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Fan Mission: Penny Dreadful 2 by Melan and Bikerdude (2014/07/8)


Melan
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey hey!

 

Finally got around some TDM playing time.

 

In short: this is a great mission. Very nice geometry. Interesting and merciful AI placement. We have learned from Dishonored, I see. I really liked to have a choice of what to do.

 

The only issue I had was the beginning. I had no map, no gear, no idea what direction to go to. Given the vastness of the map, it felt a bit too much, but after running around a bit I got my bearings. When I got to the top of the area, I was surprised how good performance was for such a large open area. If there was a map, I would have appreciated the geometry even more! Missions really benefit from an ingame map. Making an ingame map is a tiny tiny tiny part in building a mission and the mission really benefits from it.

 

Did I say I missed a map in this mission? I really felt a map would have been nice.

 

Thanks for the mission!

 

Here is how I decided to end the mission. With an Ulysses-attitude.

 

 

4T740pN.jpg

You try to screw me over. You die!

 

I placed a mine into the corner of the room, next to the fireplace. Then I shot a few broadheads there and the targets went to investigate the noise. BOOM! The other died immediately. The other pulled out his sword and started to look around. When he looked the other way I shot a firearrow in his back. They never even saw what hit them. I verified their demise and maximized the intimidation with broadheads to the face.

 

Rest in piece. Good riddance!

 

 

 

Thanks again!

PS... Did I KO Melan in the Jail staircase? I think I did!

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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  • When I got to the top of the area, I was surprised how good performance was for such a large open area.
  • PS... Did I KO Melan in the Jail staircase? I think I did!

  • you wouldnt beleive what we had to do to get the perf up there to behave. :ph34r:
  • heh, I did wonder if anyone would make a connection between the loading screen image as caricatures of Melan and myelf. In my mind Melan and I were the guards on the bridge, him the guard near the ledge and me stood behind backing him up. :D

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Thanks for your comments!

  • I vacillated about a player map, but ended up not adding one due to story reasons. Looking back, I might have put it somehwere accessible to find, but there is also something to be said for the initial confusion. This was intended to be a hard mission.
  • While it might sound odd, this mission wasn't inspired by Dishonored. I have wanted to create an assassination FM since my Dromeding days, and my immediate model was sperry's Walking the Edge.
  • The idea about the guards has occured to me as well. .)

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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I had to abandon my first attempt at this mission because I wasn't able to figure out where to go, and after three consecutive nights of play I started to forget where I had already been. That combined with my being almost dead from various falls added up to starting over.

 

 

My second time was a lot more successful,

 

 

although I still came up 10 gp short of the loot goal, and wasn't able to find my way back into a place I know I had been the first time (some underground thief's lair).

 

A fantastically rich mission packed full of stuff. Maybe a little too much for non-explorers like me...I spent a high percentage of my play time not knowing where I had to go or what things around me were actually important.

 

I found myself not really understanding the floorplan of the main interior (was it a mansion?) It didn't seem to be predictable, and while the gameplay was strong inside, I didn't get the sense of being in a real place. The city streets, by contrast, were gorgeous and had a strong sense of location. There was actually one moment that I thought I was in a modern replica of a city street from the first Thief mission. :)

 

Some clever things throughout, like the butcher throwing things into the sewers, and the "pagan" infestation. The clues on how to deal with the objectives were just about right, I think.

 

I didn't kill either of the two main villains, but I did kill that little rat in the flophouse for sending so many people to the gallows.

 

One thing that bugged me...there was a locked door in the mansion(?) on the top floor that I couldn't find the key for. It was right near the barracks...what was inside?

 

 

 

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Thanks for your comments!

  • I vacillated about a player map, but ended up not adding one due to story reasons. Looking back, I might have put it somehwere accessible to find, but there is also something to be said for the initial confusion. This was intended to be a hard mission.

 

You are welcome! The mission wasn't actually that hard in terms of AI opposition. The difficulty came from the lack of map. I would rather if the difficulty came from AI opposition and security measures, and not from the feeling that you do not know where to go to. I must confess, I was also about to give up after a while, like Springheel said.

