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Dark Mod Great Summer 2010 Vertical Contest Voting


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Congratulations, Sotha!


My personal ranking, based on their FWS, was:

#1 The Caduceus of St. Alban by Bikerdude 93% (near perfect in all respects expect story/readables - for some reason, it reminded me of Bluff Eversmoking, a map from the first Unreal)

#2 The Rift by Baddcog 83% (this had the most impressive visuals/architecture after St. Alban, and the most daring concept)

#2 Somewhere Above the City by Grayman 83% (tied, some emptyish/nondescript areas, but also some incredible places - especially the jaw-droppingly awesome clock room)

#3 Illusionist's Tower by stumpy 77% (mainly because of the surreal architecture and a few really effective tricks)

#4 Swing by Komag 73% (outlandish - not the kind of mission to win contests, but in its own right, oh boy! too much fun.)

#5 Betrayal by Fieldmedic 67% (it didn't start that well, but it turned into an epic adventure where you just keep going and going up)

#5 The Glenham Tower by Sotha 67% (tied, inventive vertical devices. I rated it lower than its contest standing mainly due to it not being very scary for me - ironic for an undead mission, but there you have it)

#6 Mad's Mountain by Jesps 60% (not a low score, just rated good/good/good, which resulted in a lower final rating due to all the weighting)


All in all, all entries had something going for them, and most demonstrate that TDM is capable of previously unexploited tricks. The bar has been raised.


And now that the contest is over, let's see what the people who couldn't finish on time were working on!


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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Nope, so far (with 2 calculations) my method comes the same. So, sorry about that. I just wanted to make damn sure GAMEPLAY sits fattest on the scale.


My own math, done prior to the announcement, gave the same answers.


[Must work on gameplay, must work on gameplay, must ...]

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Hey, congrats SOTHA!! I knew it will be you! Hey STiFU, you messed with my mind! Why you talked about a great surprise? You did that with intention, did you? ;)


Don´t be sorry, Bikerdude! Your mission was the most beautiful, nothing near it. That´s an example that we should have categories, kind of an Oscar-thing...


And yeah, GREAT THANKS to Fidcal (and his assistant STiFU ;) ) for providing the results! Today! :wub:


(thanks to STiFU for checking my work and finding a bad error.)

If STiFU hadn´t 'interfered', would the voting or even the winner have been changed? Please tell us, this stuff is great for building legends/rumours... :ph34r:


I am sincerely sorry to those of you whose missions I did play but missed voting on. I was quite enthusiatic about some of them...

Didn´t I tell you to vote after you played the mission, eh? :P




Hey, that´s fun, Melan. I´ll do my own list right now, this is kind of a contest-celebration. Damn, no alcohol or drugs in the house. Anyway:

Swing by KoMaG: 53% - Sorry Komag, that doesn´t sound good (I voted good/good/poor), though the mission was good and fun, just more as a TechDemo than a mission and nothing one should miss!


Betrayal by Fieldmedic: 73% - Great mission & gameplay, much to explore and a nice story with changing environments.

Illusionist's Tower by Stumpy: 50% - Again, it sounds less better than my intention was. *Hmpf, don´t like this system. Gameplay should weight a little more than it actually does* Stumpy does make missions that need you to take your time or you won´t see the glory in it (see Dufford´s). For me this mission was lacking in AI´s, appearance and story. The Teleport-thing was ok and the mission had some nice scripted puzzles. I hope to see a revised edition in the future. (as well as for Dufford´s)


The Caduceus of St. Alban by Bikerdude: 77% - The most beautiful designed mission, so much for the eye, but so less for the tension. Also I felt not enough the vertical element. The pipe I found wasn´t climbable, so I thought no one is on my first playthrough. Being forced to take a more risky route into the building/tower would´ve raised my Gameplay-voting a lot. But still, a favourite of mine.


