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Vertical Contest Mission: Somewhere Above the City by Grayman (Aug 20, 2010)


Somewhere Above the City by Grayman (2010/8/20) Summer FM Vertical Contest Entry  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. 1. Gameplay: Enjoyment. Fun duration. Smooth flow, ect. Versus Bugs. Frustration, Boredom, framelag

  2. 2. 2. Appearance: Vertical use, Visual pleasure, lighting, visual style, deduct bad texturing etc.

  3. 3. 3. Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling



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What an awesome mission! I really enjoyed this one. It had strong Thief 1 and 2 vibes to it with the grimy yet spacious interior of the tower. I finished with a mediocre stealth score (got into a fig

Woo-hoo! Done!   A new version is now available, v1.1. Thanks to all who commented on the first version.         Thanks to my beta testers:   Bikerdude HappyCheeze Xarg     The Story:   The Builders h

@thebigh   Glad you enjoyed it. My first mission, so so long ago!    

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Thank you for this gorgeous mission with introduction and ending clips.

 

Is there supposed to be an introduction movie??? :huh:

 

Let me know if you need more hints.

 

I haven't actually finished the mission yet, as I got stuck again at the end. I have no idea

where the guy is I'm supposed to kill...I thought he blew himself up in the mines? He said he was waiting in his lab, but wasn't that the place with flasks and the brick wall blown apart? I searched everywhere I could there and couldn't find anyone.

 

 

I've got just a tiny sliver of health left, so there's no way for me to get back up to the

machine, unless there's some way to turn off the electricity that I've missed, so I'll probably have to noclip if you have to destroy that machine

to see the ending.

 

There are some things about this map I really loved...the scripted events are excellent, really top-notch--the explosion and the falling platform scared the crap out of me--I can only hope to learn a thing or two from you there; the specialized vocals were great at the beginning, and the clock area at the top was very beautifully done. I also loved the gameplay affect of the lightning, as I was actually spotted once because of it.

 

Unfortunately, I've also found much to be frustrated about. I frequently didn't know where to go in the mines...after finally finding the temple I spent about fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to get into it. Then at the top of the tower I wasn't sure what to do or where to find the inventor. I'm loaded down with gas and fire arrows, yet there are hardly any adversaries, so it has made the AI a non-issue. All the challenge has come from actually having to figure out where to go and what to do, which might be enjoyable for puzzle-solvers, but it's not my cup of tea. :(

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Is there supposed to be an introduction movie??? :huh:

 

I think the reference to the opening clip means the slide-show briefing.

 

 

I have no idea

where the guy is I'm supposed to kill...I thought he blew himself up in the mines? He said he was waiting in his lab, but wasn't that the place with flasks and the brick wall blown apart? I searched everywhere I could there and couldn't find anyone.

 

 

 

If you watch the priest prior to the explosion, you can see that he stepped out of sight. So, no, he didn't kill himself there. He doesn't appear in his lab until after you destroy the machine. You do that by placing either the white flask you took from the chest, or one of the 4 white flasks near the "fire" label on the table just under the roof, next to the machine. Then hit the thing with a fire arrow and everything goes up in a flash of light. THEN you can go back to the lab and deal with the priest.

 

 

I've got just a tiny sliver of health left, so there's no way for me to get back up to the

machine, unless there's some way to turn off the electricity that I've missed, so I'll probably have to noclip if you have to destroy that machine

to see the ending.

 

 

 

Next to the ladder by the pool of electrified water is a button. Hit it with an arrow and the electricity will turn off and you can walk through the water and climb to the roof.

 

 

Hope that helps.

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The ending video(s) are absolutely fantastic! I wish I'd had a better time with this mission, because those would have knocked my socks off if I hadn't known they were coming. I hope more missions start going that route.

 

You've definitely pushed the envelope here Grayman...I think with some more AI and some slightly clearer directions this will become a classic.

