forums. All of these increase TDM's profile and can introduce new people to the mod.

 

At a minimum, it feeds our existing fanbase and gives the impression that the community is still strong. It gives people a reason to let TDM keep taking up space on their hard drives.

 

A strong community is the most important factor in gaining new mappers, I would submit. If mappers are going to spend months of hard work, they want to know that their effort is going to be appreciated by a good-sized audience. A thriving community gives that impression.

 

If there was a way to track track "player count" or "missions played", those would be much more meaningful to present as a line graph, if that makes any sense.

 

I'd be very interested in that as well, but I'm not sure how to track it. Do we actually have any way to determine how often missions are downloaded?

 

But the biggest issue is, the mod right now has no official gameplay because it's a toolset. It needs to be messaged as a full game people can play, because no average person would want to spend time downloading and setting up a toolset.

 

TDM is not just a toolset anymore and people should stop calling it that. It's a game library. With the built-in downloader, it is dead-easy to download and play missions. The only downside is that new players could easily have a bad first experience if they download one of the poorer-quality maps. This should be fixed in 1.08, however, now that the updated St. Lucia will be automatically downloaded along with the training mission. This should guarantee that players have a strong introduction to TDM gameplay and storytelling.

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I think his point was more like, more maps may be necessary but not sufficient for pulling new people in. Anyway it's a debate we've had many times before... I think all of us have some good ideas of what sorts of things pull people into games like this; but it's just a legit tough thing IMO. There's a lot of things out there competing for people's attention.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Maps are TDM's only content. Without maps, TDM is like an empty library.

 

Which is the problem. Additionally we don't even rank high with ease of use in terms of how a player would find a good map. A new player may download a crap map and give up after that impression. The game feels disjointed because of a mixed bag of quality, themes and quality. Let's not forget Thief1 and 2 had solid campaigns behind them that inspired people. If we want to be like Little Big Planet we should at least do more than host the maps.

 

Every time a new mission is released, it provides a consumable for the TDM audience. At best, it triggers walkthrough videos, mission reviews, and posts about TDM in gaming forums. All of these increase TDM's profile and can introduce new people to the mod.

 

At a minimum, it feeds our existing fanbase and gives the impression that the community is still strong. It gives people a reason to let TDM keep taking up space on their hard drives.

 

A strong community is the most important factor in gaining new mappers, I would submit. If mappers are going to spend months of hard work, they want to know that their effort is going to be appreciated by a good-sized audience. A thriving community gives that impression.

This is true, however it isn't good enough to prevent stagnation. We should review our forum registrations and see when we had our highest number of new registrants and what events were taking place when that happened. I can't do this, I'm not an Admin. We should also review how many TDM downloads we were getting and during which TDM events. This would remove any guessing about what drives new players to TDM.

 

I would also question just how important the factor of a "good" community is in attracting mappers. I was personally not attracted to TDM by the community at all, I was attracted because I liked mapping from my previous experience mapping for halflife 1 and I liked thief 1. I'd argue a good community keeps mappers, but doesn't attract mappers.

 

TDM is not just a toolset anymore and people should stop calling it that. It's a game library. With the built-in downloader, it is dead-easy to download and play missions. The only downside is that new players could easily have a bad first experience if they download one of the poorer-quality maps. This should be fixed in 1.08, however, now that the updated St. Lucia will be automatically downloaded along with the training mission. This should guarantee that players have a strong introduction to TDM gameplay and storytelling.

 

Although I agree with you this will be better in 1.08, the reality is there are only two default missions, it's not that much.

 

I also agree with you about the downside to our system. But that is a big downside, see above.

 

Although I don't think a "Game Library" is an attractive name, it sounds better than a "Toolset." Have we renamed our content so we no longer refer to ourselves at a "Toolset?"

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Thinking out loud, couldn't version 1.08 serve as a vehicle to promote the mod? From everything we know about, it is a significant step up, fixing issues, adding more refined subsystems to the experience, and coming with a default mission to play. How about soliciting Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Sneaky Bastards to review it? I think there is a legit reason to showcase it now - what we are getting with 1.08 is not the initial release of the mod, but something that has been cleaned up, given a new sheen, performance fixes, hell, new graphical shaders, new forms of AI behaviour and a ton of options since that. A polished product.


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'd be very interested in that as well, but I'm not sure how to track it. Do we actually have any way to determine how often missions are downloaded?

 

Unless we build the accounting (how often downloaded, installed, played more than X times) into the in-game downloader (and somehow do not count developer's activities), then there is no real way. One can count the hits on the individual mirrors, but this data isn't easily available, nor really right - bots download stuff, too.

 

TDM is not just a toolset anymore and people should stop calling it that. It's a game library.

 

We probably need to enfore this a lot more on our own pages etc.

 

Me thinks having a big "2.0" release which tells in big letters "TDM is a game where blah blah" would help a lot. Minor point releases are usually lost in the internet noise.

