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Are Thief FM makers the most prolific of any fan-base?


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I'm asking because I reckon that Thief FM creators are the most prolific SP FM user base for any game in history. I can't imagine any other game having that many FMs for it.

 

Why do I care? Because I really think that TDM has potential and part of that potential is the maahuusive fan base that it will cater to. I'm not talking about TTLG or even TDM forum regulars, just the mass of Thief and stealth fans that are out there.

 

I also think it important that Eidos know this when considering a toolkit for Thief 4. But lets we concentrate on TDM now, eh? :P

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

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I remember old Doom 2 CDs that had like 5000+ maps, but those hardly count I guess. Most other games lately with a ton of maps are all just dumb multi-player maps. With those all you have to do is make the architecture and then pepper in a bunch of power-up and health capsules.

 

Single player missions is definitely where it's at, and I think the Thief community is probably the best at them.

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Yes I feel embarassed when I explain Dark Mod to people and have to mention the term "maps" or "missions", this really creates a poor mental image of what they really are, and I always immediately follow this up with an elaboration that they actually would be better referred to as "stories" because of how much work goes into the architecture, the dialogue, the plot itself, the atmosphere, and even recorded voice.

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I was about to say Wolfenstein 3d had more fan maps -- but same as for doom applies here.

 

Thinking about it it's never fair to compare these numbers since games in general are so different. Different options for gameplay and different support for modders.

 

I mean it would be pointless to do great single player maps for Quake3 so you cannot compare this to Thief. And there would be thousands of user generated places for KotOR if Lucasarts wouldn't be so restrictive about all that Star Wars stuff.

 

What seems to be unique about the Thief community is it's longevity. It's not just some hundred fan missions lying around, abandoned on some server.

 

The ability to tell stories (or more imply them) within a fan mission sure has something to do with it.

 

:)

 

 

off topic:

multi-player maps. With those all you have to do is make the architecture and then pepper in a bunch of power-up and health capsules.

I dare to disagree. Once you get the hang with Q3 you'll notice the hard part is the right distribution of items. These balance or unbalance the gameplay -- building a real good map comes close to rocket science.

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Yes, I was about to post defending multiplayer maps - there is quite a bit of design that goes into them (the good ones, anyway). :) It's hard to compare the effort involved between single/multiplayer maps, since it's so wide-ranging even within categories (i.e. a very small, very basic singleplayer map will obviously be a lot easier to make than a large complex singleplayer map).

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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We've had this debate before, a few times I think, and the conclusion I think we often come to is that it's not the most prolific by far (Komag gave just one example).

 

But what our community does have is an incredibly high "signal to noise ratio" for maps, where signal would be actually high quality and original (gameplay) elements in a map, and noise is just recycled stuff you throw together. Or more precisely, it's the measure of how well any single map stands out from the background of all the other maps out there. Doom 2 might have 5000 maps, but a great majority of them were built in less than 1 week (I hear) and recycle the same ideas over and over, and just by the nature of the game can only be tweaking a basic gameplay concept (shoot guys).

 

Edit: Ok, you guys have a good point that making a good multiplayer map with good distribution takes real thought. But it's on a different scale from adding a story. I guess that's why I liked rating by "signal", since a good map still might not send out a strong "signal" that really differentiates it and makes its parts very memorable like a more story-based game that involves you in an interesting plot, and where the gameplay is more varied. A very fun Quake MP map can still be mostly "noise" that makes it blend into the background of multiplayer maps generally.

 

Thief 1/2 doesn't have as many FMs, but each one has a lot of work invested in them (3 months build-time is on the "fast" end) in architecture, story design, and gameplay design ... and the nature of the game lends itself to making each FM very unique and able to stand out in your memory, like a strong "signal".

 

So if you wanted to actually quantify that into a number, with Doom2 you might get some S:N ratio of .3 but with Thief 2 an S:N ratio closer to .9 or whatever (obviously pulling those out of a hat; to be precise you'd go map by map and score it by how much value-added work went into it and what creative or original gameplay it's adding that makes it stand out as a strong "signal" in a person's memory, etc). Then I bet you'd see a very significant difference that makes Thief FMs stand-out (and Darkmod as they come).

 

Edit2: For example, it's telling you can have a "Name that FM" game by screenshots with Thief FMs and it's been going strong for a while now, but I'm not sure that kind of game would work as well with the masses of maps for Doom or Quake. The statistic that's behind that phenomenon is what I was thinking is special about the maps in our community.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I mean it would be pointless to do great single player maps for Quake3 so you cannot compare this to Thief.

Wrong! I'd consider Q3 trickjumping obstacle courses to be single player and there are currently 8883 ones in the database I use... :D But of course you cannot compare those to thief maps either, for multiple reasons. One being, creating such a map only takes like 2 weeks, if at all. But there are even some with a story... ;) Also the trickjumping community has become fairly small by now. I'd say there are only like 30 mappers left. Fruthermore the SNR is pretty low...

Edited by STiFU
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What seems to be unique about the Thief community is it's longevity. It's not just some hundred fan missions lying around, abandoned on some server.

 

The ability to tell stories (or more imply them) within a fan mission sure has something to do with it.

So true.

 

Thief allows a very specific voyeur perspective that can play alongside and intertwine with the mission goals. Widow Moria is an example, or the plot in The 7th Crystal FM.

 

I must get around to playing more FMs.

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

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post-2515-1251416760_thumb.png

 

Yes, Eidos was excited about TDM even back in 12-02-2007.

 

LOL My GF just remarked "Seems they make Thief 4 because we disappointed their expectations". not amused grrr@honey :D

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Funny thought this. :)

 

 

About the signal-noise-ratio: it's a nice picture but eventually fail. We can not translate the qualities of different games into one quantity and compare them by numbers. This would be like saying chess is better than soccer. More like "ten times better".

 

I mean there's nothing wrong with favouring one over the other -- everyone is free to like or dislike whatever s/he wants. But we really shouldn't do something like a scientific claim about such things. B)

 

Thief allows a very specific voyeur perspective [...]

Oh thanks! The term "voyeur perspective" nails it down. What's cool about Thief gameplay (at least that's my opinion atm) is less the storytelling -- books or movies could do that better -- it is confronting the player with a certain scenario.

 

For example the way to get the key in Saintlucia: it takes only two readables to give you the illusion of three different characters, their relationships, their lives etc. -- it goes quite deep and we don't even see or hear them. On the other hand you don't have to read these. In fact I only read the one in the house and stumbled over the key by accident before reading the second...

...but this kind of freedom only adds to gameplay. You have to pick up the clues yourself, the more you dive into it the more complete a picture you get.

 

 

@STiFU: Wow, trickjumping obstacle courses! Consider me noob, I only saw these in War§ow, completely failed and wiped it from my memory... :blush:

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Total Annihilation fanbase is similarly long lived and also produces a fair bit of content even today. Units and maps are the most common but there's easily 50+ total modifications (of varying quality) too. Supreme commander sucked the TA fans away though. One thing I've noticed is that there was a resistance to 3rd party content in the multiplayer community, people got good at the original game and didn't want to play anything else :(

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I remember old Doom 2 CDs that had like 5000+ maps, but those hardly count I guess. Most other games lately with a ton of maps are all just dumb multi-player maps. With those all you have to do is make the architecture and then pepper in a bunch of power-up and health capsules.

 

Single player missions is definitely where it's at, and I think the Thief community is probably the best at them.

 

I have to disagree with you there, while making single player maps usually takes more work, tell any talented Quake 3 Map maker that their work is just dumb.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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