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Fan Mission: Breaking out the Fence (17/03/2014) by Kyyrma


kyyrma
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Poll: Breaking out the Fence impressions  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Gameplay: Enjoyment, fun duration, smooth flow, etc. vs Bugs, boredom, frustration, frame lag

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

  3. 3. Story: Story and text, briefing, graphic storytelling



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Thanks. I activated the Side Objective on my second run cause I was just too afraid "Follow" in my first one. :D About the key, I would probably change or add another one but please don't make it lockpickable. :) I get the thing about the AI now. You should add another section to the evaluation about AI Management or behavior. You deserve Excellence for this particular matter. The Guards were driving me crazy turning the light switches on after I turned them off. And I think I counted 5 guards looking for me inside the store. :) I still wish they had a slower initial behavior. (After the Huh? Bark). Like second guessing. :)

Edited by Taquito
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Heh, thanks again :D

 

Unfortunately the poll can only have three questions (forum limitation) so these are the three generally used to evaluate FMs. In this case you have to think of AI as a part of the gameplay category.

 

The way alertness works in TDM is basically there is a number that represents how agitated a guard is. Seeing suspicious things raises this number (depending on the severity) and once certain thresholds are passed the AI behaviour changes (from relaxed to suspicous, searching, pursuing etc.) The initial stage after relaxed is actually much like you said: the guard goes Huh? And ponders a moment, as if second guessing what he saw.

 

Now the problem is, the ramping up from that point to full on search / pursue happens very quickly, so it might feel there is no time to react. This is preferred by most TDM players, especially because the crowd is mostly made out of old Thief veterans who yearn for a bit of a challenge,

 

There are no differences between the visual and aural acuity of guards between difficulty settings by default. This however is something a mapper could change if he so wished, for example by making guards on easy much slower to react to suspicious activity. So again you are pretty much at the mercy of the mapper. In fact some levels might already implement exactly the kind of guard behaviour you are describing!

 

I know it might be a bit annoying that there are no set rules to even things like difficulty settings, but the moment you start limiting mapppers is the moment you lose the creativity that has given us all these amazing FMs. You have to accept both the good and the bad. :)

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There are no differences between the visual and aural acuity of guards between difficulty settings by default.

 

By default ...

 

Acuities are multiplied by 1.1 when an AI is in Searching mode.

 

Multiplied by 1.3 when in Agitated Searching mode.

 

Multiplied by 1.5 when in Combat mode.

 

But difficulty settings have no effect. I don't know if this was left out on purpose, so as to leave it to the mappers, or if it was never implemented.

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Thank you very much Kyyrma for that detailed explanation (And grayman too). Now I got a clearer idea of how the AI works. The AI can be a bit challenging when you start playing. I just wished to have a few more seconds to find a better reaction than just hiding in the closest shadow. I also appreciate the fact that you included a puzzle in your Mission. (Even if I wasn't able to figure it out). Wish more Mission makers added more challenges like this one. I also liked how you implemented glass in your mission like the glass wall in the store.

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No problem.

 

Oh, and if you didn't solve the safe combination yet, you can find a series of hints posted here. It's a bit tricky, but once you get it you'll probably be surprised at how obvious it was :D

 

The glass I like myself as well, especially because it gives the player the option to either break the glass and cause a commotion or find a sneaky but more complicated way to get those goodies. That sort of choice is what I enjoy most in this type of games.

Edited by kyyrma
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Very enjoyable , thank you! I only found

the beggar section by accident at the end , interesting little segment.

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Great mission! Lot's of fun places to explore, and an interesting premise.

 

I actually got a little nervous as I was sneaking through the spider's lair.

Great atmosphere.

 

Awesome work and thank you :D

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Alberic is my sparring partner.

Whaddya mean, smiley faces aren't punctuation :huh:

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I actually got a little nervous as I was sneaking through the spider's lair.

Great atmosphere.

 

Me too!

Against better knowledge I decided

to run through that area with my lantern turned ON,

although I do not even suffer from arachnophobia.

 

 

Nice mission!

 

Just in case you are planning on an update:

there was at least one truncated readable:

 

 

"13.4"

"Tengrove has asked me to leave town until the situation with Mueller's disappearance cools down. I'm leaving the"

"tavern with my old friend, who is a known taffer and a sneak. Hopefully he doesn't rob me blind while I'm gone. They guy even smells bad."

""

"I' knew you would read this you bugger. Keep your eyes on that boar and leave my stuff alone, will you!"

}

 

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@gnartsch

 

Haha!

I lit up my lantern too (didn't seem to do much good though :( ) and swung my sword about furiously :laugh:

Edited by SirGen

Alberic is my sparring partner.

Whaddya mean, smiley faces aren't punctuation :huh:

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I'm enjoying the mission so far but I'm missing something... probably is to easy to find and I'm not seeing. Where do I find the evidence?

 

 

You can find a clue for it in the smaller bedroom, under the bed.

 

 

This is related to the spoiler in the OP post (Under the Help! I'm stuck! header) later on, so refer to that if you are still stuck.

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Okay, time for another quickie review.

 

Positive: Good atmosphere, fun, very nice sewer, and Ai placement and patrol improved from first mission,

 

Negative: Architecture could use some more work.

 

A nice step up from your first mission...A little bigger and more complex...A good progression.

