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Fan Mission: The Sons of Baltona 1 by Carnage (2010/01/09)


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Poll: Fan Mission: The Sons of Baltona 1 by Carnage (2010/01/09) (56 member(s) have cast votes)

Gameplay: Enjoyment. Fun duration. Smooth flow, ect. Versus Bugs. Frustration, Boredom, framelag

  1. Poor (2 votes [3.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.57%

  2. Tolerable (10 votes [17.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.86%

  3. Good (35 votes [62.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 62.50%

  4. Excellent (8 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  5. Near perfect. Outstanding (1 votes [1.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.79%

Appearance: Visual pleasure, lighting, visual style, deduct bad texturing ect.

  1. Poor (2 votes [3.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.57%

  2. Tolerable (17 votes [30.36%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.36%

  3. Good (31 votes [55.36%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 55.36%

  4. Excellent (6 votes [10.71%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 10.71%

  5. Near perfect. Outstanding (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling (eg, dead nobleman, empty safe open, items strewn.)

  1. Poor (1 votes [1.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.79%

  2. Tolerable (3 votes [5.36%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.36%

  3. Good (36 votes [64.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 64.29%

  4. Excellent (16 votes [28.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  5. Near perfect. Outstanding (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#26 STiFU

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:39 AM

Couple of issues:
  • You forgot to put caps on the patches at the secret-stairs.
  • The uv-layout on the back of this chairmodel is messed up. I guess this is a default TDM-asset, so it would need fixing in a future update of TDM.
    Posted Image
  • This alphatexture didn't work. Maybe also a TDM-issue.
    Posted Image


#27 7upMan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:06 AM

Couple of issues:

  • You forgot to put caps on the patches at the secret-stairs.


It's our (beta-tester's) fault. But I guess you can't spot anything.

This alphatexture didn't work. Maybe also a TDM-issue.



That's a TDM issue, AFAIK. It's also in Sonosuke's FM, and his graphics card displays the cupboard correctly.
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#28 STiFU

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:14 AM

So I finally finished the mission now. Played on ghost and succeeded in the optional objective. I used two reloads though, but only because I died after being detected! ;) All in all, it was very enjoyable besides my little problems with the secret hiding place. A little hint about it's location would've been nice. I searched the whole house over and over again.

The scale of the house was a little weird to me though. The doors were so huge, that the doorhandles were on eye-level... =) Not a big issue though. Congrats on your first FM.

#29 Sonosuke

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:27 AM

here is a torrent for the 10 TDM Maps
just pick the maps you need

Edited by Sonosuke, 10 January 2010 - 09:28 AM.

Ich konnte mich nicht erinnern Teleportation gezaubert zu haben und doch stand ich da... alleine und nackt.

#30 lowenz

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:13 PM

Torch in water problem!

Is it a known issue of the TDM itself?

Posted Image

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#31 Tels

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:19 PM

Torch in water problem!

Is it a known issue of the TDM itself?


You mean the torch does not go out? If so, the mapper probably used "func_liquid" instead of our "atdm:water". When using our water, it has a water stim and extinguishes fire sources like torches and candles.
"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)

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#32 Serpentine

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:20 PM

Torch in water problem!

Is it a known issue of the TDM itself?

Posted Image


It's been in a few of the FM's so far - I think its just a material issue, I'll have to look at which of the waters they are using. Will get around to that in a bit :)

#33 stgatilov

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:11 PM

Well, I won't say that the mission is easy. I decided to go on apprentice (not fond of ghosting) in "KO them all" style. That torch guys are the real problem! I forgot to hid the bodies from them and soon I got to the situation:

Attached File  NeedBFG.jpg   286.93KB   60 downloads

Two thoughts came to my mind:

  • The place is guarded really well. So many guards want me dead.
  • Where is my GRENADE LAUNCHER?!!
I spent a lot of time hiding behind those crates. I realized how beatiful the night sky was!

Spoiler


I noticed a bug in the my mission complete stats screen: "bodies found: 0" is a VERY wrong statement :laugh:. They found bodies rather often and I am absolutely sure that I didn't quickload after that.
By the way: The guards are clever enough to relight the torches. But I've never seen them turning the lamps on. It is not good that the guards patrol dark rooms after I turn off the light.

