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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #1626
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: The Inverted Manse
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    simply because I'm not Garrett.
    If I ever make a TDM mission, I will call the player Garreth or something similar. I agree, it is just not the same, having to play as some anonymous thief.

  2. #1627
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Brethren: obviously, there are good legal reasons not to use a player character named "Garrett", and I am respecting the team's work with that now and in the future. But if you will note, my mission shows continuity with the previous work I have done, both thematically and in exact details. Does it make a difference if the protagonist is nameless, or goes under a different name (which may be an alias for all we know)?

  3. #1628
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    How would the existing missions be any different if you were playing Garrett?
    Well, sure, the gameplay, architecture, lighting, sound, etc would (obviously) be the same.

    But I'm one of those who feel that immersion is a major part of the Thief experience: the player being able to put him/herself into the character. Slipping into the part of Garrett is a bit like putting on a favourite pair of gloves (even if they do have some rough or spiky edges ).

  4. #1629
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Sticky Fingers View Post
    But I'm one of those who feel that immersion is a major part of the Thief experience: the player being able to put him/herself into the character. Slipping into the part of Garrett is a bit like putting on a favourite pair of gloves (even if they do have some rough or spiky edges ).
    This has been my main concern with TDM (which I haven't had a chance to try out yet). The familiar Thief characters, factions and setting are a major part of my enjoyment of the game, and I've found that I have a lot more trouble getting immersed in FM's with a different protagonist or even a different setting. For example, I recognize that Rose Cottage is obviously a good mission, but because it's quite definitively NOT Thief (different characters, different setting), it just didn't grab me the same way and I still haven't played it past the very beginning.

  5. #1630
    Well, sure, the gameplay, architecture, lighting, sound, etc would (obviously) be the same.
    They're not immersion, but the name is?

    For example, I recognize that Rose Cottage is obviously a good mission, but because it's quite definitively NOT Thief (different characters, different setting), it just didn't grab me the same way and I still haven't played it past the very beginning.
    So the mission is getting written off before being given a chance,
    which I haven't had a chance to try out yet
    just like TDM was.

    Anyway, that's okay of course, to each their own. I mentioned somewhere around here (maybe the official forums, not sure) that if you want to pretend to be a particular character, feel free. Nothing and no one is stopping you; there are no thought police here. Beyond that, if someone writes off or can't enjoy a (single player, private in your own home) game (in the same theme as a favorite) simply because of the (in no way enforced on a personal level) avatar name, you're really missing the forest for one tree (and I can't feel much pity).
    Last edited by SneaksieDave; 18th Jan 2010 at 11:09.

  6. #1631
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    But I'm one of those who feel that immersion is a major part of the Thief experience: the player being able to put him/herself into the character.
    Then just pretend you're playing Garrett. That should be even easier if the thief is anonymous, shouldn't it?

  7. #1632
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    Then just pretend you're playing Garrett. That should be even easier if the thief is anonymous, shouldn't it?
    I don't think it's that easy. From my point of view - and I think Sticky likes that too: I always like to feel to be Garrett and not an anonymous thief, but I don't really feel like I'm Garrett when I'm playing a mission where is told I am Garrett, and that nothing else happens with Garrett as a person.

    I'll clarify: For instance, in The Seventh Crystal, you see Garrett in a cutscene, you hear him talk, you think as he does. In the original missions you hear many voice fragments, just to let you know you play Garrett and not just some unnamed thief.

    That's why I always like it when people insert new voice fragments in a mission - it really adds to atmosphere.

    So I don't think, as SneaksieDave says, it's just because of the avatar name. In many missions way more things add to the feeling you play as Garrett himself.

  8. #1633
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    Then just pretend you're playing Garrett. That should be even easier if the thief is anonymous, shouldn't it?
    Gonna have to agree here, and honestly it really should be that easy shouldn't it? The mission briefings are written in the same thief style for the most part, the objectives are written in the same style (You are a master thief, not a murderer! Don't kill anyone.) and everyone assumes you to be Garrett (The world's best thief) in everything but name specifically.

    Do you folks that cant suspend your disbelief a little and put yourself in the mindset also avoid the excellent Thief 1 and 2 fan missions that have you in the role of someone other than Garrett? Take Rose Cottage for example.. did you not enjoy it simply because you weren't addressed as Garrett or did you suspend your disbelief and get immersed for other positive reasons?

    I love immersion too - but ruining the experience for yourself simply because you aren't wearing a name tag saying "Hello, My Name Is Garrett" before beginning a mission seems a little out there

    I understand the examples Potatoguy gave above - seeing Garrett in the mission and hearing the voice clips - but how many incredible fan missions have we had where there were no mentions of his character, no camvator looks at him, and no sound bytes from his voice files? So many that I couldn't even count.

