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Fan Mission: Briarwood Manor by NeonsStyle - First Mission (14/08/2018) UPDATE 1.80

Poll: Mission Rating  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. Gameplay:

    • Poor
      0
    • Good
    • Great
    • Excellent
    • Near Perfect
      0
  2. 2. Story & Text: story telling, briefing

  3. 3. Design: Aesthetics



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prjames:

 

You will find those keys later.

 

What you need is to look around a spot you may have already visited - where the master of the house has been "disappearing".

 


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'm playing at hard difficulty, and I'm stuck.

 

 

I have five keys, front door, parlor, master bedroom, dining room, and lobby. There's a stairway that leads to a room that leads to a catwalk above the room with the really difficult guard. Opposite that catwalk is a door, clearly to several bedrooms and the latter part of the mission. Where is the key to that door? Also, where is the key that unlocks the Crown in the art gallery?

 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

- prjames

 

Melan has the solution above for your problem. There was a note in the bedroom next door to where you got the Masters bedroom key.

 

@Melan, I agree with all your points Melan, and definitely agree the level is a bit like a corridor. However I felt since it was my first level, I really needed

to constrain myself so I could learn how to do gameplay. I still have more to learn on telling a story with a more open plan. As for the distastefulness of the

story, I agree it is, however it's soemthing that's not been touched on before in TDM, and I like doing new things. :)

Edited by NeonsStyle
  • Like 1

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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So we have similar level of performance: you're playing at 1080 and my native resolution is 1440p, that requires more power. Yes, I am worried about performance more often than not, mostly because I assume that if someone asks for more computing power, he/she has a solid grounds for it, like eye-candy models, or hi-res 2K-4K textures. But you've made your decision, that's fine. What is more important, the interior has solid 60 fps all around, and that's where the majority of gameplay takes place.

 

Then it seems for this map, your resolution is a little much for your computer. ;)


I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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It is not, all modern games run fine on this rig in 1440p. And the difference isn't that big, it's like 5 FPS more in 1080p. With this graphical fidelity, you should have 60 fps everywhere, easily, and people will expect that. It's not entirely your fault, however, you just used stock models. And that's something for another discussion, i.e. why making models with multiple tiling textures is a dead end and not a viable solution.

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It seems like I am stuck due to the steward behaving oddly.

 

 

The steward noticed me while I was searching his room and I tried to knock him out.

But he did not go KO. Instead he just looks at me.

Later I placed the diary on his dresser and a comment says that he dropped a key and would now be heading to his boss.

But this does not happen. He is still standing in his room and no key to be seen.

I am playing on Expert.

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It seems like I am stuck due to the steward behaving oddly.

 

I am playing on Expert.

 

Yeh, this is a bug, that I never did find a solution to. The only way I found around it was to not be seen by him. Making him neutral to the player

didn't seem to stop it. The only thing I can suggest is reload to before he saw you. The key he dropped should be on the mat, or close to it. It

can't go anywhere else.

 

[EDIT] I assumed since you're a thief, you'd not want to be seen, and would kill the light. LOL

Edited by NeonsStyle

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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It is not, all modern games run fine on this rig in 1440p. And the difference isn't that big, it's like 5 FPS more in 1080p. With this graphical fidelity, you should have 60 fps everywhere, easily, and people will expect that. It's not entirely your fault, however, you just used stock models. And that's something for another discussion, i.e. why making models with multiple tiling textures is a dead end and not a viable solution.

 

I don't know what I can say to you Judith, it is what it is. I have similar PC to you, and I get 30 to 60 fps everywhere. I know you don't like the drawcell

amount, but I didn't want to compromise the garden for it.


I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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Quite enjoyed this, yes the outside was a bit heavy but once I got inside it was fine

 

One thing I did notice with the Steward

 

 

The first time I put the diary on the dresser, he woke, stood, then I got a voice over saying he'd dropped a key, then he went for the door & dropped the key which disappeared as soon as it hit the floor & couldn't be found, I reloaded a save & repeated & the key bounced & I could pick it up this time.

