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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  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Story Quality and Theme (Stars)

    • 5
      24
    • 4
      10
    • 3
      2
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
  2. 2. Gameplay Quality (Stars)

    • 5
      31
    • 4
      5
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
  3. 3. Visual Quality (Stars)

    • 5
      34
    • 4
      2
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0


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Wow! Calling this a "large" mission is the understatement of the year. There's so many layers that I'm surprised that my head hasn't exploded yet. This makes Painter's Wife almost feel like a speedbuild! Love the constant references to Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. I'm done with the main bit but I feel the need to keep exploring, which is really rare with a lot of the TDM FM's that I've played. Long story short, this has crept right up to my fav missions of all time list. Please keep coming up with more FM's man! 

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10 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:
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Have you met Roderick? He is nearby and might be able to help you.

Having just played through this encounter I love this description of the solution!

This is an absolutely amazing mission.  Very rich and dense and full of interesting character.  Interesting step in difficulty after crossing the wall: in the city proper I've managed to stealth my way through with a perfect zero score, but am seriously struggling with the encounters on the other side!

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Quite possibly, the Textbook example GOOD City 'Roofs' style mission (with lots of alleyways, hidden passages, and MORE).

Even mabey edging out The Painters Wife! (itself a Masterpiece)

Nice stylistic touch with the 'blue' haze/glow for open (or accessible) windows... takes the guesswork out of prodding at shutters.

Not even finished with it yet... still to figure out what the:

Spoiler

Combination lock/gate in ?south sloggate / near grimwold? that has a plaque like "Order of the Sanguine Dawn" - sounds like something in there I need to see!

...means.

 

P.S. Like that touch with the objective - had me wondering right up until the end! Nice.

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22 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:
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Have you met Roderick? He is nearby and might be able to help you.

Thx. I edited the message almost instantly but it seems it didn't propagate enough. Btw. I'm missing some mementos and cannot find them. Can you help me with that?

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9 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

@mysakbmsure if you shoot me what you have already in a spoiler tag I can give you some hints on the ones you are missing

Spoiler

Thx. 

I have :

Lunar Beloved

Ever glittering icon

Relic Edge

Ledge of favoured

Patch of Purple Cloth

Cerebral Theter

Stained Visage

Widower's bottle

Cracked and Crooked Lenses

Mandrasola Root

Puzzle Box

Grail of Regrets

Favoured Pen

Silver Starved Purse

Old Mens Journal

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:
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@mysakbmlooks like you have almost all of them! Look for that last two in the sewers up the sump

 

Spoiler

From Cambridge Spy, it seems I'm missing:

Pallid Ingot

Rodent Cowl

Fermenter's Chalice

 

and it seems she was missing a one. Maybe the Lunar Beloved. But those are three and you mentioned two... eh?:)

But, I'll go check the Sewers of the Sump? or Pump?

 

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50 minutes ago, mysakbm said:
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From Cambridge Spy, it seems I'm missing:

Pallid Ingot

Rodent Cowl

Fermenter's Chalice

 

and it seems she was missing a one. Maybe the Lunar Beloved. But those are three and you mentioned two... eh?:)

But, I'll go check the Sewers of the Sump? or Pump?

 

Spoiler

ok, found the ingot... dunno how did I miss it.

And found the Chalice. Had too much darkness that I missed that window 🤦‍♂️

And found the rodent cowl... uff.

 

Fantastic mission. Man, it was amazing ride :)

Edited by mysakbm
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everybody,

Can somebody tell me where I will find a code for House Ursine

Spoiler

Esoteric door? You know, the white marble one?

I just successfully opened Order of the Sanguine Dawn in the quarantined area and have no idea whether I overlooked the Ursine one hint somewhere or whether we will return there at some point in the story, so help would be appreciated.

 

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I'm STILL playing this mission and finding stuff. Unreal. This mission needs it's own wiki to explain what the deal is with the White Pyramids, Sanguine Dreamer, etc. I'm dying for a sequel though it's seems highly unlikely given the nature of the mission.

