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  1. Obviously, the main way to contribute to TDM is to contribute work and expertise. FMs, tech improvements, every little helps... I've been thinking about whether, besides general TDM trailers, previews, FM briefings, wallpapers, promo images, and so on and so forth, we could drum up a little amount of extra publicity for TDM via more physically tangible, but financially permissible promotional materials. As I note in the title of this thread, how about using a few select paper models, each with a The Dark Mod theme (and the associated stylistics), as something of a fan keepsake new or old fans of our freeware game could build and keep ? I'm under no illussions it would be amazing or anything. However, as a bit of a feelie, done in free time as simple promotion by some members of what is essentially a hobbyist freeware dev team, I think it would be an aptly humble, but still original bit of extra promotion. Everyone expects wallpapers, screenshots, promo videos, and so on, but some papercraft promo could help add a little bit of different flair to that more conventional promotion we already have covered. You might think "Okay, a few people will build those paper models, but how effective could this promo be, anyway ?". Well, as much as I don't have any illussions... Imagine if someone puts a building from Bridgeport paper model on their desk, next to their computer, at their own apartment/house or at their dorm room, and someone eventually asks: "Nice ! Is that a real building ? What's that from ?". The owner, who also plays TDM in their free time and is already a fan, can say: "Well, it's from this and that stealth game with this and that style setting. Want to see it ?" Then he can show the curious guy or gal this site, a trailer or two, start up the game and show some gameplay from a mission or two, the training mission... Who knows, maybe he'll get that other person interested, maybe even hooked. And it all starts with a simple paper model of some building from the TDM world. Now, playing the game in front of them could achieve a similar result. Having a TDM wallpaper as the background on the screen, or being caught watching a trailer video or Let's Play video of TDM could achieve similar results too. In the end, though, those things are wholly digital. They're not as immediate and tangible in the same manner as a paper model can be. Yes, at the end of the day, it's just card paper with textured surfaces printed on one side, skillfully cut out, assembled and glued together. But it's still a physical object, giving you more of a 3D feel than just a 2D screen (and not necessitating any VR equipment for greater immersion, beyond the limitations of that on-screen imagery). Now, concerning what the paper models would encompass, how they'd be constructed and look, I think we have to be realistic about it: Most people can bother with a paper model of a simple enough building or object, but they won't be assembling detailed paper models of, e.g. a City Watch guard. Ergo, the TDM promotional paper models we could have should focus on two areas: 1.) architecture from the setting, primarily that of The City and other urban environments (clocktower, medieval townhouses, some castle or manor house, etc., you name it); 2.) gadgets and items carried by the player character thieves in the game (a paper model of a mine or even a flashbomb, a paper model of a potion bottle or of the small hooded lantern, etc.). The surface and details should be based on textures we assign to their models directly in the game. This is obvious in the case of the gadgets and items. In the case of buildings, they could either recreate an iconic building from some FM's scenery, or they could just as easily depict a generic building, but with the same combination of building textures as you see on buildings in TDM missions. The same stone textures on the outer walls, the typical late-medieval/early modern style windows, with their metal grills and glass panes, etc. Having the paper models designed and textured in such a way that they'd reflect TDM's predominantly night time setting (including dimly lit windows on buildings) would be a pretty cool move, IMHO. It would also be accurate to the atmosphere of the game. Distribution method... Could be available for download among the promo materials section on the site, either in .pdf format or some image format (.jpg or .png). Should I take a stab at designing some basic model concepts in my free time, if I'm ever bored ? Just as a test whether we could create TDM paper models in the first place. I think there is some merit to using paper models as an inexpensive and entirely ancilliary, but still useful promotional item. Especially for a freeware labour of love like this one, tirelessly being worked on for over 16 years. Sixteen years of this much patient fan devotion is nothing to sneeze at.
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