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Dragofer

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

Is this downloadable in the missions list now or is this a manual implementation?


I like to record difficult stealth games, and right now you wonderful people are the only ones delivering on that front.

Click here for the crappy channel where that happens.

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It is shown on the list for downloading but isn't indicated as an update

The result is that it creates a second entry in the FM list

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The integer was change to 2, the filename to river1_1...

 

and I have just changed the files size from 56 to 57 to see if that makes a difference. If that dosen't work I will have to change the release date.

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According to http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=How_to_pack_your_Mission#darkmod.txt

 

 

VERSION: The internal downloader can only handle integers. So, don't update from v 1 to v 1.1, go from 1 to 2.

But then Biker above said it was 2, so maybe he caught that already.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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Finished the second part today. Overall it was a nice little campaign! If anything was a problem with me, it's the somewhat chaotic and hard to understand way in which the events happen, as well as the difficulty of finding the solutions on your own (I didn't try to for long). Overall the gameplay was okay enough, whereas everything else was quite good!

 

One more thing which I guess I'll mention here: For reasons that are absolutely beyond me, my computer freezes and has to be powered off (potential kernel panic) during the cutscene after the cave where the carriage is seen carrying the coffin. No other TDM mission seems to cause this for me, and in this one it's only this particular cutscene that does it! Frankly I'm kinda mindblown, though I've seen weirder things in my time. If it's of relevance, I use Linux (openSUSE Tumbleweed) and the free video drivers (MESA 13.0.3 / RadeonSI).

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Absolutely stunning mission Dragofer, congrats on the masterpiece. I can't wait to see the next part!

 

Love the atmosphere and the subtle background sounds. So far no other mission had such perfect ambience. Even though the dark mod has a much larger collection of ambient sounds in comparisson to any Thief game, most of them are used around different maps all the time to the point that they become somewhat repetitive, but with the ambience presented here I actually feel like I'm playing an entirely different game, and the sounds here serve to immerse more than distract from the experience.

 

One thing bothers me, though. I've finished the mission a few times while it was still in version 1.0 (I'm a sucker for Lovecraft, and the vibe felt somehow familiar even before I read your initial post and the connection with the Terrible old man), and after version 1.1 came, I had to download it right away to play through the improved version, but I noticed I can't pick up objects that can be interacted with. More precisely, I'm having trouble with picking up bodies and interactable objects, like candles and dishes, while everything works fine for readables, doors, loot and inventory items. I thought it must've been something with the settings in my version of the dark mod, but after loading some other missions I see the issue is specific to this mission. I've also noticed the guards that could sit down and stand up tread against the chair indefinitely instead of sitting down.

 

Did anyone else see this issue?

 

Sorry if I posted in the wrong section, I'm pretty new to the forum and this is my second post so far.

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The integer was change to 2, the filename to river1_1...

 

and I have just changed the files size from 56 to 57 to see if that makes a difference. If that dosen't work I will have to change the release date.

The 'internalName' has been changed to "river1_1", which is why this does not show up as an update, but as a new mission.

The internal downloader simply can't tell that this is related in any way to the already downloaded mission "river".

If only the version had been updated to 2, then it would have shown up as an update just fine.

http://missions.thedarkmod.com/available_missions.xml

<mission id="113" title="Down by the Riverside" releaseDate="2016-09-25" size="57" version="2" internalName="river1_1" type="single" author="Dragofer">
<downloadLocation language="English" url="http://www.southquarter.com/tdm/fms/river1_1.pk4" />
<downloadLocation language="English" url="http://darkmod.taaaki.za.net/fms/river1_1.pk4" />
<downloadLocation language="English" url="http://www.fidcal.com/darkuser/missions/river1_1.pk4" />
</mission>
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Just a stunning FM. Just loved the design, it's clutteredness, it's sense of being lived in. Also it's delapidation. Especially

loved the view in the lane when you first see the house thru the gate.

 

Really enjoyed this level. I couldn't find the key/switch to the attic though, I searched and searched but was short of time so in the end

I gave up looking. The design though was perfection!


