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Fan Mission: The Phrase Book by Sotha (2012/05/12)


The Phrase Book  

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

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

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



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@Sotha

 

 

It is not a good idea to make everything buyable just for the sake if the items aren't needed anyways. Because I wasted much money on this which could have been used to buy myself some more usable items.

It's even more back-stabbing since the story line is all about undead and zombies, etc. Your argument that this is a mission setting, where undead normally won't show up is invalid, since you had the lich suddenly appearing in previous missions too.

 

This is why in original Thief missions all items you could've bought had a use to the player. Whats the sense of making it possible to buy useless stuff anyway?!

 

 

Edit: And for the door - why wasn't this issue noticed by yourself or even not the beta testers? I searched both the balcony and the inside of the house (from the window on the other side) for the key for at least 20 minutes.

Edited by SeriousToni

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Thomas Porter is back in a TDM FM called...   The Phrase Book by Sotha     Release notes: If you find something called "softened lead ball" do note that it will not KO AI in TDM 1.07. Once 1.08 comes

RITs are a network of path nodes the mapper places in his mission. There are decision making nodes and normal path_nodes. The AI targets a decision making node, which sends the AI to any normal node

There's plenty of room for the guard to get through the door safely.   Could the door have been partially open when this happened? There's a problem with partially-opened doors that causes circling, a

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Well done Sotha, I really love your style. This Mission is very impressive.

Need some help:

 

 

I'm almost finished but... Where is the Phrase Book? I opened all the cases, that I found now - but there is no book.

 

 

 

 

Look around. I cannot know where it is as it randomizes its location upon map start. Master bedroom contains the diary of the inhabitant of the house. That may contain a clue if the book spawned in a particularily challenging location.

 

 

 

@Sotha

 

 

It is not a good idea to make everything buyable just for the sake if the items aren't needed anyways. Because I wasted much money on this which could have been used to buy myself some more usable items.

It's even more back-stabbing since the story line is all about undead and zombies, etc. Your argument that this is a mission setting, where undead normally won't show up is invalid, since you had the lich suddenly appearing in previous missions too.

 

This is why in original Thief missions all items you could've bought had a use to the player. Whats the sense of making it possible to buy useless stuff anyway?!

 

 

Edit: And for the door - why wasn't this issue noticed by yourself or even not the beta testers? I searched both the balcony and the inside of the house (from the window on the other side) for the key for at least 20 minutes.

 

The issue was probably not detected because of a bug with AI. If two AI walk through a locked door simultaneously, they will leave it unlocked. The door was therefore unlocked for me and my testers.

 

 

 

WRT holy water. You bought the water for security: if you meet undead you have something against it. The mission location hints that there are no undead in the mission. But you are right that undead might emerge too.

 

The bad thing with the thing you'd like me to do is: with your logic, giving a holy water potion to the shop will instantly tell the player that there are undead in the mission. So no: people can buy holy water for security if they want. They do not necessarily have any need for it. Even shopping should require the player to look at the briefing and contemplate what they might need. The players get to choose and I want to give them the possibility of choosing poorly, and without relaying metagame information with the items available for purchase.

 

 

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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The issue was probably not detected because of a bug with AI. If two AI walk through a locked door simultaneously, they will leave it unlocked. The door was therefore unlocked for me and my testers.

 

This isn't an AI bug. If a door is to remain locked when not in use, it should be marked "should_always_be_locked". That makes the last AI through the door relock it, and simulates the first AI who unlocked the door telling a following AI it should be relocked, who tells another following AI, who tells another, etc. Please see the comment I made two weeks ago in the bug report you filed.

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I'll increase the briefing font size a bit as well while I am at it.

 

Thanks for responding to this. In my case, I made the effort to read a couple pages, but skipped the rest of the briefing because of the font size. Now I'll be able to read the whole thing.

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WRT holy water. You bought the water for security: if you meet undead you have something against it. The mission location hints that there are no undead in the mission. But you are right that undead might emerge too.

 

The bad thing with the thing you'd like me to do is: with your logic, giving a holy water potion to the shop will instantly tell the player that there are undead in the mission. So no: people can buy holy water for security if they want. They do not necessarily have any need for it. Even shopping should require the player to look at the briefing and contemplate what they might need. The players get to choose and I want to give them the possibility of choosing poorly, and without relaying metagame information with the items available for purchase.

 

 

 

 

What "security"? I even have less security because I bought useless items instead of helpful things that would have been increasing my "security" in this mission. So I even have less security!