 

Without a map, the mission is aimless wandering trying to figure out where to go. This is annoying. I usually start to just KO everyone, because I do not know how many times I am gonna run across this area trying to find the place I need to go. If there is a map, the player can make a decision where they are going and pursue that goal, which is highly motivating as you feel you make progress.

 

Please do consider giving a map for the player in the future. I firmly believe any kind of TDM FM should include at least some sort of map. There is no story restriction for maps as any location could contain the map of the nearby area.

 

Map is one of the most vital things in complex and large FMs. It is the tool that gives the player the power to make informed decisions how to deal with the location at hand. For smaller mission it is a beautiful additional detail.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Please do consider giving a map for the player in the future. I firmly believe any kind of TDM FM should include at least some sort of map. There is no story restriction for maps as any location could contain the map of the nearby area.

 

Map is one of the most vital things in complex and large FMs. It is the tool that gives the player the power to make informed decisions how to deal with the location at hand. For smaller mission it is a beautiful additional detail.

 

I actually feel completely the opposite on this. No map means the player is forced to use spatial abilities and memory and gives the player the "feeling" that they are lost, don't know where to go. In some FM's such as this one, that is a feeling the player, IMO, shOULd have because the author is conveying that feeling from the main character to the player and this is one of the devices/tools to do that with.

 

"I feel helpless with out a map"., "I feel like I don't know where to go.", "I feel like I'm lost." No one made these comments, but because the player is not given a map this is the feeling conveyed to the player and it is part of a powerful immersive experience, feeling these things.

 

Overcoming it makes the FM great, IMO. Not all FM's need a map and not all FM's should have a map. It depends largely on what the author is trying to convey and it's my feeling that Melan and Biker did that brilliantly here.

Edited by Lux
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I actually feel completely the opposite on this. No map means the player is forced to use spatial abilities and memory and gives the player the "feeling" that they are lost, don't know where to go. In some FM's such as this one, that is a feeling the player, IMO, shOULd have because the author is conveying that feeling from the main character to the player and this is one of the devices/tools to do that with.

 

"I feel helpless with out a map"., "I feel like I don't know where to go.", "I feel like I'm lost." No one made these comments, but because the player is not given a map this is the feeling conveyed to the player and it is part of a powerful immersive experience, feeling these things.

 

Overcoming it makes the FM great, IMO. Not all FM's need a map and not all FM's should have a map. It depends largely on what the author is trying to convey and it's my feeling that Melan and Biker did that brilliantly here.

 

Interesting point of view, thank you for sharing it.

 

For me it felt so wrong I was automatically assuming it as a design flaw. For me it didn't feel immersive at all, but rather frustrating tedium: like some basic matter was artificially made more difficult. Luckily the overall quality of the mission was so impressive that I carried on regardless.

 

It is surprising how many different appetites a TDM FM can cater to, and the diversity of preferences if of course a good thing.

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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then remember what you can do with chimneys and fireplaces in T2.

 

I haven't played T2 for at least seven or eight years. What can you do with fireplaces? (and I'm not sure what question this is answering....)

 

In some FM's such as this one, that is a feeling the player, IMO, shOULd have

 

The main character knows the area, however (at least enough to get up there in the first place), so having the player completely blind isn't really supported by the story. When I started, I had no idea where to look for the Bailiff, or where the mansion was. I actually thought I had to get into that building with the guard that patrols up and down stairs in front of the detailed windows and spent a lot of time trying to figure out a way in....I didn't even find the area with the gallows until my second night of play, and I completely missed the route up until my second attempt at the mission.

 

It's probably an issue of play style. I'm not much of an "explorer". I prefer missions where my target is clear, and the challenge is figuring out how to do it. I think Sotha is the same way. Other people love crawling around every nook and cranny to see what interesting things they can find, even if they have nothing to do with the main objectives. Neither style is inherently better than the other, but I think this map is better suited to explorers than non.

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You can still include a map though, anyone who doesn't want to use it just doesn't need to press the M button and that way everyone's happy.

