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The Dark Mod Mission Stats for 2018


Goldwell
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I'm happy to have contributed 3 missions in 2018!

 

I hope to release 3 more in 2019.

 

You are a machine! My usual is one mission per year and that's quite full on just getting that. Although this year I (hope/plan/pray) to get two out.

 

Around one mission a month is a decent number, nice.

 

Yeah it's great! And an uptick from last year too!

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I'm happy to have contributed 3 missions in 2018!

 

I hope to release 3 more in 2019.

 

I guess we made half of the missions between us last year! B)

 

I also hope to release more than one in 2019. Happy mapping everyone!

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My Fan Missions:

   Series:                                                                           Standalone:

Chronicles of Skulduggery 0: To Catch a Thief                     The Night of Reluctant Benefaction

Chronicles of Skulduggery 1: Pearls and Swine                    Langhorne Lodge

Chronicles of Skulduggery 2: A Precarious Position              

Chronicles of Skulduggery 3: Sacricide

 

 

 

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Hi Goldwell :D

i Love your Missionen i hope you have time for Build Missionen

 

Greating from Germany ;)

Thank you! Yes I am currently working hard on Shadows of Northdale act 2 and 3. Theyre both large missions but I already have a lot of work done on them both. The aim is to get them released this year ;)
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And I am embarassed that my mission-building efforts have stalled and I am months behind on releasing my FM. :( I'd really like to release at least one small FM this year, preferrably now in the winter. I'm still having problems with building a measly vertical FM that'll work well enough. Open to any suggestions.

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I'm still having problems with building a measly vertical FM that'll work well enough. Open to any suggestions.

 

What I could offer to try is to peel one potato at a time, get one piece ready before moving onto the next so you'll gradually keep adding useable areas to your progress, and if your original plans were a little too ambitious you'd be able to draw the line at an earlier stage. I'm doing that with my merchant ship, a couple cabins now and then when I have inspiration, and I know it'll get done at some point.

 

That's also a strength of one of the former campaign maps, Wrecker's Reach: there aren't too many interiors yet, but those which are present are in good shape. That's a much better situation, in the sense that it's more feasibly releasable, than if the whole map were a mess of half-started rooms still needing lighting, detailing and so forth.

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What I could offer to try is to peel one potato at a time, get one piece ready before moving onto the next so you'll gradually keep adding useable areas to your progress, and if your original plans were a little too ambitious you'd be able to draw the line at an earlier stage. I'm doing that with my merchant ship, a couple cabins now and then when I have inspiration, and I know it'll get done at some point.

 

That's also a strength of one of the former campaign maps, Wrecker's Reach: there aren't too many interiors yet, but those which are present are in good shape. That's a much better situation, in the sense that it's more feasibly releasable, than if the whole map were a mess of half-started rooms still needing lighting, detailing and so forth.

 

Really good advice and I do tend to generally follow it. That said, I always seem to have a problem with connecting rooms together vertically with stairs. I don't think I've ever managed that successfully, despite countless attempts. I've asked for advice on the forums for years, but some other issue always seems to come up.

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The advice from the original dromed tutorial (and LGS's method) is step-wise refinement, which can be boiled down to a simpler method. The way I use it is to build the entire space of your FM first, in a very rudimentary form, just blocky empty rooms for the most part, and then you basically start at one end and walk through it refining it room by room until you're done. Even if you have to move big parts around, even that's easier when it's in that block form, and you know how it should relate to the other parts.

 

What I especially like about it is that it's easy to track your progress, just visually looking down at the whole map, and know how much you have left and how much you should do in a session to stay on some kind of schedule, which is good for motivation.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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After losing my last WIP due to a hard disc crash, I also started with this method and will most likely stick to it. I first plotted out the general area and am currently getting the objectives to work as I intended. Then comes lighting and AIs, then sound and the last part will be detailing of any kind. That way I hope to get a playable map, even if it looks like crap first and make it visually appealing later on. I also think, this helps to put gameplay before visuals (which is the way it should be, in my opinion).

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I will be the contrarian, and interject that stepwise does not work for me. Roughing out the entire level, then doing another activity across the entire level would just lead to quick burnout. I build scene-by-scene, although with extra rounds of expansion and refinement. Good thing I am not part of the industry - just a fan. :)

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'll also point out that while greyboxing is standard, it is also, by another name, conventional. Here is a good inspiration post for anyone looking for pointers on how best to complete your FM. It's from an animator I respect, but use your noggin and let the power of metaphor deliver the point: http://felixcolgrave.com/post/179932218595/do-you-have-any-tips-for-a-scatterbrained

TL;DR: Do what works!

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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IMO greyboxing makes more sense from the professional POV. Since games use unique sets of models per almost every location, with only selected models repeating throughout the game, you don't want to waste precious hours that go into modeling by not having the whole game space fleshed out first. But with TDM, its lower fidelity, and heavy reliance on BSP, you can use any workflow between full greybox and location by location basis, as making fixes, adjustments or overhauls will be relatively fast, assuming you want to stick to stock assets most of the time.

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I discovered the Dark Mod a little under a year ago and loved it every bit as much as I did Thief when I first played the demo version of Lord Bafford's Manor. I'm not a "gamer" at all - I play this, Thief and...erm...that's it. I've already worked my way through all the missions, and while I'm waiting for more to be released, perhaps I should have a go at doing them properly, rather than my usual tactic of bashing everyone on the head until there's no guards left to worry about. A big thank you to the mission authors. Maybe I'll put together a teeny tiny one myself sometime. Don't hold your breathe, though. I have little enough spare time as it is.

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I'd also say to begin with laying out (whiteboxing/greyboxing) the map to get an idea of how the planned pieces can fit together, and from there focusing on completing single rooms or buildings, like Melan or demagogue suggest, the rationale being that if the original idea was too ambitious, the excess can be removed from the whitebox.

 

Another strength of producing complete scenes is that all elements of style are worked on together and should therefore fit together better. For example, lighting can be placed in such a way that it illuminates objects of interest, and objects can be placed to cast shadows that are interesting for stealth gameplay. This would be more difficult to achieve if object placement & lighting were separated into two mapwide worksteps weeks apart.

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I think everyone should use the style that suits him/her best. I tried the step-by-step approach first, but I noticed that I get lost in minor details, which hinders progression for me. Thus, I wanted to try to get a working mission, albeit ugly as hell and get lost in the minor details afterwards. That way I hope that I could release it at some point, even if I could still waste hours on minor details, but still having a passable mission.

Regarding lights: In my perception there are two kinds of them: gameplay relevant lights (that are an obstacle for the player they have to get around) and visually appealing lights that are used to make the mission look better. It is clear that these two can not completely be separated, as decorative lighting will still illuminate the player and "obstacle" lighting has its own visuals. And most likely I will change obstacle lights to be more appealing and place decorative lights that may change the gameplay, but I need to get a sense of the gameplay first.

For me, it currently seems healthy to focus on playability and worry about looks later on. Others may work in another way. It is up to the individual to see, which way works best. But that is the great thing: we are not professionals, so each one can choose for themselves.

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In case anyone new or adventurous wishes to try their hand at mapping and didn't know, Springheel made several cool tutorial videos a while back to get you up and running :)

 

TDM New Mappers Workshop

 

I thought this might be a good thread to remind folks of the existence of those tutorials

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