 

So there may be an issue with the key drop & the voice over was a little early

 

 

Also I there were some nicely placed windows with good climbing opportunities

 

 

It was a bit of a shame that none of them worked, another way in would increase replayability

 

 

 

Also the levers & buttons for secret doors could get confused, the auto closing door in the girls bedroom has a switch that remains toggled once it's reclosed, it still works it would be neater if the switch untoggled when the door closed though

 

 

People in this house are very careless with rings I noticed ;)

 

Overall though nice mission, not too hard playing on expert

Edited by esme

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Thanks for the mission, which I played on Hard! It ran fine for me, although I noticed some black shapes which did not look right, in particular black cubes around the horses in the stable covering everything except their heads and upper backs.

 

The steward woke up when I placed the diary on his dresser and made a remark about a dropped key which I could not find. After a while he set off upstairs, stopping a couple of times along the way, then unlocked the door to the area where the owner is. I followed him in.

 

A couple of queries.

 

1. Is there a particular use

 

 

for the rope arrow?

 

 

 

2.

 

 

In the library where the steward confronts the owner, there are three recessed bookshelves in the left hand wall. The one on the right has a different texture behind it. Is there supposed to be a way to get behind that bookcase?

 

 

Edited by Marbrien

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You can add spoilers by writing the following (minus the space infront of the word)

 

[ spoiler]

Put your spoiler in here

[ /spoiler]

 

And then it turns out like this:

 

 

Put your spoiler in here

 

 

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Thanks.

 

It might save everyone some time if someone could put a short 'how to use this forum' doc in the general discussion area, just as others have done over at the TTLG.com forums.

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@esme. You saw black boxes? Damn. I thought I'd made them nodraw. I'll fix that in the next bugfix release. The dropkey issue is known and we grayman and I tried everything

to find a fix for it, but it doesn't seem to have worked. Sometimes it will just bouce out of it's container, even though it's set not to bounce. Just reload in that case. Glad you managed

to continue the mission even without the key. Next map I won't use this drop key idea. It's very problematic.

 

@Marbrien, there is no specific use for the Rope arrow. I just always like to have one in every mission so I can explore, so I gave it to you for that. :)

 

 

 

Those bookshelves used to hide a secret passage. It's still there, but it goes nowhere. You really did have a good snoop around I thought I concealed that. lol

 

 

Edited by NeonsStyle

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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OK, thanks for that. The only other unusual thing I can recall is that I was able to blackjack two of the three guys at the table in the room above the stable without a problem, but the third stood up with one leg on the ground and one knee on the table. Whenever I snuck up behind him and blackjacked him, he flew right up into the air and bounced around, and I failed the 'kill only the target person' objective. So in the end I left him alone.

Edited by Marbrien

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Allow me to present few things (or rather possible concessions) to consider in the future then:

 

1) Using SEED reduces high DCs due to multiple clones of models, leaving some overhead for other things
2) Torch-bearing, shadow-casting guards decrease performance substantially, at least in this scene. Deleting their torches improved framerate a lot.
3) So did setting no shadows for most background models and lights.
4) Long view distance and ineffective visportals are a factor too, e.g. using more S- or U-shaped building exterior would hide the shed entrance from players view and allow for better visportal placement.

 

A quick proof of concept:

 

Clipboard03.png

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OK, thanks for that. The only other unusual thing I can recall is that I was able to blackjack two of the three guys at the table in the room above the stable without a problem, but the third stood up with one leg on the ground and one knee on the table. Whenever I snuck up behind him and blackjacked him, he flew right up into the air and bounced around, and I failed the 'kill only the target person' objective. So in the end I left him alone.

 

Yeh the Steward can't be killed or knocked out, as he's a key character. The card player I will look into, it's probably because he is glitching on the table.

 

@Judith. lol. True, but I get that performance without having to do any of that. :P Drop your LOD and you'll get it too. I bet most of your problems are

because you've maxed out the settings in TDM and are running at 1440p. Since our puters are virtualyl the same, except you have a way better

video card, I bet that's the problem.

