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Fan Mission: The Spider and the Finch, by grodenglaive


grodenglaive

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I just finished this mission. Excellent, I really liked it. :) Especially impressive considering it's your first mission.

Spoiler

The architecture of the mansion was great. Classic mansion layout, with some nice twists/secrets. The choice of textures and assets was great too, really looked good, and there were some nice details. I also liked the subtle light coming from the windows, which made for some cozy lighting and shadows. The path to the mansion was also nice/atmospheric. Good choice of ambient sound as well, which is always important for a good atmosphere in the mission.

The secrets and loot were reasonably fair to find. In the end, I missed 200 loot, which is fine. The attic was logical to find. I expected it to be somewhere above the balcony, and, I wasn't disappointed. ;) I don't know if there also was a way from the closet. I only found the switch coming from the attic.

Difficulty was good. Maybe 2 or 3 less guards would have been better, as it became a bit crowded upstairs...

Only thing I would criticize is the lack of voice acting for Astrid. I understand, it's not possible if there is no one avialable to do it, I'm probably spoiled from other missions there. ;)

So, yeah, I really liked it, hope to see some more missions from you in the future.

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2 hours ago, CrisiusXIII said:

Hi

i cant load my save games after the update to version 1.2. there is no error message, after starting the init the bar stays at 0, nothing happens at all. i have to quit with ctrl-F4

i can make new ones which do load...

It sounds like the saves are tied to the game version. I know if you update the game engine the older saves are no longer compatible as well.

@nbohr1more is there any thing Crisius can do to use his old saves?

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15 hours ago, datiswous said:

(..) This is normal. (..)

i rather have a error message instead of being forced to use ALT-F4, probably i am new and dont understand the underlaying needs off that version number stuck inside a game save.

its not like a gigaviewer for zx in z80 , aint it ??

 

i get the message but i dont ....

Edited by CrisiusXIII
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  • 1 month later...

Interesting "little" mission with lot to do in a relatively confined location :)

I have played on the hardest difficulty with the latest version of the fm, yet after fulfilling all of the objectives, when I came back to the boat, it did not trigger end of the mission.

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On 2/1/2024 at 10:02 PM, Tarhiel said:

Interesting "little" mission with lot to do in a relatively confined location :)

I have played on the hardest difficulty with the latest version of the fm, yet after fulfilling all of the objectives, when I came back to the boat, it did not trigger end of the mission.

Sorry for the late reply, I missed the notification somehow.

Spoiler

Did Astrid get on the boat after you revived her or was she stuck on the riverbank?

Did you try moving around on the riverbank near the boat? Maybe it's possible to miss the end-mission trigger.

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4 hours ago, grodenglaive said:

Sorry for the late reply, I missed the notification somehow.

  Hide contents

Did Astrid get on the boat after you revived her or was she stuck on the riverbank?

Did you try moving around on the riverbank near the boat? Maybe it's possible to miss the end-mission trigger.

Oh, wait, you are supposed to revive her? How?
I tried using potion on her, it was not possible, so I just went back to the boat without her, hoping that would trigger endgame sequence.

Edited by Tarhiel
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Spoiler

Yes, the potion should be selected in your inventory, then press the use button. You need to be within a metre or so of her.

On the older versions of the mission you had to hold the potion in your hand instead of "using" it.

 

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4 minutes ago, grodenglaive said:
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Yes, the potion should be selected in your inventory, then press the use button. You need to be within a metre or so of her.

On the older versions of the mission you had to hold the potion in your hand instead of "using" it.

 

Oh holding it would made a more sense to me, as that is exactly what I did.
Using it means you used it on yourself, which is confusing.

But thanks, now I can finish that mission correctly :) 

Edited by Tarhiel
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Just finished playing this mission on Expert. Took me a little while, but I actually managed to ghost it (with a few suspicions). The spider can be dealt with without incurring any penalties for ghosting. 

I love the aesthetics. The house looks gorgeous, and the whole outdoor areas are gorgeous as well. 

The lobby area -- or whatever it's called -- is quite tough for ghosting, I would say. :) 

I had never played an assassination mission, so to me it was interesting to have improvise. I presumed the guard outside would hear me stabbing the guy to death, and I also presumed he wouldn't die with a single blow (I later confirmed that). So I decided to...