Maybe the difficulty levels should be like this:

  • Easy: killing is allowed + plenty of broadheads (just shoot them all).
  • Medium: no killing restriction.
  • Hard: no KOs + (optional) ghosting.
There is no clear necessity in KO restriction in this mission (at least nothing was said about it in briefing). "no KO style" is just an act of "increased thief's coolness". 

Thanks for the mission! I really liked it. Maybe now when I know the way in I'll play through it on ghost.

#34 7upMan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

Hi stgatilov, the thing with the guards being able to re-light torches but not lamps seems to be a missing feature in TDM itself, at least that's what Carnage had said during beta-testing. It would have greatly increased difficulty, so while not a high priority, it'd be great if the team could add this feature (or show a workaround).
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#35 Fidcal

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 03:05 PM

Probably using the wrong type of water, the doom3 water. There is one prefixed tdm I think it is and that one extinguishes flames.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

My feedback:

Good challenge for ghosting. Some rooms rather empty for my taste but a good size FM given the time. But I failed in several ways even after reading a couple of hints. Mostly I find it really hard to see
Spoiler
in TDM so I may find a way to make them brighter in my local version as it's spoiling my enjoyment. Also 'unfair' I thought was a
Spoiler
without even knowing what to look for. I went round and round for so long I got dizzy. I saw that
Spoiler
Another thing that was 'unfair' was the clue about the
Spoiler
so carried on searching the entire house (not for long before I gave up.) Such clues need to be narrowed down so at least the player doesn't mind searching one room. But the final thing that stopped me is I only got about 1830 loot out of the needed 1900. I have scoured around beyond what I want to so have to leave it at that. I think even expert loot should only be about 70% to 80% of the total and those who like to get the lot can continue if they want. (maybe it was and I just failed to find 30%)

But overall a good FM and a fine effort in such a short time. If I'd got lucky a few times I might have thought even better of it but it was just those tiny things I thought wanted tweaking. And the difficulty of seeing
Spoiler
is not the author's fault. :)
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#36 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:33 PM

Another thing that was 'unfair' was the clue about the

Spoiler
so carried on searching the entire house (not for long before I gave up.)

I think this is an important lesson for TDM editors, and Carnage shouldn't take the blame for it. The problem, as I see it, goes back to two issues:
1) A detailed TDM environment will by default be more visually rich than a TDP/TMA one. In Thief, when you parse the environment, a similar puzzle would be
Spoiler
That is already harder, but you can add the additional visual complexity (fine details, normalmaps, whatever), and you may miss the clue in the rich background.
2) Objects in Thief were often distinct and iconic. Objects in TDM are more realistic, meaning they typically also stand out less. This is especially true for keys - bright, large objects in Thief; dull, small objects in The Dark Mod.

I think, for the time being, the implications are:
1) Secrets should be use much more carefully, probably with more visual clues to draw the player's attention (e.g. muddy footprints, dust, a lost object or a "scratch" decal at the base of a secret door to simulate grooves, like in JOtto's recent mission for the Vertical Contest).
2) An "auto search bodies" should be implemented for a future build of TDM. (Sorry for the feature request, I am sure you get enough of those. ;))

Edited by Melan, 10 January 2010 - 04:34 PM.

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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

#37 Fidcal

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:14 PM

Remember, you can turn bodies over easily in TDM. Shoulder and drop turns the body alternate ways so not too difficult to search. I think auto-search is never going to happen and is against the 'ethos' of TDM to keep away from 'symbolic' events as far as possible, eg, compare Thief Containers and carrying junk items, etc.

But about the clue - I think if it had said
Spoiler
But how motivated is one to search when it could be anywhere in the house or grounds?
Spoiler
In my own FM I have a situation where
Spoiler
Still not easy but at least you are certain of the area.

