Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Bikerdude

Fan Mission: Sir Talbot's Collateral by Baal & Bikerdude (15/04/2015)

Recommended Posts

 

This is a relatively small, but very detailed and polished mission. When I started it over two years ago, I tried to limit the size and scope of the map to a manageable level to get something released sooner rather than later. The basic layout was quickly built and all that was left to do then was to flesh it out. Well, that got a bit out of hand. At some point I decided that it would take me too much time to keep up the level of detail I already had, and asked Bikerdude for help. Of course he said yes, and I honestly believe that the mission would never have been finished without him. He built several extra areas and the end result is really beautiful. Now it's finally done and we hope you enjoy this little addition to The Dark Mod.

Build Time:

  • About 2 yrs

Thanks:

  • To the Dark Mod team and comminuty at large for helping to get this mission completed, and for putting up with all my questions.
  • Story and Readables: Melan, Sotha, Moonbo, Baal and Bikerdude.
  • Additional Sounds: Goldwell
  • Briefing Video: Crowind, Slyfoxx
  • Beta testers: Oldjim, Lowenz, AluminumHaste, nbohr1more, Goldwell, Cookie, Tr00pertj, Grayman, Arcturus, Ungoliant, skacky, Goldchocobo.
  • Additional Resource: Bikerdude & Dram (fire-flies)

Info:

  • TDM 2.03 is required for this mission - running the mission on older version/s will result in an 'Get Next Entity' error
  • The mission available via the in-game downloader.
  • Repeat after me, "Read and explore, Read and explore"

Misc:

  • We have used LOD on a lot of objects in the outside area's to cater for people with low end machines, when in game go the video settings>advanced>Object details and then adjust to suit your system.

Feedback:

This must be the first mission where I felt like a true "master Thief" rather than a "bumbling Thief" because of at least a few

of these factors:

 

1) An easy to comprehend layout with "unique areas" (no getting lost in rooms that look like other rooms or hallway mazes).

2) Small enough to digest the layout and keep it in memory without replaying the mission a million times

3) Tons of alternate routes which allow you to choose your own favorite infiltration strategies

4) Fewer (or no) cases of blind luck passages where you are forced to roll-the-dice to proceed into illuminated areas

5) Tons of vertical access, mantling, and hidden spaces

6) Perfectly tuned patrol routes with fair challenge levels

Fantastic work. I especially like the prank objectives - they're an inspiration in unorthodox mission goals, especially the latter optional prank that I won't spoil. It's enough to make me want to see an FM entirely based around similar goals. I also enjoyed the callbacks to a certain other FM - Bridgeport feels like a really interconnected universe when such details are worked into the fabric of a mission. Great job!

Edited by Bikerdude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And this is how I will spend my evening. Congrats chaps!

 

I noticed Melan wrote the story, and this is Talbot mission. I want to ask if this is the first Talbot mission (whic Return and Fauchard) follow.

 

I hope so to see another charracter of Bridgeport make a name for himself, but even if this is part 4, I am an avid fan of the Talbot series.

 

Not to throw about compliments, but along with Greymna, Bikerdude and Melan are craft that most playstyle / gaming mechanisms that really set me off.

 

I will report back soon!

 

Thanks guys who adding another gem to the TDM archive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everybody.

 

This mission is not part of Melan's Talbot series. When I chose the name, I wasn't (consciously) aware that the name was already used. Two different persons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm wondering if certain filename characters are messing up the viewer. I ended up viewing the preview images manually.

As you surmised, it was the file name/s causing the issue - Fixed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get a "get next entity" error when I try to start playing this. Any idea what's up? (All I can offer right now is that the intro promises a great mission.)

 

Edit: seems I haven't updated TDM yet, that's almost certainly it. Ignore me!

Edited by Ryan101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the release! :)

 

I noticed Melan wrote the story, and this is Talbot mission. I want to ask if this is the first Talbot mission (whic Return and Fauchard) follow.

No. The first mission in the Talbot series is Prowler of the Dark, which was made for Thief 1. Maybe one day there will be a TDM version, but here and now, let us enjoy this entirely different yet entirely cool new mission by Baal and Bikerdude! :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great mission and I will recommend something here for those who haven´t played it already:

 

Try to play it without using knockouts, usually I really don´t like this kind of playstyle but this mission was made for it and it really encourages the player to get a feel for the awesome design of this FM (only if you like a challenge, of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This must be the first mission where I felt like a true "master Thief" rather than a "bumbling Thief" because of at least a few

of these factors:

 

1) An easy to comprehend layout with "unique areas" (no getting lost in rooms that look like other rooms or hallway mazes).

2) Small enough to digest the layout and keep it in memory without replaying the mission a million times

3) Tons of alternate routes which allow you to choose your own favorite infiltration strategies

4) Fewer (or no) cases of blind luck passages where you are forced to roll-the-dice to proceed into illuminated areas

5) Tons of vertical access, mantling, and hidden spaces

6) Perfectly tuned patrol routes with fair challenge levels

 

I was able to ghost this mission and I felt great doing so. More than anything, this mission is "fair" with it's threats.

I agree that keeping KO's to a minimum (or none at all) is the optimal play experience.