 

As for future: I will never make a map for lower end PC's. Not going to happen. I'm more interested in seeing what TDM can do, than what it can't. I did

know about those issues, though you are right I should've set no shadows for background forest. Also I didn't want to do a U shape garden, it didn't

make sense in this case, and it thought about removing the torches, but I liked them. As for SEED, not heard about that, how is that used?

Edited by NeonsStyle
  • Like 1

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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As for future: I will never make a map for lower end PC's. Not going to happen. I'm more interested in seeing what TDM can do, than what it can't.

While performance is nice and good, I support the drive for ambitious design. Huzzah! B)

  • Like 2

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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Nope, decreasing LOD only gives like 3-5 fps more, and the lowest setting makes the fog disappear and makes all things look ugly, which is exactly opposite of what you wanted to achieve here.

 

Typically SEED is used to scatter clones of models within defined area, but it also can be used to link models in some way. I don’t know how it does it in strict technical terms, but it seems to do what other engines do automatically: treating all instances like translation operations (moving, rotating etc.) on one model, which, as you’ve seen from the stats, reduced number of DCs and helped performance. It’s not as good in the starting point, which is around 30, but still much better than 17.

 

On more general note, in our community we like to talk immersion, while most mappers doesn’t seem to be bothered by stuff like huge framerate drops and low framerate in general, which is super-weird for me. And, whether you like it or not, awfully immersion-breaking for the players, especially nowadays. Sure, we played games back in 1872 in 15 FPS and it was okay. Unfortunately, the year is 2017 and we’re not living in a bubble.

In modern action games, occasional dips into 50 FPS territory will go unnoticed by the players, but that’s basically the all buffer you have. Even if we assume that stealth games are more forgiving in that regard — since they’re slower paced — a difference of more than 20 fps is still very jarring. That’s particularly evident in ranges below 40 FPS.

 

As mappers, we really should adopt higher quality standards, like 40-60 FPS everywhere, and teach others how to achieve it in deliberate manner. Players would enjoy higher framerates, and it’s an opportunity for mappers to learn more about the engine. “But it works on my machine” approach hardly benefits anyone.

 

One more idea: since framerate consistency is what’s most important, maybe it will be possible to introduce a “half v-sync” option for TDM, so the game could run in locked 30 fps. That’s a question to TDM team.

Edited by Judith

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While performance is nice and good, I support the drive for ambitious design. Huzzah! B)

The first does not exclude the latter ;)

  • Like 2

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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So, having played through this now I would like to give my feedback. :)

 

 

The intro video was done very well, as already said by others, and raises high expectations to the things to come. I'll divide my review in the categories as choosen in your poll.

 

Gameplay:

 

The overall gameplay is rather linear. After I had entered the building I traversed from room to room, seeing what I can find. Besides loot there are some readables to find, hinting you to loot or mission crucial elements. The rope arrow I found was indeed pretty useful, as I used it to get to the higher floor in the gallery. The hint about the secret passage in the dining room was also pretty clear, but the button was hidden so well, that I had to open up the map in DR to find that damn thing :( The amount of water arrows given seem a bit high to me.

 

It would have been good to have more alternatives on how to proceed. The mission expects the player to do the stuff the planned way, and once you stumble over something, like the above mentioned hidden button, you have no alternatives as to keep on searching til you find how to proceed. Also the crown objective was pretty pointless imho. It doesn't exist in parallel to the main objective but is more of a bonus you get after you have completed the latter.

 

Guards react very sensitive to open doors. While this can make sense if said doors lead to critical areas, it can be pretty annoying when you open a door and suddenly the guards in the room behind it start searching for you. Especially in such a linear layout, where you don't have any other way of proceeding, this can get very tiresome.

 

This beeing said I would rate the gameplay as average. It is not 'poor', but isn't 'good' either in reference to the poll labels, it is somewhere in between me thinks.

