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Fan Mission: The Ravine by Spoonman (17/04/2017)

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A little bit into this mission. Glad to see the first use of the fire elemental. He actually took a shot at me. :ph34r:

 

Some nits:

 

 

 

1. First page of the briefing: "some of the City" should be "some of the City's".
2. Last page of the briefing: "rumour has it that the one of the old" should be "rumour has it that one of the old".

 

 

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I played just a tad since my schedule's busy and I agree with Judith to a point. It took me a while to get the mission, I don't think you're really supposed route through all the hallways and cave corners but rather get lost and feel a genuine sense of exploration. I don't think TDM has really had that type of mission and I applaud you for that. Setting the ambient light to zero was a tool for achieving that, I'm sure, but it really bothers me in the starting caves. Not only is it unrealistic since there are starry skies above you and there would definitely be more ambient light than that, it also made me stumble all the way through.

 

When you eventually find your way down to [spoiler town], yes, absolutely set the ambient to zero, no complaints there. But I feel you could still achieve better gameplay readability without sacrificing your vision. A simple fog volume (or better yet, Obsttorte's fog script) can silhouette distant geometry so the player has more awareness, you could also use Sotha's nightvision method with a very low brightness ambient light bound to the player.

 

I didn't encounter any bugs besides clipping through some patches but those are notoriously finicky when it comes to collision, so nothing on you.

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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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I played just a tad since my schedule's busy and I agree with Judith to a point. It took me a while to get the mission, I don't think you're really supposed route through all the hallways and cave corners but rather get lost and feel a genuine sense of exploration. I don't think TDM has really had that type of mission and I applaud you for that. Setting the ambient light to zero was a tool for achieving that, I'm sure, but it really bothers me in the starting caves. Not only is it unrealistic since there are starry skies above you and there would definitely be more ambient light than that, it also made me stumble all the way through.

 

When you eventually find your way down to [spoiler town], yes, absolutely set the ambient to zero, no complaints there. But I feel you could still achieve better gameplay readability without sacrificing your vision. A simple fog volume (or better yet, Obsttorte's fog script) can silhouette distant geometry so the player has more awareness, you could also use Sotha's nightvision method with a very low brightness ambient light bound to the player.

 

I didn't encounter any bugs besides clipping through some patches but those are notoriously finicky when it comes to collision, so nothing on you.

 

Oh, so there's a reason for it, like e.g. in Dark Souls, where catacombs could go completely dark to scare the shit out of you? I just started playing, so I didn't see a point to it yet. Maybe it would be better to use zones and change ambient for interior locations, while leaving it a bit brighter for locations where you can see the sky then.

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Just finished it on hardest and enjoyed playing it. The mission is a somewhat odd mix of cave exploration with mansion robbery in a somewhat mystic setting. I found no gamebreaking bugs - only a lot of holes in the geometry (but not big enough to fall through), some zfights, an AI that got stuck on a door frame, misplaced items (including trinkets falling through a table, chairs sunken in the floor and statues hovering centimeters above ground). I would really suggest walking through the whole level - crouched with activated lantern and god mode enabled - at least once before releasing it. None of the things i found would have passed that test (especially not the slopes in the mines where one sinks in below ground level when crouched).

 

The real difficulty was to get the loot. The debriefing screen says something about 4k+ to be found. But i barely got the required 2.4k and even had to systematically search the mines for the last few hundreds. The AI was easy to dispose or avoid (there where some skeletons with simple patrol routes). It would be hard to ghost though - and it might be impossible to ghost without using tools or throwables because of the well lit throne room one has to pass for the main objective.

I really liked the water columns, mines, builder garrison at the elevator and the upside-down rooms in the mansion.

I was disappointed as i saw the first undead in the mansion - until then i thought, someone had overcome the cliche and made an underworld setting without the undead (i did not found any undead before entering the mansion because i entered via a water column in the mines). Speaking of the undead: they sound like living people - even if it would make sense when knowing the plot, i would consider that as a bug as the plot does not get revealed in any way (that might as well be considered a bug, but seems to be intentional).

The spiders, elementals and survivors (wonder how the humans made friends with the undead, but the level featured a space section, so i guess its just magic...).

I was disappointed by not finding anything after following one of the water columns all the way up (nearly drowned, used up all the potions, and had to reload to get back).

I think, the level really needs some (ton of) storytelling. It is a nice experience as it is. But understanding (and interacting with) the plot would improve it.

 

 

Hope i did not sound too harsh - i enjoyed playing and would definitely play your next mission (*hint*).

