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Thread: what is something in a fan mission that bothers you

  1. #26
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    I think he's referring to the boilerplate disclaimer in most FM readme files which say it was not made or distributed by Looking Glass or Eidos.
    This is the disclaimer every FM author has to set in the readme. It's a rule to write it down or paste it, but it has nothing to do with the FM.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    That said, how does it relate to the topic at hand? Is he saying the disclaimer is something that bothers him? And why is he asking "allowed to do that?"
    I think icy7rider7 is suggesting that some fan missions do in fact copy elements from the original Thief missions (but suggest otherwise on account of the disclaimer), and is either wondering whether they are allowed to make such a claim if it is not strictly true, or else is wondering whether copying such elements is allowed in the first place. I suppose the real question being asked is "what does (or should) that disclaimer actually mean?" (which I suspect was established ~19 years ago?).

  3. #28
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    The disclaimer means that the FM is not created by or a product of Eidos or LGS. It doesn't say it is not a derivative of an original mission, which is perfectly legal to do. The two things don't contradict one another. The only thing that would be such is if you released an unmodified OM as a FM and included the disclaimer.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    I'm pretty forgiving for most fan mission but I get completely turned off from big open empty areas. If you look at even the smallest of areas such as outside bafford's, it is still corredor-esque and feels bigger as it winds around. You almost suddenly bump into the area with the guards. Couple these tight places with shadow and you can put a large mount of patrols and there will be a feelling of progression, hopping from shadow to shadow. Along the way you might discover a better way if you need to backtrack. The gameplay can be within just feet of eachother, even if the city is sprawling.

    If there is a big area it should be inundated with extruding out bits of artitecture to make it interesting. I'm a fan of peppering objects, even if OM objects. There is so much resources for objects, why not.
    Last edited by gamophyte; 3rd Jan 2018 at 16:05.

  5. #30
    — Unfrobable doors with handles, especially those with handle turned down, as if they were unlocked. It's rookie mapper mistake or maybe just plain trolling, as I saw veterans with huge campaigns under their belts doing this as well.
    — Long, poorly written readables that leave little to player's imagination.

  6. #31
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Isn't it pretty much understood in the world of FMs that if a door is not frobbable, it's for aesthetics only and the player isn't meant to go there? I think most players get that, and the position of the handle shouldn't really matter much.

    What else should authors do if they want a unpassable door there, use a texture?

  7. #32
    What else should authors do if they want a unpassable door there, use a texture?
    Yup. The flat texture vs. door model with handle is Thief's equivalent of affordance in design; basic concept, used way back to OMs. It's not about whether the door is frobabble or not. It's about whether player has a way to visually distinguish between frobable doors and dead ends, without frustarting trial and error.
    Last edited by Judith; 3rd Jan 2018 at 15:04.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    — Unfrobable doors with handles, especially those with handle turned down, as if they were unlocked. It's rookie mapper mistake or maybe just plain trolling, as I saw veterans with huge campaigns under their belts doing this as well..
    I gave this some thought some time ago, and I settled on this not being a issue for me, at least. You figure you won't know if a door can open unless you walk over and try it, just like real life. I personally enjoy sneaking in thief, it's not a drag to sneak over to a door that was a dead end. Design is key though, as in, was it really fun in the first place ect. I would say though it would be evil if it was locked but wasn't real, with sound and all. Looking at you OMs!

    Edit: And I guess I hate flat boring stuff more than a false door.

  9. #34
    You figure you won't know if a door can open unless you walk over and try it, just like real life.
    That's the problem. Video games are not life and they are not meant to be life. Mappers can guide players in smart ways, just as photographers or other artists can guide viewers' eyes within the frame. Trying and checking every door in the level is not meaningful gameplay.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Video games are not life and they are not meant to be life.
    My statement doesn't qualify trying to make the game as a whole, real life. I would like a bit of realism that I can make due with in that one aspect, among some other, because of game level design. There are only going to be so many doors in a mission, most of which will open to a real place. I won't be sorry to make a mission in which the player was led to every door, in fact false doors can help reveal something else. Again I rather this, than flat awful textures that I am supposed to believe is a door. You see great windows in all these missions, some of which are objects. I had no issues with checking all that I could reach because I think it's fun.

    This is my preference as it were, though. That being said if the flat texture looks good enough, and works for where it's placed, I may go with in.

    There is other designations you can make that are against realism but for better gameplay I do agree with. I thought about subtly color coding the paper stock, of important readables from unimportant (story only) readables. I may have a aura around loot and secrets that you only see up close to prevent the player from frob-spamming, and rewarding them for looking closely.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014

  12. #37
    Again I rather this, than flat awful textures that I am supposed to believe is a door. You see great windows in all these missions, some of which are objects. I had no issues with checking all that I could reach because I think it's fun.
    You can always make a door model, just without a handle. The visual design communicating gameplay design is what's important here. And it already kind of works, even as we speak about it. You are repelled from such doors ("awful flat textures") and that is exactly the purpose. (Also, if you don't like flat textures, come to DarkMod, we have normalmaps.) You might like checking absolutely everything in the game, but that's not meaningful gameplay either. Compare it to books or films, where e.g. the whole distance the character has to cover to get to some place is described or filmed only as long as it contributes to something, his/her story arc, general story etc. There's nothing wrong about having a moment of searching of every nook and cranny in the room, but it has to be one of many other activities in a gameplay flow, to make mission interesting.