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@gokudo thanks for continuing to play and I always glad when players appreciate and are curious about these elements of the setting. While this story indeed has its end - if I am ever fortunate enough to finish my next mission it will certainly carry over and expand on many of those elements.

Though I will always ultimately trust your and other players intuition and innate curiosity over laying bare these types of details about the setting which is not (at least to me) a particularly interesting way to interact with a video games story.

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Okay, when I started to play this mission, I had no expectations whatsoever.

To say my mind was blown off is understatement of abysmal proportions - this was fucking awesome!
Right from the opening intro, the nostalgic and bitter atmosphere permeates through and I did felt like I was playing Disco Elysium all over again for a while - it was bitter and made you think, but you couldn´t stop.

It was only after first few hours I had to look and found out this was a winner of a contest  - and deservedly so.
From the masterful leveldesign - man, where did you learned this??? To map so good? - I have read in your comments this is not your first map, rather your first released one, but you deserve all the praise for it - it easily can rival Goldwells, bikerdudes levels, etc... - I am talking that kind of quality.

It´s quite vast, but more importantly full of details, various new objects that can be taken and slowly unfolding story as you progress - which is quite subtle, as you have to "connect the dots" between various readables and what you find or saw. And what an intricately created world! I loved the fact there was a historic explanation of all the various cramped buildings and materials they are made of.

When I mention readables - they are tastefully written (hats off to all the people writing and perfecting this) - what I saw here, is Golden Grail of well written readables in Thief/Darkmod missions.

There is so many other things I would like to write about, but I have to run to my training, so I have only one plea: please, make more.
Make many more and welcome amongst Taffers! :D

PS: And few questions at the end:

 

Spoiler

- was that all a dream, or a product of aging thief, not knowing what is reality and happens in his head (all the writing about dream throughout the level)?

- it was a shock to learn the final house, the one with the Iris painting, is his own (you had that key with all your equipment right from the beginning), I gathered that much - but how old is he? If I read the quarantine readables right, quarantine was the for over 100 years?

- Was Iris the Lady Gray, who fell in love with a stranger (him, main protagonist)?

- did I understood it correctly that that ratbeast was the missing young lord Ember, because he underwent a transformation with that machine on the throne in a nearby room?

- I liked the Batman jab ;)



 

Edited by Tarhiel
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Posted (edited)

@Tarhielthank you for generous words and your time spent playing the mission. I am very glad to read you had a meaningful time with it.

I am especially glad to hear you enjoyed the readables as I worked as hard (if not harder) on those as any other element of mission. My eternal gratitude to @Amadeus as editor who helped immensely in making them bearable to read.

When it comes to how I learned to make the mission it’s really the same stuff involved in trying to accomplish anything really: you just keep accepting failure and frustration willingly well past the point your body and spirit are telling you to stop. It will seem like everything is an endless and impossible mess until suddenly it isn’t: and you and the thing you are trying to do are in finally sync. You also learn to accept a thing is “finished” (or perhaps you are “finished” with a thing) well before it is ever perfect.

Since the deeper meaning of anything exists as an undercurrent below the surface, expressing it plainly poses some risk it may lose that very meaning for which it was created, so I will endeavor to answer your questions about the story up to the point I can:

 

Spoiler

 

- was that all a dream, or a product of aging thief, not knowing what is reality and happens in his head (all the writing about dream throughout the level)?

I won’t answer that one, but I will say it it is the right type of question.


- it was a shock to learn the final house, the one with the Iris painting, is his own (you had that key with all your equipment right from the beginning), I gathered that much - but how old is he? If I read the quarantine readables right, quarantine was the for over 100 years?

Quite old. The fact that this does not seem possible may itself be relevant though the scourge is admittedly not quite so ancient history as 100 years.

- Was Iris the Lady Gray, who fell in love with a stranger (him, main protagonist)?

You should trust your intuition. It is never expressly stated that Iris is the subject of the painting for example, but you can intuit this as well. The story trusts you, so trust yourself!

