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[2.12] Increased Mantle Speed

Daft Mugi

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It seems like more and more "thief" and "thief players" is becoming a short hand to dismiss community members earnest  desire to improve the game - which happens to be a barely legally distinct "thief style" game which was made by thief fans for thief fans and is "designed to simulate the stealth gameplay of Thief". 

Who is the predominant player base of the game supposed to be beyond fans of the thief games? Is there some better avenue to find feedback for the game beyond this forum? FOSS and linux forums? I have seen maybe half a dozen posts from that segment.

I am a thief fan, I play thief fms, my association with those games is what drives me to play and make things for this game. 

Are we supposed to pretend the original games are not a huge reason why most of us are here at all?

TL;DR version:


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TDM is marketed as:

  • It's a tremendous achievement - a detailed tribute to the Thief series. (link)
  • Since The Dark Mod is designed to simulate the stealth gameplay of Thief, many things will be familiar to veteran Thief players. (link)

The Dark Mod was [...] created to allow players to have Thief 1/2 style gameplay in a more modern engine. [...] The main goal was to allow fan mission authors to make new missions [...] but play more like the original games. (link)

It should be of no surprised when folks suggest making a change to TDM that fits more closely with Thief when it makes sense. The majority of active TDM players and mission authors I see today are also Thief players.

And, besides the folks here on this forum, there aren't many places where the dev team can get player feedback on TDM, especially players who gave up on playing TDM all together. The Thief (including TTLG) community is one of the only places where we can get feedback in general and from veterans of this stealth game type.

Feedback I received from a player:


Indeed extinguishing candles was more tedious than necessary, and shouldering bodies is something few players realized was possible (I shared that shouldering tip in several Twitch streams).

FWIW, [I played TDM during its early days]. Life kinda got in the way for a while, but some things just bugged me enough about TDM that I never got back into it. I may fire up TDM myself for the first time in a while thanks to the changes you're making. The TDM devs may not realize just how much NewDark affected TDM. Once Thief became easily playable on modern systems, players weren't willing to accept those annoyances anymore to get their Thief fix. Listening to the players' complaints goes a long way.

This is great news for our community.

  1. For our community, more players increase the likelihood of more devs, mission authors, and content creators.
  2. For the content creators, more players experience the content they make.

That said, I think most agree that TDM is not meant be a 1:1 copy of Thief, and that's a good thing. Changes to TDM should be carefully considered and playtested before release.

EDIT: To clarify, addressing player complaints does not mean copy Thief game mechanics. It means that when player complaints are addressed, a solution that is appropriate for TDM is implemented.

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I did play Thief and FMs, but I don't play it any more, except for major things like Black Parade. The clunky movement and antiquated Dromed editor is what discouraged me from interacting with it over the years.

I regularly play and sometimes make content for TDM, because it has much better movement model than Thief. I know that most missions don't use it well, but if you construct your geometry (gaps, ledges, distances) using power of two measurements, movement and mantling feels fast and snappy. There's no need for regression in that regard, in my opinion, there's a need for assets and missions made with the movement model in mind, to showcase its strengths properly.

Even if TDM originally intended to "simulate the stealth gameplay of Thief, many things will be familiar to veteran Thief players" the actual mod history was a bit different. The team came up with a mission platform that has its own identity when it comes to mechanics. The way assets were made might have been a huge mistake, but that didn't prevent the platform from growing.

Since you like anecdotal evidence, noone other Skacky once said that TDM movement model was super clunky, after playing The Painter's Wife. It was really hard to convince him that if a mapper places geometry this poorly, and isn't aware what spatial measurements play to the strengths of a movement model, no movement model will save his mission. And there is no fixing of this problem on the engine side, although it's not the first time when TDM team tries to address the asset problem with engine changes, which I suspect will ultimately lead to even more problems down the line.

In game development, things like core mechanics and player tools are locked-down first, in one of the pre-production phases, because all the levels will be constructed around them. Making changes in core mechanics in a project this mature is very risky, I assume you don't plan on going through all playable spaces in all released TDM FMs to check for errors.

Instead of making incremental changes in fundamental mechanics, I'd encourage you to create a fork, or some kind of major version bump candidate, like 3.0, where all things could be revamped: movement, player tools, UI, new frob mechanics, perhaps with UI contextual icons, new training map to incorporate all that, etc. Once all new elements fall into place and create something new, with a map or maps to back it up as relevant changes, it will be easier to convince existing player/author base that it was worth it. I assume the existing fanbase is already fragmented, as a result of all those heated discussions around the topic.

But with multiple versions available for download, the transition to hypothetical "TDM 3.0" should be easier. It could be similar to UE2 and UE3, and you could also use this as an occasion to draw the line for backwards compatibility. I know there are old systems and variables kept in place just in order not to break existing missions. This way you could e.g. redo the LOD system, implement lights using math functions instead of textures, etc.

Edited by peter_spy
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11 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

Are we supposed to pretend the original games are not a huge reason why most of us are here at all?

TL;DR version:

I don't think it was original T1/2 as much as the disappointment with Deadly Shadows and its shortcomings when it comes to levels, editing tools, and movement model. And since we're onto meme territory:



Edited by peter_spy
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Years ago I don't know but If I was to risk my chips in 2024 I wouldn't bet in an established community of a 25 year old classic. TDM has been around for a decade now and if it didn't spark there already it never will. Thief veterans gather together and share stories about the good old days and that's great. The next generation of TDM players won't come from the past but from the present and future, imho.

Edited by snatcher
minor correction


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  • 3 months later...
On 1/21/2024 at 7:03 PM, STiFU said:

At least you can sort by release date now.

Only in the downloader and you cannot default to alphabetical order, which anoys me. Maybe I should create a bug report..

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On 12/21/2023 at 10:50 PM, Daft Mugi said:

If you would like the mantle speeds to be similar to 2.11, add the following to your "autoexec.cfg" file:

set pm_mantle_hang_msecs "750"
set pm_mantle_pull_msecs "750"
set pm_mantle_shift_hands_msecs "500"
set pm_mantle_pullFast_msecs "450"

I am looking for "autoexec.cfg" inside darkmod folder where the game is located, but I can't find it.

Could this problem be because I did not use the installer, but used moddb's "extract & play" version?

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29 minutes ago, Loginnerer said:

I am looking for "autoexec.cfg" inside darkmod folder where the game is located, but I can't find it.

Could this problem be because I did not use the installer, but used moddb's "extract & play" version?

You must create it yourself. Use notepad the rename the file with a cfg extension afterwards.

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Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:




(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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