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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Love the atmosphere and the subtle background sounds. So far no other mission had such perfect ambience.

 

Thanks Silverflame, I'm especially glad you liked the atmosphere. I'm quite enthusiastic about all things ambience, as some people might already have noticed over in the Editor's Guild, so it's great when this pays off.

 

Regarding the glitch you reported, I also noticed strange behaviour in the mansion at one point: whenever I picked up any moveable, the thief would drop it again after a few seconds, all on his own. It didn't look like anybody knew a fix or the cause, which is a shame because my original intention was to let the player find the way past the mysterious door by using a moveable.

 

 

Really enjoyed this level. I couldn't find the key/switch to the attic though, I searched and searched but was short of time so in the end

I gave up looking. The design though was perfection!

 

Thanks for your praise, but I have to say: you're far from done with this mission, and there's another mission afterwards because it's actually packaged as a 2-part campaign. My first post in this thread has some solutions - for this particular case, there is no key for the attic door.

Did you find the saw next to the mysterious door, and did you find the basement door on the outside of the house?

 

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Wow, what an original mission that just oozes atmosphere.

 

Some thoughts,

 

I liked the sense of old Americana in the first part of the mission. Initially the idea of the ship taking a week to reach an isolated mansion seemed a little implausible, but seen in the context of the times and hinted geography, it started to make more sense. I imagined we had sailed down south along the coast somewhere. It was certainly different and impressively unsettling to arrive at a creepy mansion that was already half ransacked.

The hidden study and story with the phials was excellent, but a little hard to follow coherently. I suppose this doesn't really matter so much as it all creates atmosphere, and it's something that you can piece together after having played though it to an extent. It was not entirely clear if when playing the sub-missions, whether you were re-living the mansion owner's experiences or not (if not, how are the phials appearing? manipulation by the wraith? I may be over-thinking this! lol).

One other thing I was unsure about after reading the text in the Church about Johan's stowaway plans was whether the first two phial areas were across the sea (Scotland?). If that was the case then it might have been cool to add some little points to indicate a big shift in location, but really this is nit-picking :) !

 

(The plank in the Church storage was too difficult to notice without resorting to hints but it seems like you fixed this already in v2. The inheritance stash did seem a bit difficult to find where to frob and I can imagine someone getting stuck here if they didn't persist, but at the same time it was better to have things a little challenging rather than too easy.)


This is a very unique and highly polished mission, great work!

edit: Just read this after finishing the mission today! Hmm hmmm....

http://www.bbc.com/news/37875609

Edited by Peanut

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I downloaded the updated FM, but when the first level loads, it says "aas_rat is out of date". Does that affect anything?


"Let me guess - little blue men with three heads stole your sweetroll?"

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First the business:

 

I downloaded the updated FM, but when the first level loads, it says "aas_rat is out of date". Does that affect anything?

 

Looks like the compile didn't do its job properly, leaving out (only) rat pathfinding. I do check my mission archives ingame before I commit them, but I oversaw that. Looks like bikerdude will have another pm soon.

 

As to whether it affects anything, I don't think so. Rats get stuck all the time - I remember melan venting his frustration about these damn rats in a thread some time ago. IIRC the verdict was that to get them to move reliably either a specially adapted monsterclip setup or a TDM code change would be needed.

 

 

 

Wow, what an original mission that just oozes atmosphere.

 

Some thoughts,

 

I liked the sense of old Americana in the first part of the mission. Initially the idea of the ship taking a week to reach an isolated mansion seemed a little implausible, but seen in the context of the times and hinted geography, it started to make more sense. I imagined we had sailed down south along the coast somewhere. It was certainly different and impressively unsettling to arrive at a creepy mansion that was already half ransacked.

The hidden study and story with the phials was excellent, but a little hard to follow coherently. I suppose this doesn't really matter so much as it all creates atmosphere, and it's something that you can piece together after having played though it to an extent. It was not entirely clear if when playing the sub-missions, whether you were re-living the mansion owner's experiences or not (if not, how are the phials appearing? manipulation by the wraith? I may be over-thinking this! lol).