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On darkfate there's good quality screenshots:

 

http://darkfate.org/forum/index.php?topic=5755


"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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Very impressive mission -

  • I liked the use of fire elementals
  • The new big/giant crystals.
  • The new ambients.
  • The custom AI and not seen this many Pagan Ai before.

But after entering the old builder living quarters I had to stop playing, total play time 15 mins -

  • There are a lot of broken speakers, as indicated by said speakers playing a single tone - medium to major as it directly effects gameplay
  • I found a few ZF issues, minor.
  • Found doors that opened 'into' what looked like a elevator shaft - if there was an elevator there it would get caught on said door - medium
  • Some of the haunt Ai that used the Zombie animation had the wrong def_voice set - medium as it draws the player out of the game
  • Found moonrays on some windows floating away from the surface of window. minor.

This is why missions need to be beta tested, this is what I found after 15mins of gameplay. So as I said at the beginning of this thread, I am happy to create a beta thread after the above also to help find/fix all the remaining bugs that are found.

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This is a really unique FM and one of the most challenging ones I played regarding the AI - I really didn´t expect that after the slow start. It is a shame that there were no readables to explain the events in detail, but I guess you put that work into the open and unpredictable design of the map, which is also fine.

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Bikerdude: Instead of trying to "fix" the mission (including in ways that'd obviously break Spoonman's intended design), why not just try enjoying it on its own merits?


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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Why not just try enjoying it on its own merits?

That was the plan but, but the biggest bug - speakers playing a loud single tone as you wonder around breaks gameplay and the mission for me. Fixing speakers would not interfere with intended design.

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That was the plan but, but the biggest bug - speakers playing a loud single tone as you wonder around breaks gameplay and the mission for me. Fixing speakers would not interfere with intended design.

 

The speakers are playing the loud single tone because more than likely you have EAX turned on, with that turned on any speakers that don't have a proper s_shader set will emit that noise.

 

However that's not really a bug as most missions do not support EAX (I believe the number is less than 5 out of the 100+ released) and that issue only happens when EAX is turned on, 99% of TDM players wont notice the noise as they don't have EAX turned on. So i'd recommend turning off EAX to play it.

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  1. The speakers are playing the loud single tone because more than likely you have EAX turned on, with that turned on any speakers that don't have a proper s_shader set will emit that noise.
  2. However that's not really a bug
  1. Ah I never knew that, cool
  2. Well by definition it is a bug, because the speaker is missing info the mapper should have checked.

And on the Subject of EAX/EFX -

  • When working on maps I have tdm running in a window and having EAX enable allows me to listen to sounds from the game while working in DR.
  • With support for EFX/OpenAL happening sooner rather than later, we will have to make sure maps dont have speakers with missing s_shader info.

But so I can play this map, I will disable EAX as per your suggestion.

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I don't play with EAX on, and I've heard the 'beep' sound for missing sounds, so testing for missing sounds is a valid thing to do in beta testing. (I haven't heard the 'beep' with this mission, but then I haven't played beyond the point where I got stuck going around in circles.)

 

What works for the mission author might not always work for the general player population. Thus the recommendation that missions undergo beta testing.

 

I hope that allowing this mission to be available in the in-game downloader w/o beta testing doesn't start a trend. I remember testing at least one mission where the author was reluctant to have it beta tested and it was an awful mess when we saw it.

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Bikerdude: Instead of trying to "fix" the mission (including in ways that'd obviously break Spoonman's intended design), why not just try enjoying it on its own merits?

 

It's common practice to point out issues in mission release threads. The author might then explain them away (design choice) or fix them in an update or ignore them.

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I don't play with EAX on, and I've heard the 'beep' sound for missing sounds

 

How do you turn that on? because it would be handy. I assume it might be in the developer build or something as i've never heard of this issue outside of EAX being turned on (it happened a couple of years ago with Bikerdude again actually when he was testing a mission of mine).

 

Also I don't think anyone has a problem with beta testing, and I don't think this is going to start a trend either.

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Main menu setting

 

Could you be more specific please? (i'm not talking about EAX btw, i'm referring to Grayman's debug sound shader feature)

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Could you be more specific please? (i'm not talking about EAX btw, i'm referring to Grayman's debug sound shader feature)

 

To be specific:

 

No EAX.

 

Ask a speaker to emit a sound.

 

If the sound shader isn't defined, or the sound file is missing, the engine emits a beep. (Don't recall which it is.)

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Hmmm, can't get the mission to start, keep getting an error, as follows...

 

"cannot load collision model"

 

models/blah/blah/ teacup01_cm.lwo

 

Suggestions?

 

Cheers,

 

AJ

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Are you sure your TDM installation is up to date?


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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