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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  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Story Quality and Theme (Stars)

    • 5
      31
    • 4
      10
    • 3
      4
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
  2. 2. Gameplay Quality (Stars)

    • 5
      37
    • 4
      7
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      1
    • 1
      0
  3. 3. Visual Quality (Stars)

    • 5
      42
    • 4
      3
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0


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Spoiler

This is clearly a high-quality FM and I enjoyed it, but it's really not for me - I prefer drawn-out main missions with a few options on the side, and this is more like a massive hub to explore and collect'em'all (items, and loot).

Don't get me wrong: you can be proud of the outcome, but it only makes me wish the main mission had been denser. But then again - your choice goes well with how you clearly wanted to build a lot of lore/story.

 

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9 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

I admittedly not sure what constitutes the  "main mission" - do you mean the non-optional objectives?

Right. The ultimately compressed time to complete the mission, of sort.

I must admit though, forcing the player to find/buy the lockpicks was a clever way to force some exploration

Spoiler

(Got one from the guardpost lock-up, the other was bought)

 

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13 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

I admittedly not sure what constitutes the  "main mission" - do you mean the non-optional objectives?

Spoiler

I think what they mean by the main mission is specifically the task of retrieving the painting. In other words (unless I am forgetting a dependency on lockpicks somewhere along the line) the main mission boils down to: 1. Raise the quarantine door that lets you get into the plague district. 2. Retrieve the painting 3. Return to your home.

Personally, having now completed a first playthrough where I did not accomplish much except for that main mission (plus a lot of very preliminary exploring and looting), I did come away with the feeling that this was not actually the "intended" objective of the level. Grabbing the painting and returning home the way I came in felt very anti-climactic. I am not sure that was entirely your intent, and might be down to technical limitations--namely the absence of custom voice acting for this mission. But I do think the message that there is more to this level than a story about looting a painting is very intentional.

To my mind the real "main mission" of Iris is to discover the player character's whole deal. Who is he in his old age after losing of Iris? How do the goings on in the district mirror parts of his character? That's what I will try to do during my second playthrough. If that take is correct--and the stated main objective is effectively an irresolvable red herring (narratively speaking)--then that is an extremely bold choice, and understandably not going to be to everyone's taste. (And that is okay.)

 

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@A_Big_GuyI think the criticism is fair - as @ChronA points out there is the mechanical objective of the mission and there is the ”point” of it so to speak - while that is not something completely disconnected from the required objectives, it is something the player is not required to engage in at all and I would not even say I am someone who is skilled enough to be fully successful in pulling something like that off. I do possess enough pretense to try.

I did hope it would work on both levels - in fact it was quite important to me that it work at it lowest level as a thief style level instead of a “walking simulator” type experience or other sort of format that typically has that kind of narrative structure (or lack thereof) - so if this in itself does not feel satisfying it is indeed a weakness of the mission.

Again thanks for taking the time to play and I appreciate your thoughts. I hope if I get another one out you’re still willing to give it a try!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Iris is one of the first larger missions I've played for TDM and I felt compelled to write to you after playing through this experience. I've only ever played Snowed Inn and a few other maps that were short and sweet (and I tried to play Mother Rose but quickly noped the heck outta that one... I might get the courage again one day), so this was a huge change of pace. I sunk my teeth into about 7-9 hours of gameplay before I decided to finish the mission... but after seeing my stats of an abysmal 6k out of 15k loot, I'm definitely going to go back into it and see what else I can find! I've been having trouble finding combinations to a bunch of the safes and have only opened the Lanternbug's, so that's probably where I'll start when I pick this up again. ☺️

This is such a gorgeous cityscape with so much to explore. Honestly! Every time I revisited an area I thought I had basically cleared out, I'd always find another window to climb through or another vent to open. Exploration was consistently rewarded either through loot or clues or keys or finding alternate routes to places I had already been. Seriously - it's mindboggling just how delightful this level design was! It feels a lot like the frighteningly freeing nonlinearity of The Life of the Party and the weird, spooky, paranormal topsy-turvy atmosphere of The Sword had a really cool baby. Also, while I frighten easily so others may not relate, there were some genuinely terrifying and hair raising moments for me in this mission that I truly adored. Atmosphere and exploration is a 10/10!

I admittedly also had a lot of fun seeing how I could bamboozle the AI...

Spoiler

after getting the spectacles..

