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Fan Mission: A Good Neighbor (2020/03/08)


Amadeus
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I was going to open an account just to praise/comment on this mission. I didn't even remember that I already had one as my last post in this forum was nearly 12 years ago. 😅 But I'm glad I'm revisiting TDM after all this time.

I want to congratulate the creator of this map. It was brilliant with excellent lighting and atmosphere. I loved the idea that indoor electric light sources could be interacted with. Another thing I found fascinating was the clues to every secret - at least to the four that I found:
 

Spoiler

1. Creepy cellar (marks on the floor)

2. Thief's reward (the terrace is well-lit and visible from the garden)

3. Gems in the tank (half-eaten apple)

4. Neighbour's stash (clearly mentioned in his journal)

Another impressive aspect of this level was how loot was distributed rather evenly throughout. You could find something of value almost everywhere, but not so much that your loot objective would become absurdly easy.

Readables were both concise and useful, and it was awesome that you could carry the more important ones with you.

I'm sure there are tons of more positive points that others have already mentioned. However, there are a few things that I think you could improve upon:

Spoiler

1. Perhaps you could include a backstory for the prison cell and Mr. Unholy Bones in the cellar. (Or maybe you already have and I'm just too dumb to figure it out)

2. On higher difficulties, you could add objectives about destroying the bracelet (upon reading about it in the Builder's notes) and the voodoo doll (after finding it) by throwing it in fire, etc.

3. Remove the English bits from the mage's note. I spent a long time trying to figure out the two remaining digits from "Amos, Builders, bracelet, Boris, and taffers". I know Boris suggests burning the code and that's the clue as to where to look but you could just put in some Arabic gibberish or something in the lines of "a page written in a foreign language".

I hope you find this useful. 😊

p.s. I went back and found the last secret. It was something I'd noticed earlier but forgotten to explore. I suppose things jut out for a reason. 😜

Edited by HammerHand
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Ha, well welcome back! Thank you for playing, I'm glad you enjoyed it :).  As far as your notes go, 

Spoiler

there will definitely be no backstory given other than what you can conjure up in your brain about the clues I've given. 2) I was thinking about that, but thought a hidden objective might be more fun to reward the thorough player. I don't like the idea of everything being FED to you on an objective list. 3) Yeah, that readable was problematic, I'll consider changes if/when i get around to updating it

 

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FMs: A Good Neighbor

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6 hours ago, Amadeus said:

Ha, well welcome back! Thank you for playing, I'm glad you enjoyed it :).  As far as your notes go, 

  Hide contents

there will definitely be no backstory given other than what you can conjure up in your brain about the clues I've given. 2) I was thinking about that, but thought a hidden objective might be more fun to reward the thorough player. I don't like the idea of everything being FED to you on an objective list. 3) Yeah, that readable was problematic, I'll consider changes if/when i get around to updating it

 

Thanks for reacting to my ideas. 😃

As for point #2,

Spoiler

a hidden objective will actually be really fun as long as it triggers when completed. It's an immense feeling of achievement when as a player you do something extra and the game notices it. You've already done this with the 5/5 secrets. 👍 I made the previous suggestion because in my playthrough, even though I was ghosting, I went through the trouble of making the mage defenseless but there was no recognition of this by way of "hidden objective completed" notification.

 

Once again, you've completed a monumental task already and I greatly appreciate it. 🙌

Edited by HammerHand
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  • 4 weeks later...

Just finished playing this, and like other said, that was a great first mission!

The environments were very good, this kind of "slice of the city" design is one of the reasons why I like playing Dark Mod. There were enough unique areas like the waterworks and shop basement to make it memorable and some interesting characters too.

Really almost everything about this mission was very solid and I had fun the first hour, but then I encountered a problem. Some of the things I had to do were mostly clear, but not at first sight and to solve them all I had to do quite a bit of backtracking. Example:

Spoiler

It was clear I had to power up the safe in the waterworks, but what each lever and button did was not clear at first, so I had to go check back and forth between the control room, the two levers and the safe. This is a realistic approach since a real life infiltrator likely wouldn't have any more information either, but each time I had to go through the flooded waterworks and avoid a patrolling guard with superhuman hearing (despite the noisy pumps) who could not be knocked out. Considering I had to go there more times later for secrets and loot, this just became tiring.

Because the loot objective at highest difficulty wasn't super easy, traversing back and forth through the whole level and finding what I missed not only in the waterworks but everywhere else as well became a slog for me. At 2320 loot I wasn't having fun anymore and decided to declare the mission finished.

Now this was subjectively quite a problem for me because I tend to remember the ending of an experience the most, so a great mission with an ending that I did not enjoy became kind of spoiled. But from a level design perspective I think this was largely a matter of a few NPCs being too alert, possibly breaking down the one big area with a couple hiding spots or different modes of traversal, and ideally having an optional loot objective. I think this might make a similar future mission friendlier to people like me without changing your creative vision.

I'm a fan of having optional loot objectives in general by the way, because I can never know in advance how difficult it's going to be to get it (it really varies) and how fun it's going to be, but I like to have a concrete number that tells me "if you got this much, you've probably seen most of the level".

I'm looking forward to playing any future missions from you.

 

Oh, and I encountered a few small bugs:

Spoiler

The shop owner (?), the guy sleeping in the first floor above the shop seemed to a problem with pathfinding. When I woke him up, he become alert and started running in circles between the door to the bathroom and his table. Did not stop, had to reload.

Also when I whacked him with the blackjack while he was sleeping, something in the physics broke, he immediately started flying around and banging on things, which shortly after that killed him. Tried it several times.

It seemed impossible to blackjack the mage when he was sitting. This was after I destroyed his bracelet of course. He was sitting facing the door leading to the safe (so to the side, backrest to his right) and no matter which side I came to him from, the blackjack only made him stand up and attack me. I had to throw some stuff at him to make him stand up and then I could blackjack him normally.

 

Edited by vozka
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Hey, thank you for playing. Also, thank you very much for the feedback! I agree with you that the loot count on expert should be a little less draconian, so I will look into that when I update it next. In the future, I think I am going to drop mandatory loot counts all together and try to focus on just making more interesting objectives to make up for it.

As for the bugs, that last one you listed is not a bug. 

Spoiler

The mage has a charm on him making him invulnerable. This is hinted at in a few readables. You steal the charm from him, he is no longer invulnerable :)

 

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FMs: A Good Neighbor

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9 hours ago, Amadeus said:

Hey, thank you for playing. Also, thank you very much for the feedback! I agree with you that the loot count on expert should be a little less draconian, so I will look into that when I update it next. In the future, I think I am going to drop mandatory loot counts all together and try to focus on just making more interesting objectives to make up for it.

As for the bugs, that last one you listed is not a bug. 

  Hide contents

The mage has a charm on him making him invulnerable. This is hinted at in a few readables. You steal the charm from him, he is no longer invulnerable :)

 

Spoiler

No, that was after I stole the charm and dispelled it in the builders shrine, that's what I meant by "destroyed his bracelet". Otherwise I assume he would have been invulnerable even when standing up.

In my case after making him vulnerable I could blackjack him when he was standing up or walking around, but when he was sitting down, he was still immune to blackjacks. Arrows worked normally.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/9/2020 at 10:08 PM, Filizitas said:
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Put magic bracelet into holy water at hammerite place. Then black jack magic dude!

 

Thanks for the tip. I did not know that the bracelet could be dunked in the basin of holy water. I was wondering why I still could not KO the mage and his three guards after I removed the bracelet from the mage. With them out of the way I could search for all the loot without problems except for the helmeted guard in the flooded generator area.

Edited by maxrenn8
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