The Rift by Baddcog: 73% - A solid mission that sadly ends where it might have really began, I´m talking of the temple-area here. But the way to this place made good use of the vertical theme without missing the AI´s. *Oh hell, I´m beginning to comment missions as I just played them a minute ago, wrong thread, man*


Somewhere Above the City by Grayman: 70% - Damn, I forgot to replay the updated version. On my first playthrough I got slowdowns in the tower that affected my GamePlay-voting. But also the AI-placement and the room-design of the tower could´ve been better. However, if I would´ve raised my Gameplay-voting, the score would´ve been 10%(!) better and I would´ve been happy with that score because this mission was special, it simply provided atmosphere due to the level-design, voice-overs and the ending-cutscene(s). So, another underrated mission... :blush:


The Glenham Tower by Sotha: 80% - *sigh* Would´ve been close with Grayman, but Sotha´s was my favourite right from the beginning. Untouched tension & fun with gameplay, and that is what counts. Also the story fits the unnatural setting. Well, without the Undead it wouldn´t have been that tensioned, but it was very good arranged and I never got frustrated, though Undead are a frustration themselves and I normally unlike missions with them, Sotha made it fit together. Also the vertical feeling was very well delivered, especially at the beginning. Short version: the rightful winner of this vertical contest. Congrats again, Sotha! :)


Mad's Mountain by Jesps: 60% - Another solid mission with very good use of the vertical element, but the AI-positioning suffered from it (if they only could climb ropes & ladders) and the story couldn´t produce atmosphere for me.


So, now the final LEGION-ranking that you all, I´m sure of it, are waiting for: :D


  1. The Glenham Tower by Sotha: 80%
  2. The Caduceus of St. Alban by Bikerdude: 77%
  3. Betrayal by Fieldmedic: 73% & The Rift by Baddcog: 73% ->*
  4. Somewhere Above the City by Grayman: 70%
  5. Mad's Mountain by Jesps: 60%
  6. Swing by KoMaG: 53%
  7. Illusionist's Tower by Stumpy: 50%

*Hmm, it seems Fieldmedic and Baddcog need to make another mission, otherwise I can´t decide which one of you will get my bronze-medal! :rolleyes:

I´m not happy with the last two, or even three, they all are much more fun than that figure tells, sorry. :(

That leads me to:

(@Nielsen: Sorry, but I have to steal this from you. ;) )

THANK YOU @ all the participants (and the ones who didn´t made it into the contest, I´m looking forward to your work!) for your hard work and effort!

Every mission was a much better 'waste of time' than going out to waste money on alcohol. :)


And to celebrate this I´ll spend the rest of the night with a TDM-FM. No, not with the winner(later maybe), but with Heart of Lone Salvation to honour Fidcal´s effort for creating this contest. Without him I wouldn´t have had a reason to type all this in the last 1 1/2 hours. (The other reason is that Heart is the next on my play-order) :rolleyes: Hmm, Baddcog was involved too, so I´ll celebrate his third place too. The follow-up would be The Alchemist by Sotha, so I can honour him too. So, to make this a honour-weekend I need new missions by Bikerdude & Fieldmedic, hah, good thing I haven´t played their updated missions yet, that´s really great! :laugh:



But first, let us pray:


PRAISE THE DARK MOD for it will never fade away or sucked up by capitalistic forces, EIDOS & it´s seed I mean.


Amen to that.



Note: Because it was so much fun I´ll provide here the official ranking:

  1. Glenham Tower by Sotha = 80.38%
  2. Somewhere Above the City by Grayman = 77.70%
  3. Caduceus of St. Alban by bikerdude = 75%
  4. Betrayal by Fieldmedic = 70.60%
  5. Swing by Komag = 70.40%
  6. Mad's Mountain by Jesps = 66.45%
  7. Rift by Baddcog = 66.39%
  8. Illusionist's Tower by stumpy = 61.06%

Send this to your local newspapers yourself, Fidcal needs a day off, I guess. ;) Also we haven´t discussed the winning prize and if the prize get´s shipped, or better, we make big party like Oscar (you know who I mean), also we have to decide to whom we sell the TV-rights for the Aftershowparty and......


Wow, 2 hours I wasted with this, someone´s in need of a social life here... :unsure::mellow::blush: *I have a celebration to play...* :ph34r: (I guess you don´t believe me that I didn´t find any alcohol or drugs in my house) :wacko:

-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth


(hard stuff), more
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Just to answer your question about the error, LEGION, yes in theory but no in practice it would have made no difference because that extra check (and another if needed) was pre-arranged and part of the process. I never would have released my provisional results without another check even if I had to do it all again. :laugh:

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Congratulations Sotha! And congratulations every one who participated (including me).