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The ending video(s) are absolutely fantastic! I wish I'd had a better time with this mission, because those would have knocked my socks off if I hadn't known they were coming. I hope more missions start going that route.

 

I agree! It would help a lot to have a wiki tutorial on the stuff.... *wink wink, nudge nudge*

Say no more.. ;)

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Hey, does no one have FPS-drops in the tower? I had to constantly reload every 2/3 minutes and that was the mission-killer for me, sadly. Normally I have 60 FPS, have a decent system, so I don´t know why I have these lags? The font disappeared after reloading too, but not in the tower-area where I had to reload often, as I said.

 

 

If I didn´t had this bad performance at the end this mission would be a winner. Much nice things, and I hadn´t had problems with figuring out to shoot the switch or how to destroy the bomb-thing (needed only to find the right side, as you said). But there were definitely Health-potions missing at the end.

 

The clock-tower was damn beautiful, the lightning-flashes were so great, damn good optic here! The mines had way too much mushrooms for my taste, but the design was very nice.

Just one thing about climbables: You made the way down not short enough(they reached into the ground), because I wasn´t able to walk off the chains or the shaft, had to jump off it.

 

The journal was very nice, though it would´ve been better to cut it into two or even three readables. Also the chest wasn´t highlighted as a whole.

 

The vocals were nice, though I had little trouble to understand the priest at the end.

 

The briefing was very good, nearly perfect to read for me, could have been just a little bit more slowly to be perfect to read and notice the pictures.

 

I was stunned to see a ending-sequence, I hope you add someday a intro-sequence with a camera-drive around the beautiful clock-tower (picture you posted here)!

 

Damn, I´m still annoyed by the bad performance at the end, it were the same lag as at the end at Badcogs Rift, but way more short in it´s appearance, as I said, I had to quicksave/load every 2/3 minutes. That made me blackjack all AI´s and kill the guard with helmet that left me with only little health. Gladly I figured out how to switch electricity off...

 

What´s the cause of that lags? It seems I´m the only one this time experiencing this? I have a fast system, can´t be that! Maybe a spider in a wrong position? I noticed that I couldn´t frob one of the spiders after I killed them... Btw, I played 2:23 hours, too long?

Though, the lag began right at the beginning of the tower, just as the music switched after the elevator. Oh, the in-tower-elevator was nice with the story-light or how that is called. Also the music didn´t disappeared after reloading, nice to 'see' that in the newer missions. Apropos music, this was so far the mission with the best ambient-sounds, there were ambient everywhere. Even bats at the first descend, right?

 

 

If I weren´t annoyed by the damn lag, I would praise this mission in all categories into Excellent. I hope you make a revised edition with more AI´s, erased bugs, improved performance when you have your new rig, would love to play an expanded version of this, because the atmosphere and optics were great! Damn nice work, Grayman! smile.gif

-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth

->

(hard stuff), more
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Hey, does no one have FPS-drops in the tower?

 

Sorry to hear about the lag. For me, on a slow system, it runs anywhere from 5->50 FPS. But with graphics dialed all the way down, I can get through it. I haven't heard anyone else comment about lag, probably because they have fast systems. Not sure why your fast system experienced this.

 

I'm issuing a v1.1 sometime today, with comments on this thread addressed. I'll add a bit more health. Sadly, performance increases are not one of the changes, because I'm down to bare bones on that, and don't know what else I could do w/o deleting half the brushes.

 

Thanks for playing.

 

 

 

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I've posted a new version of this map.

 

You can find the link back at the top of this thread.

 

Changes:

 

 

 

1) Shortened the journal by 1/3 for less-patient readers.

2) Penshawk and his extra loot are now in the lab the first time you go there. This addresses the "can't find the guy" comment.

3) Placed the sleeping guard on a bench so he's not standing in a black box if he wakes up.

