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Is TDM a Game?


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#26 Vae

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:06 PM

It comes with St. Lucia and the Training Mission installed.

Even if it didn't, I find it hard to imagine that is the sticking point for anyone. If it comes with missions already installed then it's a game, but if I have to make two extra clicks to get the missions then it's not?


It's a ridiculous arguement, either way...TDM is an infinitely expandable game, that meets all the qualificatons of it being a game, at its core.

It's as simple as that...To say otherwise, would be the result of either ignorance, or disingenuousness fueled by vested interest.

Edited by Vae, 18 March 2014 - 04:12 PM.


#27 jtr7

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:12 PM

.................

Edited by jtr7, 23 March 2014 - 09:46 PM.

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#28 AluminumHaste

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:14 PM

Don't recall that argument from us, care to source that?

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#29 Goldwell

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:33 PM

God it's pretty obvious TDM is a movie! Duh

In all seriousness though, of course TDM is a game. It doesn't make sense to put it into any other category. Especially now that it is standalone it makes it even more of a game and with 81 missions available, it is a game.

Some people think that it needs a campaign in order to be a game but what about say Minecraft that is purely built off fan made creations and comes without a campaign, or even multiplayer-only games.. they don't have campaigns or a story (most of the time) and yet they're still classed as games. The point i'm trying to make is classing something as a "game" is pretty straight forward you look at the definition of the word game in the dictionary "an amusement or pastime".

The Dark Mod is definitely a game with many fan made missions available. I don't know how you guys officially sell the game but that's how I describe it to other people whenever I talk about it.

Edited by Goldwell, 18 March 2014 - 04:48 PM.

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#30 Airship Ballet

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:43 PM

How Can TDM Be Real If Our Eyes Aren't Real
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#31 Goldwell

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:50 PM

How Can TDM Be Real If Our Eyes Aren't Real


Thanks Jaden!
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#32 Airship Ballet

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:52 PM

That's Mr Smiff to you.

When debates get this deep into semantic territory, it usually means that one side or another has a very weak argument but is repeating themselves, and the other is trying desperately to re-word it every which way in vain. In this case it's pretty clear the people on that forum are a bit touchy about it. Maybe they're envious of your freedom to make a game as you desire, rather than to a specification. The argument's a dead end to begin with, because it very clearly is a video game, no two ways about it.

Edited by Airship Ballet, 18 March 2014 - 04:56 PM.

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#33 brethren

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

Hey, hope nobody takes this the wrong way, but you guys really seem to be taking this all a bit too personally. I don't think anyone over there is saying TDM sucks, or TDM isn't a Thief like experience, or anything derogatory like that. At least that's not the way I took it. It's just that TDM is such a hard thing to define, and put a tag on. There's toolkits, SDKs, level editors, game engines, and full-blown retail products. Everyone out there probably has an array of definitions for each. TDM is unique in that the game content is (for the most part) not created by the same people who created the engine and the mechanics. It's all very unique, there's really nothing around like it at all. That confuses people.

Most people who say TDM isn't a game are thinking of it as an editor or toolkit. It's like saying the Source Engine or UDK isn't a game. They're thinking, well if you just had The Dark Mod, but no user levels, there wouldn't be anything to play. They just don't know what to classify it as. But that doesn't mean they're saying anything bad about it.

Does that make sense?
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#34 Airship Ballet

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:14 PM

It makes sense if they were to make that assertion without ever touching the thing, and in that case it's just somebody being ignorant. But play it for a second and it's a game. If you can play it it's either a tech demo or a game, but again that's obvious, and the only people who would go down that line of questioning would be those who have no real argument. I've no personal stake in it and I can see that they're either being very dense or very touchy about its existence. I went and read a couple of posts before shrugging and closing the tab; there's nothing worth saying at that point, especially on such a tersely moderated forum.

Edited by Airship Ballet, 18 March 2014 - 05:20 PM.


#35 nbohr1more

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:33 PM

I think of it this way.

"The Twilight Zone" a TV series that has a general overarching theme but no continuous story that connects all episodes.

So, if you ask "what is The Dark Mod's story?" "who is the protagonist?" etc, this makes as much sense as the same questions
posed about "The Twilight Zone".

Campaigns? Those are just multi-episode story lines.
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#36 Springheel

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:34 PM

I don't think anyone over there is saying TDM sucks, or TDM isn't a Thief like experience, or anything derogatory like that.


Yes, I think you're quite correct about that. The term "game" doesn't really have any direct correlation with quality, and though I find it interesting that the two most zealous defenders of nuThief were the ones to make a point of disqualifying TDM from the poll, I don't think even they were criticizing the quality of it.

And I think jtr7 is completely correct in pointing out that we muddied the waters ourselves by referring to ourselves as a toolkit for so long. The phrase "primarily a toolkit" was in use on our FAQ until at least when we went standalone.