I'm not trying to be critical but give feedback for the future. :) Just a few tiny things spoilt this somewhat for me. I've done my own fair share of spoiling so I'm not squeaky clean. ;)

#38 Carnage

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:32 PM

I think in general we all need to keep in mind that the package is a beta and that sometimes things aren't implemented as they should be. I got quite a few warnings that several images on objects couldn't be found when dmapping and also some textures that couldn't be applied properly. If we look at the greatness of all the FMs released to date, it's amazing what's already possible in TDM. Releasing all the FMs is a very good beta test for the whole TDM team in my opinion :).

Thanks for the feedback guys. Regarding the hint, I didn't want to make it too easy, but I see a few more details would have been better. The thing is that you can make anything a secret lever in TDM, which makes looking for one even harder. And you don't see the difference between a secret and a normal object.

Fidcal:

Spoiler
But I'll decrease the loot amounts the next time because just like you I don't like to walk around searching for loot too long.

Regarding the tweaking, I'll certainly spend more time on it the next time. I try to learn the visualizing by looking at other FMs, but still have to learn a lot :). Sometimes I do think it's just a difference of taste. With building I always try to look at buildings, streets, etc nowadays and implement it that way. In my opinion people want to see too much support beams in a house, it's not like they couldn't make anything sturdy in that time, right? Making curves bent and smooth is also a taste. You can make a FM brilliant visually with little details and stuff like that, but how many people will even notice it. Sometimes when I read feedback (any FM) I think, 'are you even enjoying the FM because your looking at every small detail'. In general it should be good of course, it makes it easier to immerse in a FM but you don't have to overdo it in my opinion :).

#39 Fidcal

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:47 PM

Absolutely right. Especially about the quality of all the FMs so far. If I took into account that this map only took a few weeks then it is clearly an outstanding achievement. Over 6000 people have downloaded the Dark Mod but they don't all have the skill, determination, motivation, and perserverance to see a project like this through from conception to delivery. :)

#40 _Atti_

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:58 PM

Spoiler


Thanks:) didnt succeed in finding all the loot :) liked the mission a lot.

#41 stgatilov

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:46 PM

Hi stgatilov, the thing with the guards being able to re-light torches but not lamps seems to be a missing feature in TDM itself, at least that's what Carnage had said during beta-testing. It would have greatly increased difficulty, so while not a high priority, it'd be great if the team could add this feature (or show a workaround).


This would greatly increase difficulty in this mission, but overally it is good. As for me guards' ability to relight torches is much worse that the potential ability to turn the lights on: you spend water arrows (limited supply) on torches but you can push the button infinitely many times.


I use water arrows very seldom in TDM because I know that any guard passing by can easily restore the light. By the way, can any guard relight the torches or mapper can restrict a guard not to do so?



#42 Fidcal

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:11 AM

I use water arrows very seldom in TDM because I know that any guard passing by can easily restore the light. By the way, can any guard relight the torches or mapper can restrict a guard not to do so?

By default human characters can relight torches; the mapper can disable it on individual characters. Mmm.... I wonder what happens with torches that start out unlit at game start?

#43 etdarkb

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:08 PM

Played on Ghost finally, here are my impressions:

- Well done story, I got well hooked in the seek of the missing person. Alas...;
- Nice patrols and number of guards;
- I loved the fine tuned AI: you have to be pretty careful indeed on opening doors switching lights or slashing torch. Well done;
- Very thief style with the no-kill, limited KO and such objectives;
- The architecture is poor and the interiors feels empty;
- On the other hand I loved the gardens! btw, the flowers do not cast shadow and the mushrooms lights are... squared?
- I also got the crash on the roof, you already know;
- You need better beta tester! ;) I got one z-fighting and many wrongly rotated textures;
- The `body awareness' of TDM is nothing like the one of the real world, but opening the secret entrance using a switch through the wall is too much even for our extremely flexible thief hero. I had to use noclip to understand how I was supposed to open that;
- Putting the money bag only on the static guards on front of the door is not fun, it annoying: I do not think everyone should have its money bag but only on the most `unattackable' guys is evil!
- No-one of guards have the `home key' how are they supposed to enter in case of problems?
- As fidcal said it is bothersome seeking the hidden book without any reference: I did not think the `secret hiding place' was in the same room I sought everywhere... :S
- On the other hand (again) the hidden button in the Office was well placed: next time put a frobbable chair...

Thats it by memory!