4) Added Penshawk to the top of the sabotaged elevator shaft, shouting a warning and stepping away when you step into the shaft. This should do away with the "priest committed suicide" comments, since this happens after the mine explosion.

5) Changed the flasks to bottles and added new white skins marked "F" (fire), "P" (pressure), and "E" (electricity). The new skins will make the chest bottle look more important and less likely to be left behind.

6) For the comment on needing more AI:

- On Expert, added a second guard to floor 1 and a third guard to floor 2 of the building.

- On all difficulty levels, added a patrolling guard near the bottom of the final elevator.

7) The nonworking elevator buttons are now non-frobbable to reduce player anxiety. Also separated them a bit more to ease crowding.

8) First and second floor building guards are not removed when ascending above those floors on the fancy elevator. Addresses the "where'd everybody go?" comment.

9) More health added. Addresses reaching the top with not enough health to get across the electrified water if the player can't figure out the solution to that.

10) Fixed two elevator buttons that were moving the wrong way.

11) Slightly lengthened the briefing components' time on screen for slower readers.

12) Added two notes in the sub-roof area (between the roof and the clock mechanism) to hopefully clarify how to deal with the Inventors' machine.

13) Enhancement: Added a dead companion for the Drinker in the cellar and changed the Drinker's opening conversation. A card game gone bad.

14) Enhancement: Moved the glass ceiling so the player could more easily see the splashing rain.

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who's played and commented so far.

Edited by grayman
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Mirrored: http://bloodgate.com/fms/somewhere1.1.pk4

 

I haven't actually played it yet, maybe I should wait for v1.2? :D Just kidding, what little free time I have I spent coding on TDM, so no time to play :-/

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Mirrored: http://bloodgate.com/fms/somewhere1.1.pk4

 

I haven't actually played it yet, maybe I should wait for v1.2? :D Just kidding, what little free time I have I spent coding on TDM, so no time to play :-/

 

No plans for a 1.2 unless someone finds a fatal bug.

 

Coding is good. Keep on coding!

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So very well done! I thoroughly enjoyed the mission. The map was well thought out and looked great, the story was good... but the twist was GREAT! We got to see some unique things about Bridgeport here, and you fit the cultural notes in without beating me over the head with an hour of reading. Some specific points of comment:

 

 

Not that the mines are a secret, though one begins the mission expecting to go UP, not down first! Though I know the ex-priest and his cronies are using the place, I felt the mines should have been darker, perhaps only lit with the mushrooms. Otherwise I loved them. Wasn't wild about the flashmine/teleport trap, however. :)

 

 

 

Great vertical use on this map, but even better was that you did NOT fill out the whole tower. Leaving just the right elevator buttons working was smart in my opinion; the story would get really boring with an extra 50 almost empty rooms!

 

 

 

One thing I was hoping for since the start, and thought I had found it in the clock room, was being forced to climb outside the tower at some point... a broken elevator or locked stairway could have forced a little high altitude repelling action. I tried to jump through the hole in the clock glass a few times! That would have been a cool way to avoid the electrical damage in the lab.

 

 

 

Odd that, in the story, the priest hated thugs, but hired some for himself. Knowing he was going to kill everyone made up for it, though. After all, his hirelings would be wiped out, too! Which brings me to...

 

 

 

Plot! A simple crawler/climber with a simple theme was fine, but the whole super-weapon, Karas-scale ending was great! For me it was made better because the chest was the LAST thing I found. Only then did I realize the disaster I averted.

 

 

 

Would have been nice if one could use those "F" bottles to blow open some of the boarded up mine tunnels for some nice, hidden loot. Since one would only carry 1 bottle at a time, and since one was supplied in the crate, two shafts could have been opened. :D

 

 

Great work!

207115_1788633687853_1599901965_31729336_1424191_n.jpg
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Wasn't wild about the flashmine/teleport trap, however. :)

 

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it!

