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Fan Mission: Blackgrove Manor by ddaazzaa (2021/03/14)


ddaazzaa
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Out of sheer perversity, I...

Spoiler

...jammed the door to the vault with a crate and was thereby able to get back to the boat with the artifact, which the mission did not take into account.

Apart from that it was great.  The only other thing which left me feeling slightly disappointed was that...
 

Spoiler

 

...given the masses of health potions and how tooled up you are by the end of the mission, I was expecting some kind of grand confrontation with the demonic guy who kept hassling me.  As such I felt somehow let down when I managed to escape and finish the mission with no obvious harm.

The over-abundance of weaponry also led me to wonder if I was supposed to blow up the artifact to end its evil, but I wasn't obviously able to do that either.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, tapewolf said:

Out of sheer perversity, I...

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...jammed the door to the vault with a crate and was thereby able to get back to the boat with the artifact, which the mission did not take into account.

 

Spoiler

Now that's the spirit. :awesome: Why didn't I think of that.

 

4 minutes ago, tapewolf said:

Apart from that it was great.  The only other thing which left me feeling slightly disappointed was that...
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

...given the masses of health potions and how tooled up you are by the end of the mission, I was expecting some kind of grand confrontation with the demonic guy who kept hassling me.  As such I felt somehow let down when I managed to escape and finish the mission with no obvious harm.

The over-abundance of weaponry also led me to wonder if I was supposed to blow up the artifact to end its evil, but I wasn't obviously able to do that either.

 

 

Spoiler

Classic misdirection. Although like you, I was fully expecting the place to be absolutely overrun, after retrieving the artifact.

 

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11 hours ago, tapewolf said:

Out of sheer perversity, I...

  Hide contents

...jammed the door to the vault with a crate and was thereby able to get back to the boat with the artifact, which the mission did not take into account.

Apart from that it was great.  The only other thing which left me feeling slightly disappointed was that...
 

  Hide contents

 

...given the masses of health potions and how tooled up you are by the end of the mission, I was expecting some kind of grand confrontation with the demonic guy who kept hassling me.  As such I felt somehow let down when I managed to escape and finish the mission with no obvious harm.

The over-abundance of weaponry also led me to wonder if I was supposed to blow up the artifact to end its evil, but I wasn't obviously able to do that either.

 

 

I never accounted for blocking the door. It's not an issue on a first playthrough though. If I release an update I'll look at doing something with that. I might also look at tweaking starting inventory.

Did anyone have an issue with with the briefing text moving from the first page to the second? It works fine for me but someone else did have an issue where the text didn't switch to the second page.

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I did not experience any problems or bugs in the mission, everything worked as expected.
Regarding the weapons and arrows, since there is only a single zombie and apart from this nothing that can endanger life (except for an accidental fall), I also think that it can be left to a minimum (lockpicks and something to remove the zombie from the middle)

Edited by Zerg Rush

Sys Specs Laptop Lenovo V145 15AST, AMD A9- 9425 Radeon R5 - 5 cores 3,1 GHz  RAM 8Gb, GPU 1+2 Gb -Win10 64 v21H2

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11 hours ago, ddaazzaa said:

I never accounted for blocking the door. It's not an issue on a first playthrough though. If I release an update I'll look at doing something with that. I might also look at tweaking starting inventory.

For what it's worth you're in good company - you could do a similar trick in Thief in the Haunted Cathedral (though I heard they patched it in Thief Gold).

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I was chuffed to see a new mission, and this turned out to be another great one! Absolutely loved it - made me jump out of my skin a few times!

Can't thank you enough DDAAZZAA! Well done on the atmopshere, the sound and voice FX - superb! I hope you make more.

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While it may not be the best example of traditional gameplay, it is still very much a TDM/Thief style mission. Any "warning" provided would without a doubt spoil the atmosphere and feelings of tension that the first blind playthrough of this mission invokes. Not every mission will appeal to every player but I assure you that this one does indeed have a lot to offer and fits quite well with a certain playstyle. You don't have to like every map and valid criticism is always helpful, but calling this mission a waste of time is just plain wrong and probably more than a little rude.

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On 3/22/2021 at 11:01 PM, mango777 said:

I was chuffed to see a new mission, and this turned out to be another great one! Absolutely loved it - made me jump out of my skin a few times!

Can't thank you enough DDAAZZAA! Well done on the atmopshere, the sound and voice FX - superb! I hope you make more.

Thanks for the feedback.

