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duzenko

What would your mission have been about?

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There are two kind of people on this forum: mappers and everybody else. As someone who does not map at all and generally lacks in creativity I sometimes fantasize about the mission I'd do if I was up to it.

 

It would be probably about an illegal alien who because of his legal status has to avoid all contacts with city watch. I'd call the series (heck, let's make it a beautiful bigly series) "Thuggin'". The player would visit shops and residences at night and beat (with a blackjack) merchants who refuse to pay for protection to player's boss. Maybe instigate a street riot, break into a inventor guild shop and steal some TVs music boxes. Raid the rival gang outpost and steal their smuggling shipment, then burn the premise. Infiltrate a rich neighborhood and kidnap a justice servant's wife.

 

Gameplay wise player could leg-kick AI from balconies/roofs, look around while picking locks, smell loot with his 6th feeling. At the loot would be _very_ scarce. AI would not be able to lock doors after player pickpockets their keys (or open them for that matter). No invisible AI master keys ever.

 

Lock picking is fun but what about lock breaking? I'd have some.

 

Does it sound like GTA medieval edition? Maybe, but I didn't play GTA to know for sure.

 

If you ever had an idea and regretted you couldn't map or even hit the engine limitations that made you feel short of original design, time to post here.

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Thats actually a pretty interesting topic. And I do like your idea. I remember feeling that Thief3 tried to go into this GTA kind of universe, but the city simply couldnt be as lively due to scale and depthness problems/limitations. But a guy like you would be in the perfect position to push the limits of mapping, with your coding mastery...

 

Since releasing Remembrance I didnt really feel the need to do mapping again, up untill recently, with my forest modelling experiments. But throughout all this time, there were lots of ideas that would pop up, and you would give up soon after because they were all about heavy emphasis on storytelling rather than sneaking gameplay, and those just take insane amounts of work. They also demanded experience on things I didnt know about, particularly scripting. But I do remember this one story that stuck with me for a long time, about the player finding himself stranded in an abandoned castle in the mountains during a snow storm, and finding out that its actually not abandoned, the people who lived there were killed many months earlier and theres a werewolf there, in the shadows. It would be about this cat and mouse chase between the player and this indestructible, unstoppable creature. I was convinced that this horror setting would work really well with in tdm, because of its deep ai. But I would need a lot of control over this monster, if it was going to be good and unique. And right now we simply dont have that kind of support in the game for this. The AI is fine tuned to be a "guard", not really a monster that can track you down, walk on walls and things like that. At least this is well beyond the reach if you are just a mapper, and cant animate or code yourself.

 

The point of the whole plot changed in time and ended up becoming more of a tragic, sad story. I abandoned the idea of trying to put it into game form, I now think it would work better as a stop motion short film (like the briefing in remembrance) or a small graphic novel I could draw - both would be easier to do and allow for far more freedom than to try and create the same atmosphere in a map, without really having the tools to do it in full.

 

I still feel it would be an interesting little story that would be nice to read in a cold night, but theres not enough time to do it. It did inspire me to grind my teeth and go through the painful process of learning character modeling and animation, so I could contribute a new werewolf monster to the game. Ive been working on him for a few months now.

Edited by RPGista

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Thats actually a pretty interesting topic. And I do like your idea. I remember feeling that Thief3 tried to go into this GTA kind of universe, but the city simply couldnt be as lively due to scale and depthness problems/limitations. But a guy like you would be in the perfect position to push the limits of mapping, with your coding mastery...

 

Since releasing Remembrance Ive felt very little necessity of mapping again, up untill recently, with my forest modelling experiments. But during all this time, there were lots of ideas that would pop up, and you give up soon after because theyve all been about heavy emphasis on storytellng rather than sneaking gameplay, and those just take insane amounts of work and demanded experience on things I dont know about, particularly scripting. But I do remember this one story that stuck in my mind for a long time, about the player finding himself stranded in an abandoned castle in the mountains during a snow storm, and finding out that its actually not abandoned, the people who lived there were killed many months earlier and theres a werewolf there, in the shadows. It would be about this cat and mouse chase between the player and this indestructible, unstoppable creature. I was convinced that this horror setting would work really well with tdm's ai system and the engine's dynamic shadows. But I would need a lot of control over this monster, if it was going to work. And right now we simply dont have that kind of support in the game for extensive character manipulation. At least not if you are just a mapper, and cant animate or code yourself.

 

The point of the whole plot changed in time and ended up being a quite tragic story (like, whos the wolf for example, and why you are there). I abandoned the idea of trying to put it into game form, I now think it would work better as a stop motion short film (like the briefing in remembrance) or a small graphic novel I could draw - both would be easier to do and allow for far more freedom than to try to script or create new animations for the monster, which I didnt know at the time, or to create the atmosphere with geometry in DR or Blender.

 

I still feel it would be an interesting little story that would be nice to read in a cold night, but theres not enough time to do it. It did inspire me to grind my teeth and go through the painful process of learning character modeling and animation, so I could contribute a new werewolf monster to the game. Ive been working on him for a few months now.

