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Cradle type missions


Macsen
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I just saw that Deadly Shadows made it quite far up PC Gamer's 100 top games of all time list. Judging from the bit of text included, because of the Cradle mission.

 

Despite being a great mission it was a somewhat radical departure from the other missions in the trilogy. Do you think that kind of mission will be popular with people making levels for the Dark Mod? Should TDM cater for that kind of mission with textures, AI and stuff that fit the setting?

 

Or was the Cradle just a one-off that didn't really fit within the Thief universe, and we'll see people go back to more traditional medieval woo?

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Should TDM cater for that kind of mission with textures, AI and stuff that fit the setting?

 

I'm not sure what kind of special assets would be needed for 'that kind of mission'. What made it unique wasn't the assets, but the way it was designed--the idea of having no AI for the longest time, but just scripted noises/events, etc. The other bits were just gravy, and would be easily acheivable with what is already included in the mod (having AI affect nearby lights, having a HUD overlay to make the world look 'dreamlike', etc).

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It was surely a great mission and it really gave me the creeps (in a nice way), but it wasn't really the classic thief experience. It'd rather fit the setting of games like Silent Hill or The Suffering. I'd really love to play another one of those missions for thief anyway though, so mappers, start working!! ;)

Edited by STiFU
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Hmmm... I thought the mission had many unique assets that set in apart from the others - the 'puppet' AI, 20th century style electric lamps, equipment, textures and decor, and so on. It was all much more recent compared to the medieval feel of the rest of the game, it wouldn't have been out of place in a modern set game like Silent Hill. I was just wondering if the mission would have given people a taste for more 'modern' style missions, rather than the medieval and steampunk locations of Thief I and II.

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edit: Now that I've read your response I see you are talking about something different Macsen, it was different from the other missions in those ways, much less medieval and more Victorian.

 

The Cradle was ok but it suffered from what I was just whining about in another thread. The storyline and the environment were overdeveloped, for lack of a better term, they were too closely married together to be convincing I thought. When I broke into the Cradle, I had this deep sense of dread forming, similar to a dream where you are doing something you know will get you into danger but you cannot stop doing it. This place was the seat of a madness that kept the dead locked into life, trapped. The Cradle at first reminded me of the Cathedral of the Damned for this reason, every instinct told you to avoid this place but you had to go in. That initial presentation should have set a mood that lasted throughout.

 

But it wasn't sustained and one reason why was because everything I found inside, in one way or another, was tied into the mission. All the notes were clues, all the objects were necessary items, the rooms either had something mission specific in them or they were empty. Not really all but it seemed that way, there was not enough incidental stuff to convince me that this was a real place with a really horrible past where the dead drag themselves about. The environment was not telling me a story just by being the way it was, rather everything felt contrived and intentional, which sank the immersion for me. It seemed like a big empty building with a few items tossed about and some things stumbling around. The girl ghost was annoying, she alone should have spooky to meet and talk with and she's an ally. Instead we got a Disney character.

Edited by Maximius
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What I'm really asking is, just as people now say 'I'm gonna do a Hammerite mission', or 'I'm gonna do a Pagan mission, 'rooftop mission', 'mansion mission', 'street mission', and so on... will people be saying 'I'm going to do a Cradle mission'? Most Thief FMs are easily sorted into a particular genre, based on examples from the first two titles. I just wonder if we're going to see a Cradle-style mission genre or are people going to leave it alone because they consider its setting un-thief-like, or consider it a one-off that's too good to do a second time. :)

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Hmmm... I thought the mission had many unique assets that set in apart from the others - the 'puppet' AI, 20th century style electric lamps, equipment, textures and decor

 

I haven't played it in a while, but apart from the 'puppets' (which were just regular zombie models with attached cages) I don't think any of the regular assets were unique to that level. The light models were the same ones found elsewhere in the city.

 

But if you're asking whether we're going to support 20th C maps, then no, we're not.

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What I'm really asking is, just as people now say 'I'm gonna do a Hammerite mission', or 'I'm gonna do a Pagan mission, 'rooftop mission', 'mansion mission', 'street mission', and so on... will people be saying 'I'm going to do a Cradle mission'?

They're called 'undead missions'.

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Haha, sorry, I know I've rattled you with the suggestion of having to make more content. 'But we've already covered centuries 5-19!' you cry.

 

But it'll be interesting to see in mission makers create their own assets to go with a Cradle like mission.

 

They're called 'undead missions'.

I think the medieval horror of missions such as Return to the Cathedral and the jittery, modern type of horror found in the Cradle fall into two different categories. There's as much difference as there is between hammer horror films and modern fare like Saw. You can't just slap a 'woo' stamp on both, there's more to horror than that.

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Be that as it may it doesn't mean map makers will also choose to 'stay away' from thief 3. Personally I think most of the game's problems were simple enough to sort out and that there's some good concepts there to 'inspire' mission designers, even if they were poorly executed.

 

Regarding horror missions, I still thinks there's something to be said for 'steampunk-woo', which hasn't really been explored in any of the thief games. Exploring the links between mechanists that bring robots to life to necromancers which re-animate corpses. There's a good theme for a mission there somewhere I think, which could draw some inspiration from the Cradle.