Hilariously, I did end up trapping the guard that was posted up at Pump 86's gate in The Space Between. Just for giggles. I wanted to see if NPCs could access these spaces or if the walls were still in place to "their view". I'd imagine - "realistically" (which is silly to say considering it's a game) - only the person who puts the spectacles on would be able to cross these thresholds... but the game doesn't know that. 😇 Maybe this is unintentional.. but I'm honestly assuming that this is something that can't be helped. Regardless, for me - this is a feature, not a bug. I had fun watching the guard yell and clip in and out of the wall while attempting to catch me jumping up and down in the next room over once I took the spectacles off after luring them to another dimension. 😛

I already do a lot to fool with the AI in TDM as it is. Adding the spectacles into the mix made it.. well.. a spectacle! LOL.

I still am not quite sure what the whole story is. I've still been digesting everything I've played and read, and I think there is still more to see and do for me. From my perception, this is a massive tale of grief, in its various forms told through all the inhabitants of Red Rook and Hollowbrook. I genuinely felt heartache at some storylines I voyeuristically experienced - rummaging through notes and memoirs, reading the momento "trophies" - and shared in the frustrations of other worker folk in the city. Even if I don't truly know what the heck is going on, I can say with absolute certainty that this is a beautiful, melancholic story and the writing was enthralling - pure poetry!

Thanks so much for making this and I hope to see more releases from you.

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1 hour ago, Teekay said:

Iris is one of the first larger missions I've played for TDM and I felt compelled to write to you after playing through this experience. I've only ever played Snowed Inn and a few other maps that were short and sweet (and I tried to play Mother Rose but quickly noped the heck outta that one... I might get the courage again one day), so this was a huge change of pace. I sunk my teeth into about 7-9 hours of gameplay before I decided to finish the mission... but after seeing my stats of an abysmal 6k out of 15k loot, I'm definitely going to go back into it and see what else I can find! I've been having trouble finding combinations to a bunch of the safes and have only opened the Lanternbug's, so that's probably where I'll start when I pick this up again. ☺️

Este es un paisaje urbano tan hermoso con mucho que explorar. Honestamente! Cada vez que volvía a visitar un área que pensaba que era habitada en estado, siempre en contra de la empresa para subir u otra ventilación para abrir. La exploración fue recompensada consistente con un trabajo de botín o pistas o lagunas o al encontrar rutas alternativas a las lugares en los que ya había estado. En serio, es alucinante lo encantador que fue este diseño de nivel! Se parece mucho a la falta de línea terrimplemente liberadora de La vida de la fiesta y la atmósfera extraña, especeluznante y paranormal de The Sword tuvo un bebé realmente genial. Además, aunque me asusto fácilmente para que otros no se relacionen, hubo algunos momentos reales terroríficos y espeluznantes para mí en esta misión que realmente adoraba. La atmósfera y la exploración son 10/10!

Es cito que también me divertí mucho vino poder engañar a la IA ..

  Hide contents

after getting the spectacles..

Hilariously, I did end up trapping the guard that was posted up at Pump 86's gate in The Space Between. Just for giggles. I wanted to see if NPCs could access these spaces or if the walls were still in place to "their view". I'd imagine - "realistically" (which is silly to say considering it's a game) - only the person who puts the spectacles on would be able to cross these thresholds... but the game doesn't know that. 😇 Quizás esto no sea intencional.. pero honestamente estoy bronceado de modo que esto es algo que no se puede evitar. De todos modos, para mí, esta es una característica, sin error de heno. Me divertí viendo al guarda gratar y salir y salir de la pared mientras intentaba atraparme saltando arriba y abajo en la habitación contigua una vez que me quité las gafas después de atraerlas a otra dimensión. 😛

Ya lo hago a lot to fool with the AI in TDM as it is. Adding the spectacles into the mix made it.. well.. a spectacle! LOL.

I still am not quite sure what the whole story is. I've still been digesting everything I've played and read, and I think there is still more to see and do for me. From my perception, this is a massive tale of grief, in its various forms told through all the inhabitants of Red Rook and Hollowbrook. I genuinely felt heartache at some storylines I voyeuristically experienced - rummaging through notes and memoirs, reading the momento "trophies" - and shared in the frustrations of other worker folk in the city. Even if I don't truly know what the heck is going on, I can say with absolute certainty that this is a beautiful, melancholic story and the writing was enthralling - pure poetry!

Thanks so much for making this and I hope to see more releases from you.

Hahaha, Mother Rose. do not be afraid of the ghost, although it pursues you, just avoid getting too close. She is not aggressive and does not attack you either, she just wants you to find the daughter's coffin and take her to the cemetery. She even helps you do so, attacking the guard, if he discovers you on your way to the cemetery.

Worst the Spring Cleaning mission.

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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15 hours ago, Teekay said:

It feels a lot like the frighteningly freeing nonlinearity of The Life of the Party and the weird, spooky, paranormal topsy-turvy atmosphere of The Sword had a really cool baby.

