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TDM campaign?


Alexander
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Any plans for this?

It sounds like a big step at first, but really all it needs is to get 10 or so guys who are planning to make a level (you already have that many) and then write a story around the levels they are already going to make, which it more or less how they did it for Thief 2.

So no forcing people to make levels they don't really want to be making, which is always dangerous for morale.

There would be no shortage of people willing to write the plot around those missions, that's for sure, and you could make it a contest for the best story.

Yes, playing 10 separate missions is fun enough, but it obviously adds quite a lot to have them all connected by an overall narrative arc.

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It sounds like a big step at first, but really all it needs is to get 10 or so guys who are planning to make a level (you already have that many) and then write a story around the levels they are already going to make, which it more or less how they did it for Thief 2.

 

...and the developers of Thief 2 later said that this approach hurt the overall game since they were then forced to write the story around the level ideas, instead of having the levels naturally grow from the story itself.

 

To answer your question though, no, there are currently no plans for an official TDM campaign. We're having fun seeing what the Thief community has been contributing through their Fan Missions. :)

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Firstly, this is not a new idea; it has been discussed many times.

 

It's extremely difficult to produce a full campaign of full size FMs. Each full-sized reasonable quality FM probably takes 3 to 12 months. Let's call that an optimistic 6 months. Start 10 guys building and I can guarantee that 10 will not finish and those that do will not finish together. The worst case (that finishes at all) might be two years so the whole campaign waits for that one. You need to start with 20 guys and have a flexible story that can be rewritten for the 10 that finish in 6 months. Any stragglers release their FMs later as individual FMs.

 

OK, that's if a group of independent mappers get together but you are talking an 'official' TDM campaign. TDM was created as a game-maker not a game for use by the public. There is no official team of 10 mappers let alone 20. Nor are any standing to attention waiting around for a project. There were betamappers to test and help develop the game maker and the team managed to squeeze out some demo FMs and a trainer. They were tough to manage and produce. Saint Lucia took a year. The trainer took a year. Both were produced not by one person but by the combined efforts of the entire *available* mapping capacity of the Dark Mod Team. After the release of Dark Mod that capacity effectively dispersed to work independently or moved on to other things. Why should they be confined to some Dark Mod project when as external mappers they are working completely freely in their own style and without having to discuss every nut and bolt with the rest of the team?

 

We struggle to find the manpower to do the essential fixes and upgrades to the mod. For the 'team' to produce a campaign now is unrealistic. The best way to produce a campaign is to have one authoritive competent manager who pays mappers to produce his main theme. He should be flexible but he makes the decisions. All work is submitted regularly so anyone who lags or drops out is dismissed and spare capacity mappers take over. It's a military operation. The alternative, as said, is start with 20 guys, set a target of say 6 months, muddle through, then make up a campaign from the half a dozen who finish if you're lucky. ;)

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I am sure large campaigns will be made for TDM (after all, NHAT is already one, and it strings together three large missions). But the problems Fidcal has mentioned will be there, in particular, delays even if things get completed. CoSaS for Thief2 has missions under progress whose original versions were submitted to the project more than seven or eight years ago. Purah has a mission there, and he has not been using Dromed since probably 2003. Etc. Would you be willing to wait as much, even if everything turned out superblicious awesome in the end? Not me. Okay, this is an extreme outlier, but even so, there are a lot of reasons we aren't seeing many full campaigns.

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

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Yep I agree with the things said. However, I am pretty sure FM campaigns will emerge at some point.

Well, at least I'm creating individual missions, which are linked, so maybe when/if I have enough missions, I will cram them into The Adventures of Thomas Porter -type of campaign.

Now the plots seem entirely separate but with inserted plot elements and plot interweaving a solid over-the-campaign plot could be generated. The existing missions could be then modified for the campaign so that they fit together more seamlessly.

 

At least that's what I've been thinking, although not too seriously..

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Yes, that's what I've done with Thief's Den. There are 4 already and I'm working on 2 more. The link between the first 3 was little more than the player character and Sam, the informant. Now I've introduced the Clara character who is both rogue and noble and lo and behold we now magically have noblewomen and female rogues on the horizon, I have started to enlarge and strengthen the story connections. Although not visible, Clara 'appeared' in Alchemist by inference (opening the gate, shooting an arrow message) but now I can actually make her visible, probably briefly, in both her guises.

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Yes, with most TCs and mods you'd assume all the difficulties mentioned as a major hurdle, but given that the hard part has already been done, that this is one of those precious few ambitious attempts that have actually come to fruition, the last 5-6 years spent making it possible to create campaigns would almost seem wasted without converting it into one, or if that seems harsh, it would not be realising the full potential of the toolset.

The dedication and stamina involved having already been proven, it would be reasonable to have confidence that a campaign along the lines that have already been mentioned (which is certainly the path of least resistance for making it) could be completed as well.

As for patience, well most people have already waited half a decade for TDM to appear at all, so another 18-24 months for "The Campaign" would be easy :)

Obviously you insiders are better placed that I to foresee the harsh realities of such an attempt, so I'll take 'maybe' as the best and most honest answer :)

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We struggle to find the manpower to do the essential fixes and upgrades to the mod.

I'd just like to quote that for truth.

 

We struggle to find the manpower to do the essential fixes and upgrades to the mod.

 

We struggle to find the manpower to do the essential fixes and upgrades to the mod.

 

A few times. In a thread many are sure to read.

 

Help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to share my humble opinion.

Campaign is something that defines commercial single-player game. A product, which allows you to play through, enjoy, but however, then to abandon (and forget most of cases.)

A game editor, which we have here, allows FM makers to supply the community with new FM (a micro-game) every now and then for extended period of time (supposedly, forever :wub: )

Kinda like those "episodical" games like HL2 episodes - compare time between releasing HL2 episodes and their playing time with time between TDM FMs and their playtime...

I personally like this setup very much. I don´t need campaign for something that exceeds such terms, for example, i skipped maybe half of T2 levels which i didn´t quite liked, and was stuck in T1 so badly that i was not able to proceed

(remember the mission where you had to pull three hidden levers to release the bridge ?) I hated the game for this mission, and was using ver.1.0, so there was no Ctrl-Shift-End option.

Yeah, and i liked maybe 3 levels of TDS, and surrended it for boredom.

I got more fun with TDM to date than i had with TMA, T2X and TDS together. (TDP was first, thus unbeaten.)

Big thanks for this to TDM team , as they are managing the whole thing the right way.(apart from talented FM makers)

Just IMHO.

Edited by Trickster
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(remember the mission where you had to pull three hidden levers to release the bridge ?)

 

No, I can´t remember. :unsure: Ah, you mean the hammer-temple (Undercover)? That were five levers if I remember right, let´s see: one behind the skull of St. Yora right of the cathedral, one in the garden behind a tree, one in the grave of Brother Mason, one in the old kitchen, that was then used as the treasury-room left of the oven and the last lever was in the torture-room by the 'Streckbank' (too lazy to translate this now and I think german words are funny, aren´t they?*). :) Oh, and don´t forget to read the 'Wallbuilder'-prayer if it was called that...

 

*ETA: Ha, I couldn´t help. The official translation is "rack" but "stretch-bank" would do it too, wouldn´t it?

Edited by LEGION

-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth

->

(hard stuff), more
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