The only reason I want to promote the use of the term "game" is because many people who know nothing about TDM, and who hear it described as a "platform" or "toolkit" won't necessarily know there is anything for them to "play". Calling it a game makes that clear.
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#37 demagogue

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:59 PM

It's not like TDM is the only scene out there driven by fan maps.
Lots of games have taken on a life of their own with modding and fan maps, where the fan map scene far outpaces the original game to become its own thing.

I feel like people that don't get it have either not been exposed to it or are willfully ignoring how fan-driven content generation works, and that it's a scene in its own right (and not just for games; I mean it's happening with writing, art, music, etc, too). But yeah, also calling it a game is a simple and fair way to communicate it.
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#38 Deadlove

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:16 PM

TDM is still winning as best contemporary stealth game even though lotta people say it's not.

For the majority of (ignorant) people, it isn't a game unless it has a campaign. That's just the way it is, plain and simple. To try to convince them otherwise is wasted effort. They have to actually "get into gaming" to realize that TDM is a game, albeit a certain kind of game. In this case, it's an independently made editor with many FMs that can be played. If you really wanna look at it, TDM is a game with 81 sequels, because technically each mission is its own game in its own right. They may not be as lengthy or promoted as games you buy in the store with many levels, but it is still a game nonetheless.

Some people are under the impression that it's not a "real" game unless you can buy it at the store. These people can't concept the idea of how it is possible for TDM to actually be a game, so it's pointless to debate it.

If I drew a couple extra squares in chalk on the ground, would people say that it's hopscotch part 2? Would it still be hopscotch with just a couple extra squares? Is it a hopscotch expansion? Or is it not a game at all because that's not how hopscotch is supposed to be played and since I'm not able to have the financial backing to convince the small minds otherwise who get their gospel truth from mass media, it's stupid because someone they think is well respected or well known didn't tell them so.

Humbug.

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#39 Deadlove

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:20 PM

For the record, I believe that once a complete campaign is put together and shipped together (whether Thomas Porter, William Steele, or Crucible), and can be downloaded as a complete package, then the larger part of naysayers will be silenced.

TDM is kinda like a TES universe, Bridgeport has many stories, it just doesn't have an novel yet, if you can understand the analogy.
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#40 Springheel

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:24 PM

TDM is a game with 81 sequels, because technically each mission is its own game in its own right


I don't agree.

That would be like saying every D&D module is a game in its own right. Or every Counter-strike map is a separate game.

A "game" is the set of rules, options and victory conditions, IMO. Chess is still a game, even if you don't have a board and pieces to play with, because it defines those 3 things. An RPG is still a game, even if you don't have an "adventure" ready to play.

TDM is a set of rules, options and victory conditions. Different missions can modify those to some degree, but the core features are what make up TDM. There are a set of rules that establish how the game world works (physics, AI capabilities, etc). There are a set series of options available to the player (in terms of movement, tools, etc), and the victory condition is "surviving" + whatever else the mission adds. The fact that you can't PLAY the game without missions is of no more consequence then saying you can't play chess without a board and pieces.
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#41 New Horizon

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:03 PM

Hey, hope nobody takes this the wrong way, but you guys really seem to be taking this all a bit too personally. I don't think anyone over there is saying TDM sucks, or TDM isn't a Thief like experience, or anything derogatory like that. At least that's not the way I took it. It's just that TDM is such a hard thing to define, and put a tag on. There's toolkits, SDKs, level editors, game engines, and full-blown retail products. Everyone out there probably has an array of definitions for each. TDM is unique in that the game content is (for the most part) not created by the same people who created the engine and the mechanics. It's all very unique, there's really nothing around like it at all. That confuses people.

Most people who say TDM isn't a game are thinking of it as an editor or toolkit. It's like saying the Source Engine or UDK isn't a game. They're thinking, well if you just had The Dark Mod, but no user levels, there wouldn't be anything to play. They just don't know what to classify it as. But that doesn't mean they're saying anything bad about it.

Does that make sense?


I didn't take it as anything bad being said, I simply think it's not accurate. I get that they feel the need to classify it in some way, but there is no logical reason TDM can't be a toolkit, platform and a game. It is all those things.
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#42 Deadlove

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:18 PM

I don't agree.

That would be like saying every D&D module is a game in its own right. Or every Counter-strike map is a separate game.

A "game" is the set of rules, options and victory conditions, IMO. Chess is still a game, even if you don't have a board and pieces to play with, because it defines those 3 things. An RPG is still a game, even if you don't have an "adventure" ready to play.

TDM is a set of rules, options and victory conditions. Different missions can modify those to some degree, but the core features are what make up TDM. There are a set of rules that establish how the game world works (physics, AI capabilities, etc). There are a set series of options available to the player (in terms of movement, tools, etc), and the victory condition is "surviving" + whatever else the mission adds. The fact that you can't PLAY the game without missions is of no more consequence then saying you can't play chess without a board and pieces.


I guess I should've said TDM CAN be viewed as a game with 81 sequels, but not that necessarily is one. I don't view it that way, I was just presenting the technical argument that an individual mission is as much a complete game as a campaign, if that's the way the author intended it to be played. Games can be short like blackjack (haha) or longer like rummy.

