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Fan Mission: Down by the Riverside, by Dragofer (2016/09/25)

Fan Mission: Down by the Riverside, by Dragofer (2016/09/25)  

33 members have voted

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

    • Poor
      1
    • Tolerable
      1
    • Good
      14
    • Excellent
      13
    • Near Perfect
      4
  2. 2. Appearance: Visual pleasure, lighting, visual style, deduct bad texturing etc.

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      0
    • Good
      2
    • Excellent
      17
    • Near Perfect
      14
  3. 3. Story & Text: Story. Text. Briefing. Graphic storytelling

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      0
    • Good
      9
    • Excellent
      11
    • Near Perfect
      13


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Here is a problem I came across in one of the last areas of the mission:

 

z37gqkR.jpg

 

I downloaded the FM from the in-game downloader for what it's worth, it might be an old version or something that's causing these entities to be missing.

 

Apart from that I did finish the mission and without spoiling I would say that this is definitely one mission everyone should play. It nicely showcases the range of stories anyone can tell through TDM, as it is definitely off-kilter from most of the TDM FMs. I like that you didn't try to end the mission as something it was not - an adventure romp that needed a nice bow to tie it all together. Instead, it ended how a good horror novella should end, with a fade to black that's not really a cliffhanger as much as an eerie, open door that leaves you with unease and more questions than answers.

  • Like 2

My FMs: The King of Diamonds (2016) | Visit my Mapbook thread sometimes! | Read my tutorial on Image-Based Lighting Workflows for TDM!

 

 

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A fun to play mission, so far, many thanks!

I am stuck

 

 

on a ship, looking for some evidence and an exit.

 

 

Any hints where to look appreciated.

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Thanks very much for your feedback, I'm glad you liked the mission.

 

 

that rat bit mentioned which I didn't even know about but feel tempted to load up a savefile and test out.

That rat setup was a bit hacky because AIs can only reach highest alert state if they have an enemy to lock on to, so I had to briefly place an invisible spider wherever the woman's eyes were currently located, triggered by a custom stim/response setup. It worked fine in a test map, but something broke on the way to the real map, so I just disabled it and pushed it to the back of my agenda. Funny that someone should dig around in my script files and notice it, heh.

 

 

The body in the coffin which the house's owner extracted the fluid from is maybe not really Johan but instead the malicious ghost? Johan (?) seems to be dead in that cave with the crystals and disturbing sounds. Some ship hauled the coffin off in one of the scenes in between areas as well so it's kind of implied it's not really him. There's also no real indication of what happened to the house owner -- did he escape the same way? You're maybe continuing this mission in the future, though.

 

To clear up what I intended to convey:

Johan's earthly life ended in the cavern. After a long time (the cutscene shows him as a skeleton, but it's hard to see), the crystal above him turns black and shortly afterwards his book and eyes glow in green, which should show that some form of energy or spirit has transferred into him and his book. At last the door opens, out of which yellow light comes forth which indicates that there is indeed a treasure hoard behind the door. When the door is fully open you see the shadow of something walking towards the skeleton, implying that Johan's remains were taken in through the rock door.

 

I've left it vague what exactly happened to Johan on the other side of the door, this is to be cleared up in the next mission in the series. All you see is what happens afterwards in the next cutscene, a carriage riding through the mist with the coffin bound on top and drawn by black horses (this carriage was mentioned in John Clark's letter in the mansion's master bedroom). The driver is a hooded skeleton: I imagined this to be 'Johan' bringing his own coffin to the mansion, though one of my testers interpreted the driver as being Death, which would also be valid. Remember that Ernest, the lord of the mansion, has read in the travel account that Johan was buried in Ruther Abbey and sent a letter asking them to exhume the body and bring it to him. But Ernest was deceived, because the travel account was in fact the haunting tome, manipulating him.

 

When you return to the mansion the house is burning, the bandits set it on fire because they were unnerved by something they saw, but you can't get out as the room is completely sealed. You have no other choice than to take up the haunting tome, in which you read that Johan now refers to himself as Ebenetzer. This could mean that this skeleton is no longer driven by Johan, but instead by a spirit working to escape from Arctic imprisonment by using Johan's body as its agent. I've left this vague as well.