 

This mission easily rivals Sonosuke's "Living Expenses" as a pure grand manor heist mission, I would probably give it the upper

spot when comparing them due to it fitting my play style like a glove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After getting around my own self-inflicted issue, I polished this FM off in about two hours. Fantastic work. I especially like the prank objectives - they're an inspiration in unorthodox mission goals, especially the latter optional prank that I won't spoil. It's enough to make me want to see an FM entirely based around similar goals.

 

I also enjoyed the callbacks to a certain other FM - Bridgeport feels like a really interconnected universe when such details are worked into the fabric of a mission. Great job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get a "get next entity" error when I try to start playing this. Any idea what's up? (All I can offer right now is that the intro promises a great mission.)

Gonna put the you need TDM 2.03 in bigger fonts in OP. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonna put the you need TDM 2.03 in bigger fonts in OP. :P

 

Is the error "Get next exit" or "Get next entity"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished it! Well done on creating a really tense atmosphere with the tight corridors and tricky (but fair) guard patrols!

 

Excellent work Baal and Bikerdude!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Played it yesterday evening under the highest difficulty level and had quite a good time in the beginning with a little throwback in the end. Here is my short review:

 

 

The overall appearence in visual terms is really good. From when you start the mission on the outside throughout all the rooms you traverse during it you see well-detailed, beautiful looking areas. There is not much more to say except that there are a few things affecting gameplay, hence I gave it a 4/5.

 

The intro video was nice although I had some troubles understanding everything, but the idea of the mission really made me grin. I'm not the kind of player who is looking for great stories when playing a game, so my exceptions aren't that high, though. One thing that bugged me is how the rest of the story is told, though. I had a really hard time getting an idea as for what to blame Talbot for, and therefore where to search for evidence. To be honest, I had no clue at all and it seemed a bit random. Also the readable pointing to the sewer key was quite misleading, as it says it is in the kitchen, but I couldn't find it there :( Maybe it is just me but I prefer more clear hints when searching for keys. I rated this 3/5.

 

Now for the most important part in a game for me, the gameplay: This is the part where I have the most mixed feelings to be honest. There are a couple of things that are very well, like the cramped layout. I also like the fact that there is a map. An example: In the cellar there is the door to the wine cellar and a readable telling you were to find the key for it. A short look at the map and I had a plan how to proceed, which works pretty well. This is exactly the kind of thing, this planned proceeding I like and it worked very well here. However, there are quite a few things that I don't like.

 

After I've entered the building through the cellar window, there was a barrel with a candle on it in the hallway outside. The barrel threw a shadow in which I thought I could hide but I couldn't, as the candle illuminated the ceiling, so my lightgem shined brightly although in full shadow, and I got detected. I had this problem with lighting almost everywhere. While it looks great aesthetically, the changes between full darkness and brightly lit are way to harsh, making it very difficult to manuever through the mission. I normally don't have such issues in other FM's, I even don't look at the lightgem most of the time, but here I just couldn't get a feeling for how lit I am.

 

As it is a bit hard to stay undetected, and one may not always succeed, it can happen that you have to run and hide in a corner while the ai is searching for you. This is fine, but due to the crampness it would be good if I could distract the guards. Some noisemakers would have been useful here.

 

The use of missing object markers is a bit too high, as you have to steal those stuff anyway and are restricted in knockouts. (This is a minor issue)

 

Now for the biggest issue. The mission has a very big bottleneck, which is the security system which you have to circumvent. As far as I discovered it there are two possible entrances, one in the main hall and one in the generator room (or how you've called it). Let's start with the latter. All rooms in the cellar have roughly the same height, which is logical and looks realistic, except for the generator room which is much higher. The problem is, I simple didn't expect the room to be higher then the others (why should it, it's in the cellar) and didn't looked up when I was in there. I searched the generator for a lever or anything else to interact with, found nothing and decided it was there for cosmetical purpose only. (Btw.: How does the inhabitants of the house get up to where the lever is?)

 

The main hall suffers from a similar problem. From the layout I thought of it as a possibility to switch between the floors without using the staircases. Never had I thought to climb up below the roof just to find an airshaft that leads to an area more or less outside of the house and not mentioned on the map. It may be that I missed a hint in the book (the evidence) that talks about Talbot planting Mandrasola. Nevertheless, as both ways make the same expectation to the player (look and go up) one could think about them as one, hence I called that a bottleneck, and this really annoyed me here, as searching for a lever to proceed is not much better then a key hunt.

 

I was a bit unsure how to rate this part. "good" may be more then I could derive from what's been said, but "tolerable" already sounds pretty harsh (that's a big gap between those options imho). In the end I decided that it is still good and rated it 3/5.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In reply to a couple of the points

Regarding the sewer key - it is hanging in clear view in the kitchen

Regarding the generator - did you read the diary where Sir Talbot complained about having to get a guard climb up to switch it on

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Obsttorte

Thanks for taking the time to write all that. I'm going to reply later when I have more time.

 

But I get the impression that it could be a language problem. Did you read everything carefully? Everything is hinted at in the readables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess I've missed the latter ;)

We used a new technique on bounce lights which is why you found it hard to hide in 'some' spots, but this has been looked at for 2.04 and will will update the map accordingly..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...