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Fan Mission: Volta and the Stone by Kingsal (05/26/2016)

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#26 kin

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 10:49 AM

It does not work for me

#27 nbohr1more

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

It does not work for me

 

Try clicking the "Special BBCode" (3rd icon from the upper left corner) then select "Spoiler" from the drop-down list then enter your text in the entry box and submit.


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#28 Oldjim

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 11:33 AM

Spoiler



#29 Ryan101

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 03:12 PM

Excellent work - for some reason I was expecting more, but that could just be cause the last two missions I've played have spoiled me rotten as far as mid-game plot twists go. By no means take that as a critique; straightforward missions are usually pretty satisfying to play, and this was no exception. This is a mission I can see myself playing again, if only for the wealth of options we have in breaking into the manor and the various secrets I'm certain I missed.

 

Spoiler

 

It also struck me by how quiet it was - you put some of the best ambient TDM tracks to great use here, creating a suitably low-key, yet menacing atmosphere.

 

Another thing I liked was that the City Watch outside aren't automatically hostile to the player. It's one of those niggling details that always rubbed me the wrong way about Thief and many FMs for the Dark Mod - I assume the player character doesn't look terribly different in full darkness from your average peasant, so why all the chasing me around with your sword, dude? Lay off.

 

If I could levy one critique, it's that perhaps the mission isn't challenging enough. YMMV, obviously. I never felt like I had to resort to blackjacking any guards, and their patrol routes were so generously spaced out that I often had the run of the place. Sprinkling in a few more AI patrols might up the tension a little bit.

 

One other thing: the lighting in the streets section is a little too dark. I had to pump up the brightness just to see anything. It's a lot better within the manor itself, but I often found myself bumping into things outside.

 

But I digress; I'm eager to see whatever you do next with this plot line. Great job! :)


Edited by Ryan101, 30 May 2016 - 03:33 PM.

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#30 Anderson

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 03:24 PM

1 hour and 5 minutes. 

 

 In the best traditions of a Thief Dark Project esoteric mission - loved it through and through. 

Will be anxiously following the follow up to this. Very well done.


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#31 Moonbo

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 03:53 PM

*
POPULAR

A very fun and solid mission. I'm going to be a bit critical in my review, but that's only because this was a very good mission and so I thought about it a lot. Don't take any of this the wrong way, it was a job very well done:

 

Visuals

Overall the visuals were great to look at, and the whole mission ran very smoothly on my less-than-powerful rig (which really impressed me in some scenes!). Especially the use of the skybox geometry made the city section feel much larger and interconnected than it really was. The scale of the mansion was also just right - I noticed in my missions that I tended to err too much on the side of making things too small, but no problems with that here. Everything was large, impressive, but also believable. 

 

Now, onto my critiques. The very pronounced use of strong ambient light colors (and their sharp swings as you moved into new areas) served to almost act like the post-processing filters you see in modern games. For me, this was a bad thing that detracted from the visuals. I've always felt that in modern AAA games (or Thief Deadly Shadow for that matter) all these sorts of filters serve to do is to wash out the colors from the scene. All the natural highlighting and texture detail of objects gets covered over by this omnipresent color scheme, which reduced contrast and made the in-level lighting more flat. Art is subjective, and part of that critique is just preference, but I wanted to mention it.

 

I also noticed quite a few spots where the visual quality of the level took a noticeable drop (overly blocky chunks of geometry (especially on the ceilings), tiling textures, sudden texture cut-offs, and a little bit of z-fighting) . No-one else has mentioned this, so this could just be me being picky and looking at things too closely, but given the really high visual quality of most of the level, running into these sections pulled me out of the experience.

 

Story

Chalk this one up to preference again, but I was disappointed by the time I got to the ending. The macro-story suffered from the same issue as Full Moon Fever (another great mansion mission) in that it was all build up with no payoff. A lot is hinted about the nature of the stone, with the light in the tower and the various conversations, but in the end it's just another object that you pick up and leave with. There was no consequence to taking the stone and no resolution to any of the various plot threads surrounding the stone. If this is the first part in a series, you can ignore this critique obviously.

 

That said, the minute-to-minute storytelling through overheards and readables was very enjoyable. I knew who everyone was, what my objectives were, and where to complete them. These fundamentals can be very hard to convey and you did a great job conveying them in a way that made me relate to the cast of characters.  The environmental storytelling with the pagan graffiti was also a really nice touch. 

 

Gameplay

Nothing but praise here :-). New challenges like electric plates were introduced well and changed up the pace of standard TDM gameplay. The faster than normal AI also made the game more challenging, forcing you to ambush people instead of doing the standard "creep up on people" thing. It also raised the chances of having to run into AI more than once before you could take them out, which made the level more tense.

 

The layout of the level was such that I never got lost, and in a level as large as this one, that's a mark of high quality. The only time I got confused is that I thought I needed to flip both of the tower control switches to open the tower door. So imagine my chagrin after circumnavigating the mansion to get to the second tower switch, only to find the door closed.

 

Again, really good mission - had a blast playing int and I hope you make more!


Edited by Moonbo, 30 May 2016 - 03:56 PM.

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#32 Loa4ever

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 07:40 AM

Gratz on the release :).