One other thing I was unsure about after reading the text in the Church about Johan's stowaway plans was whether the first two phial areas were across the sea (Scotland?). If that was the case then it might have been cool to add some little points to indicate a big shift in location, but really this is nit-picking :) !

 

(The plank in the Church storage was too difficult to notice without resorting to hints but it seems like you fixed this already in v2. The inheritance stash did seem a bit difficult to find where to frob and I can imagine someone getting stuck here if they didn't persist, but at the same time it was better to have things a little challenging rather than too easy.)


This is a very unique and highly polished mission, great work!

edit: Just read this after finishing the mission today! Hmm hmmm....

http://www.bbc.com/news/37875609

 

Thanks very much :)

 

It's interesting where people sometimes place missions like this. I actually imagined the entire mission, one clear exception aside, to take place somewhere in Britain. I often show screenshots of my WIPs in Newfoundland, that name being my synonym for the northern parts of the New World, but so far I've only released one area in that location, in One Step Too Far.

 

That said, I had originally intended the mansion to be placed in Newfoundland - the mention of 'fisheries' in the briefing is a remnant of this. That changed to Britain when I fleshed out the story so that there's a stronger sense of departure for the west. And visually the manor and the forest simply had more of an Old English ambience for me. For a proper Newfoundland mission I'd want the weathered harbour look, replete with salty air and crashing waves.

 

 

Regarding the story, if you like I can post a synopsis here:

 

The mansion's owner stumbled over a badly worn book in his collection which he had no recollection of buying. In it he read a travel account written by young Johan, in which he claimed to have survived a disastrous ordeal onboard the Invernesse as it was searching for the Northwest Passage across the arctic ocean.

 

At first he gave it no more notice, but then his wife had a bad bout of her illness (multiple sclerosis). The doctor treated her with homeopathy, the principle that water can be imprinted with memory by substances it touches. That gave the mansion owner an idea: he would harness this water memory to find out if Johan's claim to have found a marvellous treasure hoard in the arctic was true. For this he requested that Johan's body be exhumed and brought to his mansion so that he could craft phials from its fluids.

 

 

- the first few phials showed mundane scenes of Johan's life: when he left the farm, and when he burgled a church to fund his journey (mainly to bribe recruitment officers of ships sailing west).

- the next phial showed his imprisonment aboard the Invernesse for refusing to join a dangerous rescue expedition and then trying to steal incriminating evidence from the officer's deck to show that the rescue expedition was a death trap.

- the last phial showed the ship giving in to the crushing ice, then the discovery of an abyssal cave in the midst of the ice wastes. Johan starved in front of a strange rock door, then his body was somehow reanimated to come back to the world of the living for a mysterious purpose: using you as its tool. It seems bent on returning to this cave and passing through the door with a living man.

 

The mysterious book which the mansion owner read in the beginning was actually the haunting tome of the skeleton, which is in turn the book that Johan carried when he was still alive. The coffin was brought to the mansion by Johan's skeleton with a carriage drawn by black horses. And the principle of water memory was only a dud: the phials' energy came in fact from the skeleton, not from the water.

 

As for the inhabitants of the manor, most of the servants fled while the mansion owner was becoming increasingly absorbed with concocting foul-smelling phials. Those who remained met their end when a lynch mob of superstitious townspeople came to raze the mansion, triggered by sightings of the skeleton's carriage. However, the skeleton interfered to prevent the house from being burnt down. The mansion owner was still alive, but he was too afraid to leave his study and confront the unknown thing pacing outside his door. In the end he concocted a phial of his own fluids and disappeared.

 

Edited by Dragofer
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If rats are having problems, someone needs to file a bugtracker issue about it. I spent a lot of time a few years back cleaning them up, and my experience has been that they're doing fine.

 

Specifics in a bugtracker issue is better than burying occasional observations in a thread about something else.

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Wow, I had a really tough time with this mission set. On one hand, it's beautifully crafted, the architecture and attention to detail were phenomenal, and the story was complex and unlike anything I've seen in an FM before. As far as creating a world, it's hard to beat Down by the Riverside. The ship itself was just a thing of beauty, and the starting mansion was much the same.