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Urr TII did that? The robots and Karras were pretty scary first time round I thought! Especially as I didn't know about the water arrow in the vent until my third playthrough of TII.

 

The problem with the Cradle was that for someone with a sense of design and architecture it was just wrong. It was a bit American and Disney to have a Victorian asylum in the (pre?) medieval "/Old/ Quarter" without blinking an eyelid.

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Be that as it may it doesn't mean map makers will also choose to 'stay away' from thief 3.

 

That's certainly up to the mappers, but as we've stated all along, our goal is to provide a Thief 1,2 inspired toolset. There are certainly enough assets in the toolset to get a reasonable start on that type of mission if someone chose to, but we won't be going out of our way to create that specific style. We're sticking to the basics of Thief 1 and 2.

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I haven't played it in a while, but apart from the 'puppets' (which were just regular zombie models with attached cages) I don't think any of the regular assets were unique to that level.

 

They were really the standard zombies? I didn't see that at all, mostly because the animations were totally different and I was so scared of them that I couldn't take a closer look. Damn, was I shocked when I knocked down one of them the first time

and then all the sudden, when I turned my back to the unconscious body, he was running screaming after me.

(You should not read further if you haven't played the cradle yet, it's damn fun to experience it the first time) :)

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I think the only thing that made the Cradle unique was that by the time you got to it, you had a slight interest in the game as to what is going on. If someone expects to make a map that just throws you into a mission like Cradle it wont have the same affect at all because the player has to be intrigued almost and have an interest in the game to be able to get immersed in it.

 

When I first played Cradle I thought it was scary, now when I got back and play it, it seems lame :) It's all about creativity I guess making that first time through really count.

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The rumors and hushed whispers spoken in dialog about the Cradle certainly added to the psychological buildup of the mission. I agree that such missions can only be one-offs; once you've played through its less a fright and more a matter of seeking a different challenge in it.

Loose BOWELS are the first sign of THE CHOLERA MORBUS!
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They were really the standard zombies?

 

 

Wow, what an improvement they were then. The standard zombies in TDS were none sense, I seriously found the T1/2 zombies to be a lot scarier. The sounds they made reminded me of a chimpanzee with a head cold, this kind of snot nosed gurgling giggling sound, utterly unconvincing. I will say the puppets were scary the first time through but I never found the zombies that spooky.

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The only thing I found 'scary' about the Cradle was the sense of dread, as explained earlier. People have touched on this a few times in this thread.

 

There was an FM I played years ago. I forget what it was. 7th Crystal? It's been too long and I've played too many. I believe it was the same setup, no one for a long period of time(maybe a few guards) but you'd find some notes about how this man and woman, who had a child, were having difficulties? As I've said.. it's been too long. But when you finally find the key to the kids room.. I just had this huge sense of dread.

I sat there, staring up at this room. The stairs up were completely dark.. so all I was able to see was the exit.. which was a dark-ish blue, I believe. I was so sure soemthing was going to happen.. I think I went and tried to do more of the mission before ever venturing into the room.

 

Something like this is why the cradle was good, despite what the architecture looked like. It built up and up this sense of dread. I remember the knocking on the door scared me almost as bad as the kids room I described above.

 

 

<_< sorry if it's a little ramblish. I tend to write things as it comes to me without any regard for cohesiveness.

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I wish I could have got over my annoyance at that missions linearity. You had to go to a certain place for an event to happen then a key appeared so you could do X. Nah, not my cup of tea, too much wandering about.

I just cleared the mansion of stuff, explored the lovely architecture, and quit.

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The only thing I found 'scary' about the Cradle was the sense of dread, as explained earlier. People have touched on this a few times in this thread.

 

There was an FM I played years ago. I forget what it was. 7th Crystal?

Yes, that is the 7th Crystal. Great FM, and precisely because of that plot.

It's largely superfluous to the actual mission but

it's inclusion certainly added to the sense of dread/foreboding one got at certain points.

 

As to "Cradle type missions" - I agree with ZylonBane, these are Undead missions or ghost missions. Will we get any? One perhaps, and I'd wager it'll be the 7th Crystal crew or someone else with good FM credentials who'll do it.

I want your brain... to make his heart... beat faster.

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The only thing I found 'scary' about the Cradle was the sense of dread, as explained earlier.

 

 

Another FM that hit this well was The night Falcon or whatever? by Christine IIRC. one of the setting was a vampires crypt, with the difficulty mod installed they could hear the slightest noise I made, which is how vampires should be anyway. Man, it took me like 2 hours just to get down the six flights of stairs to the crypt and then it took days to kill them all. I tried to ghost but instead I had to lure each one of them carefully back up the stairs and kill it separately. It was a lot of fun, but the dread I felt entering that stairwell was priceless.

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Omnious Bequest was the best thief FM in my opinion. I enjoyed killing the final boss while playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor on the piano.

 

While on the subject on 20th century architecture and the like in Thief... I wonder what the Dark Mod team's stance is on the Art Deco architecture of the mechanists? It was in Thief II, but this period of architecture is 1920s and 30s, so I presume it's not going to be in the Dark Mod? I hope so because it looked completely out of place...

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