  9. #1634
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I think it goes way beyond just being called Garrett. It's everything contained within The City as we know it. If you play a game, and in addition to not being called Garrett, and there's no mention of Hammerites or Mechanists or Keepers, and there's no mention of any of the history or lore of The City as we know it, you never see a reference to Ramirez or Bafford or Benny or Viktoria, etc etc etc - how do we connect? Sure, each individual author can create their own world. But creating an entire world from scratch is much harder than just adding on to one that already exists, which is the way Thief FMs work now.

    I hate to even be talking about this, because I love what the TDM guys have done. What they've accomplished is truly amazing and should be recognized and appreciated.

    If say, for instance, TDM would have been released with a campaign that had a central character (like Garrett, but not Garrett) and a entire world already created (much of that work has actually been done already, just read the wiki), it might be easier for authors to create within the world. Don't get me wrong, I realize that this is a monumental task, and nothing to be taken lightly. It likely would have delayed the mod another couple of years, which would be a waste if it's ready to go now.

    In the end, I think the answer is that us stubborn taffers just need to come to grips that maybe we're going to be someone besides Garrett and just accept. I guess this just puts a lot more onus on the shoulders of mission authors to come up with their own deep and interesting worlds.

  10. #1635
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post

    In the end, I think the answer is that us stubborn taffers just need to come to grips that maybe we're going to be someone besides Garrett and just accept. I guess this just puts a lot more onus on the shoulders of mission authors to come up with their own deep and interesting worlds.
    I have to agree. Not only for TDM, but what happens with Th4if? It's almost written in stone that the main character will NOT be Garrett.
    If it his how will that work after T3? Or will they try to squeeze it in before T1 in which case it would be pretty boring I imagine, or in betwwen one of the previous games?

    The funny thing is I never heard these comments towards missions like Cosas which everyone seems to love. Sure, there is some character build-up but not that much.

    I dont know, I was never that hung up on being 'Garrett' or memorizing the storyline to the T. I just like the gameplay and can deal with whatever character story happens on a mission by mission basis and take it for what it is.
    Too bad that people get so hung up on these things, to me it just limits your own enjoyment of games/life.

  11. #1636
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    It's everything contained within The City as we know it. ... there's no mention of Hammerites or Mechanists or Keepers, and there's no mention of any of the history or lore of The City as we know it, you never see a reference to Ramirez or Bafford or Benny or Viktoria, etc etc etc
    Well, that's more understandable. The Thief setting was pretty great and we all bonded with it. While TDM can be pretty close, it can't be the same. Hopefully over time the TDM setting will start to feel more like home.

  12. #1637
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Hopefully folks that embrace The Dark Mod and create missions for it will do their part to flesh out its backstory and its world like alot of authors have with Thief fan missions.

    I know that around here folks get uppity when you mention ANYTHING from a fan mission becoming a part of the thief world - but that is the beauty of everyone being different.. there are things that are from fan missions that I consider a part of the Thief world in my own mind, and I'm not concerned at all with how anyone else feels about that. Why not let people define their own Thief world however they enjoy it the most? Folks get far too anal about canon and details - we all know what was included in the original missions and lore, that's really not the point.

    A good thing about The Dark Mod is that it is completely up to the community to create the world with those tools, and I like that. Sure, a small campaign explaining some backstory of TDM and whatnot probably could have helped - but I think TDM team has done quite enough just providing us with the tools.

  13. #1638
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
    The wiki gives a fair amount of back story on TDM world. If mappers use that as their starting point, I think we'll start to get a good feel for the world.

  14. #1639
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Agreed, NH. I'm going to try and build TDM missions which are story-centric and focused on the world you guys have begun to define. Of course by the time I get around to it, there will be many more FMs already out which do the same.

  15. #1640
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by SneaksieDave View Post
    So the mission is getting written off before being given a chance,
    Nice job twisting my words there. Perhaps you missed the part where I said Rose Cottage is "obviously a good mission"? Or are you somehow trying to argue that if I'd played Rose Cottage far enough, it would have turned into a traditional Thief mission with Garrett as the protagonist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SneaksieDave View Post
    just like TDM was.
    I said I have a concern about TDM, which I haven't had a chance to try out yet (because I don't own a copy of Doom 3). That hardly means I've "written it off". Please stop putting words into my mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by SneaksieDave View Post
    Beyond that, if someone writes off or can't enjoy a (single player, private in your own home) game (in the same theme as a favorite) simply because of the (in no way enforced on a personal level) avatar name, you're really missing the forest for one tree (and I can't feel much pity).
    It has been said more than once that this is about more than just the name of the protagonist.

  16. #1641
    If you say so. Looked to me from your words like you're dismissing two projects you've barely or not at all even tried first. Which as I said is fine, but you are likely missing out for what I consider the wrong reasons. I.e., "I don't want that Ferrari because it's red."

    are you somehow trying to argue that if I'd played Rose Cottage far enough, it would have turned into a traditional Thief mission with Garrett as the protagonist?
    I don't think I said anything of the sort... And why should the mission have to do that to grab you? What happens when Thief (the one we know and love) is no more (as it might be now)? Will you not try something else?