If you give me - the player - the possibility to make a poor shopping decision that showes up AFTER I completed the mission so that I think "What the hell - I didn't have the water arrows when I needed them, because I saved them for the holy water, but what was that silly holy water for then?" then what do you think is the sense in it but in feeling mad because I made a wrong decision in the very beginning of the mission that stinged to me throughout the whole mission and revealed itself as a bad decision in the very end?

It was always the way it worked in Thief missions: There is holy water - there are zombies; there are rope arrows - there is a climbing part; and so on. There is nothing that told me that I have to watch out what I'm shopping and analyse the briefing and the setting (again, the setting was always about undead nevertheless) for your mission.

If I had the problem that I don't want the player to know that there are undead in my mission, then I would simply put the holy water and some water arrows from the shop into the mission itself, instead of putting everything possible into the shop and randomly make a mission with or without zombies and let the player see if he bought the right things at the end of the mission.

 

- I am not argueing with you because I am a dogmatic person or having fun being a "know it all"! I believe y'all know me better. But not using my water arrows and buying holy waters for a lich king / zombie fight because of all the stuff I explained really ruined this otherwise great mission for me.

 

- I'll play it again with the right equipment some other day.

 

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Done! I'll probably replay it soon to locate the ~ 1000 loot I've missed.

Here are some of the things I liked:

  • Even though there are a lot of details and open spaces, my FPS never dropped below 30 B)
  • I liked how you made things easier for the player: Dousing candles just by frobbing them, getting loot out of chests without the usual hustle of leaning, crouching, noclipping. But: Imo you have too much money in the shop / too many items can be found. I wound up using only 3 water arrows, 2 rope arrows, one breath & one health potion.
  • Multiple routes to get where you want.
  • The basement and everything it contains: WOW !
     

So, congratulations to setting the bar even higher! Again !

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Toni:

This is not thief.

 

I always thought people read briefings and undertake the mission with the information the briefing tells about the mission.

 

If the mission was ruined for you because you bought the wrong gear (plus there was more money to buy stuff with than in a usual TDM mission), I think I simply cannot feel bad for your discomfort. My apologies for that inability. (Not for the shop decisions I made.) Hopefully your experience will be better the next time around.

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Wow just start over if having holy water ruins the experience so much. Holy water is completely useless anyway it takes like 5 water arrows to kill one zombie. Water arrows are too precious to be used in that way.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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This isn't an AI bug. If a door is to remain locked when not in use, it should be marked "should_always_be_locked". That makes the last AI through the door relock it, and simulates the first AI who unlocked the door telling a following AI it should be relocked, who tells another following AI, who tells another, etc. Please see the comment I made two weeks ago in the bug report you filed.

 

Thanks for bringing this up, I had no clue... I overlooked the bugtracker notes, somehow never realized things are discussed there instead of the forum.

 

Anyway, I added a new note there so the thing can be discussed.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Thanks for bringing this up, I had no clue... I overlooked the bugtracker notes, somehow never realized things are discussed there instead of the forum.

 

Yes, all sorts of discussions take place in bugtracker, usually between the submitter and the assignee.

 

Since this spawnarg predates my time on TDM, I started this thread.

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Yeah alright - take it plain and simple if you want.. I thought you boys had known me better..

 

It's okay. I go back in vacation mode again.

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Another great mission! And I think I'll enjoy replaying it even more now I know

 

there are no undead traps waiting to scare the do-do out of me (I can see where SeriousToni's coming from; once I had fulfilled all the objectives, I spent the entire journey back to the bell-tower with my nerves shredded by the expectation of dear ol' LQ jumping out at me from nowhere :rolleyes:).

 

As others have mentioned, loved the one-frob candles, the freedom and opportunities for jumping/climbing/mantling were great, and getting round those gas-flares was a cool challenge too. Never felt like I reached a total dead-end, and about the only time I got to ground level was to get into Wentworth Manor, so I guess I've still got a fair bit to explore (I was short about 850 loot). The water-trap took a couple of reloads to complete, partly because I got cack-handed switching between lockpicks and breath potions, and partly because I was panicking that it was going to be one of your patented undead traps (this time with all-new underwater zombies :smile:)(now there's a nightmarish combination). (No. Don't even think about it. Please.....)

 

Other random observations:-

 

I was surprised by how little equipment I really needed; I may try doing the replay buying nothing from the shop 'cos there was a fair amount of stuff lying - or hanging B) - around. (I was playing on Easy, though; does the amount of equipment available in-game get lower at harder levels?)

