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Fan Mission: Down by the Riverside, by Dragofer (2016/09/25)


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Poll: Fan Mission: Down by the Riverside, by Dragofer (2016/09/25) (24 member(s) have cast votes)

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

  1. Poor (1 votes [4.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.17%

  2. Tolerable (1 votes [4.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.17%

  3. Good (8 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  4. Excellent (11 votes [45.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.83%

  5. Near Perfect (3 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

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

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Tolerable (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Good (1 votes [4.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.17%

  4. Excellent (10 votes [41.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.67%

  5. Near Perfect (13 votes [54.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 54.17%

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

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Tolerable (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Good (8 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  4. Excellent (5 votes [20.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.83%

  5. Near Perfect (11 votes [45.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.83%

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#26 Spooks

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 04:27 AM

Here is a problem I came across in one of the last areas of the mission:

Spoiler

I downloaded the FM from the in-game downloader for what it's worth, it might be an old version or something that's causing these entities to be missing.

 

Apart from that I did finish the mission and without spoiling I would say that this is definitely one mission everyone should play. It nicely showcases the range of stories anyone can tell through TDM, as it is definitely off-kilter from most of the TDM FMs. I like that you didn't try to end the mission as something it was not - an adventure romp that needed a nice bow to tie it all together. Instead, it ended how a good horror novella should end, with a fade to black that's not really a cliffhanger as much as an eerie, open door that leaves you with unease and more questions than answers.


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My FMs: The King of Diamonds (2016)

 

Visit my Mapbook thread sometimes!


#27 hanmin

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 12:39 PM

A fun to play mission, so far, many thanks!
I am stuck
Spoiler

Any hints where to look appreciated.

#28 Dragofer

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 03:21 PM

Thanks very much for your feedback, I'm glad you liked the mission.

 

that rat bit mentioned which I didn't even know about but feel tempted to load up a savefile and test out.

That rat setup was a bit hacky because AIs can only reach highest alert state if they have an enemy to lock on to, so I had to briefly place an invisible spider wherever the woman's eyes were currently located, triggered by a custom stim/response setup. It worked fine in a test map, but something broke on the way to the real map, so I just disabled it and pushed it to the back of my agenda. Funny that someone should dig around in my script files and notice it, heh.
 

Spoiler

Spoiler


 

I downloaded the FM from the in-game downloader for what it's worth, it might be an old version or something that's causing these entities to be missing.


Strange, that's not the first bug that looks like the ingame downloader only partially completed. But it worked fine when I tried it, the downloader's archive is identical in size, 55346 KB, to the original archive that I submitted.

 

It nicely showcases the range of stories anyone can tell through TDM, as it is definitely off-kilter from most of the TDM FMs.


Thanks for this review Spooks, I especially appreciate your view on the ending. Commenting on the quoted part, I still remember after completing One Step Too Far I planned to make a mission with a more conventional story. Though over time, the way my various mapping projects progressed, my hand was led back in the direction of my original style. Not that I mind, back in Thief 2 it was always the unusual fan missions that really drew me in (Ruins of Originia tops my list, if only Ycatx would return to finish his grandiose campaign), so it's probably only normal that my own missions also have something unusual about them.

Edited by Dragofer, 02 October 2016 - 05:08 PM.

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#29 Dragofer

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 03:21 PM

A fun to play mission, so far, many thanks!
I am stuck

Spoiler

Any hints where to look appreciated.


Thanks hanmin, to answer your question:
Spoiler


On a different note, I've posted solutions for all the steps in this mission in the first post on page one, it should be easier to have everything in one place.
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#30 raymeld

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 06:02 AM

I seem to have come to a dead end. I

Spoiler
Thanks!


Edited by Bikerdude, 05 October 2016 - 07:03 AM.
cleanup


#31 Dragofer

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 06:05 AM

I seem to have come to a dead end.

 

Spoiler


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#32 raymeld

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 06:17 AM

Thanks Dragofer for your prompt reply , I'll check that out next timw I play , must have missed that chest.There is a chest in there I can't seem to open , hope it's not that one!

#33 Dragofer

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 06:19 AM

Thanks Dragofer for your prompt reply , I'll check that out next timw I play , must have missed that chest.There is a chest in there I can't seem to open , hope it's not that one!

 

It's not the chest itself that I actually meant - it's the wall behind it.


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#34 montag

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 10:01 PM

Re P.S. Try being extremely rude to other posters :unsure:

Ha! Thanks Oldjim, guess I'll save the rudeness for ttlg, seems to fit better there. (you old bastard)...(kidding, I'm 51)

 

Finally, hope to have time to try this mission out! Loaded up and started, but have to wait till tomorrow to play, Oldjim beat me about the head and shoulders with his cane, need time to recuperate. Looks great from my crate!

 

Points for rhyming = 1


Edited by montag, 09 October 2016 - 10:22 PM.


#35 raymeld

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 10:01 AM

Brilliant stuff , thank you Dragofer!

#36 Deadlove

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 10:32 AM

Haven't gotten too far along in this one but I will say right off the bat that the visual presentation is gorgeous. I absolutely adore it, especially the breathtaking scene when you get to the manor and it is surrounded by fog.

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#37 Melan

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 11:17 AM

This has been a very interesting mission! The visuals are top notch, and they have a gloomy ambience that works very well with the story, from the fog-shrouded river to the mansion, and ultimately the other environments you encounter. Your eye for fine details and environmental storytelling shines through everywhere.

 

I also liked the story, it is complex and goes beyond the expectations of the initial setup (i.e. "here is a spooky mansion to loot"). The use of real-world references is a bit odd in my eyes, but at least it was pulled off with good skills, and without contradictions. The main storyline is nice and creepy, and holds a genuine sense of mystery.