#33 Anderson

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 12:49 PM

A very fun and solid mission. I'm going to be a bit critical in my review, but that's only because this was a very good mission and so I thought about it a lot. Don't take any of this the wrong way, it was a job very well done:

 

Visuals

Overall the visuals were great to look at, and the whole mission ran very smoothly on my less-than-powerful rig (which really impressed me in some scenes!). Especially the use of the skybox geometry made the city section feel much larger and interconnected than it really was. The scale of the mansion was also just right - I noticed in my missions that I tended to err too much on the side of making things too small, but no problems with that here. Everything was large, impressive, but also believable. 

 

Now, onto my critiques. The very pronounced use of strong ambient light colors (and their sharp swings as you moved into new areas) served to almost act like the post-processing filters you see in modern games. For me, this was a bad thing that detracted from the visuals. I've always felt that in modern AAA games (or Thief Deadly Shadow for that matter) all these sorts of filters serve to do is to wash out the colors from the scene. All the natural highlighting and texture detail of objects gets covered over by this omnipresent color scheme, which reduced contrast and made the in-level lighting more flat. Art is subjective, and part of that critique is just preference, but I wanted to mention it.

 

I also noticed quite a few spots where the visual quality of the level took a noticeable drop (overly blocky chunks of geometry (especially on the ceilings), tiling textures, sudden texture cut-offs, and a little bit of z-fighting) . No-one else has mentioned this, so this could just be me being picky and looking at things too closely, but given the really high visual quality of most of the level, running into these sections pulled me out of the experience.

 

 Did not get any performance issues here.

Only at the top of the tower some FPS drops are noticeable, but for me those are never a problem if doesn't go below 30 FPS.

The visuals were great from what saw. Maybe just a subjective thing here, but I liked the style and the colour changing (even if it serves an aesthetic purpose and not a realism thing). 

But perhaps you were right in that the mission would've been better if there wasn't this sudden switch from blue/green,  I see how it would fit very well for areas such as the Botanical Garden - why not? In other areas it was odd. I fully enjoyed the blue pallete as it reminded of Thief: DS. It's also nice with the moon lighting over the sky.


Edited by Anderson, 31 May 2016 - 12:49 PM.


#34 kingsal

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:53 PM

Thanks everyone for the praise and feedback!

 

I hope to address some of the bugs in an updated version. Hopefully within the next week or two. 

Here are some of the more common questions and concerns:

 

Difficulty

Spoiler

 

Lighting issues, too dark too bright. 

Spoiler

 

Story

Spoiler

 

Hidden keys... 

Spoiler

 

Visuals 

Spoiler

 

Thanks everyone!

 

 

 

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#35 Apiai

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 04:37 PM

Hi, thanks for this master piece, I loved everything.

 

Spoiler


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#36 Taquito

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 05:26 PM

I didn't experience any fps hiccups and my hardware is pretty much crap. Everything ran smoothly considering the map seems pretty big and elaborated.  In regards to lighting the good thing about this mission is that it provides all sort of visual lighting effects, some direct very bright lights, some washed out by the fog and some areas with just hints of indirect light. All in all, everything well balanced between light and dark areas, compared with other missions which seems to have an obtuse concept of dark (too bright). This is the reason I think this deserves a 10 out of 10 in terms of lighting.



#37 garette

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 03:45 PM

Where is this hidden key that people keep on talking about?

Spoiler

In addition, how do I pick the tower gate control locks?



#38 Oldjim

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 04:04 PM

Regarding the switches the easy way is to follow the maintenance man and see what he does



#39 garette

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:03 PM

Regarding the switches the easy way is to follow the maintenance man and see what he does

I knocked him out. :(



#40 Oldjim

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 04:34 AM

Not a good idea - here is a more exact hint

Spoiler
and even more specific
Spoiler


Edited by Oldjim, 03 June 2016 - 10:02 AM.


#41 Araneidae

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 09:54 AM

and even more specific

Spoiler

Spoiler

 

P.S.  I'm also interested in

Spoiler
.



#42 garette

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 11:14 AM

Not a good idea - here is a more exact hint

Spoiler
and even more specific
Spoiler

Hmmm...

Spoiler


#43 kingsal

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 11:39 AM

Hmmm...

Spoiler

Garette- In regards to your problem:  

Spoiler



#44 AluminumHaste

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 09:54 PM

Amazing mission, love the level design, seems totally made by pro game designer.

 

Found an issue with the map:

 

WARNING:file materials/volta_decals.mtr, line 86: Type without definition at end of file

 

In that mtr file you have an extra close bracket at the end.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

#45 garette

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 11:03 PM

Garette- In regards to your problem:  

Spoiler

Spoiler


#46 Oldjim

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 12:31 PM

Re the book

Spoiler


Edited by Oldjim, 07 June 2016 - 12:37 PM.


#47 kingsal

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 01:41 PM

Garette-

Hmm, that seems like a bug. I'm not sure if it's a TDM thing or a something on the part of the map. I will PM you with a solution. 

 

1.1 Update:

I've  updated the mission to 1.1 which fixes some minor bugs and difficulty balancing. Hard and expert are now slightly more challenging.  

The in-game downloader is currently not working for the new version. You can download the .pk4 from the link on the first post. I'll update once this is fixed.

Fixed


Edited by Bikerdude, 07 June 2016 - 02:03 PM.
fixed mirror links

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#48 raymeld

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 11:13 AM

Super mission , really enjoying it.

Can someone give me a hint please.

Spoiler

Thanks!



#49 Oldjim

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 11:55 AM

Re the switches

Spoiler



#50 raymeld

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 12:51 PM

Thanks yet again Oldjim !




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