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zergrush last won the day on February 21 2013

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  1. Can I ask, did anything out of the ordinary happen given the 5 month delay for the release of 2.08 and the fact the issue fixing seems to have slowed down? Is the team going through any problems that we might assist with?
  2. I really appreciate this thread and the intentions behind it. As someone who wholly believes in the principles of the GNU GPL and CC-BY-SA licenses, having the game licensed under a share-alike non-NC license would be better for the public good. I personally have no qualms with people reusing assets for commercial projects as long as credit is given to the original authors and as long as they're willing to share their modifications under the same terms. However, like people have been claiming, this is a very difficult task for the Dark Mod. It would require a near full replacement and reorganization of the artwork pipeline. In my opinion the only way this could be achieved would be by joining efforts with similar projects and create shared artwork assets pool while sourcing a bunch of stuff from Open Game Art and commissions. I'm not sure if the effort is even worth at this point, and I would rather put more focus on promoting the game in different ways and getting more people interested in creating FMs. On a side note, I think the biggest impediments preventing TDM from reaching a broader audience are the lack of a full (mini) campaign with an integrated tutorial replacing the current one, and the poor state of the mission downloader interface, which makes it difficult to read and unappealing for people to explore it (which is already being worked on). Other than that, people could organize a bunch of live streams to promote new levels and such. It did wonders for OpenXcom, and I think it could work well for TDM too.
  3. This really depends on how one would approach the setting. It would be fine for some simpler initial maps based on avoiding guard routines and such, but afterwards one would have to define what characteristics would be best for this type of setting, especially if we wish to avoid 1001 nights stereotypes. On a different note, I think spawning a different location for the TDM universe would also be an ideal chance to create an alternate character to the Garret-esque smooth voiced male that is omnipresent in TDM. This might be the right opportunity to finally have a female character join the ranks.
  4. This is a fair post and I agree with it wholeheartedly. In the end the purpose of this thread was to inform those who prefer a bit more realism in interior decoration and to give another view to those who don't. While I think replacing torches indoors comes at no cost, it was never my intention to be dogmatic on realism as I stated on my first post, and my apologies if I offended someone along the way.
  5. What I've been trying to say is that details such as this add to the whole, much like you exemplified with the pipes or the ceiling architecture or even the electrical wiring other people were discussing in this same thread. They might not be individually noticed but in the end they will contribute towards consistency and help flesh out the looks of a mission. If this was not the case mappers would have not equally spent hours analyzing real life buildings to use as references for their missions. All I am doing is suggesting another one of these details to be added to consideration, the same way that if a plumber joined the forums and provided pictures of ancient sewers and explained how they worked, mappers would certainly appreciate the feedback, because it would allow them to map sewer sections in greater detail, and less arbitrarily. Now most people might not notice the details on these hypothetical sewers, but the same way buildings inspired by real architecture will feel better and more consistent, the same applies to interiors, objects, and other elements seemingly non-discernible to the average player. I've only learned about the whole torch issue myself fairly recently, hence why I decided to share it. However, I was also aware this would be challenging a common Thief-inherited trope, so I felt I had to make a better case.
  6. Well, there's such a thing as taking creative liberties in order to tell a good story, and completely misrepresent historical events, characters, and setting. Braveheart does the latter and not in a light way. The problem with this particular type of media phenomena is that it doesn't coexist with the study of history or historically correct entertainment, but rather overwrites and casts a shadow of ignorance upon them. While the film certainly generated interest in Scotland and Scottish history, it did so wrapped in a veil of stereotypes and misconceptions that last to this day, and is damaging to Scottish culture, while feeding perception of the middle ages as backwards era. This is especially relevant in a time where people are once again heavily debating cultural and social values, and the political discourse is infested by fake news. We take most of our lessons from history, so it's important for it to be represented with at least a certain degree of fidelity. Perhaps it is something to ponder, before telling nerds to shut it and go watch documentaries, when the issue lies almost exclusively on the low standards and wide appeal of the entertainment industry. But going back to topic: I have repeatedly said and quoted many times on this thread, that this has nothing to do with being unable to enjoy a level due to a so-called "nitpicky" detail, to the point I reaffirmed my deepest respect for all FM designers work, and that they should not go back and remove all the torches from their previous FMs. Only that maps can be made even better and more interesting by paying attention to this sort of detail, while losing absolutely nothing in the process. All the feedback given in this thread was of constructive nature, starting with the first post. If for some reason suggesting having accurate placement of torches adds to immersion insults you, then it is you who has a problem.