21 hours ago, ate0ate said:

While it may not be the best example of traditional gameplay, it is still very much a TDM/Thief style mission. Any "warning" provided would without a doubt spoil the atmosphere and feelings of tension that the first blind playthrough of this mission invokes. Not every mission will appeal to every player but I assure you that this one does indeed have a lot to offer and fits quite well with a certain playstyle. You don't have to like every map and valid criticism is always helpful, but calling this mission a waste of time is just plain wrong and probably more than a little rude.

I knew this mission wasn't going to be for everyone, so I understand if people dislike it and I don't take any criticism personally. Indeed putting a warning would spoil the atmosphere I was going for.

 

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Does anything happen after finding or is there any way to interact with 

Spoiler

Mary's grave? It seems like a narrative thread that just fizzles out. As I was escaping through the sewers I even picked up the doll from the corner and brought it with me hoping to place it on the grave or something, but then the mission ended, haha.

 

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5 hours ago, MrMunkeepants said:

I am missing the key for the chapel office; thanks to ddaazzaa's guide I know the general area that it is in, but I can't find it! Can someone help me with a more exact location?

Spoiler

Although I just finished, I can't remember where that key was, but if you don't mind cheating... the console command "tdm_show_loot" will highlight, for a few seconds, items available in the map. The console itself can be brought down with the "~" key or, on windows?, "ctl-alt-~"

 

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Thank you for the FM.  I'm a big softee and don't generally like "horror". but since it seemed less about jump scares and more about a story I took a chance.  Generally, I liked it.  The mansion design is spot on and everything feels "right".  Thank you.

Spoiler

but the story seemed cut off at the end?  I wanted to know what happened to the mother and the other kids and, I might have missed it, what happened to the father?  It seemed there was voice at the end trying to be helpful, but it's not possible to finish the mission without taking the artifact, correct?  I didn't understand how I survived being a piece of carved up meat while my thief predecessors didn't?

This isn't a critic on you, but I feel the voice actors are rushing when speaking during the prologues... I say plural because I've been noticing this when there are voiceovers during the intros.  (... yeah, voice acting is hard to get right).

And just to reiterate what a wuss I am, I had to stop playing multiple times and come back later to continue... so mission accomplished. ;)

 

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4 hours ago, Sneaker said:
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Although I just finished, I can't remember where that key was, but if you don't mind cheating... the console command "tdm_show_loot" will highlight, for a few seconds, items available in the map. The console itself can be brought down with the "~" key or, on windows?, "ctl-alt-~"

 

unfortunately that console command does not show keys; I did some noclip flying about to look around for anything I'd missed, and found hidden stashes (I did not loot them) as well as keys I will need later (I did not take them).

I'm getting frustrated, and I'm about to really cheat and just fly through the door without the key

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@MrMunkeepants The chapel office key is in a really hard to miss spot. I have a feeling you're not gonna like the answer. I've had tons of moments like that myself playing through a mission completely missing something crucial to progression only to find out it's been right in front of me the whole time...

Spoiler

The chapel office key is right on top of the note next to the bloody corpse in the main foyer by the stairs.

 

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6 hours ago, ate0ate said:

@MrMunkeepants The chapel office key is in a really hard to miss spot. I have a feeling you're not gonna like the answer. I've had tons of moments like that myself playing through a mission completely missing something crucial to progression only to find out it's been right in front of me the whole time...

  Hide contents

The chapel office key is right on top of the note next to the bloody corpse in the main foyer by the stairs.

 

uh-oh. I swear, I read that note but didn't find anything nearby...

Spoiler

when the corpse started walking around, I dropped a mine on the blood spot - if the key was somehow still there, it could have been blown anywhere by the explosion!

I don't really want to start over, so I guess its time to 👻 through the door

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This cured my constipation. :)

Only bug (very minor) was...

Spoiler

down in the sewer area to leave, in the location with the dewdrop doll. I crouched and move against the fencing blocking the way to scoot over to the other side, and was able to pass through the fencing into that dead-end curve in the sewer. I was able to get back through same way, so no biggie.

My only concern with the map is...

Spoiler

there's no resolution to what's going on. All this build up just sort of fizzles at the end.

Still, A+ work on atmosphere and balance between hiding things, but not so much I felt like an idiot. Like Valve said about Portal, you want to make puzzles easy enough for folks to figure out, but hard enough that they feel smart when they do. When I got lost, I looked at the map to see where I haven't been yet. You used sound and such to provide ample prompting on things. When I'd find a switch I felt smart. Didn't have to come over here to look at spoilers.

Really good map. Look forward to the continuation of the story if you choose to do more.