 

I had a bit of fun at one point - decided to jump out along the wooden blocks on the gas factory wall to see how far I could get; when I got underneath the lamp, one of the Quinsbury (? - I think) guards started chucking stones at me (he missed most of the time). Looking forward to TDM 1.08 and having the chance to retaliate :P .

 

Only glitch I came across was an AI trapped in the ceiling as I was exiting Wentworth Manor:

post-9265-0-98642900-1336951930_thumb.jpg

but I kept out of his way and he kept out of mine.

 

One question: is there any back-story as to why those thugs were banging on that door? Do I need to do a bit more exploring? :smile:

 

Having played nearly all of your FMs, Sotha (Mandrasola is the only one I haven't got round to yet), this has got to be my fave so far. Many thanks!

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About the items on the shop

 

I'm not saying everything should be available just because, so I'm with SeriousToni there. But if we take for granted that everything in the shop is useful, then the mapper is giving away information about the map right away. In the case of this mission, it was very possible that the ghost would attack me, so if there wasn't a holy potion to buy and if that meant I wouldn't need one, then I wouldn't be on my toes about a possible ghost attack.

 

 

Actually, a shop only adds anything useful to the gameplay in campaigns. In campaigns there is the whole management subgame going on, but in single missions it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, except the information role mentioned above. You know nothing about the current mission and what you'll need and you don't need to think about the money for the next missions, so to me the shop seems very artificial and it's there because we like traditions :P

 

 

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Didn't want to read spoilers but

I worked my way across the line from the tower at the beginning.then managed with rope arrows to lower myself to ground level.But ,even though the rope reached to within a few feet of the ground I keep dying at that point as if I'd jumped from a great height. What am I doing wrong in trying to reach the ground?

Edited by raymeld
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The mission briefing says you want avoid the ground as it is well lit.

For gameplay reasons and detailing, I chose to make the ground are off limits so that the player dies for sure if he falls down. That way I didn't need to put much detail on the ground and I could focus on the rooftops. I also did not need to place AIs there to consume performance. I did not take into account safe landing with rope arrows.

 

Just avoid the ground level as the briefing suggests.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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WRT holy water. You bought the water for security: if you meet undead you have something against it. The mission location hints that there are no undead in the mission. But you are right that undead might emerge too.

 

The bad thing with the thing you'd like me to do is: with your logic, giving a holy water potion to the shop will instantly tell the player that there are undead in the mission. So no: people can buy holy water for security if they want. They do not necessarily have any need for it. Even shopping should require the player to look at the briefing and contemplate what they might need. The players get to choose and I want to give them the possibility of choosing poorly, and without relaying metagame information with the items available for purchase.

 

 

I approve. I totally caught on to this and

bought no holy water.

Was just kinda like "hes putting some of this stuff in as filler". Actually my largest waste was

buying 3 rope arrows. that was disappointing, but then again its my own fault for padding 2 extra rope arrows for "security". The rest of my money was well spent.

 

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I was glad I bought

a breath potion

(I was so intrigued to see it on the shopping list, I just had to have one), but also glad I found another one lying around.

Just avoid the ground level as the briefing suggests.

Woohoo! New challenge! - How Low Can You Go?

 

***cue facepalm/rolleyes-fest from direction of Finland***

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Just gone back in on medium level, and quickly discovered that the

arrow cache

had moved - brilliant! Already found one room I had missed before, and I had somehow completely missed the market square first time round; I think I can safely say that I absolutely definitely 100% shouldn't be up here: -

 

post-9265-0-12529000-1337017126_thumb.jpg

 

I love this mission...

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***cue facepalm/rolleyes-fest from direction of Finland***

 

No no, it brings me great joy if you find the mission as fun as your enthusiasm reveals.

 

Maybe some day we have fully working skyboxes which would enable that climbing into those high areas would still hold the impression of a sprawling city around you.. maybe.. someday..

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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It may be just me, but I get a kick out of it when people do that in my missions. Of course, I don't make the job any easier either. ;)

  • Like 1

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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Excellent mission (so far)!!

 

 

 

I was a bit irritated by the fall into the water and having to lockpick the door at the bottom. Once I got it unlocked, I couldn't get the *#&$^$^$^ thing to open because it kept bumping me. The only way to conquer it is to float up above it and open it from there. IMHO it would have been better, after the frustration of having to face death while unlocking it, only to face more frustration because the *(&*&$&$ thing wouldn't open, to have made the door open away from the player.

 

My only gripe so far.

 

 

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Seem to have met all the objectives but

what was the water bit about , never found it. Also , don't think I found any market square. Trust me to waltz through without seeing everything!

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Congratulations to the new mission. It is a shame that it isn't translatable, tho.

"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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