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Everything posted by Melan

  1. Clearly, The Rats Triumphant was ahead of its time.
  2. I have no idea how the treads could ever work, so I am content to describe it as SORCERY!
  3. This has been a decent investigative mission. It is built and lit in a fairly plain way, and it is scaled too large, but finding and interpreting clues makes it flow well - it is well-paced and logical, neither too difficult nor too easy. A pleasant mission. I wonder, though:
  4. This was a very nice first release, and quite well realised when it comes to the balance of difficulty vs. clues. The secondary objectives are nice optional asides. Perhaps it was a bit light on AI (one or even two more guards would not have hurt), but exploring the judge's home was fun, and the mission had multiple individual touches which add to the experience. Visually, it is fine; the sewers are very plain (and look like early work), but the upper quarters are much better. I hope we will see more from you after this FM!
  5. I don't know. Every time I tried to make something new in DR (or even fix one of PD3's minor bugs), I got hit by terrible burnout. Also, PD4 was supposed to have features which have been covered in a better way by other authors since. So maybe, but not any time soon. Hopefully not as late as the ten-year gap between Disorientation and Rose Garden.
  6. I expected a small mission from this speedy collaboration, but it ended up both larger and more complex than I'd thought. There is a lot to do in a mission that grows beyond its boundaries (visiting areas which at first looks like distant scenery is a cool feature), and throws you a few unexpected curveballs. I did encounter the LOD popping a lot, and got hit with the hidden objective. I think this one is very badly communicated in the first version (no idea if it has been fixed since), since you expect one thing, and have to do something completely different. But apart from that, this was a very nice surprise. Got LEET+1 loot on my playthrough!
  7. That's a sleek gondola, Epifire! Very moody.
  8. If you would like to, go for it! The accent I had in mind was something like Edmund Blackadder, one of Shakespeare's villains, or one of the Thief aristocrats. As the description goes, "this is a character fit for a sinister nobleman, a corrupt merchant, a crime boss or an evil mastermind. He is sophisticated, pretentious, ruthless towards others, but cowardly at heart. He is given to dark, brooding thoughts, and feels at home in the City’s shadows."
  9. This was quite a nice Autumn surprise! Not terribly big or difficult, but well-realised, and with the plus of emotional investment. Definitely strong on mood. Many fine little details make the picture even better - I liked the subtle, unsettling little changes over the course of the mission. It was all just right.
  10. This has been a cool mission to get reacquainted with TDM after a long pause. Challenging, consistently well written and atmospheric, and always top notch in appearance. An excellent continuation of the nautical themes in your previous missions. Good to finally see Wrecker's Reach put to use, too. I hope the other side of town (which was not featured in this FM) also sees the light of day some time.
  11. I am posting these on behalf of bikerdude (from Shadowhide's big city map). LONG.
  12. This specific map is also particularly finicky to work with. It is organic, detailed and confusing.
  13. So this Crucible mission has found a new purpose? Great!
  14. I will be the contrarian, and interject that stepwise does not work for me. Roughing out the entire level, then doing another activity across the entire level would just lead to quick burnout. I build scene-by-scene, although with extra rounds of expansion and refinement. Good thing I am not part of the industry - just a fan.
  15. Spooks speaks from my perspective as well. I like Bikerdude quite a lot, and he has not only been instrumental in making my maps releasable (my building habits are often over-ambitious), he has also shaped them in good ways, helped me find the laptop I am currently typing on, and more. But I do treat creative ownership of a map seriously, way more seriously than he did. This actually includes his maps, which he reformatted and partially reused in ways I would have considered downright disrespectful if he had done it to someone else. There was also an imbalance in our working relationship, in that he could build very detailed stuff very quickly, while for me, every brush and light placement could be a tortuously slow decision. He is also a much harder worker than I am. The things I have built did not come easy to me, nor are they freely interchangeable with something else. I make something to fit together in a particular way - a specific room is there because it belongs there, not because it could be any general room. To see days or weeks' worth of thinking and iteration being rewritten was not a pleasant experience. I had to learn to "hold" maps and camp on them to avoid our projects being overtaken and gradually turned into something unrecognisable. But apparently, it still didn't save them from post-release tampering. The PD2 fiasco started with a few innocent fixes - which actually looked cool - and ended with a redesign that would have completely subverted the way the mission worked. And PD2 is the TDM map I am the most proud of. It was just as hard - and perhaps ultimately futile - to communicate a design intent to him, because he'd of course do his own thing. And that can be quite good! The current version of Return to the City is perhaps more his map than mine, and it is very good (not to mention it doesn't freeze randomly for seconds). But it is also fairly different in tone and scope to the mission I built and won a contest with. You can play that contest-winning mission (with the dogshit performance and half the content, mind you), but you'll have to dig deep to find it and make that comparison. Otherwise, you'll play an altogether different map. Whether you think that difference matters or not is at the heart of this discussion.
  16. This behaviour is not fucking acceptable, period. What the fuck.
  17. Wow! These are some mighty impressive shots! I really like the hall by Aosys. That's grand.
  18. Nice going! Those are, indeed, some good fences. (And the machinery is swell, too!)
  19. From what I understand, T3ED is rather hard to get into - it relies on jumping through some hoops to design levels, and still carries forward some critical issues which can't be fixed. However, I have never tried to make a mission with it, so this is all based on what others have said. Dark Radiant has been a very pleasant experience: It has a good learning curve: you can learn to make a simple, reasonably good-looking mission within a few weeks.It is intuitive: the editor is straightforward to use, and has seen several upgrades which make it easy to use.It scales up: from small, simple mission to fairly grand affairs, it can accommodate different level sizes and levels of detail. You can create BSP-based (brushwork) architecture, use premade architectural modules (a bit like like LEGO pieces), or combine the two.It comes with an expansive asset library. By now, the range of textures, models and AI has become fairly impressive (although it is mostly humans and undead).Once you understand the basic rules, asset creation is not a big hurdle (note that generally, textures are easier than models, and models are easier than fully rigged custom AI - making those require skills which few people have).
  20. Always a pleasure to kill banksters put some leverage on financial establishments.
  21. Ah, that helped! Thanks - found him shortly afterwards. This was truly an excellent mission! It was a bleak, hopeless place, and the story continued to be intriguing. It felt natural, but had proper drama with its sinister killings and startling discoveries. A good compromise between detective work and plain exploration. I must mention the visual storytelling especially, which is remarkably strong here. Also, the various characters felt interesting, with their side-stories (although a few more bystanders might not have hurt). Tracking down the killer to his lair was a tense sequence, and the payoff was well worth it. The "look" is also very nice; you could feel this quarter was abandoned in a haste, and the decay was creeping in. I am fairly sure I didn't find some places, even though I only missed about 500 loot. However, I never found the map! The opening convo mentions it, but I couldn't spot it, and later just wandered around, gradually exploring the place. One thing where the mission is a bit weaker is the sound. Too much of the territory is covered by that one single loop, which gets repetitive after a while. Giving places a more distinct audio identity would have been an improvement. All in all, the WS series just keeps being excellent - I eagerly await the next part.
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