  17. #1642
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    Well, we're straying here but...

    IMO gameplay is the most important thing here. We all like Thief because of the gametype. The story is a very good one too and LGS did a great job merging gameplay and storyline.

    But what if Garrett's story had been told in another game. Say Unreal. Same exact story, just loud lazer cannons, space marines, etc.. Same story different gameplay.
    I seriously doubt the community would exist or that it would be made up of the same people. Because of the gameplay, not the storyline.
    Most Taffers dig the sneaking, looting and story telling whether or not the author uses Garrett. Different gameplay doesn't offer that at all.

  18. #1643
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    It's one thing to enjoy Thief gameplay and story, and not want to play an Unreal-style shoot-em-up, but writing off a mission simply because Garrett's not the protagonist, regardless of the storyline or anything else, just seems a bit creepy, superfan-like to me (kinda like those weirdos who got depressed when they saw Avatar because they want to be a blue cat-thing and live on Pandora although clearly not as extreme... unless you actually dress up as Garrett to play Thief missions or something. Then you're a weirdo. ).

    Frankly I'm bored of Garrett as the protagonist - I like playing missions that show some real creativity in setting/character design.

  19. #1644
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by SneaksieDave View Post
    If you say so. Looked to me from your words like you're dismissing two projects you've barely or not at all even tried first. Which as I said is fine, but you are likely missing out for what I consider the wrong reasons. I.e., "I don't want that Ferrari because it's red."
    More like "I don't want that Ferrari because it isn't a Ferrari, even if it bears resemblance to one".

    Quote Originally Posted by SneaksieDave View Post
    What happens when Thief (the one we know and love) is no more (as it might be now)? Will you not try something else?
    Of course I will, but that something else won't be similar to Rose Cottage.

    What style of missions people like is a matter of taste, and all I've stated is that horror missions with a non-Thief setting, even obviously well-crafted ones like RC, simply aren't my cup of tea. It sounds to me like you're really keen on proving that my taste is somehow "wrong" if I don't happen to find that type of FM appealing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwaa2
    But what if Garrett's story had been told in another game. Say Unreal. Same exact story, just loud lazer cannons, space marines, etc.. Same story different gameplay.
    I would argue that if you add in laser cannons, space marines and substitute Unreal-type shooter gameplay for Thiefy sneaking, the story won't be the same anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicked
    Frankly I'm bored of Garrett as the protagonist - I like playing missions that show some real creativity in setting/character design.
    The point for me is not really that Garrett is automatically superior to any other protagonist, but the fact that so far, I haven't come across any FM protagonists that would have had anywhere near as much depth and personality as Garrett. The reasons are obvious: Garrett has featured in three full-length games consisting of about 40 missions, voiceovers, dialogue, cutscenes etc., which has allowed room for fleshing out and developing the character, whereas other protagonists usually appear in maybe one or two FM's, and their personalities and backstories are limited to a couple of paragraphs in the readme. The only exception that comes to mind is T2X; while I didn't find Zaya nearly as fascinating as Garrett, she was fleshed out enough that I at least felt like I was playing as somebody and not just anybody.

    So I'm not saying it would be impossible to create another protagonist as interesting as Garrett, I'm just saying that doing so will require much more work than is possible within the boundaries of one, two or three FM's. Apart from T2X, no FM author has come even close so far. Hopefully, things will change with TDM, and we'll see more long campaigns that will give birth to new characters as captivating as Garrett. I'm just pointing out that over the past 10 years, this hasn't really happened, hence my skepticism. FM authors are more than welcome to prove me wrong!

  20. #1645
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    As a mission author, I understand the draw of background, and, although my main focus has been smooth, spatially interesting gameplay and complex architecture, I have always tried to provide interesting and non-intrusive context for the player. In that, I have drawn on the mythology of the original games, although what I tried wasn't precise imitation but my own reflection on themes that made Thief. Now, I wonder a bit - would people have had problems with my missions if the protagonist had called himself "Talbot" instead of "Garrett" (which in fact he did in Bad Debts), got involved in various sinister conspiracies, and discovered mysterious locales left behind by a society named "Guardians" instead of "Keepers"? Is a letter from Lord Bronnet a less interesting readable than one from Lord Bafford? Did Return to the City become less of a mission after I changed all references about "Hammers" (an unwitting mistake) to references about "Builders"?