 

Which leaves the question: why did the skeleton bring itself to this mansion? This is because it can be assumed that sooner or later thieves will burgle the mansion, possibly many times, and one them might be the sneaking type that the skeleton's ghost requires to break free from the mysterious treasure cavern.

 

Regarding the house owner: his last words were that he would drink a phial extracted from his own blood in order to escape from the apparition. What exactly happened to him then isn't clear.

 

 

 

I downloaded the FM from the in-game downloader for what it's worth, it might be an old version or something that's causing these entities to be missing.

Strange, that's not the first bug that looks like the ingame downloader only partially completed. But it worked fine when I tried it, the downloader's archive is identical in size, 55346 KB, to the original archive that I submitted.

 

 

It nicely showcases the range of stories anyone can tell through TDM, as it is definitely off-kilter from most of the TDM FMs.

Thanks for this review Spooks, I especially appreciate your view on the ending. Commenting on the quoted part, I still remember after completing One Step Too Far I planned to make a mission with a more conventional story. Though over time, the way my various mapping projects progressed, my hand was led back in the direction of my original style. Not that I mind, back in Thief 2 it was always the unusual fan missions that really drew me in (Ruins of Originia tops my list, if only Ycatx would return to finish his grandiose campaign), so it's probably only normal that my own missions also have something unusual about them.

Edited by Dragofer
  • Like 2

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A fun to play mission, so far, many thanks!

I am stuck

 

 

on a ship, looking for some evidence and an exit.

 

 

Any hints where to look appreciated.

Thanks hanmin, to answer your question:

 

You need to find the captain's rooms, enter the smaller one and pick up the book next to his bed named 'Captain's Slipup'. You need to drop this onto Johan's hands down in the cell.

 

 

On a different note, I've posted solutions for all the steps in this mission in the first post on page one, it should be easier to have everything in one place.

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I seem to have come to a dead end. I

read the ' mysterious' note in the basement and followed the green footprints to the upstairs landing containing the locked door. I went through the door containing a chest which up high plus paintings on the far side next to the room with the uneaten meal. Have come to a dead end and would appreciate help on where to go next.Should I drink the holy potion in my inventory now?

Thanks!

Edited by Bikerdude
cleanup

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Thanks Dragofer for your prompt reply , I'll check that out next timw I play , must have missed that chest.There is a chest in there I can't seem to open , hope it's not that one!

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Thanks Dragofer for your prompt reply , I'll check that out next timw I play , must have missed that chest.There is a chest in there I can't seem to open , hope it's not that one!

 

It's not the chest itself that I actually meant - it's the wall behind it.

  • Like 1

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Re P.S. Try being extremely rude to other posters :unsure:

Ha! Thanks Oldjim, guess I'll save the rudeness for ttlg, seems to fit better there. (you old bastard)...(kidding, I'm 51)

 

Finally, hope to have time to try this mission out! Loaded up and started, but have to wait till tomorrow to play, Oldjim beat me about the head and shoulders with his cane, need time to recuperate. Looks great from my crate!

 

Points for rhyming = 1

Edited by montag

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Brilliant stuff , thank you Dragofer!

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Haven't gotten too far along in this one but I will say right off the bat that the visual presentation is gorgeous. I absolutely adore it, especially the breathtaking scene when you get to the manor and it is surrounded by fog.

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This has been a very interesting mission! The visuals are top notch, and they have a gloomy ambience that works very well with the story, from the fog-shrouded river to the mansion, and ultimately the other environments you encounter. Your eye for fine details and environmental storytelling shines through everywhere.

 

I also liked the story, it is complex and goes beyond the expectations of the initial setup (i.e. "here is a spooky mansion to loot"). The use of real-world references is a bit odd in my eyes, but at least it was pulled off with good skills, and without contradictions. The main storyline is nice and creepy, and holds a genuine sense of mystery.

 

I have to be slightly critical of the gameplay. Many of the places are cramped, and sneaking is made prohibitively hard until it becomes frustrating. This is most notable when it comes to the ships, especially the beginning of the second mission, where I eventually left several bloodied corpses behind me. The other segments are fine, if tricky. Some of the investigative bits were rather enjoyable.