- did I understood it correctly that that ratbeast was the missing young lord Ember, because he underwent a transformation with that machine on the throne in a nearby room?

Interesting, though off the mark a bit. Judging by your comment below regarding a certain caped crusader I think you are not completely off track on discovering the rat beast’s true identity.

On a separate note the Ember side story was inspired by the readable you discover early in TDS which is a children’s book that describes the legend of the hag. When I first played this I thought it was a very cool one off world building detail that actually blossomed throughout the game to become the inciting incident for the entire narrative.

In Iris the thief’s own story however is ending and their presence on the stage has diminished, so while it seems something big is again a foot that has ramifications for other elements of the narrative, it’s going to happen without them. The world keeps spinning after all.


- I liked the Batman jab ;)

I liked it as well - so much so this element dates all the way back to the original TDS version of Iris - there they even had the benefit of actual ratmen in the game which made it a little easier sell admittedly.

Thanks again for playing!

Edited by Wellingtoncrab
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Holy cow, everything they said about this mission is true! I've only just managed to get to the other side of the wall and I'm already thinking about starting another playthrough in order to keep exploring more of the starting area! You really have created something amazing here.

I'm so glad to hear you are planning to make make more content for TDM. You really have shown you have a profound talent with this mission, and not just because of its size. In terms of interconnectedness, navigable verticality, variety, and verisimilitude I think this might be the absolute best free-roaming level I have ever encountered in any 3D game. Period. (Previously I split that honor between TDM's Sir Talbot's Collateral, and Metroid Prime's Chozo Ruins.) 

Personally I think there is so much you could do here even if you limited yourself to just reconfiguring areas and objectives within this one map. I believe Goldwell is onto something with the idea in Shadows of Northdale of a reusable hub area that would form a setting for multiple missions; but this is the very first TDM map that I feel one could easily use to do that--without any major alterations or creative compromises.

I mean, even as I've been exploring the decrepit tenements, haughty mansions, and brutal fortresses of Red Rook and reading about its sad history, I cannot help but imagine another story: A district in strict lockdown and quarantine against the remnants of a zombie plague. A murderous authority more interested in preserving its own veneer of power than protecting its subjects. An innocent populous walking the knife edge between rebellion and starvation. Then a downtrodden thief comes across a certain piece of incriminating evidence, and they must deliver it into the right hands to end the madness and bring the villains to justice! (Maybe the allusion to recent events in certain corners of the world is a little crude, perhaps even offensive some might protest, but I would play the hell out of that mission. We need power fantasies in these dark times.)


Anyway, before I jump back in, I'll leave a bug report for you on the off chance that it may be useful:
I too have run into the problem of the level crashing to desktop whenever I try to drop an item from out of my inventory. I have a personal rule that I must drop a health potion any time I reload from a save. (It keeps me from save scumming.) There were no problems the first 2 potions I discarded, but now it has started crashing whenever I try to drop that particular item. I think this was after about 3-4 hours of play time, incase that is significant. Luckily for most players I'm sure this will not be an issue, but for me it is a bummer.

Edited by ChronA
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On 5/6/2022 at 1:26 AM, Wellingtoncrab said:

@Wellingtoncrab

 

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- did I understood it correctly that that ratbeast was the missing young lord Ember, because he underwent a transformation with that machine on the throne in a nearby room?

Interesting, though off the mark a bit. Judging by your comment below regarding a certain caped crusader I think you are not completely off track on discovering the rat beast’s true identity.

On a separate note the Ember side story was inspired by the readable you discover early in TDS which is a children’s book that describes the legend of the hag. When I first played this I thought it was a very cool one off world building detail that actually blossomed throughout the game to become the inciting incident for the entire narrative.

In Iris the thief’s own story however is ending and their presence on the stage has diminished, so while it seems something big is again a foot that has ramifications for other elements of the narrative, it’s going to happen without them. The world keeps spinning after all.

All right, now I realized who the "ratbeast" was, but what happened to lord Ember then?

 

 

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