    That door example is kind of irrelevant here, Tannis. I mean it is, in terms of stressing how awful the old-school design was, but even then it misses important context. Resident Evil games were about avoiding zombies in tight corridors. Checking these doors, as tedious as it was, went pretty fast, because of tight spaces and nothing between the player and the goal, except for zombies of course. Now in Thief FMs, you can spend a minute or two trying to avoid guards and getting across the room to a fake door that looks like a real one, only to discover they're not frobable. That is bad design and waste of players' time.

    I thought about subtly color coding the paper stock, of important readables from unimportant (story only) readables. I may have a aura around loot and secrets that you only see up close to prevent the player from frob-spamming, and rewarding them for looking closely.
    This is good stuff. In my WIP DarkMod FM, I use subtle fresnel-like outline for interactive objects, so players will be drawn to them in the first place. It's not as shiny and in your face as in e.g. Bioshock or Dishonored, but it has that little shimmer that will make you check it.
    Last edited by Judith; 4th Jan 2018 at 05:51.

  13. #38
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Isn't it pretty much understood in the world of FMs that if a door is not frobbable, it's for aesthetics only and the player isn't meant to go there? I think most players get that, and the position of the handle shouldn't really matter much.
    Not necessarily, because some doors are operarated by switches, even switches from the other side or hidden ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    What else should authors do if they want a unpassable door there, use a texture?
    That's the general solution - looks like a door from afar, can be identified as a texture from close by. However, there is no fits-100%-of-all-cases fix.

    In The Dark Mod, using a curved latch object is one way to communicate the door is not frobable (but it is not a universal convention).

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    It's actually from Silent Hill, which progressively abused the broken lock trope until by the third game you have hallways of doors and where the vast majority wouldn't even work lol. In practice it was more annoying than stressful.

    Below is one of the most aggregious examples. Only doors with arrows are accessible. That one hallway up top only has 3 / 14 doors that work lol.

  15. #40
    I only played SH2 to SH: The Room, but yeah. Hospital was annoying, although this was only when everything was turned "inside-out"? Not sure. Even that first apartament in SH2 used that a bit too often. But we had waay more free time back then.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2014
    Usually i don't like when you open a secret cache (panels, paintings, etc) but you can't close it back.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Location: Troyes, France
    I hate when a room has no light switch and it is not possible to switch on/off the light from a lamp. Also, I don't like when there are lighted torches in places like ancient temples, caves, when, they are supposedly abandoned since a looooong time.
    Enhanced Thief Fan Missions Archive (ETFMA): [TTLG thread]
    DromEd Level Editor Developer Textures Kit (DLETDK): [TTLG thread]

  18. #43
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2017
    Location: Russia
    I'm sorry to drag this up again, but is there any reason to have un-openable doors, beyond engine limitations? I mean, if there's no real door there, can't it just be a wall? Or whatever.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    The simple reason is that non-openable doors make the world seem bigger than it really is.

    I also use handle-less doors to signify that a door is just decor and not a real door. A good way to communicate the fact that a particular unfrobbable door is a door that can actually be operated with a switch is to simply carve a small window or opening close to it revealing a room beyond; it's even better if you put some pickable item in plain view as well, such as loot, so players know that there is a way beyond that door and it's not just decoration.

  20. #45
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2017
    Location: Russia
    I don't know. I suppose, it depends on the person, but for me fake doors are in general kind of immersion-breaking. I mean, a rather tertiary factor, but still. And you're not going to fool me with the size of the world if I don't believe in its authenticity.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    I plan on making the door unfrobble so you know right away it would work but there is a reason why you can't go in there. Also if you sneak there, there may be a nice touch there that you can interact with. Can be loot or story supporting objects ie a water pump that shoots out black sludge near the front door. A readble later might talk about how this came to be, when also talks about what's going on in the city over all. If there is a out of reach door, it will look good like the "false" windows do, but it may be just a texture, not a awful flat (as in low quality) texture. Yay I can has good looking doors so long as it's plotted out well.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Quote Originally Posted by supermikhail View Post
    I don't know. I suppose, it depends on the person, but for me fake doors are in general kind of immersion-breaking. I mean, a rather tertiary factor, but still. And you're not going to fool me with the size of the world if I don't believe in its authenticity.
    That's exactly the same thing with windows.

  23. #48
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    It's not necessarily just size of the world, but also for realism. If you climb into a bedroom from the outside, and there's no door in the room, it's kind of a glaring thing. You wonder how people normally access the area.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    i guess people like my board topic :P

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2017
    Location: Germany
    I hate it when you have a loot goal and find the exit but cannot go back to look for a sufficient amount of da lewtz because the way back is BLOCKED! IT IS BLOCKED!!! Looking at you lost crusade and death's turbid veil!!!

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