 

But in the end, I thought the sneaking was just too difficult. The spaces were so cramped, with almost no place to hide, and moving around was near impossible in some areas (such as the lowest level of the ship with metal floors and no shadows). Just completely frustrating for me. I love exploring every inch of a level, and here it was just not possible without systematically going through the level and knocking everyone out (which usually took multiple attempts). Not typically the way I like to play FMs. I suppose I could have played on a lower difficulty level, but with the layouts the way they were, I can't see that things would have worked out much differently.

 

On a very minor side note - the flickering electric lights on the ship were supremely annoying, I turned off the first two I saw, got shocked both times which knocked my health down by 1/2, and then I never touched them again.

 

In any case, Dragofer, despite my complaints, I tip my hat to you, that's one hell of a mission you put together. I think in the end, I'm just a bad thief, so I like things a little easier.

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I told you this in private, Dragofer, but I think it should be public that the solution in the dining room on the boat is genius, but not signposted enough when every other level doesn't let you get into the bunks.

Otherwise I can safely say this is one of the best missions I've ever played, and I'm excited to cover part 2.

  • Like 1

I like to record difficult stealth games, and right now you wonderful people are the only ones delivering on that front.

Click here for the crappy channel where that happens.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfTsXkUKeys

 

I told you this in private, Dragofer, but I think it should be public that the solution in the dining room on the boat is genius, but not signposted enough when every other level doesn't let you get into the bunks.

Otherwise I can safely say this is one of the best missions I've ever played, and I'm excited to cover part 2.

 

Thank you yet again for your excellent and polished coverage of the first part of this mission, just as for all the other TDM missions you've showcased.

 

 

In any case, Dragofer, despite my complaints, I tip my hat to you, that's one hell of a mission you put together. I think in the end, I'm just a bad thief, so I like things a little easier.

 

Regarding difficulty, my foremost aim was to make the mission challenging for those who select 'Difficult' and never knock out any AIs, douse any lights or quicksave (I too like to play this way the most), with the option to knock out AIs to make things easier.

 

The other difficulties tone this down (for example, on 'easy' a certain lamp on the metal deck is extinguished which made me mentally nickname it the knockout lamp), but you're right, the stealth puzzles still always have more or less the same nature. Maybe it can be said that the original difficulty level of a mission, in this case that'd be 'difficult', will influence the other levels.

 

Specifically about the ship, my approach for the metal deck is to hide beneath the walkways where it's dark while keeping track of their movements. Also, that was quite bad luck to get zapped twice out of two times - the chance for that to happen is a single-digit percentage. Well I'm glad for your appreciation of the mission in the face of the stealth odds.

Edited by Dragofer

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Regarding difficulty, my foremost aim was to make the mission challenging for those who select 'Difficult' and never knock out any AIs, douse any lights or quicksave (I too like to play this way the most), with the option to knock out AIs to make things easier.

 

The other difficulties tone this down (for example, on 'easy' a certain lamp on the metal deck is extinguished which made me mentally nickname it the knockout lamp), but you're right, the stealth puzzles still always have more or less the same nature. Maybe it can be said that the original difficulty level of a mission, in this case that'd be 'difficult', will influence the other levels.

 

Specifically about the ship, my approach for the metal deck is to hide beneath the walkways where it's dark while keeping track of their movements. Also, that was quite bad luck to get zapped twice out of two times - the chance for that to happen is a single-digit percentage. Well I'm glad for your appreciation of the mission in the face of the stealth odds.

I think we need to start including Doom wad style disclaimers that emphasize that this level's "normal" is most other level's "difficult", because I can't help but feel like the names aren't very indicative compared to playing the game itself or reading author descriptions.

Mother Rose and this, for example, simply do not merit difficulty comparison, for a potential case.

Edited by V-Man339

I like to record difficult stealth games, and right now you wonderful people are the only ones delivering on that front.

Click here for the crappy channel where that happens.

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