 

I have to be slightly critical of the gameplay. Many of the places are cramped, and sneaking is made prohibitively hard until it becomes frustrating. This is most notable when it comes to the ships, especially the beginning of the second mission, where I eventually left several bloodied corpses behind me. The other segments are fine, if tricky. Some of the investigative bits were rather enjoyable.

 

All in all, a very good mission, and I eagerly avait the next one!


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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

#38 Moonbo

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 10:38 PM

Hey Dragofer,

 

I'm really enjoying the mission, but whenever I frob the haybale in the phial dream I get a crash to desktop on the third frob. Is there any fix for this?


But you should walk having internal dignity. Be a wonderful person who can dance pleasantly to the rhythm of the universe.
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#39 Woodsie69

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 08:49 AM

I don't know if I've encountered a bug or what. I've been playing for a couple of hours and I'm stuck;

 

 

Spoiler



#40 Woodsie69

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 09:51 AM

Okay I replayed the mission fast, and this time I ended up

 

Spoiler

 

 

I like the mission and the story so far. The ship is very well constructed. :)


Edited by Woodsie69, 22 October 2016 - 10:12 AM.

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#41 Dragofer

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 02:24 PM

@moonbo, that's a shame to hear. It looks like I need to change how that part is implemented. I've started making an update recently - in the meantime, the
Spoiler

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#42 Cambridge Spy

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 08:01 PM

I'm also getting this bug, it practically delays making an Expert playthrough of this mission.


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#43 Woodsie69

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 06:10 AM

I've finished the game now.

 

I used a lot more save slots that I usually do just to be on the safe side, but I only encountered one random crash to the desktop the second time.

 

By the way:

 

Spoiler

 

Well done. :)


Edited by Woodsie69, 23 October 2016 - 06:20 AM.


#44 MirceaKitsune

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 07:33 PM

I have been playing this for a few days. So far I finished part 1, and might get to 2 tomorrow. It is a lot longer than I thought at first, and I didn't realize it was a campaign either :) Overall it's looking nice, pretty well done! I have however read all of the solutions preemptively: This is the type of mission where I'd waste hours if I ever dreamed of finding them on my own, which would drive me insane after a while.



#45 Sotha

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 12:42 AM

What an amazing mission. I've completed the first part. It kept me so absorbed that I failed completely to go to sleep at my normal time. Todays gonna be loooooong day at work...zzzzz.


Spoiler

Great mission. I hope to play the second part soon! Thank you for you work, this mission is really impressive.

Any tips for a fellow mapper how to reach similar visual quality? What is the secret in making locations so "lived-in?" It seems to be natural talent and effortless for you to maintain consistent ultra-high quality visuals. How do you do it?
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#46 Bikerdude

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 05:31 AM

I would think part of that reason is due to the copious amounts of custom models through out the mission... ;)



#47 Dragofer

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 05:24 PM

*
POPULAR

Thanks very much for these reviews.


@mirceakitsune: my main intention for this mission's gameplay was to focus on tough stealth scenarios (on expert), with some 'where does he keep his secret stash' scenarios along the side like you often find in Thief missions. I really wanted to keep those straightforward, also because many people don't speak English natively, but still realised that the words of the wise wiki ring true: if a task seems easy to the creator, it's probably still hard for the players (I think Sotha wrote that?).


@Sotha: I'm glad you took such a liking to the first part of the mission and its visuals. Regarding how to make visuals, I'm not sure if there are secrets that I know, but I do find it interesting when mappers share their approach. I've thought about the question while I was updating the mission:


To begin with, when I have an empty room before me I briefly imagine what it'd look like furnished. Not with too much detail, just the big pieces like beds, desks, carpets, lamps. Having that kind of plan also helps with the workflow.

For heavily cluttered areas like ship cargo holds I imagine three or four pieces at a time and then place them - i.e. 'This is a good spot for a huge package, a medium package + crate on top and a sack along the side.'

When furnishing rooms I rotate smaller things, even if it's just a little, scatter them, and in general look for ways to make things diagonal, for example deforming some of the more visible beams. This is to avoid the grid-like look.

Something that's important to me is keeping within the colour theme of an area, so most of the time my ideal is a handful of hues of brown/grey/white and a colour or two like red - all newly placed models and textures should fit into the existing scheme. I often recolour stock textures for this purpose.

As regards architectural layout I'd like to follow Moonbo's advice as much as possible, which is to 'break the cube' in room shapes. That can mean things like L-shaped rooms, diagonal walls and floor height differences. It can also mean things that prevent you from seeing the whole room immediately from the doorway, such as a hanging curtain, a huge bed or the room's shape.

For lighting, the way I see it is that interesting features should be highlighted, while some objects can cast interesting shadows especially when the light is at certain angles. Examples of such objects are mounted animal heads, humans and railings. Fireplaces are extremely good at casting captivating shadows in my opinion due to their low position.
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#48 Dragofer

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 05:25 PM

On a separate note, I've updated the mission to v2 (formerly named v1.1), see the first post for a download link and changelog.


Edited by Dragofer, 03 November 2016 - 11:58 AM.

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#49 Anderson

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 10:23 AM

On a separate note, I've updated the mission to v1.1, see the first post for a download link and changelog.

You're one of the few FM authors that updates missions beyond simple bug fixing. That's inspiring.


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#50 NeonsStyle

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 12:45 PM

Congrats Dragofer. Just saw this today lol. I took a bit of a look but will give it a good play tomorrow. So far looks amazing. Can't wait. :) 






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