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Fan Mission: Penny Dreadful 3 by Melan and Bikerdude (2016/07/10)


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#1 Melan

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:33 AM

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PD_loading3_zpsmkryydn6.png

 

By way of introduction, Penny Dreadful is a fan mission series dealing with the exploits and misfortunes of Gerald Foxley, lowlife and common opportunist. To stick with the theme of lurid and disreputable pulp literature, these missions were planned to be nasty, brutish and short, which sort of worked in PD1, was not entirely working in PD2, and went out the window with PD3, which ended up much bigger than I ever expected. The series also allows me to experiment with gameplay ideas which do not completely fit TDM standards: Foxley is slightly worse at stealth than the TDM baseline, and can't pick locks: you will need to find different ways of getting into places.

 

In the first episode, The Grail of Regrets, what started out as a routine case of extortion ended with Gerald in the possession of the eponymous Grail. In the second, All the Way Up, these newfound fortunes proved to be shorter than anticipated, as Messer Montrose, a corrupt nobleman, and his ally, the local Bailiff conspired to rob Foxley of the prize to further their own ends. The Grail is now in the hands of Archibald Flint, a powerful crime boss ruling from a mansion on Fiddler's Hill, an infamous den of thieves. However, to get close to him, Foxley has to remove a few obstacles in the way...

Erasing the Trail

 

"Kill a man and take his life; wound him, and restore his pride." -- alleyway proverb.

 

"In a city where every window is an eye and every doorway a whispering mouth, it is hard to keep a secret. When I learned of crime lord Archibald Flint's involvement in robbing me of the Grail of Regrets, I knew I'd have to strike quick, and strike first. But I failed.

 

By the time I got near his place on Fiddler's Hill, every gate to his hilltop mansion was locked, every alley patrolled by thieves eager to kill. Two days later, I watched my tenement go up in smoke and flames. The hunt was on, and it wouldn't be over until they'd have their quarry dead or captured.

 

Flint's main enforcer is a man named Grunt, known to communicate in written orders after his throat was cut in some altercation... a real bloodhound. I will have to deal with him one way or another to get the heat off of my back, and allow me to reach Flint himself...

 

Flint is also looking for my dead body, and I'm planning to have it delivered right to his doorstep. Another underworld figure, Almsmaster Quandt, lives a few streets from Grunt's mansion, and he is said to be my spitting image, an uncanny resemblance. Wonder if Flint will recognise the difference... well, time to find out.

 

Sometimes the only way to deal with a hornet's nest is to kick it over. This night, I am back in the middle of it. I have already run into a pair of sentinels, but I slipped into a small garden and jammed the lock behind me with a bit of wire. Hope they don't raise the whole neighbourhood, or this will be over real quick. Time to get moving."

 

Download links:

***Performance warning***: as usual, this mission pushes the limits a bit (although less than PD2). The hardware requirements exceed the TDM baseline, and the loading time is fairly long. Optimalisation should be credited to Bikerdude, while the remaining problems are all mine.

 

High-resolution player map (for printing, etc.):

Spoiler

 

Notes:

  • Erasing the Trail is intended to be an open-ended city exploration mission, where you can approach your objectives from multiple angles, and discover multiple solutions to complete them; some more straightforward, some more obscure.
  • Gerald Foxley is a rank amateur who can't pick locks. You will have to find alternate means to break into places.
  • There is no poll to rate the mission because I do not believe in them. Your comments are welcome in writing, however!
  • You can find my concept art in the PK4 file. These images obviously contain heavy spoilers.
  • This mission series predates, and is thus unrelated to the Penny Dreadful TV series.

 

Special thanks: 

  • to our testers, Aluminumhaste, Kingsal, Nbohr1more, Oldjim, Skacky and Premier; 
  • gigagooga for several new ambient sounds, and sound conversions (Fabrice Hautecloque from Ishar III, tension loops from Golgo 13: the TV series);
  • Yandros, Bikerdude and Goldchocobo for voice acting;
  • epifire! for custom models;
  • The Canon Texture project for texture work.

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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

#2 Goldwell

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:34 AM

Congratulations on the release guys! Been looking forward to this one for a while :)


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#3 Melan

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 02:59 AM

From initial post to the Darkfate front page: 2h 21 min. Impressive!


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

#4 Bikerdude

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 05:51 AM

Now available via in-game downloader.



#5 grayman

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 08:44 AM

Congrats for the release!



#6 nbohr1more

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 09:43 AM

Congrats!

 

This is such a big mission and with my Iron Man style of play I probably only covered 70% of it in beta other than flying through in noclip to inspect for visual issues.

This feels like it almost rivals Behind Closed Doors in size but it has a slightly more claustrophobic street layout and, as a bonus, forces you to confront AI a little more. 

 

There are at least a few really nice mantle-playground areas in this mission that are just a joy to climb around and I probably wasted a great deal of

testing time getting caught-up in all the neat ways you can get around "up there".


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#7 Bikerdude

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:05 AM

There are at least a few really nice mantle-playground areas in this mission that are just a joy to climb around and I probably wasted a great deal of

testing time getting caught-up in all the neat ways you can get around "up there".

Oh yes, this mission follows Melan's canon of " if player thinks they can get up there, the mapper should allow them to do so". I thne of course went through the perf hell of keeping perf up at the same time :D



#8 TheUnbeholden

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:13 PM

Screenshots?



