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The End Is Nigh


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#1 Sir Taffsalot

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:30 PM

There seems to be quite a bit of negativity in these forums at the mo. Maybe due to lack of FMs. It has been 4 months after all. But I don't want this to be a negative thread. Post what your expectations for the Mod is. Are you contributing to the mod in anyway? Creating textures, coding starting your first FM? All contributions help.

Just copying what I already said in response to Springheels status update. Maybe I'm been a hopeless optimist but I'm looking at the bigger picture here. It looks like we have at least 4 entries for the beginners contest coming out in the next few weeks. Plus the campaign witll be out hopefully this year. This Mod really needs a campaign to be successful. That and THI4F ill hopefully bring some traffic over. Plus I believe FM heavy wights such as Sotha Jesps have an FM in the works. Plus I myself am making slow but steady work on my second FM
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#2 Melan

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:42 PM

I can only repeat about the campaign what I wrote below the status update: like the core mod team, we are also a small group, stretched too thin and partly burned out or otherwise hindered (I am working on a laptop that's adding several bugs and freezes and crashes to the editing experience, making it a lot less fun than usually).

People may assume we can just release something like T2X in a short while - but that is not going to happen. This community is too small to build a new T2X. If we had a steadily growing user base, we could just ask for more people to join us, but we are in a trap of a sort.
  • if we stay with the current group, work will be very-very slow and may take a lot of time to materialise, also preventing us from starting new projects of our own (except Biker)
  • if we ask for help, there will be even fewer releases until the campaign is finished.
I once hoped this mod would attract several Dromed heavy hitters under a short time, and the quantity and quality of missions would generate momentum. That didn't happen. We have new people (Bikerdude had no prior editing experience, and look at him now! :D), but not enough. The momentum has stopped. Part of the TTLG community has not only failed to embrace TDM, they consider it an insult to the Thief franchise. That's what feels the worst of all, and that's also something that weighs on me.

I don't know what has prompted Springheel's post, but as an uber-pessimist, I share his concerns.

Edited by Melan, 25 March 2012 - 02:43 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

#3 Sir Taffsalot

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:58 PM

I see your point Melan but I don't see how anyone can really expect this mod to take off without a campaign. People who make FM's for T2 had a whole game that they could emerse themselves in for days or even weeks. An entire world and story to get lost in. Something that would leave a long lasting impression. I don't believe a bunch of FM's from various FM makers can come anywhere near reaching the same result. Also this Mod is trying to appeal to a gaming community that is itself a small minority. I believe that instead of trying to to apeal to hardcore thief fans this mod has to try and aim further and attract fans who have no idea what Thief is. A mod that has FMs based on and old game won't do. A campaign where people feel that buying Doom3 is close to a new game the direction to go in. That a FM producing community exists is a bonus!
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#4 SiyahParsomen

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:00 PM

forget ttlg community, they are closed to innovation. We are 99% sure of it now. Darkmod community can grown with next generation fans by Thief4.

I don't get who leaved or not but even Springheel leaves the team, it won't differ because everyone is going to leave darkmod one day. Besides, the team already succeeded on completing the mod about 95%. Rest and momentum is duty of newcomers. :)

#5 RPGista

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:12 PM

Part of the TTLG community has not only failed to embrace TDM, they consider it an insult to the Thief franchise.


Sorry, but what kind of an idiot would deem a great fan effort that took years to make and is nothing BUT a homage and a celebration of a classic game to be an insult to the original games? I often hear about this unsual opposition coming from the Looking Glass forums (though Ive only been there a bunch of times to read about the original Thief and System Shock 2 games), and it really blows my mind how one would not embrace a new and alternative view on your favourite gaming style, that was tailor made to fit the community expectations and tastes. The fact that the team decided to relate it intensely to the original material should only make people even happier, because it means its easily comparable to the game they are familiar with - we could have a Dark Mod that takes place in the future, for once, but no, again Thief was celebrated as a major model to aspire to. Someone could please explain it to me whats the deal with a community NOT enjoying and taking advantage of a quality mod that took years to make, received high praise from the specialised media, and is now a great plataform for new and different missions in a modern engine, greatly customisable and open to interpretations and personal takes? It just sounds unreasonable to me...

Edited by RPGista, 25 March 2012 - 03:16 PM.


