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RJFerret

Fan Mission: Window of Opportunity by RJFerret (2014/01/01)

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@reymeld: you are probably playing on "easy": no cave access then.

 

I had that thought as well, but the steps it seems he took already wouldn't have been available in "short" (easy) mode.


"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Memory may be faulty but this should be a complete spoiler only to be read if having read the spoiler in the opening post you are still completely stuck

In the cabin the girl goes in climb on the bunk bed and look to the left at the wooden frame of the hut

OK... I'm looking for this artifact in another cabin... Thanks a lot.

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@reymeld: you are probably playing on "easy": no cave access then.

A-ha! That would explain it - I had got all my objectives on Easy, and then spent over half-an-hour trying to find my way into the caves. Driving me nuts, it was.

 

Restarted on 'Normal' and am now blundering around cluelessly underground, but I'm sure I'll find my way somewhere soon. Love the total darkness ambience btw. :)

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Thanks for that RJFerret.I was originally playing on easy which is why

I couldn't get into the grave

, what a plonker! Certainly different , and a very enjoyable mission especially as it was your first..

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p.s Are we not able to rate it?

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A-ha! That would explain it - I had got all my objectives on Easy, and then spent over half-an-hour trying to find my way into the caves. Driving me nuts, it was.

 

Restarted on 'Normal' and am now blundering around cluelessly underground, but I'm sure I'll find my way somewhere soon. Love the total darkness ambience btw. :)

Doh! 'Splains a lot! Will restart myself. :smile:

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*note to self, renaming it "Short" mode and including notes on level size differences between levels not enough...

 

I'll probably use the first page of the mission briefing to provide "out of game" notes in the future, such as on my WIP, since I am heavily modifying the "difficulty" settings in that.

 

My apologies to those for whom it didn't come through clear enough. :/ (And I didn't think that was the issue at play here, due to the talk of moving things that can't even be moved in short (easy) mode.)

 

Note Thiefette, "regular" mode includes things I believe you might not like, hence "short" mode being an option players may choose. :-)

Edited by RJFerret

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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*note to self, renaming it "Short" mode and including notes on level size differences between levels not enough...

 

I'll probably use the first page of the mission briefing to provide "out of game" notes in the future, such as on my WIP, since I am heavily modifying the "difficulty" settings in that.

 

My apologies to those for whom it didn't come through clear enough. :/ (And I didn't think that was the issue at play here, due to the talk of moving things that can't even be moved in short (easy) mode.)

 

Note Thiefette, "regular" mode includes things I believe you might not like, hence "short" mode being an option players may choose. :-)

Yes

spiders

:laugh: but see their there anyways. More important though becomes my personal goal of getting all the loot and can't do that on easy so will try and get through on a harder difficulty. Thanks for the mission by the way.

Edited by Thiefette
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(And I didn't think that was the issue at play here, due to the talk of moving things that can't even be moved in short (easy) mode.)

Thing is, you can move them by whacking them with the sword (dunno if that's how Raymeld did it, but that was my method.) I managed to clear all the grave stone bits away from the actual grave (even the big bits; I wondered it was a kind of hardcore homage to T1&2's banner slashing), but the skeleton defeated me. So, yeah, I'd say making it totally clear that the 'side level' isn't accessible in Easy mode in the opening post would be a good idea as it seems to have caught a few of us out. :)

 

That aside, I liked this mission a lot. I really liked the open air setting of the 'overground' level, and found KOing the AI quite a challenge.

Having them relight the fire was a really good move - made sense and made it more tricky.

 

I actually had no trouble finding the artefact:

 

before I had KO'd the caravan dwellers, I had alerted them and then hidden near the woman's caravan. The caravan door was open, and for one moment the AI seemed to have their backs turned looking for me elsewhere. "Aha", I thought, "this is my Window Of Opportunity", and dived into her caravan. At which point they spotted me and belted in after me. I climbed onto the top bunk purely out of survival instinct and - well, there it was. :)

So finding it wasn't a problem. Getting out unscathed wasn't so easy.

 

And re the side level:

 

really liked the 'lamp needed' section, and the cave/tunnel design. Yes, got lost at first and fell down quite a lot, but I liked the unusual scenario/gameplay so much I didn't mind and got my bearings eventually (it's one of the few times I've used the compass in an FM.) I took a while to find the entrance to the Lair - kept trying to frob the lower slab and completely missed the higher one.

 

 

I did try to kill

 

the spider queen - I tried luring her onto the lava rift by exposing myself (ooh-er missus) on the rock path behind it, but that didn't work, so I didn't think the noise arrows would either (I know better now).

 

Having to climb up to her 'nest' was a nice touch, especially when I discovered I could actually climb onto her back while she was up there and she didn't notice:

post-9265-0-40795900-1389317203_thumb.jpg

Didn't work when she was at ground level though. Oh no.

 

Climbing up and down the webs was a bit tricky (fell to my death several times), but again, I liked the unusual scenario so much I didn't really mind.