#9 Bikerdude

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:28 PM

er wait untill the mission has been out for a while  fella ;-P



#10 Melan

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:33 PM

There are some on the mission download page. Also, these preview images (might have slight differences to final content):

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

#11 Aosys

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:36 PM

Gratz on the release! Can't wait to play it :)



#12 prjames

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 03:35 PM

I finished this mission about 2 hours ago.  Really impressive.   :D   I look forward to seeing where you go next with this series.

 

A couple hint requests (no hurry):

 

Spoiler

 

- prjames



#13 Bikerdude

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:18 PM

@Prjames,

  1. there is more than meets the eye in
    Spoiler
    - think classic Thief and things that are hidden.
  2. Melan will have to hint you for that as I don't know, maybe on the patrolling hammer or
    Spoiler
    ...


#14 kin

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:44 PM

Spoiler


Edited by kin, 10 July 2016 - 11:44 PM.


#15 Vae

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:43 AM

Ah ha!...Yet another Penny Dreadful episode to brighten up my heart!

 

However, I will attempt to resist the temptation to experience it, before the release of 2.04



#16 Premier

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:47 AM

EDIT: Sorry, I'm withdrawaing the post as per Melan's request to give everyone more time to figure out things for themselves. :)

Edited by Premier, 11 July 2016 - 01:47 PM.


#17 Goldwell

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 12:26 PM

Just finished the mission, wow!

 

Spoiler

Edited by Goldwell, 11 July 2016 - 12:31 PM.

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#18 Bikerdude

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:03 PM

@Gw, PM me a list of the asset's you would like to see in 2.05 from this mission so I can make sure there are added. That said a bunch of them should already be in SVN.



#19 Melan

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:47 PM

Thanks for the detailed commentary!

 

For now, I will touch upon one point: the mission deliberately avoids repetition by making the majority of its architecture customised. I used prefabs, but where possible, it is hand.made on the spot. The idea was to rather have one room that stays in the memory than three that don't. (And now it is easy to guess why it took so long even with tons of help from Bikerdude - it went from a three-month project to a 10- or 11.month one.)

 

Many of the assets will definitely be in 2.05. This includes in particular gigagooga's sound work, but also painting skins, and some of the textures (although we will have to make a selection there).


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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

#20 Goldwell

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:01 PM

@Gw, PM me a list of the asset's you would like to see in 2.05 from this mission so I can make sure there are added. That said a bunch of them should already be in SVN.

 

I'd say you guys have probably picked up the most suitable and useful textures already for 2.05 so I doubt my opinion would be of much use there.

 

Thanks for the detailed commentary!

 

For now, I will touch upon one point: the mission deliberately avoids repetition by making the majority of its architecture customised. I used prefabs, but where possible, it is hand.made on the spot. The idea was to rather have one room that stays in the memory than three that don't. (And now it is easy to guess why it took so long even with tons of help from Bikerdude - it went from a three-month project to a 10- or 11.month one.)

 

Many of the assets will definitely be in 2.05. This includes in particular gigagooga's sound work, but also painting skins, and some of the textures (although we will have to make a selection there).

 

Well that hardwork definitely paid off and was noticeable, as I mentioned in my previous comment each and every room stood out to me as unique and interesting. It furthers my belief that customized architecture is better than modular (internally at least) as it leaves a better impression and is easier to navigate as a player, makes wanting to explore the next room even more desirable.

 

Re: the assets, that's good to hear! I was taking note while playing PD3 of the custom textures to use in future missions myself :)


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#21 Ryan101

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 08:18 PM

Whew. An exhausting mission - and a difficult one. Maybe you caught me at a bad time, but my brain is fried after all that. I'll leave a more detailed critique eventually, but I... liked it overall, I suppose. Great architecture and atmosphere, and a good, appropriately Victorian-gritty story to go along.

 

That said, for some reason this one frustrated the shit out of me. Maybe set the loot count on expert a little down, but I guess I have only myself to blame for figuring I was badass enough to reach 2,000 without resorting to noclip. Guards were omnipresent and unforgiving, as well. Thief purists will probably be delighted by how difficult and intricate this mission is, but at the end I only felt a profound sense of relief when I lurched into the mission complete screen. Make of all this what you will!

 

Edit: the performance warning is also quite accurate. I've a fairly badass computer and this mission could only chug along in a number of areas. Be extra careful, cause the guards sure as hell don't lag.


Edited by Ryan101, 11 July 2016 - 08:24 PM.

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#22 kin

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 02:12 AM

Spoiler



#23 Oldjim

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 04:25 AM

@ryan101 You will be pleased - or maybe not - that the loot target was actually reduced during beta testing



#24 hanmin

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 04:09 PM

Many thanks and grats for this awsome misson.

Spoiler


What I could not find out yet:

Spoiler

Edited by hanmin, 17 July 2016 - 09:30 PM.


#25 Seth9964

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 12:12 AM

I really enjoyed this one. I was waiting with baited breath since the beta test call came out and I was not disappointed. It took a hot minute to get my bearings in the mission but that's part of the fun. The level design was complex but I always felt compelled to investigate. The writing was superb, and the overall polish from patrols to building facades was lovingly crafted. As an aside, I just want to thank all of you wonderful guys and gals who facilitated this mod. I'm sure that we all came here for the same love of a franchise and what you have created here is really amazing. 






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