#6 Sir Taffsalot

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:17 PM

It sounds ubnreasonable to me too but unfortunately it does seem to be the case over at TTLG. Yeah it blows my nind too
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#7 Bikerdude

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:19 PM

also preventing us from starting new projects of our own (except Biker). Bikerdude had no prior editing experience, and look at him now! :D

Heh, thanks for the nod mista always ncie to be appreciated :-)

forget ttlg community, they are closed to innovation.

Yes and no, people are slowly coming over from the dromed/darkengine to darkradiant/darkmod.

#8 nbohr1more

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:26 PM

Let's stave some of this pessimism shall we?

The next contest was intentionally delayed to make room for the newbie contest.

That decision (of course) had consequences on the productive state of the FM community here.


Almost as many of the TTLG peanut gallery who blindly appose TDM are instead unable to play the mod with their antiquated hardware. They are a captive audience.
We see new players from their realm trickle in as they finally (begrudgingly) upgrade their hardware. The populace of TDM or even vanilla Doom 3 capable PC's over
at TTLG seems to be far lower than the numbers in typical gaming communities...

Since the GPL Doom 3 has even heavier requirements (without some solution to the shadow code) this is an even more gloomy outlook for the future.

But let's not forget the number of contributing members who've stayed faithful or even returned to complete their work. This Mod has far more content than virtually every other Doom 3 mod and most
other mods for other games. Arx - End of the Sun, Recall to Hell, etc would all die for this much activity in their communities.
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Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

http://www.indiedb.c...ds/the-dark-mod

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

#9 Bikerdude

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

Arx - End of the Sun, Recall to Hell, etc would all die for this much activity in their communities.

Well said.

#10 jysk

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

*
POPULAR

Perhaps you should simply stop to engage every month in another lenghty "this mod is dead" discussion? You are doing that now since about 3 years frequently? Who cares if some people at TTLG dont like the mod, the silent majority is which counts and there certainly lots of people who recognize and play the mod. :)
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#11 lost_soul

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:40 PM

When I made the m.i.s.s.i.o.n.s. post, I was trying to be funny. You were supposed to read it like a zombie. :)

I really hope people aren't quitting. This mod has come very far (much farther than a lot of other good mods got).

It has been brought up before, but I would be willing to help pay for development. I'm not opposed to paying for "free" content. Just the other day, I purchased a DVD even though the creators released the film online for free.

Not sure if you're allowed to do that. I personally think that if something bad has happened, the community should be informed.

Edited by lost_soul, 25 March 2012 - 03:43 PM.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.


#12 Hogwash

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

I find it really sad that the mod has not attracted anywhere near as much attention as it deserves. The team have done a fantastic job, and FM makers plus other contributors have also put in many of hours building, testing, documenting and helping out the community. The toolset, itself the primary goal before any official campaign, is very polished and to get even this far is a great achievement.

I'd love to be able to contribute something positive to the mod. I've been poking about in Dark Radiant this weekend with mixed results. I would have joined the beginners' contest if it wasn't too late. I'll try sticking with it and get at least a single mission released in the not-so-near future.

Yes, it's a shame that interest on the part of the hardcore Thief community has been lacklustre. In some respects, e.g. the different universe, different 'feel', this is understandable but also completely unavoidable. I don't think too much time should be spent trying to convert the TTLG faithful aside from carrying on releasing great missions and showing them what we can do. Fresh blood is what will ultimately save TDM if it needs to be saved. People who may have never played Thief at all, or only played Deadly Shadows, that can bring their own ideas to missions and content.

Spreading awareness is the key but also difficult when there are so many professional games and amateur mods out there. I keep thinking that a viral video would be a good idea but that is easier said than done, and you don't want to cheapen the mod or give off the wrong message. While Doom 3 is a requirement perhaps getting copies of the game out there to people might make a difference. I would be willing to contribute to a fund for this purpose. Perhaps you could have competitions for non-players to enter (e.g. contributing artwork, music or fiction set in the mod's universe) with the aim of getting them playing. If we had 100 copies of Doom 3 to give away and got only two mission makers and five regular players and forum posters from this it might still be worth the few hundred bucks shared between us.

#13 Bikerdude

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:48 PM

Spreading awareness is the key but also difficult when there are so many professional games and amateur mods out there.

There is an idea, what are the most read PC magazines out there atm? We could ask to get the mod published in one as a special feature. I don't know as I haven't bought one for a long time (due mainly to wrong facts, biased reporting and poor spelling/grammar)

#14 pusianka

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

Mod is awesome, great, thrilling, exciting, atmospheric, breathtaking, amazing, uber, super... <<checks dictionary for more words>>.