    What I am aiming at is how much the common mythology defines fan missions, and more importantly, how much of that is tied to specific, concrete references instead of impressions, feel and themes. I mean, if we look at Purah, Lady Rowena, DrK, sperry and frobber, five different authors who have released widely known missions featuring a strong personal vision of Thief, we see that
    a) they have deviated considerably from canon by putting their personal stamp on it;
    b) the interpretations they have built have probably less in common with the original stories than with custom material (Purah's huge Keeper mission is an exception, although his Garrett is not TLG's Garrett and his Keepers aren't exactly TLG's Keepers);
    c) nonetheless, they share a spiritual and thematic legacy even if precise details differ from canon (frobber's KotP series is probably most distant from it, while I am not sure sperry's Shadows of Doubt series even features Garrett, or an anonymous thief in deep trouble).

    In any event, and speaking for myself, look forward to missions starring a thief named "Talbot". Maybe some of their elements and references are going to be familiar to people who have played previous missions of mine (the suggested order being Prowler of the Dark --> Return to the City --> Bad Debts --> Disorientation (Undbidden Guest is an unrelated Metal Age what-if). Even if that is not the case, I hope they will be enjoyable on their own.

  21. #1646
    It sounds to me like you're really keen on proving that my taste is somehow "wrong" if I don't happen to find that type of FM appealing.
    Nah, you've got me wrong. While I do feel it would be foolish to turn away from TDM for the reason being discussed here, in my first post I said to each his own.

    The reason I'm inclined to say anything at all on the subject is because the Thief is Garrett!! stance seems to reign over many here (more than other communities and publications). It's okay of course, don't play if it doesn't strike your fancy... but I will say you're missing out.

  22. #1647
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    but writing off a mission simply because Garrett's not the protagonist, regardless of the storyline or anything else, just seems a bit creepy, superfan-like to me
    I'm going to retract my previous opinion that stated exactly what you said above. I think it's not so much that I'm not Garrett, but more than often times I'm not anybody (i.e. the anonymous thief). As long as there is a defined protagonist (whether it's Farrell or Joe Bob or Zaya) with at least a little bit of depth, it'll be easier to slip into the TDM world. I think at this point in TDM's lifecycle, people are more focused on learning how Dark Radiant works than creating in-depth stories and worlds. And that's fine, that's how it should be. The rest will come in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Frankly I'm bored of Garrett as the protagonist
    Ok buddy, you just crossed the line. We're gonna have to take this outside...

  23. #1648
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    I'm going to retract my previous opinion that stated exactly what you said above. I think it's not so much that I'm not Garrett, but more than often times I'm not anybody (i.e. the anonymous thief). As long as there is a defined protagonist (whether it's Farrell or Joe Bob or Zaya) with at least a little bit of depth, it'll be easier to slip into the TDM world. I think at this point in TDM's lifecycle, people are more focused on learning how Dark Radiant works than creating in-depth stories and worlds. And that's fine, that's how it should be. The rest will come in time.
    That pretty much sums up how I feel. Time will tell how the characters and universe in TDM will develop, but the fact that authors aren't, at least officially, supposed to use Thief characters or factions will put them in a different kind of situation. I'm guessing that one reason Thief FM's with a different protagonist have been relatively few and far between is convenience: Since we already have Garrett, whom everybody knows and loves, it's easier to get straight into designing a mission when you don't have to come up with a new central character and new setting and spend time and effort familiarizing the player with them (not to mention having to find a voice actor and re-record the player character's soundset). If TDM authors wish to respect the wishes of the TDM team, they have no choice but to come up with their own character, unless they're content with playing as an anonymous thief.

    The other side of the coin is that with different authors developing things in different directions more or less independently from each other, the TDM universe is less likely to become as cohesive or consistent as the Thiefverse.
    But I reckon it'll take at least a couple of years before we have enough material to draw any real conclusions.

  24. #1649
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: UK
    Reinstalled Doom 3 and currently grabbing TDM as I type. It's taking a while though. And Doom 3 keeps crashing (I found no solution) and I'm worried this will affect TDM.

  25. #1650
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: UK
    If doom3 is crashing before you even install Dark Mod then I recommend you check the install as it seems unlikely that Dark Mod will work correctly if doom3 does not.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    So is there a solution about establishing a substantial character and story? The Dark Mod universe, along with a map of the main city of Bridgeport and Farrell are already defined HERE and was/will be in Thief's Den 1, 2, and 3 (3 most probably taking place in the north west edge of Bridgeport) but although some team members are making FMs there are too many other tasks and too few of us to create a meaningful campaign specifically to produce a solid memorable character history beyond the background described on the wiki.

    We have provided the tools but it is up to the community and specifically those we feel most strongly that a strong character and story are essential to group and plan out some means of raising awareness. Recruit people to make videos and a modest campaign of say 4 to 6 levels with a powerful story. To make sense it has to conform to the Dark Mod Universe already defined on the wiki. It does need to have Farrell necessarily. Promote the story and character and encourage mappers to make FMs that strengthen. If enough do that perhaps it will work.

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