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I'm not sure what to do with that information...is that how I get past that locked door I mentioned?

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Thanks for your comments, Springheel!

 

I mainly make exploration-oriented missions, and enjoy finding my way via landmarks, so a player map has always seemed like a nice extra to me. And I never considered playing a mission to be aimless wandering, as long as I could move around and gradually pick up clues. I think that's a matter of preferences. It is interesting that people consider PD2 large enough to get lost in - from a builder's point of view, it is not particularly big, and there are even signposts and a bunch of readables telling you about the environment. There are secret locations, but the main objectives are out in the open. But I will consider this issue in the future. Can't promise all my future missions will have a map, but I will watch out for more signposting.

 

The room you could not get into in the mansion

 

is Montrose's bedroom, and you can enter it by climbing up to the rafters out in the corridor. From here, you can climb down to the place where Montrose and the Bailiff are holding their conversation through the chimney.

 

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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One of my favorite parts of this mission was the inter-connectivity of the rooms/areas. Really brought out the Thief vibe where missions have no "correct" point of entry. The gorgeous design encouraged making mental memory joggers to remember where you are/have been/how to navigate. A map would've been a nice treat, but for some reason I feel it wouldn't do much good. Not as large as it seems yes, but built in a way that gives the illusion that it is much larger than it really is, which is of course, lovely.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I really liked this mission, though it was not entirely without fault. But first the good points:

  1. This was tight, yet not cramped. There weren't all that many places to visit, but it didn't feel cramped - I think much of it was because this map went both horizontal and vertical.
  2. Suitable for wide variety of playstyles, from meticulous "search every nook and cranny" to speed runs (I used about an hour to comb this map through, but also completed a 9:58 minute speedrun on Expert without completing the loot objective).

Now the cons:

  1. Because there was no map, and because certain mapping conventions are not universally observed, I initially thought the map was smaller than it actually was - it took me a second play to realise I could get to the other side of the portcullis. As the map is easily completed without going there on lower difficulties, during my first attempt on Easy I didn't even wonder about it.
  2. Some areas seemed a bit unfinished, as if there were some plans to do something with them, but which didn't get implemented (the sewers and the thieves' den, both of which seemed a bit pointless)

And some oddities (sorry, no screen caps):

  1. After I scared the butcher out of his shop, I buggered off into the sewers. Later, returning to the area, I found him stuck though his midsection into the wooden walkway leading to the gaol house. While it was rather entertaining, he blocked the door and so I had to dispatch him, but I do wish I'd seen him levitating there...
  2. I was also able to clip inside the building that's in front of you at the start, but since that can't really be exploited, it's of little importance.

 

Overall, a great mission.

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Thank you for your comments, Thieving Barbarian!

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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Well I really enjoyed this mission, however I can't end it. I can't find that Arch someone showed a pic of.

I've got all objectives on hard, even found the secret room (nice n sneaky), I tried every place

I can think of, and just can't end the mission.

 

So I'll just assume it ended, shame, wanted to see a score, would've been low except since

I couldn't end it, I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, and had to kill all

hostile AI cept the mansion guy.

 

Still a fun mission, had lots of frame lock on this mission. Only mission I've played where performance

was only improved by exiting and reloading. Then it was ok for awhile. However it always ended up

back at frame lock on a really good PC with mem maxed out, and vid ram maxed out on Nvidia GTX760.

 

First map I've had issues with performance. Even so still really enjoyable map. I see now the problems

with outside maps.

 

Thanks for the level :) Maybe next time, a bit clearer instructions on where the end is. Behond the

Montrose Mansion doesn't really help, since beyond can mean one end or the other. Since you named

most places, would be better to use a named place as an exit.

I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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@venus - from memory

go up to the bridge that you are supposed to have been thrown off, go through the area with the doors, follow the passage right, up to the window in the armoury, turn left, go through the courtyard and gateway, go right to the end of the alleyway, turn left and the arch is in front of you

also there was a problem with the optional loot objective not being optional but I think that was fixed in the last release, if you have an early release make sure you complete the loot objective or you can't exit.

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