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Fan Mission: Return to the City by Melan (2010/01/10)


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Poll: Fan Mission: Return to the City by Melan (2010/01/10) (68 member(s) have cast votes)

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

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Tolerable (4 votes [5.88%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

  3. Good (19 votes [27.94%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 27.94%

  4. Excellent (32 votes [47.06%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 47.06%

  5. Near Perfect. Outstanding (13 votes [19.12%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.12%

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

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Tolerable (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Good (5 votes [7.35%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.35%

  4. Excellent (28 votes [41.18%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 41.18%

  5. Near Perfect. Outstanding (35 votes [51.47%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 51.47%

Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Tolerable (1 votes [1.47%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.47%

  3. Good (31 votes [45.59%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.59%

  4. Excellent (24 votes [35.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 35.29%

  5. Near Perfect. Outstanding (12 votes [17.65%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.65%

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#1 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

[edit]Please note that this version of Return to the City has been superseded by an expanded and significantly performance-optimised rerelease, available here. However, I'd appreciate if some of these download links were left around so people can check out the original version if they wish.[/edit]

Hello, Taffers!

My FM for the Grand Christmas FM Contest, Return to the City,
has been completed and available at
TTLG (updated Hammers-into-Builders version)
www.darklurker.com (updated Hammers-into-Builders version)
www.uploading.com (Hammers-into-Builders update)
www.mediafire.com (Hammers-into-Builders update)
www.mediafire.com (second link - thanks, Vexd) (Hammers-into-Builders update)
www.sharebee.com (thanks, Chiron!) (Hammers-into-Builders update)

Have fun, and please read the release notes, below! (Especially point 1)

Quote

Description: Back among these old walls again, it seems. The
alleyways and courts beckon, the smells and flickering lights
the same as ever. Have I been away so little that I remember
them all?

No matter. This time, my objective once more brings me to the
Builders: one of their workshops has recently received a shipment
of potent explosives... Although inert before it is treated with
a volatile compound, there is bound to be a mechanician who
will pay a good price for the lot.

That settles my agenda for the night. I must be careful, since
the Builders aren't known to be lenient with trespassers... and
if they knew it was the same fellow who had already paid them a
visit once... but better not dwell on trivialities. I have found
a way to the street where the storehouse is located, and hid
myself next to the gate. If I am unable to open it from inside
when I am done, I may just have to find another way out.

It is an hour before midnight. Time to go.

Quote

Release notes:
1) Since the mission features wide, relatively open spaces, it has
higher hardware requirements than regular TDM FMs. Performance
may be very poor on older PCs, and occasionally, a freeze of up
to half a minute or so may be experienced. I apologise for the
possible inconvenience. The hardware requirements should not
be taken as representative of all Dark Mod missions!

2) Take note that guards in The Dark Mod are much more alert, seeing
and hearing over greater distances. An altercation can draw
lots of unwanted attention!
3) Ghosting is supported in this mission. Achieving a perfect thief
result (acquiring all loot while ghosting), however, may be
quite difficult.
4) You can climb out of the level with some effort. Good job, but now I
am afraid you cannot get back in. Or... can you?
5) Finally, please take care that there is a general TDM bug that may
affect your enjoyment of the mission until it is fixed: when you start
out, it is still possible to change the difficulty settings until you do a
manual save. Don't do this, because it will wipe out your completed
objectives, rendering the mission unwinnable!

Last but definitely not least, thanks are due to my beta testers, who
have been very helpful in finding and fixing the bugs that have cropped
up, as well as everyone on the TDM forums for their help and support.
Thank you!



Posted Image

Series information: All of my missions except Unbidden Guest (TMA) take place in a common setting and involve the same protagonist, although under different aliases - Talbot, Messer Johannes, Philby and others. None of them require previous knowledge of previous FMs, but there are common elements and a degree of continuity. The missions, in current order, are:

  • Prowler of the Dark (TDP/Gold) (S): liberate a skull of paganic enchantment from an abandoned church, which is kept sealed and guarded by the Builders.
  • Return to the City (The Dark Mod) (M): plunder the other side of the Builder complex to steal a pack of explosives. Patrols have been heightened because of the recent break-in. (This mission connects to the previous along the North/South axis - too bad I didn't have the time to let you revisit some old areas) (You are here!)
  • Fiasco at Fauchard Street (The Dark Mod) (M): steal a collection of opals from the house of a wealthy usurer.
  • Bad Debts (TMA) (XL): fallen on hard times, you take a job from a diminutive snitch to steal his letter of debt from Markus, a pawnshop owner/usurer (looks like a common theme). Rooftop extravaganza.
  • Disorientation (TMA) (XL): following the events in the previous mission, you attract the unwanted attentions of Lady Azamlarg, district warden and judge, and have to break into her palace to deter her from further assassination attempts. More rooftops and conspiracies.


