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Fan Mission: Iris by WellingtonCrab [TDM 2.10 Required] (2022/02/13)


Wellingtoncrab
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Iris - Connections Contest Scoring  

47 members have voted

  1. 1. Story Quality and Theme (Stars)

    • 5
      32
    • 4
      11
    • 3
      4
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
  2. 2. Gameplay Quality (Stars)

    • 5
      39
    • 4
      7
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      1
    • 1
      0
  3. 3. Visual Quality (Stars)

    • 5
      44
    • 4
      3
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0


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@KlatremusHmm ... certainly could be something related to saving - it seems to me that TDM players are very quick save heavy in general and the issue seems like it can emerge relatively early in a playthrough. The ghosting play style is rare enough as well who knows how the ai or pathfinding setup in the mission holds up to the ai never even slightly noticing the player.

It doesn't seem to be the same ai each time either - so each time you have reported an ai I have gone in and tried to make adjustments to the clipping in the area. Maybe this means this has been at least a little effective - that or the issue is truly random.

Best course seems to be to go in and keep tidying up the navmesh and keeping ai away from potential problems. I appreciate all the testing you have done - thanks for the patience and apologies for the issue. 

Edited by Wellingtoncrab
typo
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Yeah I notice that ai reset and find their way back to their path if searching for the player. Ghosting of course will never let that happen. That coupled with many saves and a big mission with lots of ai could increase the chances of stuck guards. I will continue through to the end and let you know if I find more. But the added script seems to be working well.

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You got it. From what it looks like now, there are 400 loot that cannot be taken for regular Ghost, and a further 7 more for Supreme. Additionally, the dagger worth 75 in the weapon store has to be skipped, but that doesn't count as loot until you take out the owner, so that's irrelevant.

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Performance has not been compromised on my end. I have GTX 1650 though, so it should handle most missions. I run 60fps without issues.

I have a habit of checking the console when starting now, and most of the warnings are the same. However, the one that pops up only sometimes that worries me is 'AI PAG SPARROW (6026 318 -703.75) can't sit: too far from sitting location lowry_corner_fronalley2 (5928 337 -704)'.

Edited by Klatremus
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@KlatremusI also use front end acceleration and have never had a problem so I am guessing that’s fine. I am not seeing much of a difference in cpu utilization between the script versions either but I am wondering if there is some kind of inefficiency in it that is causing other things to break.

If you are peeking at the console keep an eye out for warnings related AAS (NAV mesh/path finding) or maybe stack overflow if there is some kind of broken loop in the script.

I have been continuing the mission off your save and at least haven’t run into any other stuck ai yet.

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Well, I finished testing all of Red Rook and didn't find any ghosting impossibilities due to the new script, nor did I discover more stuck enemies. The tension was definitely higher now that all enemies on hostile ground detect sound, but nothing that would make it too difficult. I will run through the eastern part of town this week and give feedback.

Oh and the AI PAG SPARROW message I talked about a few posts ago I suspect is the pagan archer in Marksman's Loft. Last time I played he just stood right in front of his chair and never moved. Checking the console I didn't get that error this time and he is now alternating between sitting and standing in front of the window. I assume that is his correct behavior.

Edited by Klatremus
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@Klatremus nice! Sparrow is over in the

Spoiler

plague ward

- she had a stool where she sits down periodically that she couldn’t reach and this has been fixed so that console error should be taken care of. Sounds like the Marksman may have actually been “stuck” or his path finding is otherwise busted so I will work on this area next.

I have done a lot of additional clipping and path finding adjustments in general as well which will hopefully keep most of the AI clear of the trouble spots.

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Just finished the entire mission and didn't encounter any more enemies stuck. Neither were there any more differences as far as ghosting. I really liked the Monument Hall change with the patroller's route now extending there. That brought extra tension to an already spooky place.

I am ready to start recording my let's play, but I want to wait for your "official" update before I do so.

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About halfway through the level as we speak. Damn, son. You've got some serious design chops @Wellingtoncrab. I'm wondering if you've always just done this as a hobby or if you're at a studio somewhere, and if you have any other work visible online. The scene lighting and architecture is excellent, the writing, the loot placement, etc... Feels like The Painter's Wife 2.0 as others have said. Hoping you'll give us more in the future.  

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@polygroveThanks for playing and glad you are enjoying it so far!

I am just a normal fan of these games (so much as that is possible) with a normal job. I spent a lot of time when I was younger as a hobbiest in UnrealEd working with both Deus Ex and Thief: TDS, but I could never stick with anything long enough to truly finish it. This is my first actual release, though anyone making a mission stands on the shoulders of giants so to speak.

Anything successful in Iris owes as much to its influences as it does the copious amounts of elbow grease and mind numbing determination required to finish really anything. Patience and resolve is really all that you need.

Which is to say anyone could (and should) try making fan missions if it is something that at all interests them!

 

 

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My god. This was an absolutely amazing experience. I tested a very small portion of the beta quite a while back and this has come a long long way since then. This ties with my personal favorite mission easily. I'm probably going to gush about this quite heavily so please bare with me. I'll try to at least provide some feedback and I have a couple little issues I noted that I'll place towards the end.

I completed my first run at just over seven and a half hours. I loved literally every second of that time. Experiences like these are rather rare. The complexity, density and length are staggering yet you've somehow manages to maintain the high level of quality throughout. I have to praise the writing as well. Some remarkably beautiful works here and the readables really added to my sense of immersion as well as neatly tying together the many people and events occupying this "little" world you've made.