Spoiler

... blackjack him, drop him in the balcony, and stab him there. Problem solved, clean and quiet. :) 

 

My only issues with the mission, were:

Spoiler
  1. doors that automatically close. I'm not fond of that. They can get in your way too. If you change your mind because someone showed up, and then... you bump your nose on the door and you may get caught.
  2. keys aren't dropable, so I can't get rid of the ones I don't need anymore. Same for a few other items, like the treasure map.
  3. drawers are a bit slow to open and they stop when blocked, which makes them a bit tricky to work with. I would put stop_when_blocked  0 on them, to make it easier. If you're in their way, you just step aside and they'll keep opening. By the way, personally, I think I would also do that with the attic ladder door, and the trapdoor as well.
  4. the doors seem to have a short frob distance. I kept struggling with it.
  5. Elsevier's random head turning got me caught twice in the spot in the screenshot below, which I thought was rather... very unlikely and weird, because it's pretty right behind him. It also happened to me with a guard in a hallway, when I was totally behind him, and probably will happen again. Random head turning is one of my biggest peeves in TDM. I find it unfair, and unfortunate that it is the default behavior of AIs (my personal takes on randomness, if you're interested). image.thumb.jpeg.da8f6b2e2dea9ced1875325bba144ce9.jpeg
  6. there's a bit of a problem when Elsevier notices Finch's door open, because of the guard that's stationed there. Elsevier will go in and investigate, and when he goes out he will be blocked by the guard and be unable to close the door. He'll just circle around the guard, go back in and back out, repeat. Eventually he gives up, and goes to his room, leaving the door open, but it takes quite a little while.

That's about it. Lovely mission. :) 

 

 

Edited by Skaruts
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My FMs: By The Cookbook

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Thanks Skaruts!

I don't really like auto-door close either, but I put that on the exterior doors for performance reasons (to close vis-portals).

"stop_when_blocked  0"  is a great idea for drawers; I didn't know about that.  

Random head turning looks easy to turn off. I have always found that annoying too. I would probably save it for select guards, or maybe just have it enabled when they are on alert.

Yeah, the "ShouldBeClosed" door property seemed like a good idea, but can be troublesome as it's noticed by all the AI and not just the room guard.

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@grodenglaive 

I think random head turning might be plausible for specific characters, if they're supposed to be paranoid for some reason. But you should let the player know in advance that they're always looking over their shoulders. I don't know if Elsevier has any reasons to be paranoid, but it could be plausible in his case. It could even be one of the reasons why Astrid had a hard time seeing him insert the safe code.

 

The doors thing, at least some interior doors were auto-closing too. I was specifically thinking of the dinning room doors when I wrote that. I think there were more auto-closing interior doors, though.

Personally, my potato doesn't have any real issues with performance in this mission. Only on the outside the frame rates drop below 60 sometimes, but never enough to make any noticeable difference to the gameplay.

That said, I wonder if you could use double visportals on the outside doors. That might help, as the inner portal should close more often, without needing to close the doors. I use double portals sometimes because of that. But it needs testing to know for sure whether it helps or not. (It also requires adjusting info_locationSeparators, as they can only touch one portal).

 

Also, the big visportal in the water that separates the front yard from the spider area seems to be always open. I wonder if having two visportals in a V shape (from the top view) instead of that one, would help closing it. Or some similar configuration that doesn't interfere with the view from the watchtower.

 

 

 

 

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My FMs: By The Cookbook

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  • 1 month later...

It's quite impressive for a first mission, especially the placement of the guards and their routes.

The mission didn't end when I got back to the boat. I suppose because I didn't read the very first message that gives an objective, I only read it at the very end when coming back. All my visible objectives are finished. Version 2.12

A few notes: 

The stone gate is a silly concept. :)

A bit more objects would have been better next to the forest path. The edges of the map wouldn't be visible that way. I mean in the background, a bit further from the path.

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On 4/3/2024 at 9:53 PM, Gerberox said:

It's quite impressive for a first mission, especially the placement of the guards and their routes.

The mission didn't end when I got back to the boat. I suppose because I didn't read the very first message that gives an objective, I only read it at the very end when coming back. All my visible objectives are finished. Version 2.12

A few notes: 

The stone gate is a silly concept. :)

A bit more objects would have been better next to the forest path. The edges of the map wouldn't be visible that way. I mean in the background, a bit further from the path.

Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps I should make the locating Astrid objective visible regardless of reading the note.  Did you end up finding and reviving Asterid after reading the note and were you able to then complete the mission?

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On 4/5/2024 at 9:57 AM, Gerberox said:

What reviving? The body is not interactable.

Sorry, the mission must somehow be bugged for you.

Spoiler

When you enter the area with her body it should trigger an objective to find the antivenom. 

I'll need to figure out what went wrong and issue an update. It's likely linked to not reading the note. 

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