 

You're headed in the right direction... :)

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Thanks for the FM Kyyrma - A much fun and very entertaining map perfect for one evening session!

 

The FM felt very classical regards Dark Project in terms of optic and gameplay. Which I did much enjoy. For me it has the perfect map size, very non-linear gameplay (even with the keyhunts) and lot of possibilities to choose your route. For example I like the many different possibilities to enter the shop.

Though classic in feel and story setup to The Dark Project it made perfect use of TDM' features. Specially for the AI like noticing open containers, doing Random Interesting Things and relight lights where reasonable. That kept me always on toes and kept the gamplay intersting within the individual areas.

 

The story and gamplay flow had been smooth and fun. Also because of the discoveries you can make, the 'sidequests', the new optional objectives and the little twists in the course of playing the map. Added to that there are a lot of small (and not too small) intersting inventions to be discovered (like the

radio badge for the cameras

as well as nice little graphical ideas (I like

the moshroom in a glas as lighting source for certain people in the world).

 

 

It had been a challenge to find the sewer key. But because of that it was very rewarding finding it. I think that the key is not too well hidden. For the lower difficualt level(s) you might think about to add a notice placed somewhere that hint to the rough area to look for.

What I didn't like that i didn't found a way but to

run through the siders. I wish there would be some way to sneak through their lair.

 

 

The loot objective is a little bit too high. I played on hard and only could made the loot objective after dicovering

the treasure cheast in the sunken boat (great idea btw. !!)

.

I generally like the idea that the player tools have to be found in the map itself. It work well in this map. I do advise to give the player the lockpicks right from the start though. Without the lockpicks the player may be too much closed to areas until the lockpicks being found. Same goes if too much keys have to be found to make progress in the map.

 

Visually you might try to a add a few more visual patches and details here and there. One can blame the map feels graphically back to the days of older T1/T2 FM's. This is based on it's more simple geometry and architecture (specially regards to recent masterpiece releases from the verteran mappers). But to me this is as strength of this FM! Keeping the geomtry less sophisticated can be a good thing. And even a decision to make it feel 'classic' and nostalgic. To me that is great! My advise: If balancing your time between graphic goodness or gamplay - always go for gameplay!

 

I found one graphical bug: You might like to

player clip the electrical machine in the yard to avoid getting the player inside that model.

 

breakingout_2014-04-01_00.22.49.jpg

 

 

 

 

Much looking forward to the sequel! :)

  • Like 1

"To rush is without doubt the most important enemy of joy" ~ Thieves Saying

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Thank you flood! It's fantastic when someone takes the time to write such an detailed review, much appreciated :)

 

I agree on all points, and I'm glad you could appreciate my less-than-stellar geometry. I'm currently working on an FM where I'm trying to practice my architecture skills.

 

If you are interested, you can see an early screenshot here.

Edited by kyyrma
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Congratulations on the release. This is one of those missions which starts out pretty simple, then the objectives slowly just keep adding, not knowing when it might end :)

I liked that. Also liked the mildly challenging clue with safe combination ;) + note in journal of one culprit (is there actually one page missing? Because I haven´t found it anywhere) - jab on the cliché when everybody is writing their transgressions down, hoping no one would read them.

 

Also, this is the first mission with cameras, if I am not mistaken?

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Oh dear. My playthrough failed miserably.

 

 

 

I sneaked around and the mission felt first pretty impressive. Graphics were very nice. I liked the style.

 

My first problem was the ambient noises. They were very loud and they quickly started to get on my nerves. Toning down the volume made it difficult the hear the AI. Somehow I could not get refuge from the interiors. They felt also very loud.

 

My second problem was the alarm. When I walked on the street in a certain area, the alarm went off. I've no idea what I did. It always went on when I approached the side alley going to the pier. This was very confusing.

 

Third problem was the KOing of the man in the second floor. The target that was supposed to ber KOed. I hit him in the head and he said "ungh", did not go down, did not attack me or flee. He just stood there staring at me. I went elsewhere hoping he would recover, but no. Then I bashed him with the blackjack until he died. The mission didn't fail and I realized I was in a doomed simulation that could never end successfully.

 

A big plus for the lockpicks: it was nice that some doors could be picked. However, the important looking door in the sewers could not and the the mission turned into a keyhunt (which I loathe).

 

I freed the man from the cell. And met him by the pier. When he spoke it was always with so low voice and the ambients were so loud it was difficult to hear the voice acting. Because I knew I cannot win anymore, I simply killed him by the pier. The mission did not fail there either.

 

Then I quit.

 

 

 

I'm not gonna rate this. It felt like it was never betatested. Could be I had a bad day and all bugs that had 2% failing probability blew on my face.

 

I'll try it later if it gets an update. Some tweaks here and there, a proper betatest run and it could be one of those solid little missions everyone likes to replay occasionally.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Sotha, all of that sounds very bizarre. The level was very rigidly beta tested, you can see for yourself down at the beta forums. More than that, all the issues you have laid out have not been reported by anyone else is in this thread. Could there be something else than sloppy map building at work here?

 

You wouldn't happen to be running some not yet public build of TDM?

 

Nevertheless, my apologizes for such a terrible experience. I'm afraid I can't offer much solutions yet, but I'll round up the beta testers and see what could be wrong here.

Edited by kyyrma
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