...Now I hope that since engine became open source, you will increase the effectiveness of it all, besides I am awaiting more campaigns.

#15 SiyahParsomen

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

When I made the m.i.s.s.i.o.n.s. post, I was trying to be funny. You were supposed to read it like a zombie. :)

I really hope people aren't quitting. This mod has come very far (much farther than a lot of other good mods got).

It has been brought up before, but I would be willing to help pay for development. I'm not opposed to paying for "free" content. Just the other day, I purchased a DVD even though the creators released the film online for free.

Not sure if you're allowed to do that. I personally think that if something bad has happened, the community should be informed.


another option you can contribute by purchasing model,texture and donating it to mod if you really want.

#16 Serpentine

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:52 PM

That said, I do think we could do with a new post every 2 months or something. I think we should also take the opportunity to post 3 new WIP screenshots or something.

Current work going on:
  • Standalone - We're getting there slowly, Tels has moved a lot of materials/tables over from doom3 that we need. Wulfen's textures and a few others I have made are waiting to go in - I need to check what they look like vs. what we use them for however (boring, but no point rushing it, they're not placeholders).
  • AI - Greyman and NH have been knocking out some issues with AI not seeing the player well enough in low ambient environments.The AI search hinting entities/areas - allowing mappers to better make things interesting.
  • Models - Spring's retouching of the AI models, new teapot/clock/chest of drawers models from an external source, Noss' new models and work on as well replacement zombie model.
  • Textures - Normalmap compression for massive savings in memory usage as well as increased performance on medium and low spec machines.
  • Engine - Tels has been bringing our translation backend closer to the engine. I've cut down a lot of extra work being done by the lightgem - giving a very noticable gain in performance. General code cleanup and re-flow has lead to many minor gains, as well as larger gains by fixing caching systems.

I'd check in with BD/Melan for some screenshots from the campaign - just need 1/2, maybe some better shots of the AI touch-up's by Spring and A nice shot from the WIP thread.

#17 Tels

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:00 PM

If we had 100 copies of Doom 3 to give away and got only two mission makers and five regular players and forum posters from this it might still be worth the few hundred bucks shared between us.


It would be much more productive to help make TDM Doom3-free by contributing content like textures, shaders, animations etc. We are halfway there, but a lot of work remains to be done. If finished, however, the requirement for D3 goes away. This is (beside the campaign) one of the missing things on our TODO list - everything else is basically complete. (There are always feature we want to add, optimizations to do, but the gameplay is already done. There isn't really anything left that prevents great FMs, even campaigns are possible).

-------------------------

As a personal note to the thread starter: I am sure you didn't mean it that way, but your idea that the mod is only succssful if we create a campaign is bogus. First, that is a poor definition of success because it implies we are not succesful yet. If you look what we achieved: one of the few mods that are completed for D3, one of the few mods that are EVER completed, one of the few mods with a moddb award, mentioned in magazines, a couple ten thousand downloads for each version, 7 big releases (and the 8th is on the way), over 50 FMs produced (and almost all of them are high-quality, we don't have 10 "filler mini fun FMs" just to padd the numbers), all major gameplay elements implemented, an old engine completely overhauled (we are one of the few successful total conversions that are more than 100% conversion - there is so little left of the original doom). We have support for translations. We have spoken audio dialoges (a lot of retail games do not have this asset base!).

Plus the mod and the source are free - we will never have the situations like T2 (where people need an in-official patch just to run it on a modern computer and it might break next year again), or T3 (which doesn't support widescreen and you need an inoficial patch etc), because our mod is truly open and future-proof.

We also brought over 50 people over the span of 7 years together just to create the base toolset - not to mention the FMs etc.

I don't know about you, but to me that smells like success on the whole front.

-------------------------------

And the second problem I have with your proposition is that a campaign will bring the "success". That was said about a v1.0 release, about a release that is feature-complete, about "when we have more than 10 FMs", and about almost anything else. A common theme is now the campaign and D3-free TDM. But you can bet that if a campaign is released, the next big thing will be "TDM will be succesful if they have 2 campaigns in 5 languages, with a blockbuster movie in the cinema" or some such nonsense. Basically, it never stops. People always ask for more, but rarely ever contribute. (I don't fault them, it just tires me :)

Edit: It is like people complaining about the free book with the 50 short-stories (where the major number of them is very good), that they wan't a better cover picture and that they'd like a "real novel" instead. You cannot win in this "game", when you deliver content for free and people still complain that they want something else or something bigger, better or more. That starts to really annoy me - and it makes me really questioning why I am still doing this. End of edit.