Wow, that is one pretty cool baby!

Thank you so much for taking the time to play and write me a thoughtful response. TDM has so many great missions I think you have an awful lot to look forward to as you continue your TDM journey. 

Reading your thoughts about the overall narrative I think you may have absorbed more of the story than you might expect, or at least you came away what is really important.

Though my hope was always there would be enough in the mission to sustain multiple play throughs and that each time through the player would forge new connections and revelations, so if you ever do get a chance to go back through I hope this ends up being your experience.

God Speed.

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18 hours ago, Zerg Rush said:

Hahaha, Mother Rose. do not be afraid of the ghost, although it pursues you, just avoid getting too close. She is not aggressive and does not attack you either,

What are you talking about? She gets close to you and then you die. This seems like an aggressive attack to me. I was so disappointed with this mission.

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Took way too many breaks in between play sessions, but I finally finished it and it was soo freaking fun. I could go on and on all day about how perfect literally everything was but I’ll just say the writing was my favorite. Sucked me right in and didn’t let go til I got back ‘home’.

I went nice and slow and only found about 5k after 5.5hrs, gonna hafta play it again in a couple months and do better.

Well deserved win, I can’t wait to see what you roll out next. You give the best of the best a run for their money!

 

Edited by Jedi_Wannabe
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As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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18 hours ago, datiswous said:

What are you talking about? She gets close to you and then you die. This seems like an aggressive attack to me. I was so disappointed with this mission.

No problems for me, yes, she get close, but only avoid that they do it to close avoiding corners.

I found Spring Cleaning much harder with the $&%% spider.

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

Favorite online apps you may like too 😉

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On 6/1/2022 at 3:16 PM, Wellingtoncrab said:

@Jedi_Wannabe Thanks for taking the time to play and sticking with it! Always means a lot, but it means “a lotter” coming from a fellow FM author!

Ha I figured you hit the first tag that pops up after typing J 🙃

I should be thanking YOU. It wasn’t a chore to stick with it; it only took so long because my free time’s been so limited I had literal weeks between plays. I forgot where I was going and where I had been so I restarted a few times and that ate up time. 

It was the most fun I had actually PLAYING the mod in years. I’ve tested a handful of missions and been preoccupied getting my map out for the past four years, I haven’t really played a mission just for funsies in a while. I had a blast every second so thank you.

And, ooh, the title of “fellow mapper” gives me warm and fuzzies haha.  Really tho, my input as a mapper means little since I’m so inexperienced in that realm. But as a player of Thief since demo disc days, I hope my opinion that Iris is an instant classic that raises the bar, reminds you to keep mapping. This is what TDM is all about.

Edited by Jedi_Wannabe
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As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm leaving a spoiler here for others (and possibly my future self) who are having trouble finding Tobin's spyglass. I spent ages and ages looking for it.

Strong hint and possible spoiler:

Spoiler

Tobin's apartment is in the Burgage House.

Spoiler:

Spoiler

Tobin's apartment is in the Burgage House.

Walk up the stairs, pass the sleeping guard on your left, and continue to walk up the stairs. Above you on your right, you'll see two windows (without glass) inside the house. The window on the left has light from the candle that is inside Tobin's apartment. Mantle through one of those windows to get inside Tobin's apartment. If you miss the windows and go up the stairs too far, you'll be at the top of the stairs and see "Whose Dream Is This?" written on the wall.

I think the reason I missed Tobin's apartment is that there's a bit of impossible geometry going on. The door to Tobin's apartment is actually part of the wall (as seen with noclip), so I guess it's just for looks and Tobin enters and exits through those two windows everyday -- I don't know. It was frustrating, because I checked every room in the Burgage House a few times and even noclipped through each door to no avail during the "I give up" phase of my search. But there was no door all along!

 

Edited by Daft Mugi
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Daft Mugi said:

I'm leaving a spoiler here for others (and possibly my future self) who are having trouble finding Tobin's spyglass. I spent ages and ages looking for it.

Spoiler

Yeah this can clearly be rather difficult for players to find. The Burgage House was an area that was originally cut from the mission and was then reimplemented when it seemed like the 2.10 performance increases would support it. This was quite difficult to squeeze back in and I think the ramifications weren’t ideal for this quest line. It’s something I would like to smooth over.

To answer your other question - yes there are alternate routes down to that location that do not involve the drop - but I figured I’d give players whose curiosity outweighs the cost of some HP a shortcut.

 

Edited by Wellingtoncrab
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  • 2 weeks later...

This map was amazing, thanks heaps for making it. I couldn't figure out the code for the basement door in Lady Ursine's house but I found this... 