There was some werewolf in the works somewhere in the forum.

 

The question regarding as to how can this monster be controlled it could be that the solution inoculated by this situation can be - scripted events.

 

Regarding ideas for an FM, I always thought if the Moors NPC's could be used in a Middle Eastern castle environment of sorts with Prince of Persia mythology. Or, also make make some customs NPC's based on the Moors, make a story about some tatar/mongol inspired landscape and a thief trying to steal their loot. Technically a map that consists largely of a steppe landscape and less decorations would be very good for perfomance and it is easy to make it larger. It worked well in Dragofer's "One Step Too Far". It is also a good FM idea for a first map ever made. Various props can include what one would expect of a camp set in the middle of nowhere (some tents, horses, miscellaneous).

Edited by Anderson

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A spiritual remake of Thief 1's "The Sword", with a TDM flavor to it.

 

It would be called "A Simple Mind". The player would be hired to break into the home of a reclusive member of the inventor's guild and access his personal lab in the basement to steal an artifact. The house would be a plain, inconspicuous country manor with only some guards and servants going around the inside, and the player would be in the possession of a very detailed map of the whole house... except of the basement.

 

Once access to the basement is gained, the player would first find a labyrinth of tunnels followed by a system of catacombs filled with clever traps and highly sophisticated robotic guards.

 

Upon reaching the deeper level, the player would finally enter the lab where he would confront the inventor himself, a decrepit old man connected to an iron lung sort of device. The old man would reveal the player he was one of many lured to break into the mansion as a test, and that he was the first one to succeed. As such he was free to claim all the valuables and knowledge in the lab, and as a last request, the old man would ask him to unplug his respirator device. The player would then return to the surface via a hidden elevator and the mission would be over.

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There was some werewolf in the works somewhere in the forum.

Yes, there was (see this thread). It was started by diego (if I remember correctly) and I was one of last people working on it. If you are interested to have a look; the dropbox link should still be working. Unfortunately, the IK I tried to implement looked quite wrong for slopes (even minor ones, I think >20°), but to be honest I did not really know what I was doing, so this is not really surprising.

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I do know about Diego's werebeast, I tried working with it but by the end I decided it was easier for me to create a new model from scratch, so I could make use of a rig and character def I had created successfully before. I already have it modeled and Im in the process of animating it, but hit an annoying roadblock. I tested the new werewolf in game and I must say I like the result. Hopefully I can eventually get it done, work the kinks out with Springheel and Grayman and we should have a new monster to play with soon(ish) enough.

 

If diego finds the time to finish his own cool werebeast someday, we would have two new characters for some scary missions, which would be even better.

 

But lets not derail the topic. ;)

Edited by RPGista

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I scripted an entire campaign and it's glorious.

 

I may create only the first mission of it, and then we can see if I can go from there.

 

In a nutshell, the Empire is at war with Menoa, and the Menoan army has Bridgeport under siege. The player character is actually from a minority group in Menoa. To use the European analogy, if Menoa is the Arab world (it is in my vision; I know the canon story, but I'm not above twisting it to the needs of my story), and the Empire Christian Europe, the player would be a Zoroastrian from Persia/Arabia, persecuted by both Muslims and Christians, except in my vision of our world we have Empire Builders (Catholic-inspired), the Menoan Ghazi (Islam-inspired), and Menoan Pakdamani (Zoroastrian-inspired).

 

Long-story short, the player starts in a ghetto with other Ghazi/Menoans in the city and finds an opportunity to get out of the city to help the Menoan army get in. But before he gets to them he gets caught by the Builders who come up with a plan to use the player to sabotage the Menoans (holding his father-figure hostage as leverage), and from that point forward the player is like a double-agent playing both sides, both sides variously trusting / mistrusting him.

 

Along the way he'll visit the Menoan capital (medieval Baghdad-inspired), the Empire capital Sancta Civitas (Rome-inspired), and some deserts, forests, and sea voyages along the way... As each side is looking for a secret & powerful occult relic at the center of both religions that could serve like a weapon of mass destruction to give them the edge (a la Indiana Jones & the Lost Ark).

 

I like it because I went ahead and wrote up an entire history of the Builder & Ghazi religions and the Empire & Menoan empires, and all of the political dynamics between the two and internally, within the empire, Builderism, the different factions, the different feudal lords, etc. (A major piece of this story is the rivalry between Bridgeport & Sancta Civitas a la Rome-Constantinople, where the Archbishop of Bridgeport is trying to get religious autonomy from the Builder Patriarch in S.C., and the feudal lords taking sides in the political implications of that.) The religious implications of the relic also enflames all of the internal tensions in the religion & politics.

 

I already have the whole thing pretty well scripted out, down to the level of map-flow (the basic scenes for each map), story, and dialog. But making the thing is a whole other bag of sardines. But like I said, I hope to at least get the first mission out. It has to get into queue though as my fairy tale-inspired mission will come first.