 

 

Thanks for a really unusual and fun FM. Really hope you create more!

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Went to grab this last night, noticed it wasn't available on the in-game mission downloader. Just thought I'd mention it...

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I see it listed in the URL that the downloader uses. And that's how I had received my own copy.

Unless there was some outage on the server, it should have shown up properly.

All links are up-to-date and functional.

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Not bad mission at all!

 

 

 

The opening scene was very ambitious and it is nice to see how you pulled it through: it looked very convincing!

It was a quite performance-heavy. Tip for the next time: you can tone down the tris amount of terrain (or any patches) with the patch inspector. The exterior could have been reduced a lot in tris, for performance, with negligible results on appearance. Also switching off some shadows around the lights would have helped a lot.

 

I immediately found the grave, but opted not to go in. I could not get into any of the houses because of the people at the camp site, and dousing the lights, realistically only made the AI lit them. So after KOing the camp-people I inspected the carts, but could not find the artifact. Then I went into the spider caves. Those weren't exactly my cup of tea. The patch caverns felt a bit sloppy and moving on the patches was a bit jerky. The little spiders were trivial to dispatch in direct sword combat. I didn't figure out how to take out the big spider and I was very eager to leave. Back to the camp site, I didn't have any idea where the artifact was, so I had to tdm_show_loot. After finding it I felt like Lord Noobish, how I failed to inspect the cart properly.

 

All in all, it was a nice mission. The spider caves were a bit superfluous, but the camp site was nice.

 

For the future, use the patch inspector to tone down patch tris. Make objects noshadows. Also important: make inconsequential objects lying on the ground "solid 0". That will stop some jerky movements when the player gets stuck on a bone on the ground. Those objects really don't need to be solid. Further, some complex patch tunnel geometry should maybe also made nonsolid, and have boxy nodrawsolid geometry to facilitate smooth movement.

 

Well done, I'm eagerly awaiting your next mission! Thanks!

 

 


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Sotha, thanks! :-)

 

 

My condolences you found performance lacking. I specifically requested lower performing systems for testers, and they found it surprisingly good performance-wise. I also used, ironically, your missions for comparison, I figured if this one had double the FPS of the low spots in those benchmarks, folks would be happy, heh. One tester also (surprisingly to me) felt MORE detail should be added to the landscape, as there was room in the draw call count for more tris (which I wasn't comfortable with personally, I wanted to balance more on the performance side).

 

There's really only the campfire relit, you can easily douse the rest (although they don't affect performance particularly, as I limited their scope for that purpose). A bigger performance boost comes from eliminating the light being carried as suggested in the FM's notes.

 

Some things there have shadows off, but it's really noticeable with light so close to the ground if other objects have it off as well. It was also totally unbelievable to no solid some things there (you see rough terrain, you don't expect smooth walking), but yeah, I've done more no solids on my WIP and incorporated that into my building process.

 

 

I appreciate the constructive feedback from you, and all!

 

The next one is shaping up nicely, although is more involved. It might be less challenging some ways, but more ways to be challenged, if that makes any sense (as compared to smaller venues, where all the challenge has to be concentrated obviously, or there's nothing).


"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Ive been meaning to play this for a while now, it seems quite interesting. Bummer that I cant force myself to play these days, but if I do, it will be this one.

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I also used, ironically, your missions for comparison, I figured if this one had double the FPS of the low spots in those benchmarks, folks would be happy, heh. One tester also (surprisingly to me) felt MORE detail should be added to the landscape, as there was room in the draw call count for more tris (which I wasn't comfortable with personally, I wanted to balance more on the performance side).

 

I'm honored if you benchmarked against my missions, but do note that the fps benchmarks are meaningless if you do not "killmonsters." My missions have more AI and the fps drops on low systems may come from there instead of the visuals. The campfire seemed to be an unnaturally huge performance factor, so I think simple noshadows would have helped.

 

When I looked at the terrain in this mission with r_showtris 4, it is easily visible that a lot of tris could be saved with simple patch inspector... inspection. ;)

 

It was also totally unbelievable to no solid some things there (you see rough terrain, you don't expect smooth walking), but yeah, I've done more no solids on my WIP and incorporated that into my building process.

 

 

If you look how the AI traverses over solid small func_statics on the ground you will notice what I mean. The AI will bounce in a disturbing way, which doesn't look very good. It is easily remedied by making non-important things non-solid.

 

I appreciate the constructive feedback from you, and all!

 

I'm glad to help!


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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If you look how the AI traverses over solid small func_statics on the ground you will notice what I mean. The AI will bounce in a disturbing way, which doesn't look very good. It is easily remedied by making non-important things non-solid.

 

Ah, subjective, I find them having to step up over things more natural than walking through a log or similar myself (the latter breaks my immersion, to magically pass through what logically ought to be solid objects, almost as bad as invisible walls).


"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Ah, subjective, I find them having to step up over things more natural than walking through a log or similar myself (the latter breaks my immersion, to magically pass through what logically ought to be solid objects, almost as bad as invisible walls).