Edited by Melan, 02 May 2011 - 04:54 AM.

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

#2 Chiron

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:39 AM

Sounds very exiting. thank you. you made my day !

#3 Mortem Desino

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:53 AM

Oh boy! The pk4 is nearly 10mb! This should be fun after seeing all your teasers (a lot of teasers came just by asking for help :) )
yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

#4 Serpentine

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:15 PM

This map has a good chance of blowing your mind :)
Excellent work Melan!

#5 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:20 PM

Mortem Desino: 3 MB of that is textures, but still. Enjoy, explore, evaluate! -_-
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

#6 SneakyJack

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:37 PM

Very excited about this one, thank you!

Edit: Fantastic stuff! Review and screens here for anyone interested.

Edited by SneakyJack, 11 January 2010 - 03:50 PM.


#7 Chiron

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:54 PM

Mirrors:
http://sharebee.com/2f687f13

#8 STiFU

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:04 PM

Wow, what an architectural masterpiece!! Melan, congrats on that!! I am seriously blown away. The performance did suck quite a bit, but the graphics totally make up for it. This map is a dream for explorers. Secrets everywhere... Gonna have to try it again tomorrow to get all the loot. Only had 1285 this time. I finished the map on expert in 1:15 h. I played as ghost but got busted once. It was really hard to ghost sometimes... Fabulous FM!! Only downside: No lantern??? :(

Edited by STiFU, 10 January 2010 - 01:05 PM.


#9 Tels

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:11 PM

Melan:

You mention "Hammers". That is not good, they are called "Builders". I cannot host this mission on bloodgate.com, and I think it will not get linked from our wiki and not from our official page. Would you please consider amending your readables and README? Thanx!
"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

#10 Briareos H

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:21 PM

Beautiful mission, nice seeing the hammerites! Some parts are indeed a slideshow, a bit sad but open space goodness has a price I guess.

I can't seem to find
Spoiler

Edited by Briareos H, 10 January 2010 - 01:25 PM.


#11 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:30 PM

View PostTels, on 10 January 2010 - 01:11 PM, said:

Melan:

You mention "Hammers". That is not good, they are called "Builders". I cannot host this mission on bloodgate.com, and I think it will not get linked from our wiki and not from our official page. Would you please consider amending your readables and README? Thanx!

Tels,

I do recall a mention of "Hammers" elsewhere in some other mission, but I can change the references tomorrow if you wish (it will take some time to make sure the readables don't get messed up). I thought that, like "the Lord Builder" and such, was an acceptable colloquialism.

Edited by Melan, 10 January 2010 - 01:30 PM.

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

#12 Tels

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:39 PM

View PostMelan, on 10 January 2010 - 01:30 PM, said:

Tels,

I do recall a mention of "Hammers" elsewhere in some other mission,

We probably simply overlooked it :)

Quote

but I can change the references tomorrow if you wish (it will take some time to make sure the readables don't get messed up). I thought that, like "the Lord Builder" and such, was an acceptable colloquialism.

Well, I am not sure we have a handy reference of the do's and don'ts for mappers, although this can server as a starting point:

http://modetwo.net/d...?title=Universe

I think we can make it more clear and probably add a very prominent page on our wiki with a short list of things you shouldn't do, along the lines:

* no keepers, no hammers or hammerites (they are called "builders"), no garret (use your own name, or use "Farell")
* no thief assets (sounds, textures, readables etc) in any form or shape

There are probably a few more, we'll come up with a wiki page.
"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

#13 New Horizon

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:47 PM

Brilliant mission Melan. :) Thanks so much for releasing this. Can't wait to spend more time playing it.

Quote

I thought that, like "the Lord Builder" and such, was an acceptable colloquialism.
Things that are general like, "the Lord Builder" are totally acceptable, since it's not strongly tied to the Thief world and could be used in other instances. The "Hammers" however, belong to Eidos and are the actual name of a Thief faction...that's where problems arise. If our Mod had been some kind of sci-fi stealth mod that took place far in the future, the a faction called the Hammers wouldn't be an issue, but since we're walking a very fine line with the setting and look of TDM...dropping a faction called Hammers in there would be pretty obvious copyright infringement.