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On 3/27/2021 at 8:52 AM, MrMunkeepants said:

unfortunately that console command does not show keys; I did some noclip flying about to look around for anything I'd missed, and found hidden stashes (I did not loot them) as well as keys I will need later (I did not take them).

I'm getting frustrated, and I'm about to really cheat and just fly through the door without the key

Guess what?

Spoiler

tdm_show_keys

 

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On 3/27/2021 at 10:09 PM, ate0ate said:

@MrMunkeepants The chapel office key is in a really hard to miss spot. I have a feeling you're not gonna like the answer. I've had tons of moments like that myself playing through a mission completely missing something crucial to progression only to find out it's been right in front of me the whole time...

  Hide contents

The chapel office key is right on top of the note next to the bloody corpse in the main foyer by the stairs.

 

It might be possibe that if the key is not picked up early, it may get kicked around and lost. To try and avoid that issue I wanted the player to pick up that key early. The body should be one of the main things in the hall that draws attention to the player, so providing the player wants to look at the readable they should easily notice the key sitting on top.

On 3/28/2021 at 3:22 PM, totallytubular said:

This cured my constipation. :)

Only bug (very minor) was...

  Hide contents

down in the sewer area to leave, in the location with the dewdrop doll. I crouched and move against the fencing blocking the way to scoot over to the other side, and was able to pass through the fencing into that dead-end curve in the sewer. I was able to get back through same way, so no biggie.

My only concern with the map is...

  Hide contents

there's no resolution to what's going on. All this build up just sort of fizzles at the end.

 

I tried to stop as many out of bounds areas as I could although I didn't extensively check every part of the map. Getting out of bounds can be fun for the player in a way. Have a look at a lot of AAA games where speed runners just destroy entire missions by completing the whole map out of bounds.

I didn't intend for there to be a resolution to what's going on. I understand some people like to have the story wrapped up nicely. I did hint as to what might have happened to some of the family in the note located in the upper sewer maintenance room (after you climb the ladder). I've found that whenever I watch a good horror movie, most of the time the ending disappoints when everything is explained and there is no mystery after it finishes. I went for a more blair witch style where you are left in the dark as to what is going on.

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I personally like a somewhat more open ended "resolution" to things. Especially horror. The more clearly or concrete you understand something, the less you fear it. The choice of taking or leaving the primary loot, the thing you came here for in the first place, was a really nice touch. Especially in a Thief type of game. I think this mission did just enough setting up of expectations only to turn the tables on you in the end. For example... 

Spoiler

The mission loadout and use of the typical holy water and water arrow combo makes you expect undead lurking somewhere. Keeps you on your toes. Throwing some heavier gear like mines in hard to find spots makes you really worry about what is ahead, especially if its been seemingly too quiet for a while. The light switches in every room and the character vocalizing that he needs to find a way to turn the power on makes the player think that that is the point that an ambush will happen for sure. I actually went around flipping every single switch ahead of time thinking I would cleverly turn off all of the lights so they don't come on when I hit the main power breaker. I actually laughed out loud when I did turn it on and found out they were all off in the first place and I lit the whole place up! It really felt like the level was made by someone acutely aware of the player's thoughts and familiar with the game mechanics to the point that they manipulated the player's expectations quite masterfully. The only downside I can give this mission at all is that the trick only works once, but damn is it one of the most tense missions I've played in a while.

I felt the story, the history of the stone and the events that happened with the family, was implied enough in the various readables scattered about. I like the very simple "Forgive me..." note in particular. Where it is placed and its obvious implications really set an ominous tone. Its clear from the start that nothing good happened here.

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Very sorry. that the mission is not optimized for weak graphics cards. I have a Gt1030.  I Set a mission. But the fps is very low, lags, it is impossible to play. I think the huge space of the mission was loaded into the video memory of the video card, and in the end, even 2 gigabytes DDR5 was not enough.... It's sad...

 

 

For comparison, the mission " William Steele 4: The Warrens"

a big city. But the mission has a good fps (60) with stencil shadows

Edited by Gadavre
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I don't have much more GPU, see if you can optimize more the system removing unnecessary things from memory. If you use Windows, disable hibernation and indexing, these two services consume the most memory. Disabling indexing only has the consequence that the search for files on the disk take a little longer.
Disabling Windows telemetries also frees up quite a bit of RAM (and bandwidth, too).

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Sys Specs Laptop Lenovo V145 15AST, AMD A9- 9425 Radeon R5 - 5 cores 3,1 GHz  RAM 8Gb, GPU 1+2 Gb -Win10 64 v21H2

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