  7. I don't see why discussing aesthetics is irrelevant after we established they play a role in immersion, atmosphere, and can affect mechanics too. I think the interest for increased levels of authenticity is on the rise both in video games and general media, given the amount of historical commentators and analyzers on platforms like youtube. It is how you go from celebrating laughingly bad films like Braveheart to the release of the historically faithful Outlaw King. I just happen to think fantasy settings can play a role too and benefit from that along the way. I am sorry if I made my point a bit too long-winded for a simple change, but I expected more resistance from the long time Thief grognards. Because I highly value atmosphere and greatly respect the work and attention to detail of TDM FM designers, I think it would be good to suggest something small that can contribute to make most missions even better.
  8. Thank you Destined, this is very much what I meant. What's funny is that there already seems to be an implicit understanding, especially within the TDM fan mission designers (less in Thief FM designers), that torches in particular have a certain limited use to mostly dungeons, basements, castles or outside areas, whereas oil lamps and candles are preferred for house interiors, manors or palaces. Two good examples of that are Tears of St Lucia and NeonsStyle's Briarwood Manor. From Tears of St Lucia - the crypt and back-end levels feature torch illuminated walls, whereas the church itself and the builder's quarters are lit by lamps and candles. From NeonsStyle's Briarwood Manor - the cellars and back-end stairs are lit by torchlight, but as you go up oil lamps become the rule instead. So there is already an implicit restriction imposed by a fair number of FM designers on where torches should belong. My goal with this appeal is for FM creators to update this design standard, and let candles and oil lamps take the place of torches in dungeons and basements as well, letting torches remain on outdoors settings. The point is that beyond torches being impractical for indoor usage, both oil lamps and candles are cheaper, last longer, and are easier to maintain. Several maps already do this without acting in detriment of either aesthetics or gameplay. Some good examples: A New Job - no torches are present in this mission whatsoever. The basement section of the inn is lit instead by oil lamps. Grayman's Wm. Steele Part 1: In the North - All basement levels are lit by candles. The only torches present are used outside. Dragofer's Down by the Riverside - all the interiors are lit by oil lamps or candles. Some torches can be seen outside. Another alternative that could be considered would be to replace standard torches with oil-fueled ones instead. Something akin to a tiki torch, that is to say, a large bottle of flammable liquid placed on a torch stick/fixture. These usually produce a much bigger flame that could be matched to the current wooden torch radius very easily.
  9. I don't think that is the case. This implies that level mechanics and level aesthetics are mutually exclusive instead of mutually related. Aiming for a particular atmosphere/look in aesthetics can and should affect building design, otherwise levels will feel inconsistent. To quote yourself on a different thread: And to bring it all back to the initial topic, all I am suggesting is that it would look better if one type of light source was phased out in favor of others that are already available. And if, like you say it's a minor, relatively simple change to make, that results in added value in the form of immersion, then why not make it so, when there's nothing to lose?
  10. I don't deny this. What I am saying is that attention to detail makes for better level design, not that good level design depends on it.
  11. @Petike the Taffer thank you for your reply. This is the type of discussion I was hoping to start when I raised this thread. Naturally I am aware TDM is not meant nor it should be a hyper realistic sort of game with added steampunk elements. If it was, hallways wouldn't be supplied with permanent light fixtures as they are, because on the absence of electric light it is easier and least expensive to just leave the house dark at night and carry your own light source when you need to move around, which is what most people did 150 years ago. My point is that grounding simpler aspects of level design in reality makes attention to detail more palpable, and missions more atmospheric and engaging in return. Just as a player would react with estrangement if he saw a fire burning underwater, he will react with delighted surprise if he notices a vent placed above a torch fixture burning indoors. One of your points I have to contest though: Why? On what grounds? This assumes players are unable to deduct, my god, that water can put out fire, unless you spell it out with a big burning torch! Moreover, not only TDM provides a training mission to instruct new players, but the actual first mission included in the package (A New Job) does not feature any big torches indoors. So I feel this is a poor reason to propagate an inaccurate and silly trope. Put torches only outside or add at least proper ventilation. It just makes for better level design.
  12. This is very fair, and I applaud this decision.
  13. Question. If Bikerdude releases any further work, will his stuff be added to the in-game mission downloader?
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