This contest showed some of the great diversity available in the Dark Mod. I mean we had everything from "standard" heists and mind-boggling obstacle course, to teleportations en masse (which was one of the best imo). Some of these maps are sure to be inspiring maps in the future.

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What!? Glenham won? Yay! Thank you very much for this recognition. I'm sure it will inspire me to create even better maps for the community to play!

Does this mean that TDM now authorizes me to fabricate a plastic/cardboard tiara, a ribbon saying "TDM Summer Contest Winner" and walk around town wearing the things. :laugh:


I was certain the winner would have been Grayman's mission with all the cool cutscenes and conversations.


I want to thank:

  • The mod team: Greebo, Tels, coders, artists and everyone who have helped to create TDM. This mod is truly a beast. Thank you very much for making it possible. Keep the updates coming! And even in times of trouble, don't give up. The mod is very close to perfection.
  • Fidcal for seeing the trouble of organizing this contest. It was fun, meaningful and useful.
  • All the other contestants. Great and innovative maps were produced. These really show TDM means business. You all deserve a pat on the back. Like someone said earlier, everyone's a winner.
  • My betatesters. Thank you very much. Your valuable feedback and critique helped improve this mission a lot. Most likely enough to make it the winner!
  • The whole community. TDM community is the most positive, mature and fun of the large online communities I know. Thank you for making this nice and enthusiastic environment for this kind of contests. Without the community there would be no point in making these maps. I hope the great works within this contest inspires other to pick up DR and start to create maps of even higher quality! Starting DR is only Fidcal's A-Z tutorial away.

I'll look forward to the next contest. When is it going to be? Christmas?


In the end, I'll copy-paste the developer commentary I wrote in the Glenham -thread, to those who want to know how the map came together. It is a HUGE spoiler so do not read it if you've not yet played the mission.



At first I wasn't at all sure I was going to participate in the vertical contest. I had just finished The Beleaguered Fence and I thought I can't do another mission in a row.


After a weekend of drinking at my friends summer cottage I started DR to play a bit while I waited the tiredness to wear away. I made a big box enclosing the ground-tower area. In one session I built the tower exterior. I wanted it to simply be "so tall it will kill the player if he falls." I found a reference image in the net, which I used for inspiration. This one: http://marvaoguide.c...val%20tower.jpg


I decided that the player climbs to the top and there would be some undead there, because the tower is old/derelict/crumbling. I constructed the attic and the study room. I liked the idea of someone being slaughtered by the undead giving the player an example what might become of him so I placed the corpse there.


After building this I realised that the tower exterior is one huge room, so I needed to be really sparse on details so the mission will work on lower end computers. I decided to use fog to hide the lack of details. I simply checked The Hearts fog params and used those. It was really good so why change it? I tought it would be cool to used D3 physics to show that the tower is really old and crumbling so I checked some other maps how to make moveable objects. I had a big problem how the player could hoist him/herself up to the top floor and to solve this I made the collapsing rampart.


At this point I realised that fogs are a difficult thing to make look good and after an eon of fiddling I ended up using the fog for exterior so it hangs in the air below the tower. The player climbs up->fog is below him->when the player enters the tower I switch the fog off->there is no sudden disappearance of the fog as it is below the floors player is in and now I do not have fog inside the tower. A brilliant arragement, I thought, but it took really long time to come to this solution.


Then I constructed the most of the tower floors. It was rather simple to brainstorm what kind of rooms would exist in a secluded scholar tower. Most difficulty I had was the staircase. It was really difficult to fit a normal staircase inside the tower. After a lot of playing around I ended with the solution seen now. I was really pleased in it. First I was thinking about ladders but I dismissed the idea instantaneously because AI's cannot navigate ladders. At the same time the plot started brewing in my head and I decided to go with the scientific experiment gone wrong-theme.


I loved the thought of fear if the player got stuck in the haunted tower so I had the attic to collapse. I thought it would be cool for the crumbling noise to lure some zombies to the studyroom and it was simple to give new targets for stationary zombies.


