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Fan Mission: St Alban's Cathedral (01/11/2010)


Bikerdude
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your welcome.

:ph34r:

 

One of the stand-outs for me was the layout of the rooms. There was such a lot of case that appeared to have occurred in the township itself. Most especially for me, the widow's house with the garden area. The way the floors just flowed together was very effective.

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Hey Bikerdude, I finally got a chance to play this beauty! I must say, it was a great experience and I am really astonished something like this can be pulled of in TDM. The explorative gameplay was very neat and the graphics were surplus, aside from some repetitive room designs in the lower and upper parts of the cathedral. Still, you'll get a 4/4 for graphics from my side. I especially loved the TDS-like blueish moon-dust lighting effect in the cathedral and the overall diversity of lighting. The city felt really authentic too. I laughed a little when I discovered a bulrush nowhere near a lake or even water, but that's really not that bad. You still did a great job with vegetation and all that.

 

However, the use of AI was not the best. The places were pretty narrow, so AI got stuck very often (4 times on a single playthrough) and there were also too few AI, especially in the cathedral. Adding some more AI without intersecting routes (so that there is no AI clutter at doors) would have been no problem. I don't know though how performance would be affected by that. So this makes my gameplay vote a 3/4.

 

Minor Issues:

 

  • In the cells of the Cathedral, one cell door is opening as if the hinge was on the side of the lock.
  • Again cathedral cells, a sleeper is intersecting with his bed.
  • Waterarros couldn't be grabbed from cabin below the mossarrows in the shop.
  • Couldn't exit the canalization through the manhole leading to the startarea.
  • AI in tavern intersecting with wall after alert:
    shot00013a.th.jpg

 

 

But where is that darn

secret vault key? The readable said something about the builder and that that dude was in the church, so I searched the whole place accessible to him, but couldn't find anything. I read something here about a window and a lose brick, but couldn't find anything either. Any hints?

 

 

Some further screenshots with HDR enabled (Hosted on imageshack, because I didn't want to compress the images down to the 1mb limit):

 

shot00008fr.th.jpgshot00010ye.th.jpgshot00016h.th.jpgshot00017b.th.jpg

shot00023q.th.jpgshot00024wi.th.jpgshot00025k.th.jpg

 

 

 

 

Anyway, congrats on this FM. Looking forward to play your next one... :)

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secret vault key? The readable said something about the builder and that that dude was in the church, so I searched the whole place accessible to him, but couldn't find anything. I read something here about a window and a lose brick, but couldn't find anything either. Any hints?

Yup, try the

bedroom - you have have to use the lean ,movement when frobbing for the brick..

 

 

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I just started playing this one today. WOW! This one takes me back. It has been a long time since I've actually sat down and 'played' a mission, rather than using a mission for testing...so this feels great.

 

The atmosphere and huge amount of exploration is just perfect. The world feels huge.

 

Great job. Back to playing. :)

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Hey Bikerdude,

 

Fantastic mission! Kept me interested with its complexity and its approach to each piece of the entire mission.

 

I have a couple questions. I'm at the point..

 

where I have the remains plus framed the inventor, so I'm on my way out. But before I end the mission, I haven't figured out two things:

 

1. There was an apartment on the city streets with a drunkard. I read his note next to him while he slept, and was keeping an eye out for his vault key throughout the mission, but haven't found it. Where might it be?

 

2. Looking for a key to open a safe in the lower level cells of the Cathedral as well.

 

 

 

Thanks again for the great mission, and the others you've done as well. Kick ass ^_^

Loose BOWELS are the first sign of THE CHOLERA MORBUS!
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Visually this mission is a spectacle and I voted accordingly wub.gif Good job, Biker!

 

The story could've been fleshed out a bit more, but I've got no specific complaints.

 

But the gameplay... Now I voted excellent, because there were a lot of things I did like. The town section, the sewers, the cathedral - all worked pretty well together. However... There were definitely things that bugged me a little - which I suppose contributed to me playing this incrimentally, in half an hour streches over a period of nigh two, three weeks.

 

In the beginning it was a little confusing finding out where to get to, but no biggie. The one thing I really missed was a map. After the first few places to go in the town section, I had no idea where to go or where I had been! Map would've improved things tremendously. The sewers absolutely could've used a map of any kind, really! The cathedral also could've been a little bit more exciting, the rooms were a bit empty and absent of loot. Also, I really kept looking for the Inventor's room - could've been labeled, I guess.

 

Still, I personally loved the puzzles! I didn't have any problems with them, probably because I've been a fan of them since my teens and because I tend to look into every nook and cranny anyways. Didn't require any help on those. Also, the smuggler's cave was amazing! Perfect ending to the mission!

 

So, the gameplay had me torn in two a bit, but all in all you, Biker, do know how to make missions that are something new and improved. cool.gif Good job and awaiting for more!

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1. There was an apartment on the city streets with a drunkard. I read his note next to him while he slept, and was keeping an eye out for his vault key throughout the mission, but haven't found it. Where might it be?

2. Looking for a key to open a safe in the lower level cells of the Cathedral as well.

 

 

Like most thief missions, the key as mentioned in his note is verl, well hidden, so you need to frob around his apartment

- hint windows

 

 

A map would've improved things tremendously. the Inventor's room - could've been labeled.

Point taken, may do an update of this mission with most of the things people have mentioned.

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  • 1 month later...

Sadly, it seems there are a few bugs with this mission in 1.03. There is no ambient music in the mission now, even though my volumes are turned up. The "wading through water" sounds in that portion of the map are extremely loud.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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The "wading through water" sounds in that portion of the map are extremely loud.