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As for TTLG, most of them are truly stuck in the past and it is hopeless to win them over. They had 7 years to contribute to TDM - but instead they make highres texture packs for T2, a wide-screen patch for T3, and what else. They never leave, they never upgrade their hardware (I wonder how their 486 boxes are running Win8...), they always clinge to Thief. It's ok, tho, we don't need them, really. TDM has grown up and can stand on it's own now. In fact, we have done this since October 2009.

I am with Springheel, the outlook for the core mod is not very optimistic - the contributions went downhil for several years and if it wasn't for people like grayman, serpentine to pick up, the code team would be almost dead already. Likewise on the asset contributions, we only have two people (Spring, Baddcog) who regulary do some work (there are others, but a checkin every 2 months won't really make adifference to the core mod, lets face it).

So, I am glad we still have people contributing. But with them all growing older, getting kids and moving on in life, its no wonder TDM lacks force.
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"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

#18 Tels

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:01 PM

There is an idea, what are the most read PC magazines out there atm? We could ask to get the mod published in one as a special feature. I don't know as I haven't bought one for a long time (due mainly to wrong facts, biased reporting and poor spelling/grammar)


And that's why it isn't that important that TDM gets featured there - almost nobody read it anyway, and when they report, they don't even ask us, they just print the wrong facts (like that v1.06 is the current version :rolleyes:
"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

#19 New Horizon

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:03 PM

  • AI - Greyman and NH have been knocking out some issues with AI not seeing the player well enough in low ambient environments.


Primarily we were focusing on the issue with the AI seeing the player from insane distances. :) The problem with AI not seeing the player in low ambient came up after Springheel had mentioned he found the AI really blind in low light.

In terms of success. TDM is a home run, in my humble opinion. A small group of modders, most of us who had never modded before, got together with the crazy idea that we would make a Thief inspired Mod with the doom 3 engine. So many said, "this will fail to see the light of day"...not only did it see the light of day, but it continues to evolve and get better with every release. TDM has been wildly successful in that regard. The community adopting it and fully embracing it is where TDM falls short...but I am extremely proud of what has been accomplished. I think we can all walk away from this project someday with our heads held high. If players don't adopt it and miss the boat...no biggie. Their loss.

#20 Diego

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:03 PM

Have you tried inviting T2 mappers specifically for the campaign? It's a completely different deal than simply inviting to make maps for TDM. The campaign is something bigger, more ambitious and a team effort. That might draw a lot of people.

#21 Bikerdude

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

I'd check in with BD/Melan for some screenshots from the campaign - just need 1/2, maybe some better shots of the AI touch-up's by Spring and A nice shot from the WIP thread.

We completely forgot about this, I will go and run this by the team, as I have a folder with 233 images that I could use.

#22 SiyahParsomen

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:10 PM

they never upgrade their hardware I wonder how their 486 boxes are running Win8...


haha, nice observation! :D

#23 Serpentine

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:21 PM

@nbohr1more - Can you edit the thedarkmod.com front page? - I'm sure we can get a nice little update out of this thread :)

@BD - Sounds good, don't need them all, just ummm - find a few that look good.

@Team folks - Update news every 2 odd months, maybe throw in a map/upcoming content post every month? (not really an interview, just a short taster from the author, I'd be happy to sort that out and edit).

#24 Hogwash

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:27 PM

It would be much more productive to help make TDM Doom3-free by contributing content like textures, shaders, animations etc. We are halfway there, but a lot of work remains to be done. If finished, however, the requirement for D3 goes away.

I was under the impression that standalone TDM would be a 'long way off' but if you have made that much progress already it is very encouraging.

I think Serpentine has a good point regarding the main page posts. A monthly 'round-up' post listing all released missions for the month along with other content would keep the home page fresh.

#25 Sir Taffsalot

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:35 PM

@ Tels I was in no way trying to under mine the success of the mod thus far. What the mod has achieved to date is V impressive. I was merely trying to highlight the positives that lie in the mods future. And yes while there will always be something that people want I really belive that a good campaign will be less a positive attribute but more of a milestone. Creating indivdual FMs is one thing. But a an engaging gaming expoerience that lasts over a large period of time is what will really display the mods strengths.
"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

The Joker




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