Anyhow I had fun and thanks!

#44 Carnage

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:37 PM

I'm glad you liked most of the mission and I'll certainly try to do much better next time. This was a good lesson for myself and with the feedback of everyone I try to improve. Just want to clarify the bads a bit ;).

- Architecture and interior is not my stongest point and hope to improve as I go. If you mean support beams, I never like that in a FM. Not when it's not necessary in my opinion at least. It's just like they couldn't make sturdy houses at that time. He's (was) a wealthy lord and could afford to let someone build a good house at least. In the end I think it's just taste. Maybe I'm totally wrong here and will build lots of them the next time, but at the moment I don't. Old buildings and a like need them though, like the secret passage.
- Hmm didn't find the z-fighting anywhere, could you clearly see it? The wrongly rotated textures were noticed by my beta-testers actually but I couldn't get it right. In the end I just decided to stick with it, because only a few people will notice those tiny details. Most of the people just go through a FM and won't stop at everything to see if it fits perfectly. Some do though and I'll try to keep it at a minimum next time, but story and enjoying the FM go first in my opinion and getting the little details right is last on my list. Maybe a wrong order, but a FM can never be perfect, because there are always people with different taste.
- Yeah the lever is my bad, but if you don't know it's there you'll never notice it do you? Decreasing frob distance or placing it somewhere else would have been a lot better though :).
- Haha one of my beta-testers asked to put the money bags there and I liked the idea, because you needed to time it correctly if you wanted to have all the loot ;).
- No one having keys, I agree but I kinda wanted the player to go through the secret entrance, maybe I should have made an objective of that or give the option to go through the other doors as well, but it would have made it a bit more easy. Now you really need to move around the house and avoid the patrols.
- Should have made it easier to find the secret hiding place, sorry :)

Lots of thanks for pointing out the good parts as well, because they were intented to be experienced how you did :D

#45 raymeld

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:34 AM

I couldnt get into the mansion, ko-d everyone except one torch guard but he didnt have a key either, tried jumping from the crates to balcony, lockpicking any of the doors wont work, i think i am overlooking something real simple..could someone give a clue?


I can't either ! Must be thick . Have found what I think to be the second garden with stone in it but can't see a way in from there I've jumped into the pool next to it looking for a trapdoor or something , guess I'm on the wrong track?

#46 raymeld

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:44 AM

I can't either ! Must be thick . Have found what I think to be the second garden with stone in it but can't see a way in from there I've jumped into the pool next to it looking for a trapdoor or something , guess I'm on the wrong track?


p.s Sorry I gave away part of the plot inadvertently. can someone please tell me how to insert a spoiler ?

#47 7upMan

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 08:10 AM

p.s Sorry I gave away part of the plot inadvertently. can someone please tell me how to insert a spoiler ?


Well, either you select them under "Other styles" in the editor menu (next to "Fonts"), or you type [ spoiler ] [ /spoiler ] (without the spaces, similar to the "quote" and "/quote" tags). 

Spoiler

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

#48 Carnage

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 08:13 AM

Spoiler


If you want to add a spoiler just directly reply to my post and you'll see that my part is between two spoilers with brackets. Those two things need to surround the text you want to hide.

Edit: Thanks 7upMan, you were a bit faster than me ;)

Edited by Carnage, 12 January 2010 - 08:14 AM.


#49 raymeld

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:55 AM

Thank you both for your replies . I'll now do this without giving away clues to others in the future. What an idiot I am - not much of a thief . Thanks for clue to get into the building. Mission looks good though so far.Thanks to all you guys out there for making a great game even better (and extending its life ). Have been playing Thief since the Thief Gold days , but a newbie to Dark Mod and all its nuances !

Edited by raymeld, 12 January 2010 - 10:28 AM.


#50 Ishtvan

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:10 AM

Just got a chance to play this tonight. The ghosting gameplay was excellent IMO. Had some tense moments, and had to keep moving to be safe sometimes, and that is good. Also liked the story and look forward to part II :). My only complaint is that the loot requirement is pretty extreme, percentage-wise. Got stuck without enough loot and had to look up a hint:
Spoiler
.

Spoiler





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