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I wanted to make a small campaing with a Pagan based theme. The main character would be an exiled Pagan hunter (so abilities that are thieflike, but no hunter abilities like lockpicking would be unavailable on higher difficulties), who was marked as Kinslayer and exiled for killing another tribe member. With this mark no other tribe would take him in, so he was forced to go into the city to survive. There he took up stealing, because he had no other useful (urban) skills besides sneaking. The first mission would have been to steal a Pagan artifact that the Builders wanted to destroy. Upon touching the artifact, the player gets thrown into the "Otherworld". A world mirroring our own, but where no living beings are, just ghosts. I additionally imagined some distorted reality with floating obejcts, force fields and such that would focus more on agility and/or physics puzzles than sneaking. However, there would be a "Guardian", some hooded figure without a face, that would throw the player out of the Otherworld as soon as he is spotted. I would also not have implemented regular shadows, but since it is a plane of the Pagans, Builder symbols would have the effect of shadows. At the same time they would first drain the air bar of the player and then cause damage over time, so the player cannot stay too long in them (I know that this would have needed some serious playtesting, as staying in the shadows can be crucial in some situations; on the other hand, the only consequence would have been to be thrown out of the Otherworld). After returning to the real world again, the player would train to use the ability to change between the real world and the Otherworld first only in specific locations, until later on he could switch between them at any time. The ultimate goal was to undo his killing a tribesmember in the Otherworld, finding forgiveness for this crime, which would remove the mark of the Kinslayer, and finally being able to return to his tribe.

I had somwhere between 50% and 70% done for the first mission (hard to tell, as I have never actually released one), including parts of the first experience in the Otherworld, but a hard disc failure (and bad backup routine; i.e. no backup routine) lead to losing everything I had done so far. After that, I decided to rather start a new project than recreating the old one. Maybe some day I will return to this project.

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Here's something I sent to Fieldmedic way back in 2013. "Life of a Guard":

 

* Guards don't attack you. You're on the team of justice as a guard/"cop"/detective. Enemies would be thug types. This necessitates disabling certain vocal barks related to thievery, maybe.
* No blackjack or lockpicks (lockpicks could be reserved for a later mission). Maybe throw in the steel ball from that one ~1.07 FM. And of course, crates around the mission for knockouts.
* Civilians might attack the player. Trespassing in certain homes could be seen as criminal, leading civilians to attack or panic. That made me think of the tension meter from your missions. Am I correct in assuming you created that? It's a great tool, and if I didn't include it, I would at least throw in some "trespass zones". Going through them could be required to reach other areas.
* No to low loot. I don't think I'd put loot in any civilian homes, so as not to frustrate completionists by creating an invalid choice between playing "honestly", and getting 100% loot. A small loot objective might be a req. for an expert difficulty, something like recovering stolen goods from a hideout.

For the story, I imagine the mission starting during or after an incident in which a guard (the player character) becomes suspicious or gets entangled with a gang or thieves. The guard would pursue and bring deadly force to bear. I'd throw in a bonus objective and a fun sound effect for knocking out suspects and dragging them to a station rather than killing them. You'd start out with a sword and broadheads only, and maybe find a few water arrows or flashbombs on the way. You could throw in a crooked guard or two.

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I've been thinking about some sort of an assasin/sniper mission. In this mission, you'd have only your bow and arrows, and you would have to use your climbing abilities and the environment to get into the perfect position to take down your mark - for example, shooting them through a narrow window from across the street while standing on a narrow ledge, after having discovered a complex route requiring vertical and lateral movement, swinging on ropes, etc. to get there.

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I have zero time mapping these days, so I might as well spill out my ideas for others to use.

 

1) I had similar idea as Thieving Barbarian: Ulysses-mission with a smallish section of a city, or a district of it. A VIP convoy goes through the area. Heavy armour AI team moves with the VIP, and the VIP is never left unguarded. The player is supposed to intercept, take out the VIP and escape. Plot twist: killing the VIP brings shutdown of the district, making escape more difficult. All player accessible areas are also AI accessible, so no easy mode fleeing the area. At higher difficulties the VIP might be armored (plot twist2). Allow player plentiful money to buy gear and do the hit exactly how they please (flash bomb & melee assault, explosive mine, gas arrow volley, sniper broadhead, or whatever).

 

2) Adventure / mystery mission with elements of the good old Lucasarts point&click adventure games. All moveable objects would serve a function, similarly how the player use the cannon to break a door in the Lich Queens Demise. The location would have a story, which is spoon fed to the player as they solve puzzles. Perhaps, in the end a group of AI would move in to give the player some good old sneaking gameplay.

 

3) city watch raid. Player goes in a thieves den to do something (steal, assassination or rig a gambling game). When they accomplish the task a city watch raid comes in and wrecks the place and the thieves. Of course they want to wreck the player as well. Emphasis on dynamic gameplay where AI fight each other and the player laughs in the shadows and slips by.

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