At this point I thought about the Hag. I wanted to have an über undead around so I thought the scholar was misled by the hag. This would nicely explain why the undead are in the tower. It would give me a possibility of a final showdown. Slowly I had ideas coming how the hag tricked the scholar and how she became the lich queen and lured other undead to the tower.


Since there only are the zombie and the revenant models I needed to figure out some really interesing props to make the queen stand out from the other lesser undead. I had already written the readable on the burned hag, so I decided that she is trapped in the corporeal form she was just at the moment of her death. I had just played with bindings (see Silly TDM Screenshot Thread), so I knew that pretty much anything can be bound to the AI's, why not flames? Thus the burning lich queen was born.


I built the rest of the tower. At first I had a sloped tunnel going to the barrel secret door room, but it didn't fit in the contest dimension limits. So I deleted it and hastily made a climbable tunnel with a collapsed stairs. A good move, apparently, since I got a lot of good feedback for that.


Now I realised I had a nexus of evil I needed destroying, the sphere. I wanted to give the player the OPTION of being a hero and destroy it. There probably aren't many heroes among thieves and the the objective is difficult so I made it optional. As in the Beleaguered Fence, I wanted to give something extra goodies to the players who are curious or who want to see some extra trouble. I first thought of placing the acid in the same room the sphere was in, but it was all too easy. The acid went to the topmost room. The acid, by the way, uses gas stim. I though there is no need for gas in an undead mission, so I just used the gas stim, since I do not know how to make custom stims.


I wanted the destruction of the sphere to be challenging so I made it to relight. Betatester feedback helped me to improve the sphere a lot. First it just reignited 120s interval, so it could even reignite immediately upon dousing! I built a more complex reigniting system with the warning flicker. Now the player had at least a warning when the sphere will light up.


Betatesters also said that the sphere's destruction should be more exciting as it only let out a puff and disappeared. I couldn't agree more: all the trouble going back and then puff. Gone! It really needed some serious work. Then I remembered I wrote in the readable something about vitae-phlogiston igniting and destroying the undead so I wanted to simulate this event. Turned out there was some truth in the Hags book after all! And thus the flames came and the undead were destroyed. I realised it would be cool now to turn on the foglight once more because there was recently a fire there and mists of burned flesh could give an eerie atmosphere.


And finally I wanted to have the lich queen there smiting the players who would think it's all over and carelessly hopping down the stairs. Just to keep the player on their toes to the very end. Explanation is that liches are powerful undead which are even more difficult to kill than vampires so that's why the queen was there. Physical or holy damage can only separate the spirit from the body for a while, but it will return back. I am quite certain that the lich queen will harrass Porter in some later missions I will maybe create..... I've always had this thing for evil yet tragic characters..



-The mapper's best friend.

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Hey, congrats SOTHA!! I knew it will be you! Hey STiFU, you messed with my mind! Why you talked about a great surprise? You did that with intention, did you? ;)

Yeah, I seem to have messed with my own mind. I confused Fieldmedic and Sotha. :) Both were my favorites and Fieldmedic's FM was a total surprise, as he's a newcomer.


Don´t be sorry, Bikerdude! Your mission was the most beautiful, nothing near it. That´s an example that we should have categories, kind of an Oscar-thing...

I agree and I had even added the calculations to the excel files. Here are the category rankings...


Gameplay Ranking

1) Sotha 80,66%

2) Komag 72,38%

3) Grayman 72,00%

4) Bikerdude 70,43%

5) Jesps 69,57%

6) Fieldmedic 68,72%

7) Baddcog 65,00%

8) stumpy 60,91%


Visuals Ranking

1) Bikerdude 86,96%

2) Grayman 83,56%

3) Komag 81,90%

4) Sotha 79,34%

5) Fieldmedic 73,85%

6) Baddcog 72,50%

7) Jesps 66,96%

8) stumpy 62,27%


Story Ranking

1) Grayman 83,11%

2) Sotha 81,64%

3) Fieldmedic 69,74%

4) Bikerdude 64,78%

5) stumpy 59,09%

6) Baddcog 58,33%

7) Jesps 56,09%

8) Komag 41,43%


So Congrats Grayman, Bikderdude and once again Sotha... :)


If STiFU hadn´t 'interfered', would the voting or even the winner have been changed? Please tell us, this stuff is great for building legends/rumours... :ph34r:

Hehe originally Sotha scored the before-last place and I was like "wuuut? That can't be right...". :)

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For what it matters Jesps, I think you should have won. The story may have been basic, but I distinctly remember having fun on your level not being able to complain about much.