I totally get the chess analogy, anything (coins, etc.) could represent the chess pieces and rules still apply. Question though, how can I play the game TDM without the missions? Not to be a smartass, but I am curious as to further my understanding of how it can still be viewed a game at that point. I really don't consider editing in DR as much playing the game as building a mission to be played once finished.

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#43 Springheel

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:39 PM

Question though, how can I play the game TDM without the missions?


How can you play chess without a board and pieces? You can't. But just because you can't play a game doesn't mean the game doesn't exist. If there was a rulebook for chess but not a single board or set of pieces in existence, the game of chess still exists. The first person to craft a board and some pieces hasn't invented the game, they've just made the game playable. In a very simplistic sense, that's how I see TDM. The "game" is the set of rules, options and victory conditions provided by the code. The missions are the board and pieces.
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#44 Deadlove

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:44 PM

Ahh, that makes sense. It would still be a game without the missions, just not a playable game. Learn something new everyday.

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#45 Taquito

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:45 AM

Well of course the Dark Mod is not a game! LOL Obviously if you're a fan of the New Thief and you see people comparing both, you're gonna use the best excuse to exclude the strongest competition right off the bat. The Dark Mod is a non related Mission Based game with a veeeery SOLID GAMEPLAY and no one can wash that off. Please don't feel discouraged by this. These people are simply looking for ways to avoid the comparison by ruling out TDM cause it's easier than defending NuThief.

Having said that, this game could really use something to tie the Missions down. Because as good as TDM might be it suffers from two problems, lack of long term rewards and lack of sense of progression as you feel like you start all over again with each mission and that can slowly diminish the lasting appeal. Since creating an official campaign that can be compared with other Thief or Stealth games can be two much of a Challenge for a small group and doesn't seem viable right now, I think the possibility of creating a Store withing the game that the player could sell loot and buy equipment that applies to all Missions would be a way to add the elements of of Long Term Rewards and sense of Progression. Also giving experience points depending on difficulty completion could work as well in exchange for who knows what.

Edited by Taquito, 19 March 2014 - 12:46 AM.


#46 lowenz

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:34 AM

TDM is a METAgame, all solved :P
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#47 Melan

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:43 AM

Hey, hope nobody takes this the wrong way, but you guys really seem to be taking this all a bit too personally. I don't think anyone over there is saying TDM sucks, or TDM isn't a Thief like experience, or anything derogatory like that. At least that's not the way I took it. It's just that TDM is such a hard thing to define, and put a tag on. There's toolkits, SDKs, level editors, game engines, and full-blown retail products. Everyone out there probably has an array of definitions for each. TDM is unique in that the game content is (for the most part) not created by the same people who created the engine and the mechanics. It's all very unique, there's really nothing around like it at all. That confuses people.

It would make complete sense from an uninformed point of view, but it is hard to call the people in question uninformed. Context matters a lot; what may be an honest mistake in one case looks awfully like willful obtuseness and misinterpretation in another. This whole case reminds me of the people who used to go on about how TDM "wasn't Thief" - of course, it isn't legally Thief (since it doesn't bear the trademark, doesn't feature Garrett, etc.), but what these people really meant was to deny its status as a legitimate part of the Thief family, and marginalise it as an option for creating fan missions. Then again, life went on, and in the long term, it did not matter all that much.

Here, I suspect the Eidos mods may actually be working in TDM's favour, since, by discussing TDM, they are elevating it into an established rival alternative for Thief 4. ;)
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#48 wesp5

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:57 AM

It comes with St. Lucia and the Training Mission installed.


Ah, I thought as much but wasn't sure.

If it comes with missions already installed then it's a game, but if I have to make two extra clicks to get the missions then it's not?


This can be important if you don't have an internet connection. If you got TDM on a gaming magazine DVD, you can play it right along without doing anything else. So it's a game, albeit a very short one without the other fan missions. Once a longer campaign is finished, I would vote to include it to silence any critics!

#49 Xarg

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:55 AM

Having said that, this game could really use something to tie the Missions down. Because as good as TDM might be it suffers from two problems, lack of long term rewards and lack of sense of progression as you feel like you start all over again with each mission and that can slowly diminish the lasting appeal.

Also giving experience points depending on difficulty completion could work as well in exchange for who knows what.


Aren't you tired of seeing examples of B.F. Skinner's work in gaming? I know I'm sick of games that try to keep people pressing the button for rewards in place of actually being entertaining across the time you spend on it (unless you're the type who enjoys the grind, in which case more power to you, but I'd had enough of that by the second expansion of the only MMO I've played, and it's not for me).
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#50 SeriousToni

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:06 AM

So much stupidnes going on at the eidos forums, because they do fear The Dark Mod as a better game than their Call of Thiefy.
Hah! The two moderators even voted in their own poll to defend this game - this is so silly...

I would like to see THIS whole thread (here on TDM forums) getting deleted as it is not worth discussing if TDM is a game, really.
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