I usually try to ghost missions and this was an absolute pleasure to do that with. I should clarify that my concept of ghosting is probably quite pathetic compared to someone like Klatremus, but I like to give it a go without excessive quickloading and accepting minor alerts in rougher areas where my patience wanes. I always try again the second a weapon is drawn though and always shoot for zero KOs and kills with hardcore AI.. I managed a score of 35 here thanks to the well placed guards and very well thought out patrol routes. It really felt like each encounter and the pathing of the AI was considered at length. Excellent work. The unusual combination and sheer amount of hostile areas right next to safe zones was quite fun and executed in an excellent manner. Quite improved since the beta.

The level design and verticality were impressive. I found myself looking up constantly and more often than not there was an area containing great wonders up above me just out of reach. Finding my way to these areas and the treasures they held was quite fun. The only nitpick I could comment on regarding level layout was that things felt very square. I don't know how else to really describe it. The density was great, the complexity was stellar and all of the areas felt authentic and lived-in where appropriate. Its just that roaming the streets, while gorgeous, was very angular. Felt like a lot of 90 degree angles and that made it a little difficult to build a mental map for me at first. I don't want to make it sound like this was a huge problem or anything, just a bit of feedback. I think a little less squareness to the layout or flow of the level would go a long way to making areas more distinct from one another. Its helpful when going into such a dense wonderland blind.

The mechanics used to gain access to your essential equipment, start side quests and purchase extras were excellent additions. They all greatly added to the immersive factor for me. Reading the various newspapers and bulletin boards helped flesh out the world immensely and seeing things referenced on them that were actually present in-world was really nice. Adds that layer of believability and makes the location of various items and equipment feel logical. I never felt like an item was located in an arbitrary spot. Things felt very purposefully positioned. It wasn't just the main items though, it was the little details I really appreciated. Like the reference in Tobin's log on helping the Blacksmith move crates to the alley behind her shop, then finding those crates and some loot when I looked. One that really was a neat touch was something I thought was a bug at first. The little Builder kiosk would sometimes have the note that drops after you press the button already in the slot before I interacted with it. I assumed it was a minor bug until I later found a note expressing concern that literally anyone could walk up and press that button. So I watched the kiosk for a bit until the shop guard actually came up and pressed the button! Blew my little mind.

The mission is full of those moments and details. It felt like a real space occupied by real people with all sorts of various motives for their actions and sometimes even bringing about their own fates. Finding all of the threads and mementos was something that I felt compelled to do. Figuring out the little mysteries and finding pieces to some of the much larger and obscure puzzles made the seven plus hours I spent in the world just fly on by. You've really made something quite special here.

Okay, gushing aside, I noticed two very minor missing textures in two spots. The first was the ceiling area on the top floor of the burgage house. Its along the edge of the hall area looking up just outside of the door to the room that the archer roams in and out of. The second was towards the very end of the level by the Basilica Gate. Not the gate that you can open but the one next to it with the gravestone for Lady Grey resting against the wall. If you look ate the pillar framing the gate you'll see the left side corner of it is invisible. Both things are very minor but I did notice them.

I also had a couple patrolling guards get stuck. One was patrolling just outside the gated door to Pump House 86. I think he heard me make noise in the area behind that door before I turned the valve to open it so when I went outside he was just walking into the wall right there. The other was the guard patrolling the Quarantine Checkpoint. The guard that usually walks up and down the stars was walking into the false door at the bottom of the stairs. I think that Continental imports is on the other side of that wall and I know I made a loud noise in there. Not sure if that's what triggered him. Not sure if this is really anything on your end or if its just a quirk of TDM in general. No big deal either way and it seemed inconsistent/unrepeatable.

Well, that's about it I think. Sorry for the wall of text and thank you for the amazing mission!

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@ate0atethanks for playing and for your contributions during the beta - I am glad you enjoyed the end result!

25 minutes ago, ate0ate said:

The only nitpick I could comment on regarding level layout was that things felt very square. I don't know how else to really describe it.

I think this is a very good way to describe it I think - the layout is very grid like with at the most clean 45 degree angles and this is a an aspect I don’t like about the mission. When I was making Iris I didn’t have the confidence that I could carve the amount of interiors and vertical elements without being very uniform and grid conscious and I hope I can do better in the future.

30 minutes ago, ate0ate said:

I also had a couple patrolling guards get stuck.

Uh oh! This has been an issue and I think the navmesh needs a lot of work - the latest patch hopefully has some improvements in this regard but I will keep improving it over time - I have added your other comments to my bug tracker.

Thanks again for playing and taking the time to write! It is really appreciated! 

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12 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

the layout is very grid like with at the most clean 45 degree angles and this is a an aspect I don’t like about the mission. When I was making Iris I didn’t have the confidence that I could carve the amount of interiors and vertical elements without being very uniform and grid conscious and I hope I can do better in the future.

I think that actually added to the atmosphere of the mission. The hyper-regularity of the geometry enhanced the surreal, dream-like character of the level; like you were walking around in the platonic ideal of a city rather than an organically evolving community.

That's not to say you should rest on your map-making laurels 😉... but I do think what you arrived at is a legitimate style with real artistic merit. Especially in the context of such a cerebral narrative, it works.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Currently playing the mission. Compared to the quality of the original Thief series' mission design, this is a top notch work of art. You can spend hours of capturing phenomenal screenshots. I must mention the highly-authentic story, balanced gameplay and so many references to the lore. I can imagine how much one of those Looking Glass Studios giants would enjoy and praise IRIS. Thank you @Wellingtoncrab. Respect.🎯

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