 

Story and Readables:

 

The story is pretty standard. A noblemen turning out to do evil stuff, writing it down in a diary hidden in some secret dungeon. And our protagonist using said information against him. The readables are written well and guide you through the mission in a proper way. You easely get the red line and what to do next. You have done a good job here.

 

Aesthetic/Design:

 

The visual appearence of the mission is pretty solid. The mission looks nice and has a reasonable amount of details. The ambience does the rest. The lighting is a bit over the top for me. The candles are very bright and causing a strong reflection in front of the walls in the more noble areas, which looks unnatural. The electric lights on the outside all flicker in sync and extremely fast, which is annoying to look at. The outside also suffers bad performance as has been discussed before and the requirements stand in no proper relation to the visuals provided. This is a pity, but no gamebreaker. Overall you've done a good job here either

 

In summary we get a solid mission, properly executed for a first try, but with some downsides. But there is some potential and I will be happy to play your next mission. :)

 

 

  • Like 1

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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regarding water arrows - the quantity is difficulty dependent and on the hardest setting it seemed to be about the minimum to get the loot near the front door (assuming that it didn't change from the last version I beta tested)

note the mission is unplayable for me - as are virtually all the missions - as at present I am stuck with an i3 laptop with integral graphics

Edited by Oldjim

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@esme, the black boxes are fixed now, and the latest update is now available in game, and the link above.

 

@Oldjim. Water arrows are something I looked at very carefully. I'm not a fan of the shop, so I opted not to use it,

however I will in the next mission. I played the level many many times on all levels of difficulty, and I always had water

arrows left by the end. At expert, I originally had only 3, but I dropped a couple around the level to help that. You should

have 6 now. Sad you can't play any of the levels, that really sux. Have you tried dropping the LOD down in Video/Advanced? If

you drop it to it's lowest value, on my map all the fog disappears. Might help other levels too. Thanks for all your help Jim.

 

@Obsttorte, Thanks for the feedback man. Appreciate it. I certainly agree about the lineararity of it, but it's first time

doing a level in TDM, and I had to learn how to do gameplay in this game. I disagree about the doors, as you can listen

at the door to hear guards approaching :P lol I think regarding the linear make up of the map, I could've left a few doors

unlocked, so I think that's a fair point. continued in spoiler:

 

 

 

I disagree about the secret button, because I've always felt secrets in TDM were too easy to find. That said, there are three places

you always search looking for secrets. Bookshelves, fireplaces and paintings. So I felt it was a fairly obvious place to look.

 

 

Edited by NeonsStyle

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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In my own simple way ( being a very average Thief player of more than average years ) I really enjoyed this one even though some folk have been a bit picky with their comments.

Never did find the rope arrow or diary though ,( probably staring me in the face as usual! )

And I had a little trouble with the steward , had to clout him with my sword ti get him moving.

But nine out of ten from me!

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In my own simple way ( being a very average Thief player of more than average years ) I really enjoyed this one even though some folk have been a bit picky with their comments.

Never did find the rope arrow or diary though ,( probably staring me in the face as usual! )

And I had a little trouble with the steward , had to clout him with my sword ti get him moving.

But nine out of ten from me!

 

 

 

Thanks: A note in the maids room upstairs, hinted at a secret passage in the dining room. Usually in Thief games, secret passages tend to be in

one of three places. Paintings, Bookshelves or around fireplaces. Take a close look at that last one. :)

 

 

 

You were given a rope arrow at the start. Thank you for your kind comments. :)


I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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Ha thanks , I'll complete it now!

As I said , loved it , I'm a bit old to still be playing Thief (75) but still love the game.

This , your map , has all the fun I hope for in Thief.As to the rope arrow , I thought I'd cycled through the weapons I had at the beginning , doh , as I say put it down to age!

P.s I'm not going mad after all!Restarted the mission from the beginning and toggled through the weapons , no rope arrow.But I'm playing on the lowest level so that must be the reason I guess.Also did find that hidden area early on but didn't look around enough.pps I'd already read it but it hasn't ticked off in the objectives.

Edited by raymeld

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