We really appreciate your willingness to change it though Melan, and all of our faction information is on the wiki. Going to get back to playing now. :)

Thanks.

#14 Sonosuke

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:50 PM

Yeah, another map. Thats how i like it :laugh: Downloading now...
Ich konnte mich nicht erinnern Teleportation gezaubert zu haben und doch stand ich da... alleine und nackt.

#15 SneakyJack

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:56 PM

I was zooming around the map after my playthrough just to take screenshots and noticed
Spoiler

Was that a part of the mission that was cut out?

#16 Chiron

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:58 PM

Fantastic map, there is a lot to explore.
Only one con so far:
The fonts used in some of the readable looked very very realistic (especially regarding which ingame characters wrote them), but I could not read them completely...because the were so realistic :unsure:

Questions:

Spoiler

Edited by Chiron, 10 January 2010 - 02:24 PM.


#17 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:01 PM

New Horizon: all right, I will get to work on it. I may get it done today, but I can't make promises.

Sneaky Jack: damn!
Spoiler

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

#18 Mortem Desino

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:32 PM

Holy awesome! :o This is easily the best "explorer's" mission for TDM. Fan-damn-tastic!

Very nice use of sound and ambient. Too bad none of the background speakers use the spawnarg "s_music", so the ambient volume slider has no effect on their volume.

I really, really, want to give it a 5-5-5 score...but the visportals need work. For real. Badly. :(

There are overlapping visportals (which cause bad performance, and buggy/crashing behavior.)
There are also massive-sized portals that do so much more harm than good: I may be inside a closed building, but since that huge visportal is there, large sections of the outdoors are still being rendered.
There are some missing visportals in windows and openings, so some indoors aren't being sealed up.
Also related to that, there are some internal leaks: visportals aren't totally sealing and creating visleafs in some outdoors.

My computer which doesn't cough at Crysis "very high" was chugging away 14fps in spots. :( With proper working visportals, I could at least double that fps.
yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

#19 Tels

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:44 PM

View PostMortem Desino, on 10 January 2010 - 02:32 PM, said:

Holy awesome! :o This is easily the best "explorer's" mission for TDM. Fan-damn-tastic!

Very nice use of sound and ambient. Too bad none of the background speakers use the spawnarg "s_music", so the ambient volume slider has no effect on their volume.

I really, really, want to give it a 5-5-5 score...but the visportals need work. For real. Badly. :(

There are overlapping visportals (which cause bad performance, and buggy/crashing behavior.)
There are also massive-sized portals that do so much more harm than good: I may be inside a closed building, but since that huge visportal is there, large sections of the outdoors are still being rendered.
There are some missing visportals in windows and openings, so some indoors aren't being sealed up.
Also related to that, there are some internal leaks: visportals aren't totally sealing and creating visleafs in some outdoors.

My computer which doesn't cough at Crysis "very high" was chugging away 14fps in spots. :( With proper working visportals, I could at least double that fps.

Hm :)

Melan, since you wanted to work on the "hammer issue" (thank you for that!), you might as well wait a few days and collect issues, then redo these parts? That would IMO a worthy update :)
"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

#20 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:54 PM

I have fixed the Builders issue for now and updated the first two links. Please propagate these changes into the others if you can.

Someone else will have to help me with the visportals; they have already been heavily revised several times, and the alternatives either
a) were worse (with minute-long freezing on some occasions),
B) would have needed a thorough rebuild,
c) obstructed rooftop views in a displeasing way.
I can give access to the testing forum at Shalebridge if there are takers. For the time being and the contest, I will live with the poor performance and accept its effect on the scores.

Edited by Melan, 10 January 2010 - 03:00 PM.

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

#21 Sonosuke

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:37 PM

so will there be a new version? should i not vote for now?

EDIT:

Spoiler

Edited by Sonosuke, 10 January 2010 - 04:48 PM.

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

#22 Melan

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:46 PM

You definitely should vote, according to what the mission is now. :) An update may happen, but to be fair, only after the contest.
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

#23 BrokenArts

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:54 PM

This is a must play, such a great city scape, attention to detail is top notch. Go play! Go!!

#24 lowenz

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:25 PM

Pure Awesomeness is sufficient to say?

Man, this FM is a dream came true!

Edited by lowenz, 10 January 2010 - 05:25 PM.

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.


#25 Carnage

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:36 PM

Thanks Melan, I was already hoping the next FM would be close :D





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