 

The flashmine/teleport trap didn't involve flashmines or teleporters. The scene was essential to show the power of a small bit of the mushroom potion. Just imagine what an enhanced large portion would do! The bits of the mine that were gone after the explosion were really removed. You weren't teleported elsewhere.

 

 

 

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I'd like to say congratulations on such a fabulous mission. :)

I've now played all but one of the vertical missions and I must say this creation is simply perfect.

The mines were beautiful with all those colourful mushrooms. The clock tower was also superbly done:

Those clock faces at the top were simply jaw dropping!

Not to mention the cutscenes and scripted events really fuelled me with excitement and eagerness to go on.

 

The story was not exactly original, however it always makes a winning formula. The point is you did it well! It's like one of those box office hits in the movies :D.

 

 

I'm surprised some found this mission hard to navigate. For me it was very well paced and relatively linear with just enough room for exploration. Again perfect.

I think the only negative thing I could say is it's too short!!

I want more :(

 

I don't think this is deserving of any less than 15/15.

Thank you Grayman for this thrilling experience.

Edited by Soulie
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I think the only negative thing I could say is it's too short!!

I want more :(

Thank you Grayman for this thrilling experience.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it. This was my first published mission, and I've learned a lot from the people who've played so far.

 

Thanks!

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Finished in just over an hour. Well done Grayman for a wonderful mission. I really did enjoy the cut scene at the end and it was great to see the slightly different alternative endings. Beautifully done.

I caught myself in the foot at one stage! After climbing the broken elevator shaft I climbed the second one thinking it was busted too and had to climb all the way down again when i found the lift blocking my way! lol

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I finally got to finish this one! I started it the day you got it working for me, but, well, sometimes Real Life interrupts things, and I wasn't able to devote the time to truly enjoy it through the end until today.

 

I am SO glad you were able to fix this for me, Grayman! I loved this mission! Really fun story. :)

 

 

From the drunk guard, to the white mushroom explosion in the mine, to the gorgeous clock faces and the very top of the tower, and the fantastic ending cutscenes ...were there more than two? I had to go back and kill Penshawk (I hope I got the name right) after seeing the first ending video where I'd blackjacked him, to see the differences. If there are more, I'm gonna have to try to figure out how to get them!

 

 

Absolutely great, and that's even with being struck by the 'no font' bug from the moment the mission loaded. I didn't care! Thank you so much for working to figure out how I could get this mission to run. It was so worth it!

Edited by Shaz
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Finished in just over an hour. Well done Grayman for a wonderful mission.

 

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

 

 

I actually did worry about people doing what you did, but decided that since there wasn't a broken elevator at the bottom of the shaft, they would try the button first. Sorry!

 

 

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Great! Glad we were able to track down the problem.

 

 

There are only two endings. I figured I couldn't control what people did with Penshawk, so I decided to cover the possibilities: KO or death.

 

 

Sorry about the font bug. I'm told that's a TDM problem, but no one's complained about it on other missions. I've seen it and other weird HUD issues on missions I've played. Not sure why it's picking on SATC, though.

 

Hopefully the other two missions you were having a problem with will get fixed too.

 

 

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I just rush in to tell you that in your new version the briefing delay is PERFECT!! Now I´m not only able to read all in time, but I can look at the 'pictures' and notice how well arranged they are, and I am able to read the text slower and give it a fitting 'voice-over', in my mind of course! :)

-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth

->

(hard stuff), more
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I just rush in to tell you that in your new version the briefing delay is PERFECT!! Now I´m not only able to read all in time, but I can look at the 'pictures' and notice how well arranged they are, and I am able to read the text slower and give it a fitting 'voice-over', in my mind of course! smile.gif

 

 

Great!

 

I was planning to do a voice-over for the briefing, but ran out of time.

 

Hopefully you'll find the time to go back through the mission to see the other changes. The opening monologue is different, there are more AI, the flasks are now labeled bottles, and the objectives satisfied in the lab and on the roof are less confusing (I think).

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