Spoiler

TdCuIdt.jpg

Spoiler

31ODqrj.jpg

 

Edited by Keatsy
spoiler?
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Spoiler

From what I can tell from the couple of videos I have seen the visibility on Ursine’s fault code seems a little inconsistent and the effect appears fainter for players than it does on my local system for some reason - reading the Steward’s journal you might catch there is something off about the Lady’s portrait “in a certain light” the clue is somewhere on The Lady’s portrait I swear!

 

2 hours ago, Keatsy said:

This map was amazing, thanks heaps for making it. I couldn't figure out the code for the basement door in Lady Ursine's house but I found this... 

  Reveal hidden contents

TdCuIdt.jpg

  Reveal hidden contents

31ODqrj.jpg

 

I am glad someone found that! You can thank out of bounds expert @AluminumHaste for the ample data used in seeding a lot of the “out of bounds” content in the mission. I could actually use more in order to expand this story line a bit - so let me know if you encounter any!

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I just finished this one, and wow, that's an instant classic and one I'll be recommending to people.

I appreciated the plot that seemed to call back to Chambers' King in Yellow, where everyone reading a certain book is also clearly being affected by having done so. The in-game fiction was well done, to boot, hinting with just enough information to make you want more.

Between that and the Lynch references I can tell the author consumes a lot of the same media I do.

Spoiler

But I will say: I'm playing on a calibrated QD-OLED monitor with perfect black levels and fantastic color reproduction, and I couldn't see the code in the painting literally at all with the specs; it was only revealed when I held a lit lantern right up to it while wearing specs. And to boot, the fact that the monstrous form behind her IS clearly visible seems likely to make players think they've already seen everything there. I get that it's intended to look like a bloody scrawl, but maybe, in the hidden layer, use the glowing color used for the monstrous face as a background for the numbers, for more contrast? Then it'd still look like a rough, bloody scrawl and it's just the background that's 'magically' changing to reveal it.

But man, please don't take any of that as anything but constructive criticism. I just had hours of fun in my favorite genre of games, and I hope you're down for more in the future.

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@kerrleThanks for playing! Chambers is one of my favorite authors and he certainly had an influence.

And yes I think you are correct that the puzzle with the code definitely needs some work - it shows up pretty clearly on my system but in the couple of videos I have seen it is barely visible and it’s definitely been an issue for other players.

I appreciate you taking the time to go through the mission and I am glad you enjoyed it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

First, congratulations on your win. This was truly an amazing mission and felt like a whole city for me to explore (oh the places I'll go) and I looked just about everywhere more than twice. I really enjoyed the whole thing.

Spoiler

After scrounging up some loot for the lock picks, I ended up accidentally purchasing the glasses when I clicked on them to see what they were lol. Oh well, off to scrounge some more and there was so much to scrounge. I spent over 19 hours scrounging, probably about half way through (before the plague area) a little light bulb went off in my head (or a memory returned?) of what the glasses could do so had (yes had) to go back through the whole area with them on to see what I could find although I did miss the skeleton until near the end of the game. I loved how the dead looked with the glasses, nice change of pace. 

I ended with just over 14K in loot but still didn't find it all (wow) I'm not sure if I completed all objectives - both primary and optional as some never showed up until I did them. Example - "find the fables..." would come up and show completed at the same time - not sure if that's how you meant it. I also never found a code for the private apartments (didn't really need one) as well as Lady Ursine vault. I came here to look for a clue (for the vault) to confirm where it was (the portrait). So I went back in and with and without the glasses saw no numbers so I tried my lantern for more light and they showed up plain as day. 
 

Thank you for all your (obvious) hard work. I would definitely play this again, just because, and look forward to more.

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Posted (edited)

@Thiefettethanks for playing and I am glad you enjoyed it!

The way the hidden “thread” objectives are handled is indeed intentional - the map already has a lot to do and at a certain level I did not want players to feel like the had a laundry list of unfinished things hounding them through their play through, but I did want the mission to react to the player’s achievements when they go above beyond in some way (like if someone really wants to track down all the mementos the mission will recognize it, but it’s not going to be sitting there in the objective list taunting a player who just wants to finish the mission with some sense of completion).

I do think it’s a bit rough doing this through the objective system as it is bending the intentions a bit. Some aspects I don’t like is that the hidden objectives announce themselves as new ones before they immediately get completed and it would be nice if they could appear in the objective list in the order that they are finished, but there was no way around these aspects at the point of release.

Spoiler

I think the portrait code in indeed too difficult to find and will probably adjust this in a patch - and yes thankfully The Courtyard security doesn’t amount to much in the end.

Thanks again for your time playing the mission - it means a lot!

Edited by Wellingtoncrab
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