 

That's always been around, some people dont seem to hear it/notice it. It seems extremely loud/sharp to me with headphones + EAX 4 disabled. Mostly the abrupt and sharp splash sound gets me.

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Visuals: Outstanding. The mission is gorgeous, the cathedral itself is a work of art and everything is so well tuned. Splendid.

 

 

Story: Outstanding. Story is much more than readables, and in this case it shows. Things are where you'd expect them to be, for example once you realise

the second clue is up on the rafters, the role of the ladder and planks

becomes obvious and allows to continue without losing too much time. The backstory itself is tight and kept me immersed during the whole time. Not too many keyhunts, clues just difficult enough, interesting readables. Haven't found a single fault, it was everything I expected from a FM.

 

Gameplay: Very good gameplay design especially with the many routes and rooftops, pickable locks etc. But still the same engine-related problem as Biker's last FM i.e too few AIs meaning that there is almost no tension, especially in the cathedral itself. If multiple AI in open environments are that much CPU-taxing, this is seriously going to limit what people can do with TDM...

Edited by Briareos H
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

B1k3rdude - Are you a qualified / a student architect?

 

If not you should be! The architecture (especially in the cathedral itself) - is hands down the very best I have seen in any TDM FM so far. Absolutely faultless. The whole mission was very believable from a realism point of view. Right down to the smallest details in even the minorest of buildings. You can play FM's which try to be castles, or tries to emulate the feel of a church... and they do the job - but they dont come more believable than this!

 

This map has raised the bar on visual quality, as to me it was exactly how a cathedral should look. And hey - it runs perfectly no slow-down's experienced here. (Oh and the Cove was awesome too, very natural geometry ;))

 

10/10 for visuals definitely.

 

 

Ok onto the criticism and possible spoilers :P

 

 

My major let down, was the lack of guards in the cathedral. I appreciate the sheer size of the map, and that there were a lot of AI outside...

 

But I managed to count only 3 builder guards (and one undead) in the whole of the cathedral complex. It made things a bit too easy, as the whole of the upper level of the church was unihabited (lots of sleeping quarters, but not enough guards to inhabit them!). A few more guards patroling about the corridors, maybe a few sleeping in loot filled rooms upstairs, and 1 or two in the dining/ living area just above the crypt might make this a bit more exciting.

 

Secondly - the Loot objective... again was a bit low for me even on the highest difficulty. I had hit the 3000 mark and completed the objective just before reaching the church. Considering the end game statistics said there was over 7000 loot to be had, I would consider increasing this in future updates.

 

Finally, the story was quite well done but I thought it was a bit light. Not everyone likes scouring through readables, or carrying books in an already clogged up inventory - but i felt it could have been padded out a bit more... I didnt understand some of the plot while playing... i.e. Did the builders have the remains locked up or were they searching for them too? did they even know they were there? where did the first clue come from in the researchers bedroom? how come they had never found them before? This left me a bit confused about what exactly was going on and where I should have gone next. The clue which seemed to be in Latin had me running around looking for something out of place for ages as I had no clue what to do next.

 

 

Despite my minor gripes, the good far outweighs the bad on this one. You have set a benchmark for visual quality and thats definitely no small feat!

 

I look forward to seeing more of your missions!

-Scope
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hey Scope

 

I'm a computer engineer by trade and the basic build of the cathedral was originally built by Lauren Schmit. I then customised and details the map to what you now see. Even working with a pre-made map was a big learning curve, but now I can work with patched a lot easer than could before.

 

On the realisim front, its been said I am a stickler for details - I try my best.

 

The cove was actually a cave model from doom3 and I just used 2 of them and them detailed up the insides etc, so it looked like a proper underground cave etc.. Im glad you enjoyed playing, that was the primary reason for building the mission and all mission I work on.

 

Talking of mission, I have been working on a revised and optimized version of Return to the City, which I will be released either today or tomorrow!

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hey Scope

 

I'm a computer engineer by trade and the basic build of the cathedral was originally built by Lauren Schmit. I then customised and details the map to what you now see. Even working with a pre-made map was a big learning curve, but now I can work with patched a lot easer than could before.

 

On the realisim front, its been said I am a stickler for details - I try my best.

 

The cove was actually a cave model from doom3 and I just used 2 of them and them detailed up the insides etc, so it looked like a proper underground cave etc.. Im glad you enjoyed playing, that was the primary reason for building the mission and all mission I work on.

 

Talking of mission, I have been working on a revised and optimized version of Return to the City, which I will be released either today or tomorrow!

 

 

Now that is very clever.

 

I would never have thought of using Pre-fabs like that as I didn't know people made such complex things like that just so we can put them in custom maps. A great find :)

 

Recycling the doom 3 assets in the form of the cave was a genius move though my friend, there are some really well made structures in D3 - again I would never thought of doing that! I might have a look at some of the doom 3 missions myself to see if there is anything I can use myself :)

 

And I shall get v2 of return to the city asap!

Edited by Scope
-Scope
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I might have a look at some of the doom 3 missions myself to see if there is anything I can use myself :)

 

And I shall get v2 of return to the city asap!

 

These are both wise choices. Disappointment is impossible :D Also, if you wish to check out doom3 resources, I humbly suggest downloading the clean shaders pak available from doom3world, it is a most excellent asset for utilizing d3 resources, although it breaks rope arrows, and requires going into one of the def files and un-commenting env_rope

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Sadly, it seems there are a few bugs with this mission in 1.03. There is no ambient music in the mission now, even though my volumes are turned up.

 

Same problem for me with 1.04. I remember to have read about the lack of ambient music on the forum, but can't find it anymore. Can anybody confirm this problem or knows a fix?

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