 

All in all, a very good mission, and I eagerly avait the next one!

  • Like 2

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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Hey Dragofer,

 

I'm really enjoying the mission, but whenever I frob the haybale in the phial dream I get a crash to desktop on the third frob. Is there any fix for this?


But you should walk having internal dignity. Be a wonderful person who can dance pleasantly to the rhythm of the universe.

-Sun Myung Moon

 

My work blog: gfleisher.blogspot.com

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I don't know if I've encountered a bug or what. I've been playing for a couple of hours and I'm stuck;

 

 

 

outside the farmhouse. I've found the inheritance and read the will and frobbed the vial next to the box, and I got tele ported right back to the outside of the farmhouse next to the box Where am I supposed to go now?


 

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Okay I replayed the mission fast, and this time I ended up

 

 

at the right place; in the room with the coffin.
By the way,for your information I did encounter one crash to the desktop when entering the tunnel to the above mentioned room.

And another crash in the church, just out of the blue

 

 

 

I like the mission and the story so far. The ship is very well constructed. :)

Edited by Woodsie69
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@moonbo, that's a shame to hear. It looks like I need to change how that part is implemented. I've started making an update recently - in the meantime, the

key that you find in the haybale opens the floor hatch in the food storage. One thing to remember: don't enter noclip while you're on a ladder.

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I've finished the game now.

 

I used a lot more save slots that I usually do just to be on the safe side, but I only encountered one random crash to the desktop the second time.

 

By the way:

 

 

I would like to say that the second ship is even better constructed and better looking than the first ship.
Steam-punk rules.

 

 

Well done. :)

Edited by Woodsie69

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I have been playing this for a few days. So far I finished part 1, and might get to 2 tomorrow. It is a lot longer than I thought at first, and I didn't realize it was a campaign either :) Overall it's looking nice, pretty well done! I have however read all of the solutions preemptively: This is the type of mission where I'd waste hours if I ever dreamed of finding them on my own, which would drive me insane after a while.

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What an amazing mission. I've completed the first part. It kept me so absorbed that I failed completely to go to sleep at my normal time. Todays gonna be loooooong day at work...zzzzz.

 

 

 

 

Lovecraft theme I noticed immediately. Wonderful!

 

The initial boat, the woods and house were excellent. Well, aestheticwise everything was excellent. Looked really good and atmospheric. You have an amazing skill in making a believable environment. The soundscape was also very immersing. The story was fascinating.

 

Graphically, the mission is incredible. You really use the assets to 150% to their potential. The aesthetics are professional level.

 

Story was interesting and kept me hooked to see what is going to happen next.

 

There was a little bit of keyhunt in the church, which I didn't like. Why not just place the key in the priest's room, in a safe place, but instead place it in a public church area, where anyone could find it. It was a bit weird for me at least.

 

Overall, the church was the most difficult location. Lots of lights, low water arrows, verticality which made sound travel to AI easily. Sure the windows helped, but trying to jump on them produced noise as well. In the end,I cleared the entire church by KOing, because I had to travel back and forth looking for the darned key.

 

Gameplaywise the mission was quite difficult. Bright lights and narrow corridors. Already in the initial ship I realized this is going to be a KO spree. But that is okay, it was fun to be a predator among the men in the manor, isolating them and KOing them one at the time. I rarely do that and now I indulged in some precision blackjacking.

 

 

Great mission. I hope to play the second part soon! Thank you for you work, this mission is really impressive.

 

Any tips for a fellow mapper how to reach similar visual quality? What is the secret in making locations so "lived-in?" It seems to be natural talent and effortless for you to maintain consistent ultra-high quality visuals. How do you do it?


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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On a separate note, I've updated the mission to v2 (formerly named v1.1), see the first post for a download link and changelog.

Edited by Dragofer
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On a separate note, I've updated the mission to v1.1, see the first post for a download link and changelog.

You're one of the few FM authors that updates missions beyond simple bug fixing. That's inspiring.

  • Like 1

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Congrats Dragofer. Just saw this today lol. I took a bit of a look but will give it a good play tomorrow. So far looks amazing. Can't wait. :)


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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