Glenham tower was... alright... I wouldn't have guessed it would have won though, I thought Biker dude's map was better because of the quality of the visuals and the exploration.

Edited by Mr Lemony Fresh
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Congrats Sotha. I didn't get time to play all of the missions, but of the five I did play, yours was my favourite by far. :)


Thanks to all the mission authors who participated...each map showcased something new and cool about TDM!

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I just have to make a comment on the fact that I scored third place on my story! blink.gif Holy shit! That thin story with Swiss cheese holes and stuff about great necromancers tearing down huge monuments and unrealistic architecture and I can't mention it all laugh.gif One cool thing about it though is that it makes way for three side stories rolleyes.gif Maybe I will make them in the future...


But it's interresting to see the ratings for each of the categories. Is the most scores put on gameplay? Or have I missunderstood the calculating?



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But it's interresting to see the ratings for each of the categories. Is the most scores put on gameplay? Or have I missunderstood the calculating?

No, you haven't. The Full-Weigthed-Score is calculated by the formula

FWS = (GameplayPoints * 3 + VisualsPoints * 2 + StoryPoints * 1) / MaximumPossibleScore.


I was very recently actually thinking that Story should be weighted higher. A good gameplay is of course the most important factor for representing the quality of an FM, but I do think that Visuals and Story should count about the same. So A weighting of something like 1.5 : 1 : 1 would be more suited in my opinion.

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That´s what I wanted to say. I also wrote Fieldmedic that he shouldn´t mock his own story, then made a joke about that we had that recently the other way around, set this smiley: :laugh: and than I got the idea to recalculate Grayman´s score, in the way that I increased my gameplay-score from 3 to 4, at the end I had the figure 163 and than FireFox crashed and the message is gone, and even know I can´t get a percentage value? So, it´s not meant to be, no rumour-creating, no law-suit-reasons for Grayman, hmpf, my fault anyway. Still, Graymans mission was the only I had technical issues that affected the score...

Oh, and I thanked STiFU for providing that list, and here I do it again. And yes, as I see you posting now due to fate, the story could use more importance. Hmm, maybe GP=5, AP=3 and ST=2.5. But I won´t recalculate all the scores with that. Hey STiFU, why don´t you post your Excel-file and I´ll have my fun? ;):laugh:


Hmm, that wouldn´t change a lot, would it?

Edited by LEGION

-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth


(hard stuff), more
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Congrats to the winner, guess this was almost everyone´s favourite from the beginning, even if there was no other participants at that time :-)


I fel little sorry to not vote better for Betrayal, to give it better scoring , as this was my personal number 2...


Anyway, if overall quality of FMs will improve by such speed, next contest entries will beat the good ol´ original Thief... if we´re not already there :-)


Big thanks to all mappers for such a great fun.

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Yeah, that applies to finns as well. With this persepective it is hilarious to watch shows like top chef or hells kitchen where people brag how great they are and how they are leaders, etc and then they screw up at the earliest opportunity.


I'm personally certain that if I take a 'superior proud attitude' humiliating downfall is imminent. I suppose finnish humility is at least partially derived from this law.



Paljon onnea! cool.gif


Kiitos kiitos. Hienoa saada viedä voitto Suomeen tällaisessa kansainvälisessä yhteisössä.


-The mapper's best friend.

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Congrats Sotha and everyone for putting on a great contest.






Gamers Outreach, a nonprofit that uses videogames to raise money for chairty.


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For what it matters Jesps, I think you should have won. The story may have been basic, but I distinctly remember having fun on your level not being able to complain about much.


That actually means a lot, thanks. To be honest I dont personally think my map should have won, but the fact that someone does makes it all worth while. biggrin.gif

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