 

I agree with the log example. A log should be monsterclipped so, that it is sort of a step the AI walks over... But a small pebble that causes the AI to bounce is a bit silly. Or a flat bone one the ground. Objects so small that nobody is gonna notice if the AI foot clips into it. Also the player movement will bounce weirdly when you walk over a tiny solid mushroom.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Sotha, thinking back to an early comment of yours, what setting is your "Object Details (LOD)" set to in video settings?


"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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I sat for about 20 minutes about 5 meters from the horses and just watched the camp and the guy patroling against the night sky. It was just nice to be there. It felt really authentic. The old apple core sitting on the back of the wagon. It was like a still-life, Great job. You really felt like you were there if you just sat near the camp and took it all in. I do wish the horses shoe sound on dirt we'ren't so "I'm standing on cobbles" but it still was great atmosphere.

 

 

The caves were very well thought out, I thought. Your lantern only shines so far and you wonder creeping around if you're going to fall off the rock you're on and if so, how far. Really gave the player a sensation of fear and wanting to turn back. Then just as you think you're on the edge of falling another rock comes in to the light and realize you may have found a path! Exciting! Its that duality between fear and excitement in the caves that really got my adrenaline up. Excellent work.

 

I have been spelunking before and it can be a hair raising experience. We actually had a trip ended one time where a bunch of break-down had accumulated blocking a near 5 meter tunnel. We searched around the pile and found a way in through a tight small hole. Me and 2 others went in and the hole we came out of dropped down from the wall in to another tunnel. We literally had to act like inch worms to even get through it. Then we explored the new tunnel. A bit wider than a hallway but about the same height and it went lead to an underground stream of water which had albino crawfish in it.

 

Then lead in to another large room with huge pile of break-down in the corner. We saw no way out so we backtracked down the tunnel but could not for the life of us find the damn chute we'd dropped out of, no kidding. One of the guys with us started panicing. It was tense. Eventually we found a smaller hole on the top of the break-down pile and the skinny guy with us went through it and it came back out where we were. Then he went back down the hole we'd found in the first place and had his arms sticking out of the hole so we could find where it was and get out. Anyway, the inital part of your cave (prior to the spider chamber) felt really real. I liked it alot.

 

Yes the main cave/abandon temple was a bit boxy, I would have liked some more ruins to complement the large statue. The urns were a nice touch although after seeing the broken one by the fire I'd wished the player could have broken the others and found some more goodies :) I initially tried getting the stones off the statue with regular arrow from my bow. Man that is a tough shot but later figured out the spider webs.

 

Queen spider spoiler

 

 

To kill the queen I accidently got backed in to a corner around the lava and instead of taking the path I did to me, she ran right across the lava. Haha, I thought..."now I'm screwed" ...and poof! A rollercoaster!

 

 

 

I did notice something wrong with the door or visportal that was on the male travelers wagon. For some reason if you leaned against it, the sounds outside would get louder as they should, but then stop leaning and your hearing doesn't go back to normal. Its like you're still leaning against the door. Odd. Could be a TDM bug, I don't know. Your other doors worked normally when you leaned against them to hear the outside sounds magnified.

 

 

 

 

Overall though based soley on the atmosphere and layout, really an amazing first mission. I'm sure you'll get all the foundations laid in the construction department and put togther some really amazing stuff in the future.

 

Can't wait! Thanks!

Edited by Lux
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Sweet! :-)

 

Wowzers, thank you so much for the incredible insights, as someone who has done a lot of that activity myself, I am SO pleased the feelings I sought to evoke came through for you, and I'm honored you shared such with me/us, thanks!

 

 

In one cave, a large cavern, I was the first to squeeze through a pinch at the end, slowly raising my head, expecting my helmet to bump into the ceiling at any moment, only for my headlamp to raise up past a lip inches from my face and shine off into "endless" darkness, another massive cavern was extending beyond me and the ceiling was out of reach above, extraordinary.

 

That was one of my most memorable caving experiences, that I had in mind as I tried to play with scale and scope in this environment.

 


"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Interesting to see you also have caving experience. Now I know why the environment felt so daunting, you've done a good job translating that feeling in to your mapping.

 

 

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Good little mission! Surprisingly difficult for the small size.

 

Love how intimidating the TDM spiders are. Everyone seems to get the scares from them! I know I wouldn't want to find one like that IRL.

 

The campsite was very well done. Great visual design for your first offering.

 

 

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Yay, me I did it! :laugh: I'm glad I was able to get through. It was (despite some blankety blank blanks aka

spiders

) a nice little mission. I actually liked your

tunnels and having to use the lantern, it really added to the tension knowing what was down there, mostly why it took me so long to get it completed and truth be told they weren't so bad. I must say thank you though for not including in the no kill objective because I couldn't have done it without the arrows. ;)

Look forward to your next one. Thanks again. Forgot to mention I also attained my personal goal. :D

Edited by Thiefette
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