 

(Also getting outside reviews etc would really help. Our own pages (moddb etc) are only read by the people who know about us, anyway.


"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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Also getting outside reviews etc would really help. Our own pages (moddb etc) are only read by the people who know about us, anyway.

I thinks that when 1.8 is out and proves to be stable I will write to a bunch of the game magazines..

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Me thinks having a big "2.0" release which tells in big letters "TDM is a game where blah blah" would help a lot.

 

Exactly That!

 

If 1.08 is significant step up you really should consider calling it 2.0.

 

Upgrades like 1.0.x (with two decimals) are usually used and seen as fix patches.

Get rid of that completely! Every TDM upgrade was and is a minor upgrades with new asset and features. Such have commonly one decimal like 1.x

And big major releases should rise the big letter. Success to get rid of the need to have doom installed would be as such. Seeing the change log 1.08 may be of enough weight calling it major as well. minimum an 1.1 release. But I see no need for understatement. Ring the bell. Make it 2.0.

 

It may sound just like a cosmetic thing and ridicule. But as an fact an upgrade from 1.07 to 1.08 will sound like a small fix patch thing and won't get much noise and attention just because of that - regardless of the heavy content of the change log.

 

I'd argue a good community keeps mappers, but doesn't attract mappers.

 

It was one of some reasons I am attracted to build for TDM and not for Thief or any other game or toolset.

 

It's a game library. With the built-in downloader, it is dead-easy to download and play missions.

 

What do you consider success regard to TDM?

 

Is it the amount of released missions a year? The quality of them? The amount of players? Recognition from magazines or important guys from game professionals? Getting more attention of the mainstream players??

 

To me TDM is a success for being so very much different than most all the mods you download, play the "official" gameplay and would move on! - Among other aspects it was and is the game library aspect and toolset I find much more appealing then any other game mod. That got and keep me attracted being able to pick just one of the missions of the map library when I have some hours and being in the mood of stealth gameplay ...

 

Of course an official campaign is great. And I'm looking forward to it as everyone else is. It will generate some noise and attention. Which is good to the recognition TDM Team and FMA's do well deserve. And the short buzz around the campaign release will bring awareness to one or another potential new mapper for some time. But to me the campaign or amount of released maps isn't an aspect which define TDM success:

 

TDM may not have the attention so far you hoped for. But you created an excellent stealth game. Regularly upgraded. And very true to what initially was inspired by Looking Glass. With a considerable large and growing mission library. Of diversified gameplay styles and ideas which you would hardly spark in any other game mod environment. And an excellent mapper toolset, documentation and support. All that generated a small but stable fan base with a dedicated, active community...

 

So I think no need to worry. Regardless of any low or high amounts of FM releases a quarter. TDM is a great success in my terms of achievement :)

Edited by fllood

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

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If we want to be like Little Big Planet we should at least do more than host the maps.

 

I suggested adding some kind of "editor's choice" option to the missions, but that wasn't well received. I'm open to other suggestions.

 

 

Me thinks having a big "2.0" release which tells in big letters "TDM is a game where blah blah" would help a lot

 

I brought up using 2.0 for a big release we had a year ago, but there was some reason why we couldn't. Don't remember what it was. I think "2.0" might be more appropriate for when we go fully standalone, though.

 

What do you consider success regard to TDM?

 

Good question. I already consider it a success by many markers. But I would also like to see it become a long-term success.

 

Of course an official campaign is great. And I'm looking forward to it as everyone else is.

 

Crucibles of Omens is not an "official" campaign any more than No Honour Among Thieves was. It's a very ambitious project by four TDM mappers that I would love to see succeed. But I think relying on it to solve anything is not a good idea.

 

For the record, I didn't post the original picture to provoke some kind of "sky is falling" discussion. I just like to share accurate information when I have it.

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Crucibles of Omens is not an "official" campaign any more than No Honour Among Thieves was. It's a very ambitious project by four TDM mappers that I would love to see succeed. But I think relying on it to solve anything is not a good idea.

 

For the record, I didn't post the original picture to provoke some kind of "sky is falling" discussion. I just like to share accurate information when I have it.

 

So we should rely on what exactly? I don't mean to sound like I'm attacking you: do we have any plans at all to increase playership or are we going to just keep doing what we are doing and relying on the same people to keep creating maps?

 

I could potentially see the stand alone helping.

 

And tbh: TDM will never have an official campaign which is part of this mod's problem.

 

 

I'm for any sorting function to display which maps are good and which are not. It would at least be a step in the right direction if an editor did it.

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do we have any plans at all to increase playership

 

Who is "we"?

 

I'm deeply involved in the upcoming 1.08 release, working on two maps of my own, and in my spare time I update the website, the Facebook page, and make TDM promo videos. That's quite enough for my plate.

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"We" is the team. TDM as a whole.

 

edit: I poke around in the members section, but I haven't seen anything. However I'm not confident enough to assume I didn't miss anything.

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